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My nut(s) are too small!

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by burdekmm, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. burdekmm


    May 30, 2013
    So I'm pretty sure the nut at the top of my strings is too short. In order to prevent my strings from buzzing up there, I have to raise my bridge to a nearly unplayable height up in thumb position. Right now I have a paperclip pushed against it to temporarily raise the strings and prevent buzzing, but I would like a more permanent solution.

    My goal is to make a nut that is taller to raise the strings in the lower positions, but I am unsure the best wood to use. Or should I be awesome and make it out of bone? That would be pretty sweet...

    Alternatively it would be cool to find a luthier in the Ann Arbor area to check out my bass and make a nut for less than the cost of my arm.
  2. Pretty sure the nut isn't your problem.

    You finger after it, and you would only need to raise it if your open strings are buzzing. I suggest adding relief to your neck.

    What's going on here?
    This is the DB section, no?
    DBs don't buzz?
    Something is off here. I'm obviously in the wrong section, sorry for the pointless comment.
  3. burdekmm


    May 30, 2013
    My strings buzz when I play them open and even sometimes when I finger the lower positions. (1/2 -2)

    So would this involve re-plaining my fingerboard?
  4. Hi.

    The traditional wood for a DB nut is obviously ebony, and nut blanks of low to medium grade ebony are rather cheap. ~10€.

    In a BSO any hard material will do, mine is birch ATM.
    In a DB (/fretless in general) the nut slots can be very low without causing too much problems, a fingered note is the eqvivalent of the nut slot being level with the FB anyway.

  5. Hi.

    Best to check it first with a straight edge, but sure sounds like that's the cause.

  6. burdekmm


    May 30, 2013
    Awesome! thanks guys :)
  7. robobass


    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    There are differing opinions on how high the nut has to be. I think 0.010" clearance is plenty and if it isn't then there's something wrong with the board, but there are plenty out there who insist that it should be more like 30-40 thou.
  8. powerbass


    Nov 2, 2006
    western MA
    You could put a paper or veneer shim under the string nut to raise it up that would be the least intrusive method possibly
  9. bejoyous


    Oct 23, 2005
    London, Ontario
    I find set up issues are best left to a qualified luthier who has the experience, skills and tools.
  10. eh_train

    eh_train Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2004
    There's a TBer, 360 Guy, who does good setup work. He's in Lansing, which I think is not too far from you.

    Hope this helps,


    Paul (Eh_train)