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Nut slot too wide on A string

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by SeismicAssault, Sep 16, 2008.


  1. I recently purchased a Squier Vintage Modified Jazz fretted model off Craigslist, and after I got home with it, I noticed that a small piece of duct tape was placed around the A-string where the string went through the nut. I was cleaning up the bass, so I took that duct tape out, and now the string buzzes whenever I play an open A. I checked out all the frets, and I am pretty sure that the slot is too wide on the A.

    I'm getting some new strings to install to see if that clears up the buzz, but I don't really want to go up in string size to just clear this up. I've been reading on here that there's pretty much two options ... fill in the slot and re-cut, or install a new nut.

    I don't mind doing a little work on the bass, so I was trying to find out any recommendations on doing either of these. Any other suggestions?

    Thanks!
     
  2. webbyv2

    webbyv2

    Mar 9, 2007
    hmm personally i would buy a complete new nut and fit it. Im not much of a DIY guy anyway and ill probally end up destroy the whole nut :D
     
  3. Fretlessboy

    Fretlessboy

    Nov 29, 2007
    St Augustine Florida
    Endorsing artist GENZ BENZ/HERCULES STANDS/XSonics
    build it up slowly with crazy glue and you have to re file it
     
  4. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    I think it may be buzzing because there is not enough winds on the A string post. I would recommend that when you put the new set of strings on it that yo do not cut any excess string from the A string. The more winds there are on the string post, the steeper the angle from the nut to the string post.

    If this does not work, I would try fretlessboy's suggestion.
     
  5. Fretlessboy

    Fretlessboy

    Nov 29, 2007
    St Augustine Florida
    Endorsing artist GENZ BENZ/HERCULES STANDS/XSonics
    I agree with that as well. Most people do NOT wind enough string on the posts. Nino, did you ever get that black 4 string trade in as per our conversation at Bass Specialties?


     
  6. Huh, I never thought of that. You may be right on that.

    I guess if I did build it up with crazy glue, I'd have to re-file it. Do I need to get some special tools for this?
     
  7. Fretlessboy

    Fretlessboy

    Nov 29, 2007
    St Augustine Florida
    Endorsing artist GENZ BENZ/HERCULES STANDS/XSonics
    I would change strings first and get more wraps on it before I go any further. I have guaged files that match my string guages so I don't have to guess. When filing you have to watch your angle of file or you will add more noises. I would try strings first then we'll talk... or add a string retainer on your A string

     
  8. In a pinch, on plastic nuts, do this:

    1) tape off the sides of the nut slot with electrical tape (PVC tape)

    2) put a drop of superglue in the slot

    3) pack the nut slot with baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)...NOT baking powder

    3) add a drop of superglue on top

    4) pack in with the side of a toothpick

    5) let set (only takes about 10 mins)

    6) using a small round file, reshape your slot

    this works great for short/medium term repairs until you can get or build a new nut.
     
  9. I'm gonna try the string-winding tonight (with new strings). I've read on here that this is a common problem on Fenders (and Squiers, in my case). If that doesn't work, I'll try the crazy glue till I can get a new nut.
     
  10. Well, I put on a new set of strings last night, with at least 4 windings around all the posts ... no buzz on the A string! I guess that was it.

    Chalk another one up to some knowledgable people here! Thanks.
     
  11. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    If anything, It may have been from the a string being too high on the post too (being level with the nut). If it ever repeats the future, check into a string tree that holds the A,D and G strings down low.
     
  12. RustyAxe

    RustyAxe

    Jul 8, 2008
    Connecticut
    Too wide usually doesn't create a problem, except when tuning up at times. Your problem sounds like the nut slot is too DEEP, lowering the string to the buzzing point. A new nut should be a rather inexpensive fix by a good luthier.
     
  13. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Crazy Glue and Baking Soda
     
  14. Fretlessboy

    Fretlessboy

    Nov 29, 2007
    St Augustine Florida
    Endorsing artist GENZ BENZ/HERCULES STANDS/XSonics
    Most people tend to get crazy when changing strings to go too fast... wind as much as you can... it gives downward presure coming over the nut and it will stay in tune better as well.


     
  15. At least on the A string on a Fender, I'd agree. I usually measure 9 inches past the peg on the A string and 5" on the other three.

    And +1 to phalex on baking soda and superglue. Sprinkle a little on, add a single drop, and it hardens instantly and is ready for filing to whatever height you need. But it sounds like you don't need to do that now - great!
     
  16. Fretlessboy

    Fretlessboy

    Nov 29, 2007
    St Augustine Florida
    Endorsing artist GENZ BENZ/HERCULES STANDS/XSonics
    I ussualy grind up a nut and use nut dust to glue in so the materials match.
     
  17. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I've used liquid (brush on) super glue and either baking soda or graphite powder.

    Riis
     
  18. Does graphite powder respond the same way baking soda does in terms of hardening up instantly?
     
  19. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    No, it sets up quickly but does not possess the same chemical properties. It works well with graphite nuts and, combined with the liquid (gel...yeech), allows you to create a very thin conforming coating which can be worked easily with a conventional xacto file and emery cloth. The resulting thickness is usually enough to correct the problem (slot too deep) and the embedded graphite powder provides some degree of lubrication. I've tried filling the nut slot completely using the "dam" method but found it requires more filing than necessary. This is a situation where a little goes a long way....and why make more work for yourself?

    Riis
     
  20. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    He said, nut dust :D
     

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