1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
     
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Sand the nut or the strings ?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by basseux, Mar 9, 2018.


Tags:
  1. basseux

    basseux

    Jan 10, 2010
    I am trying the Steve Harris Rotosound Signature SH77 on a Fender US precision 2012.
    It's 50 75 95 110 flatwound.
    The string set before was from fender 45 65 85 110.

    The G en E fits right in the nut slots, but there is a little gap at the bottom for D and A.

    I am not sure I will keep this strings, so I was thinking not doing anything definitive to the nut, and though about sanding the string instead of the nut.

    I don't think it would kill the string, as they get more wear from the contact with the frets without ever breaking.

    Also some strings are way thinner at the bridge, and it doesn't really change the sound much.

    What do you think ?
     
  2. Razman

    Razman Supporting Member

    Feb 10, 2005
    Orange Park, FL
    Use the old strings to widen the nut slots slightly. Sanding strings is a bad idea IMO; a wider nut slot won't hurt anything. True, the core is what holds the tension of the string, but over time it will stretch and it's possible a part of the string you didn't sand will pass through the slot. Just make it wider, any narrower strings you fit on it in the future will ride at the lowest point anyway.

    Raz
     
  3. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    I'm with Razman - sanding the strings is going to be difficult to get right and take a long time, and may damage the string. Sanding or filing the nut is easy.
     
  4. basseux

    basseux

    Jan 10, 2010
    How do I use the old strings to widen the nut slots ?
     
  5. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Wrap a scrap of sandpaper around the old string, makes widening the slots evenly much easier.
     
  6. basseux

    basseux

    Jan 10, 2010
    Ok, I was not sure you where suggesting that, because between a D 65 and a D 75, as far I understand, it's 0.010 inch (0,254 mm) diameter difference, and I am not sure sans paper can fit there on both side of a 0.065 string to fill a 0.075 slot.

    Also you said it would be hard to sand a string, but that's just 0.254 mm of steel to remove, it was looking doable.
     
  7. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Well, put the grit on the outside of the sandpaper loop around the string, and your ready to sand the nut slot - flip it around so it's on the inside, and you'll be sanding the string. It might work fine for all I know.
     
  8. ixlramp

    ixlramp

    Jan 25, 2005
    UK
    Widen the slots, there's no problem using thinner strings in wide slots afterward, plus you have more gauge choice in future.
    If you make the string thinner at the nut you will make it sit lower over the frets, not a good idea.
    Also be careful when filing the nut slot to not touch the slot floor and deepen the slot, only widen it, this is the danger of using a string as a file. Only file back the slot walls slightly. A cheap diamond needle file with a curved side is ideal.
     
    bholder likes this.
  9. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Good point, hadn't thought of this. Might lead to fret buzz.
     
  10. basseux

    basseux

    Jan 10, 2010
    If sanding the strings, I would have planned to sand only the sides.

    But lowering the string would probably not be something bad , because the tension is so high with a D in 75 and A in 95, that the first fret is way harder to play than D 65 and A 85.
    This is probably right now exagerated by the strings not touching the botom of the slots, but even at the same heigth than the medium gauge, the heavy gauge tension would still make the first fret harder to play.
    Unless it start to rattle baddly when you play an open string, wich will be less likley with such a high tension, I don't see what would be wrong with lowering the action from the nut by sanding the strings.

    But I might miss something, beeing blinded by the fact that it's easier to get back to normal by throwin strings away than by filling fill a nut slot.
     
  11. basseux

    basseux

    Jan 10, 2010
    Ok, so i tried to sand paper the nut with a string, but couldn't feel comfortable doing it, so I filed the strings with a filer, and I am pretty happy with the result and how easy it was.

    I tried first on a used string, and realised it was pretty easy file the metal.
    So I marqued with a pen the place where the string is in contact with the nut, detuned enough to be able to safely file them, filed them a bit on the sides not going to far down, retuned, checked, until satifsaction.

    It's easy enough to do that each time you change strings, and takes less time than checking intonation, action or trussrod.
     
  12. JGbassman

    JGbassman Supporting Member

    May 31, 2011
    I would be very suprised if you didn't weaken the string and change the sound by sanding it. That to me just seems like a bad idea, but if you aren't planning on keeping the strings and don't care if it breaks, then I guess it will work for what you are doing.

    Reflecting on this, SSRW strings develop flat spots on the strings with time, therefore altering the strings. I used to replace them after they got the flat spots, and the sound did change, but I'm guessing that has to do more with the connection with the fret.

    I never broke a string so maybe you are in the clear on this one...
     
  13. basseux

    basseux

    Jan 10, 2010
    I will tell you if it breaks.

    As blasphemous as it appears to deliberately file a string, I can't really see how the 0.010 inch of metal removed at the nut, can be an issue, when you realise how much wear there is from the frets, or how a taper wound string holds fine at the bridge, even with the beating of the rythm hand.
     

Share This Page