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Possible nut height issue?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by lowendgenerator, Jan 26, 2012.


  1. lowendgenerator

    lowendgenerator

    Mar 26, 2006
    CHI/NWI
    I was adjusting the relief on one of my basses today. I had a capo on the 1st fret to help eyeball the relief. I left it on while while I noodled around a bit, and the action felt lower, smoother, especially in the first 5-7 frets. Does this mean the nut slots are not deep enough? Or is this just an illusion?
     
  2. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    A quick, down and dirty way to check nut slot depth is... Finger from open string to first fret, and note the height/feel. Put your capo on the first fret and finger the second fret and note the height and feel. They should feel about the same... perhaps a tad more height from open to first fret.
     
  3. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    Reno/Tahoe
    Possibly. Or it may be a case of your string gauge being a little too thick for them to rest completley down in the nut.
     
  4. Jay2U

    Jay2U Not as bad as he lóòks

    Dec 7, 2010
    22 ft below sea level
    I filed the slots of the nut of my Ibby. The distance between the strings and the first fret is now 0.6 mm (0.023"). This feels so much better than before. Fretting at fret one was hard work, now it isn't. It's also better for the intonation at the lower frets, as the strings are less stressed.
    Before lowering the strings by filing the nut, it is worthwhile to check whether all frets are level. On cheap basses like mine, the nut is often a little too high to prevent strings from rattling against bad fretwork.
     
  5. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    Good point.
     
  6. And just the other day, there was a thread on why in the heck would you want an adjustable nut height (Just-A-Nut on Warwicks.) Here is why.

    A handy rule for nut height is to press down on fret #3....string clearance on fret # 2 should be no more than 2 or 3 thousandths.
     
  7. dmonroe

    dmonroe

    Jun 16, 2010
    Augusta, GA
    How would this handy rule translate to a fretless? The same height to the fingerboard or a little higher?
     
  8. lowendgenerator

    lowendgenerator

    Mar 26, 2006
    CHI/NWI
    I wish I could retro-fit the Just-a-nut on my Fenders. It's a hell of a lot easier than filing the nut. I'll break out the feeler gauges tonight after practice and have at it.
     
  9. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Still, once the nut is cut or set right, why does it need to be adjustable?
     
  10. Rocky McD

    Rocky McD

    Jun 28, 2005
    San Antonio, Texas
    Builder,mcdcustomguitars
    If it is adjustable, there is always the possibility of it getting "out of adjustment" I'll stick with the old way, That is usually good for 30 to 50 years.
     
  11. lowendgenerator

    lowendgenerator

    Mar 26, 2006
    CHI/NWI
    I would feel better about turning a screw too far than filing off too much material.

    Let us end the discussion of Just-A-Nuts here. It's a toxic subject, and I'd rather talk about string height in relation to the nut, and proper measurement.
     
  12. Growly Lytes

    Growly Lytes

    Dec 4, 2009
    Downunder Oz
    Bass player
    Hey Lowend dont let it worry ya to much cause that can be fixed without buying a new nut.I stuffed around on some cheap basses & i pretty much got the hang of getting it about right or close enough even if i wreck the nut by going to deep.
    I end up grinding a pick up into dust & mix it with superglue then fill the slot if its gone south on me.It works !Even better the actual nut shaving`s mixed with superglue.
    I like doing my own work on basses i own.
     
  13. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    Good question. I've never needed to re-adjust an adjusted nut.
     
  14. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    Hey, but what happens after that 30 or 50 years? :smug:
     
  15. Probably the same or maybe a little more clearance....your mwah-ometer will probably dictate the right height. My fretless is a Lakland, so I haven't had to decide myself.
     

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