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Possible fretwear string slip

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by markjsmithbass, Sep 28, 2013.

  1. Just got back into using my old Ibanez SR1000 and noticed a problem with the G string slipping off the side of the neck. It only happens when I'm digging in and the problem is only occurring when I play a B at the 4th fret. That fret does buzz a tiny bit so my question is, can fretwear cause string slippage like this, possibly from a shallower slope on the fret edge?

    Before you mention it, I know this can happen as a consequence of technique when strings are close to the edge like on my old Musicman Stingray 5 but I do keep a constant check on my technique and I don't have to pick very hard to 'begin' the feel of it slipping. I think I can see the fret is a bit more sloped than the others but I can't tell if I'm just seeing what I'm wondering.

    I ask this because I was tempted to have it refretted but if I'm barking up the wrong tree I don't want to spend cash on the wrong solution.

  2. 73jbass

    73jbass Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2004
    99% sure its technique. Frets wear at the point where the string contacts it. Lighten up on your left hand technique and that will fix it.
  3. I'm very technique conscious and used to keeping strings under check. I've not used the bass for a while but I've never had the problem in the past with it. I've raised the action a bit and tried various other things to try and experiment with different factors. The frets are all fine except that 4th fret that is buzzing even when played lightly. That was the thing that made me suspicious. I'm also very aware that the tone when fretting in that area has changed slightly. Hard to describe but it seems a little stunted.

    Some of this is slight and bordering on a feel thing. The SR1000 does have a particularly thin neck and plays more like a guitar than a bass. The strings are pretty close to the neck edge but like I said, I've never had this problem in the past and I'm playing in much lighter jazz/pop bands at the moment compared to loud rock bands in the past.

    Bear in mind the frets have not been touched since I bought it in 1992. I've never had to take it to a luthier for anything and it's been very reliable. Not used it regularly for a few years though. Use it more for video lessons and more technical, classical pieces etc.

    I've actually just sat here trying to make the string slip and it is soooo much easier to do at that fret. I have to push the string off the neck at the other frets. At the 4th fret it only needs a stronger grip.

  4. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    is that a bolt-on bass? how close is the string to the edge, compared to the E string?

    the neck may just need to be shifted over a little so the string isn't so close to the edge.

    also, if the nut was made with the strings spaced really wide, you could have this issue. a narrower-spaced nut would be a far easier fix than a refret (which may not even be the problem).

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