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Determining proper nut slot depth?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by vindibona1, Feb 8, 2018.


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  1. vindibona1

    vindibona1

    Apr 18, 2015
    I know how regular 6 string electrics and acoustics should be set up and my bass seems to be pretty well set up too. But I want to check the nut slots. Compared to my guitars there is much more "clearance" on my bass and wondering if the nut should be adjusted?

    I know that on my guitars I hold down each string on the 3rd fret and tap the 1st fret to see how much clearance there is. On guitars there should be just a hair of clearance when the 3rd fret is held down.

    My question is... Is this also a proper method for determining that the nut slots are deep enough and not too deep? If so, how much clearance should there actually be? Need there be more clearance than a regular guitar?

    TIA
     
  2. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    It's a decent test. You only need half a hair of clearance. Np more than a regular guitar.
     
    JLS likes this.
  3. mongo2

    mongo2

    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    I use the same test on fretted instruments. Plus, I like to see just a skosh (technical term) or maybe half a skosh of daylight between the top of the first fret and the bottom of the string when fretting the string at the third fret. I also slope the nut slot down just a bit towards the headstock to provide a good a witness point.
     
  4. lz4005

    lz4005

    Oct 22, 2013
    That way works just fine but isn't the only way.
    My preferred method is to try match the resistance needed for fretting at the 2nd fret while holding down at the first.
     
  5. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Do you go for 8 Ohms or 4 Ohms?
     
  6. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Half a skosh = 1 skoosh. Half a skoosh is an oops. Half an oops is a shyte, half a shyte is a dammit.

    OK I'm having too much fun in this thread - I'm outta here.
     
  7. Paulabass

    Paulabass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2017
    Not much is perfect. Less for a fretless.
     
  8. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Typical 1st fret / string clearance is .003-.005" (...that's a milliskosh in Turnaround's universe) whilst fretted at the 3rd. The tap or "ping" test will work in a pinch.

    Riis
     
  9. zortation

    zortation

    Dec 26, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    Shouldn't those be in order of severity? A skosh seems a lot less serious than a shyte or dammit.
     
  10. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    They are measurements in increasing order of frustration. So in reverse order, a dammit is that degree of accuracy will elude you no matter how hard you try. A shyte is where you can in fact do it but you missed yet again. Oops is "just missed" and skoosh is a bit of a bit - doable if you concentrate. Skosh is a bit - don't have to try too hard.
     
    zortation and BassPilot like this.
  11. BassPilot

    BassPilot

    Oct 14, 2016
    Novato, CA
    Man, that's dictionararic (sp?) :smug:
     
    Turnaround likes this.
  12. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    In psycho pea dick.
     
    Rich Fiscus, 96tbird and BassPilot like this.
  13. vindibona1

    vindibona1

    Apr 18, 2015

    Interesting... my gut tells me that the slots are just a bit high. But I’m also thinking that lowering them will require me to make adjustments at the bridge as well because I’m just at the point of buzz if the TR isn’t dialed in exactly. I suppose it’s the price one pays when the hands are finicky
     
  14. lz4005

    lz4005

    Oct 22, 2013
    Nut slot depth only impacts open notes buzzing on the first fret. It literally can't cause fret buzz anywhere else.

    Try hammer-ons from 0 to 1 and from 1 to 2 on each string. Ideally they should take the same amount of effort.
     
  15. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    Thats what relief is for. The nut don't enner inuit.
     
    zortation likes this.
  16. vindibona1

    vindibona1

    Apr 18, 2015
    Perhaps... What do most guys set the relief at? It is measured the same way as guitars- at the 7th fret?
     
  17. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    Not perhaps, it is fact. Every seasoned pro tech in TB will attest to it.

    Everybody maesures relief differently it seems, 7,8 or 9.

    My method is different based on reality: every neck is different and the low point will be in a diffrrent spit than another bass. I check all three and find the deepest point of relief, that being the reference for that particular bass.

    Sometimes there’s no measurable difference betwen the three and on some basses there is a difference. Thats wood for you.
     
    Willicious and Zooberwerx like this.

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