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Nut Slot Depth - Strings Sit LOW

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Cthulhu, Jan 26, 2006.

  1. Cthulhu


    Sep 24, 2005
    Madison, WI
    O.K., I have a very nice Brice (hey, that rhymes!) 6 string that has one minor (I hope) problem - the nut slots seem to be cut too deep. I say that they *seem* to be too deep, because I thought I had heard that the strings should sit in the nut slots so that half of the string diameter is in the slot, half is out. In my case, the *entire* low B and E strings as well as the high G and C are in the slots.

    Assuming that the action is otherwise fine (that is, the strings don't buzz and are not below the frets), can I just file off some of the top of the nut to allow the strings to sit correctly?

  2. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    Yep. If the slots are properly formed and the depth is right you can shave down the nut top until the strings are exposed to your liking. I'd mask off the neck and headstock near the nut just to be safe and use a medium grit sanding block to remove the excess material.
  3. Cthulhu


    Sep 24, 2005
    Madison, WI
    Perfect - that's just what I was hoping to hear! Thanks for the information.
  4. SGT. Pepper

    SGT. Pepper Banned

    Nov 20, 2005
    No that can't work. All you will do then is shorten the nut height, it won't change the depth they will still be in the same spot. You have to get a new nut cut. {hey that rhymes too} The nut contacts the neck so filing down the top of the nut to make the strings appear like they are higher isin't going to raise the string height at the nut. You have to get a new one cut properly.
  5. The Clap

    The Clap

    Jan 5, 2004
    Scottsdale, AZ
    He's not trying to change the string height at the nut, so this wouldn't apply.

    First off, Cthulhu, it's important to have your nut slots filed down as low as possible (without any buzzing when playing the string open) because it's one aspect of achieving low, effortless action. The fact that your brice's open strings don't buzz means your nut slots aren't too low, so you're good there.

    Next, when you set a string exactly 'half in and half out' of a nut slot, it has the same area of contact as it would if you put it all the way into a nut slot, because only the bottom half of the string contacts the nut. So, string height in the nut doesn't affect the sound per my experience.

    You could file down the nut as FretlessRock suggests if you want to do it for aesthetic purposes though, that wouldn't be too difficult.
  6. Cthulhu


    Sep 24, 2005
    Madison, WI
    Yep. I think I'll file it down. I want to see if using the "hair scrunchy" trick to reduce the strings from ringing will work. Since the strings are down so far in the slots, I can't really scrunchy them now (is scrunchy even a word?)
  7. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    It is now!

    I think ther confusion was that you were saying that the slots were too deep, but meant that the top of the nut was too high. That is how I read it, and figured a direct reply was best.

    And even though the nut slot only contacts halfway up the string (we hope), there is a real difference and benefit to not having the string buried in the nut slot like that. All of that extra mass in the nut is not helping. Having it done properly, where the slot is about midway up the string, or a little higher, really does not sound the same. It isn't just for show.

    Good luck with the scrunchy!
  8. Hi to everybody, I'm new on this board!
    Could anybody tell me if the nut slot should be tight around the string or wide? Does it affect the sound or tension of the string?

    Thanks in advance
  9. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005

    Well, sometimes if the slot is too wide for it's string, it'll cause an open note buzz...

    - georgestrings
  10. Thanks a lot for the info!!
    So you don't think that if it is too narrow it can affect the tone of the string...right?


    Mauro Battisti