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Question about tuning machines and sustain

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Magneto, Dec 25, 2004.

  1. I'm curious about something, and I welcome your opinions on this. I hope you don't mind taking the time to read this rather lengthy post.
    My ESP F204 bass's tuning machines are a bit undersized for the holes bored in the headstock. I first noticed this while changing strings, and the tuners MOVED on me. I thought "how can this be happening?" I removed one of the machines, and sure enough the hole was bored just big enough that the machine could rock back and forth a bit, even with the small screw in the back tight, and the front nut secure. I didn't want to overtighten the front nut, but at the same time I didn't want the machines slipping out of alignment.

    So then I decided that maybe I could use something as a thin bushing, filling in most of the play in the holes, and keep everything snug. I used plastic shrink wrap, and it worked nicely, filling the gap, but not fitting super-tight. I did this mod to all 4 machines.

    Ok.. now I'm wondering how this might effect my string/neck
    sustain. I'm under the impression that the speaking length of the string (from saddle to nut) is what matters most, but I'm no expert. Could this plastic be dampening my sound in some way. I'm noticing that I'm just not getting the sustain from my strings that I once was. Even this newer roundwound set sounds duller than the ancient strings I had removed.

    Any thoughts or info? Does the machine's metal to wood contact have bearing on string sustain or intonation?


  2. I wasn't sure if anyone would have any information or opinions about this. Maybe I'll go post this in the Luthiers section and see if they have any comments.

    Happy Holidays..