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Nut setup for fretless

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by fokof, May 17, 2011.

  1. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007
    I wonder how can I give a little fretless sound to open strings ?

    Maybe adding a tiny little piece of ebony under the open string ?

    Or slotting the nut as low as possible so the string touch a little fretboard ?

  2. That won't work. The string will rest on the first fret.
  3. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    These days, I'm primarily a fretless player. Open strings are just that... open strings. An open string will always sound like an open string on a fretless. The only workaround is to not play the open string but fret that note... 5th fret E string for A note sort of thing.
  4. kraigo


    Jun 21, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    I had to redo the nut on my latest fretless. It was very high. It took a _LOT_ of filing to get it down to where it "was supposed" to be. I kept worrying that I'd go to far. Tips:

    The bottom of the nut was flat and it was much more effective to file the bottom than the slots.

    The best way I found to check the height of the slots was to lay the files across the nut and some distance on to the fingerboard. It was just easier for me to visualize how a tensioned string would sit that way.

    After you've got the height dialed in, then file the slots to even the strings out.

    You can't add height back in very easily, so be careful or you'll have to get a new nut and start over.

    I agree with Slowgypsy that you won't get an open string to sound like a fingered string.

    You will still be surprised at how low you can take the nut - less than a business card's thickness high.

    Good luck.
  5. Jools4001

    Jools4001 Supporting Member

    On a FRETLESS ?
  6. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007
    I tried a fretless MusicMan last month on a store and it had a special nut , I would have to go back and see what it is exactly , but the nut had a special shape that gave that sound to the open strings.

    I would like to replicate this.

    I'll try stuff......
  7. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    actually, all new music mans have an odd-looking compensated nut for intonation purposes; it has nothing to do with the tone, especially not with somehow sounding "fretless" or "not fretless".
  8. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007
    The one I tried had a little "Mwaaaa" to the open strings.
    Maybe it wasn't setup properly ..... :confused:

    Or I was drunk, I'll have to check that again. :meh:
  9. CBRXJ


    Jul 31, 2010
    Apple Valley Ca.

    Or I was drunk, I'll have to check that again.

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