1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

File down the frets under the B string only?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Temcat, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. I had my cheap Fernandes 5-string set up professionally, including leveling the frets. However, I'm not completely satisfied with how the B string plays: while serviceable, it needs a slightly lighter touch. Is it customary to only file down the frets under this string so as to allow a larger oscillation amplitude? Would increasing the nut height for this string only be a better solution?
  2. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Why not take it back to whoever set it up?
  3. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Filling a nut groove with cyano-acrylic glue (super glue) and baking soda then re-slotting is the way to go. Or cut a new nut. Either way, a nut is always replaceable. Filing down the frets for this one string is permanent.
  4. caledoneus83


    Feb 26, 2018
    I'll second that.
  5. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Raising the nut slot will only help with the open string - once fretted the nut height is immaterial.
    Don't file the frets under the B-string, raise the B string saddle.
    Thespis, fretlessguy, SteveCS and 7 others like this.
  6. That of course is a possibility. What I'm asking is how this is usually solved. In the past, I heard luthiers say things (on other occasions, about different basses) like "it's not possible to make this neck play better", despite there seeming to be sufficient fret height available (and of course the option to deal with the nut). Not really being knowledgeable about this stuff, I would like to gather some opinions from people other than the person who did the setup.
  7. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    Temcat likes this.
  8. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Did you get "a setup" or did you talk to the person who did it about how you play? If they don't know then it wasn't set up for you, it was set to average measurements that may not be appropriate to how you play.

    You may need more neck relief, a higher bridge saddle, or (and this is more likely) a thicker B string to get the play feel you want. A higher nut slot or lower frets is almost certainly not the solution to your problem.
    Temcat likes this.
  9. Yeah, it was more of "a setup". They didn't refer to my playing but I had pre-set the approximate action I would like to get without buzzing. Which I got, for the most part. And it was later, after having accepted the work, that I had second thoughts about the B string.
  10. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    never, and no.
    you mean you have to play it lighter to keep from having it buzz? that's kinda normal for a B at regular scale length, 34" is really too short for it to respond the same as the other strings. regardless, the way to get more clearance out of it is to raise the saddle.
    Temcat likes this.

Share This Page