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I filed my nut slot too low...need advice

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Irie01, Feb 15, 2004.

  1. Irie01


    Jan 22, 2002
    I was not comfortable with the action of my bass.I have an adjustable bridge and I lowered that as low as I could and still wasn't happy.I took a small round file and filed each slot down some.My E,A, and D strings turned out great and plays perfect.The problem is the G string.I think I filed it down too low.I can visibly see it laying considerablly lower on the fingerboard than my other strings and I get a very annoyoing buzz and a bad resonance when I play notes on this string with some force.I can play gentler here but that is not my sound, so it is not good for me.I put piece of a pack of matches under the nut slot as a spacer but I still can't get rid of the buzz.My first question is what else, aside from the filing I did, could contribute to this buzz?Second, what can I do on my own to fix this problem without getting a new nut?I really can't afford that and I do not know of any luthiers in my area.I would greatly appreciate advice or any words of wisdom.
  2. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Do you know where the string is contacting the bass and making the buzz? We can figure this out.
  3. Irie01


    Jan 22, 2002
    It sounds ok at the G#,Ab, and A, but at Bb and on down it is very bad.It seems that the string is hitting the bass right below my finger where I am pressing down.I hope I interpereted your question right,if not let me know.
  4. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Well, it sounds like the brige is too low on the G side of things. If you are fingering a note and it buzzes, then it is not the nut. The nut doesn't realy come into play so much then. Unless the nut is even with the figerboard, but that's quite an extreme case. Anyways, try raising the action a bit on the G side of the bridge, and see how that works out.
  5. dvmweb


    Apr 20, 2002
    Atlanta MI 49709
    Agreed: If the nut is filed too low the G string might buzz when played open. You could have high spots on your fingerboard but more like you do need to raise that side of your bridge a bit.

    One time my nut was too low, I just wore tighter underwear!!! Ooooo.
    Walt MI/US
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I had a problem like this and took it to Chris, the Bass tech at the London Bass Centre. He told me he keeps a supply of "ground-up nut" dust - so - old nuts that have been ground up!

    He added some quick drying (super) glue to teh dust and built up the nut slot in question - it was all done and ready to play, in about 20 minutes!! :)
  8. Irie01


    Jan 22, 2002
    Thanks to everyone who replied to the thread.Much appreciated...I adjusted my bridge so that it was higher on the G side and it it cut the buzz down to only the Bb and B on the G string.It still resonates funny and has that buzzy twang to it there w/ the adjustment.One thing that did happen was that there is more tension in the strings as Reedo suggested and the playability is not as smooth as it was before.It is hard to adjust after having such nice action.I set it a bit lower to help the action but that buzzing still exists.It does not seem to be because of the nut but it probably is,since I did notice it after I filed it.If it isn't,then what else could be happening?Any suggestions..
  9. What's happening is that every time you retune that G string after having to mess with the slot, is that the string is settling into a different spot of the string both at the nut and the bridge. This is pretty much like hearing a new, green sounding G string every time you de-tune and take the string out of the nut slot. No way can you get everything exactly back to the way it was. The only tip I can suggest is to tune the G up and try to stretch it by VERY CAREFULLY pulling the string out with your right hand while holding the bass with your left. The Bb and B, i'm afraid, sounds like a fingerboard issue and just needs to be "chased" down the board towards the bridge with a scraper or whatever your luthier uses to do FB dressing..reedo's trick of putting a piece of thin laminate underneath the nut is the next best thing to a new nut. Be careful popping the nut off...they tend to want to shatter. (if it's ebony)

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