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fretless nut job and lame pole

Discussion in 'G&L Bass Forum' started by eknivsnikta, Feb 25, 2008.

  1. eknivsnikta


    Jun 15, 2007

    1st: not too long ago i took my '81 L1000 fretless in to have the fingerboard sanded, the original pickup put back in, and a general setup. when i got my bass back i noticed that on the tiny bit of the fingerboard on the HEADSTOCK side of the nut there were deep grooves filed into the fingerboard underneath the E, A, and D strings. I asked the repairman about this, and he said he had to do that to get the action low enough (the nut slots were cut almost right down to the fingerboard.) he assured me this was a perfectly normal procedure. i've had fretlessess set up a few times, as well as nuts cut, and no one ever did that. anyone ever heard of this? one person i spoke with at a guitar shop said he probably just filed too far when he was filing the nut.

    2nd: the bridge pole piece for the G string on the original pickup (slot style pole pieces) in my bass sounds distinctly duller and has less volume than the other pole pieces, even when i have it raised all the way up! does anyone know if this sounds like a wiring problem, or something else (maybe the magnet is just old)? i'm thinking about putting the newer pickup i ordered from G&L a few years ago back in. it doesn't fit in the cavity as snugly (it's smaller)--does that make a difference (if there's a little space around the pickup)?
  2. palmann


    Sep 3, 2006
    I had this problem with the neck PU of my bass. The PU is made of two magnets and someone opened it and put it back in again the wrong way. I changed it back (just use a screwdriver to test for) and now all poles are at the correct level again.

    Gruesse, Pablo
  3. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    If the magnet was old, then all the strings would suffer weaker output. If the wiring was weird, then you probably wouldn't have any sound at all from one or both halves (horizontally) of the pickup. When you say polepiece, which do you mean (there are 2 polepieces for each string)? The polepieces themselves are not actually physically attached to anything electrical, they just extend and arrange the magnetic field. I actually find very subtle tone changes more than volume changes by raising or lowering the polepieces. Volume is much more affected by the height of the pickup in general to my ears.

    My guess is that you just have a bad G string- almost any string manufacturer will put out a bad string from time to time. Could also be a bad setup (G string action too high) or bad leveling of the fretboard (dulling the notes)...

    As far as the nut issue- I don't think that is normal for a general fretless setup, but if you had the fingerboard sanded then the level of the nut is lowered and so the nut too must be lowered to compensate + to keep a decent tension on the nut the strings must form a good angle behind the nut. Hence filing into the board may have been necessary to keep the strings tight in the nut. This isn't necessarily the case with your bass, but is an argument for it...in any case, if I was a luthier, I would tell someone before doing something like that to a vintage(ish) bass!

  4. quickervicar

    quickervicar Supporting Member

    Jul 21, 2006
    Lancaster, PA
    Nut: if the fingerboard wasn't sanded/leveled I would be far more skeptical of his reasoning. The nuts on fretlesses are cut very close to the fingerboard (as I'm sure you know) and the lowering of the fretboard may be enough to require the slots.

    G-string: it could be a bad string, it could be a "choked" nut slot, it could be the string not breaking over the bridge properly.

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