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G string to close to end of fingerboard

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by VJP, Dec 31, 2003.

  1. VJP


    Jun 25, 2001
    I just picked up a Music Man Sabre (cool bass) but it has a small problem ( I hope it's small). The G string is too close to the end of the fingerboard at maybe the first 9 frets ( it's worse near the nut, not as bad the closer you get too the end of the fingerboard/bridge). The string keeps slipping of the fingerboard. Can this be remedied with a new nut slot, or should a new slot be cut in the bridge saddle?

    Also, there is a decent gap in the neck pocket. Should that be shimmed, or is that not a huge deal?


  2. RobbieK


    Jun 14, 2003
    This is not uncommon on MM basses for some reason. (I've seen a few MM's that have the oil finish on the neck that are like this - I guess they cut the neck pocket to be large enough for lacquered necks, and the oiled necks have a little slop and aren't properly aligned at the bolt up stage of manufacture.) Cutting a new nut, or altering the saddles will work, but I would reset the neck. This means drilling out a few of the bolt holes, then glueing dowels, clamping the neck after realigning with a straight-edge, then redrilling. Sounds a bit drastic! If you are not confident to do it yourself, then get hold of a reputable luthier. Its actually a fairly straight forward job.

    Another option is to drill, dowel, relocate, and redrill the bridge, but this will probably put the pickup slightly out of wack - a slight shift like this won't really effect the tone, but it might not look quite right, plus the moved bridge will probably leave visible marks in the finish.
  3. VJP


    Jun 25, 2001
    Thanks for the reply. Sounds like a job for a good repair guy. I'm not that talented.

    On a related note, can anyone recommend a reair guy/shop in central Jersey (near Trenton)/ Philadelphia area?

  4. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    This may not be as bad as Robbie makes it out to be.

    Since the problem is near the nut, and it improves as you move down the fretboard, the real problem is at the nut. Moving the bridge, re-cutting bridge saddles, or re-angling the neck have the most effect at the body end of the neck, decreasing to zero effect at the nut itself (where your problem is).

    What seems to me to be the right thing to do is to either
    - shift the nut over,
    - fill in and reslot the nut, or
    - replace the nut with a properly slotted one.

    This will have the effect of shifting the string over at the nut, with decreasing impact as you approach the body.

    And while you're at it, it's also a good idea to examine your technique and hand positioning to be sure that they aren't contributing to the problem.
  5. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Nuts are cheap. Don't fill it in and re-slot it, just replace it.
  6. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    True. But if he only wants to move 1 or 2 strings, a little partial re-fill and re-slot could be easier.

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