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New (old) Bass - Nut position

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by JarBarf, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. JarBarf


    Aug 5, 2011
    San Antonio, Tx

    I'm still pretty new to the upright, and learned on a cheap ebay (craigslist) bass that I recently sold. I've been on the lookout for something a little better, and I picked this bass up from a pawn shop in Houston while on Christmas vacation. The new one is a C. Meisel model 8900. It has an existing pickup that someone used scotch tape to attach. Classy! Their asking price was $350, but I talked them down to about as much as a tank and a half of gas, so I figured what the heck. So I bought it.

    The bass did have some apparent work done. The nut was moved down the neck about an inch or so. Plus, the fingerboard was very loose, and appeared to only be glued down close to the nut.

    I used some hide glue to secure the fingerboard for now. My questions are:

    1) Why would they move the nut down like that?

    2) Is it OK where it is? If so, can I just cut and file down where the nut hangs off the neck?

    I suppose if hide glue was used when the nut was moved, then I should be able to just heat it up and move it back if needed.

    You guys are very knowledgeable and I appreciate your input. Since I'm not too heavily invested in this bass yet, would I be better off just selling it and move on? There is some cosmetic damage, but I don't mind the beat up look. There are no cracks, and all the seams look good. There is a place near the top of the f-hole where the top sinks in a bit. The sound post is in place, and the bass sounds great to my ears.


  2. I'm no expert, but it looks like the fingerboard isn't in the correct place either. You may want to go to a luthier. Unless you want to remove and reset the fingerboard yourself. Good luck.
  3. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Indeed. Looks like the fingerboard and nut need to be moved up together.
  4. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Things are definitely a little hinky there! Don't glue the board on there yet. Best thing would be to show it to a DB luthier for a hands on evaluation.

    String length needs to be considered, and a peek inside at the bass bar would be prudent before investing further. A thorough consultation would set you back $60.00 or so and be well worth it - you'd know what you had and how to proceed.

    KUNGfuSHERIFF Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2002
    Upstate NY
    Did they...wow. Yes they did.

    If the bass sounds good to you, play it. Get a lesson or two so you don't hurt yourself.

    The instrument is what it is. I had one of those Meisel 8900s for a minute, just long enough to gig it. It wasn't bad.
  6. I think someone wanted a shorter scale and/or probably an adjustment of the neck heel note (D or Eb). I would check that out first.

    Personally I would try to restore the nut to the original position and the fingerboard up (if possible, it might get a bit wider than the neck).
    Measure the current string scale and add up the nut shift to it. It might be a bit large, but maybe the former owner wanted a rather short scale for some reason.