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Nut slots for gut strings - how wide?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by AlexFeldman, Jun 15, 2001.

  1. AlexFeldman


    Jun 18, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I recieved a set of Pirastro Obligato's in the mail today and can't wait to try them out. I'm going to take my bass to the luthier and have him make some other adjustments/repairs to the bass, and install the strings.

    How wide do the nut slots need to be made so that the strings will not break at the nut? I will also have him use plenty of graphite on both the nut and the bridge, as suggested. Is there anything else I should tell him?
  2. erik II

    erik II

    Jul 11, 2000
    Oslo, Norway
    Guess you have read this, but: There's a warning in the recent Obligato-thread here against tightening and loosening them too much - the windings over the bridge will come loose. I can see this on my Obligatos too, I did some bridge work after installing them and the windings there gradually loosened. Maybe you should mention this...

    The slots should be hmm... well, just wide enough, I guess :) - strings should run freely, but still be supported sideways. Wouldn't your luthier know all about this...? Don't know of anything special about these strings in that regard.

    Hey, the spell checker didn't recognize "luthier"...?
  3. If your luthier doesn't know the proper size of the nut grooves, he's not a luthier. For what it's worth, I've used Original Flexicore, Tomastik Spirocore, D'Addario Helicore, and Obligato over the same nut with no modification and no problems.
    Small, but helpful point. I put on Obligatos on a Saturday, when I'm going to be home all day, and I keep tuning them up every time I look at the bass, which could be 5, 10 minutes, and every morning and several times every night. The sooner you get them stretched as far as they're going, the sooner they stabilize.
  4. AlexFeldman


    Jun 18, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Ah. You're right, my luthier probably WILL know what to do. I'm just paranoid, I guess.

    HIG ON DON: No modifications, eh? Well, shoot. I'm gonna put these suckers on myself. How long do they take, on average, to fully stretch, if you tune them up every ten minutes or so?
  5. Well, you can't stand there all day. After the first 2 hours, you can check every hour or two. You'll see the pitch dropping less and less. You'll be retuning a few times a day for a week.
    You must keep an eye on the bridge feet. I can guarantee your bridge will be pulled to an upward tilt. When I put the strings on, I tilt the bridge down, so that when the strings are fully stretched, the bridge feet are flat again. How much? Trial and error. Or, you can wait until the strings are stretched out and very quickly loosen them, jerk the bridge down, and quickly retighten.
  6. AlexFeldman


    Jun 18, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I used plenty of graphite, tilted the bridge down. After they'd come up most the way (about two hours) the bridge was almost all the way there so I gave it a little help. If my bridge tilts signifigantly in the next week, I'll give it the yank. :)

    And OH BOY am I glad I put these babies on! They sound great. No more nasally sound in the high registers and a good helping of thump down low (d flat seems to be the money note on my bass). Is it just me, or does the lower tension actually make it easier to play?

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