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Fretless nut problem?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by ghindman, Mar 30, 2006.

  1. ghindman


    Feb 10, 2006
    So, I just picked up a cheap MiM Fender Jazz fretless off of eBay. The bass arrived today, looks ok, seems to play ok, if a little wonky due to some wierd pickup adjustments. I go out and pick up a new set of strings, pop off the old string and oil the fretboard. What do I find? This:

    I don't believe this is the way it's supposed to be, yes?? Some nutjob has tried to lower their action by filing into the fretboard, yes?

    I don't believe I'm all that concerned, since it's not in the playing section of the fingerboard, and a new nut should take care of things, but still. Please tell me I'm sane and this isn't the way MiM fretless are made.
  2. Linas


    Jan 6, 2005
    No thats not how they are, thats someones botch job. But really its not a big deal. Its not going to effect the sound and with a new nut just a bit higher it shouldnt be any problem.
  3. ghindman


    Feb 10, 2006
    yeah, the playing surface is almost totally unaffected. I know a good tech who'll do a new nut/setup for me for $35, so I'm not overly upset. I only payed $225 for it, so it's not like I thought I was getting some pristine pre-CBS.
  4. Mrdak

    Mrdak uber bass geek baby!

    Feb 1, 2006
    Middle GA
    Yeah its cut too deep.... I swear, I came over here just now to see if I could find somethin regarding this very thing. Except on my fretless, the nut doesn't seem to be cut deep enough. Im getting too much mouaw, it's hard to explain, and it seems like that is where it's coming from. Shouldn't the nut slots be deeper than if there were frets on the neck, a little bit deeper ? I mean obviously this nut here on ghindman's neck needs to be replaced. Can someone give me a measurment ? How deep is you nut cut. or the distance from board to string, right there on the first fret.
  5. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    I think it's suposed to be like that.
  6. orlfl


    Jul 22, 2005
    I just received a brand new American Deluxe and changed the strings. It looked EXACTLY like that behind the nut.
  7. Mrdak

    Mrdak uber bass geek baby!

    Feb 1, 2006
    Middle GA

    And the strings were that deep into the nut ? If you could take a picture of your neck close up by the nut, like that pic up top, but a little bit from the side, that would be great. The way mine is cut, the strings are right about 1/8 of an inch high off the neck, right there. I think it's causing to much of a twang like right where the first note is played. When I play the first note on a string, it's not vibrating right, and doesn't sound right. Any notes played above that first note on the same string sound fine. Seems to me, it would be good if one fret would be installed right next to the nut to give the strings something to rest on at the right heighth. I don't know for sure though..Mine was just put together by a luthier. I would really like to see this on other fretless jazzes....
    Any pics of fretless nut's would be nice. :eyebrow: Man that sounds wierd..... :rolleyes:

    didn't mean to HiJack yer thread ghindman
  8. Mrdak

    Mrdak uber bass geek baby!

    Feb 1, 2006
    Middle GA


    There's mine. I would love to compare it to a factory job on a new bass.
  9. SBassman


    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    That's bizarre. The strings really shouldn't dig into the board.
    Can't be good for tuning.
  10. ghindman


    Feb 10, 2006
    not at all - this is what it was for.
  11. Puru


    Mar 13, 2006
    Alachua, Florida
    I defretted a Washburn xb400 I got cheap on ebay. After the frets came out the action was way too high at the nut end, and was difficult to play the lower notes.

    So I looked at some other fretless basses and saw the strings sit very close to the fingerboard near the nut. Also if you look at the clearance between the string and the first fret on a fretted bass, you'll see that it is very close and you shouldn't need to press the string hard for good contact. It should be the same way on your fretless.

    I filed the notches in the nut down little-by-little until it felt good and sounded nice. It Made a big difference in the sound. Low action on a fretless is what gives a good fretless mwaah. Ultimately my defret job came out nice, and I'm pretty happy with it. By the way, it's tedious work, but if you don't have a file, you can uses a roundwound string as a file-with the gauges you like.

    By the looks on the picture, someone probably figured the notches had to go that low to get the right action. The main thing is the sound. If it sounds and plays good, don't worry about it.
  12. Mrdak

    Mrdak uber bass geek baby!

    Feb 1, 2006
    Middle GA
    Puru good point. I'm going to try and get mine a tad deeper. Thanks for the reply/ ;)

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