string rattle at nut end

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by morebass!, Nov 26, 2005.

  1. morebass!

    morebass! I'm all ears Supporting Member

    May 31, 2002
    Madison WI
    I just put heavy gauge strings on my MIA jazz so I could tune DGCF. The fourth string is .110 and doesn't seem to have enough tension across the nut. It rattles a little and just doesn't feel right. The angle is very slight. I cut it about 4" passed the peg and it wraps about twice (not very far down the post). It's an D'Addario XL and is tapered at the nut end so a couple wraps don't get you far down the post. I folded up a small piece of paper towel and placed it between the string and nut and this helps but doesn't seem like a good long term solution. Other than leaving the string longer next time so it will wrap farther down the nut what can I do? I can see why many basses use a string tree for all strings instead of just the little ones. Any suggestions appreciated. Thanks.
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    You answered your own question...

    "Other than leaving the string longer next time so it will wrap farther down the nut what can I do?"

    That's all you can do. It's the only solution.
  3. pkr2

    pkr2 Guest

    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    If you are comfortable with doing your own setups you might try increasing the relief just a little. It will make your action a little higher but you can easily readjust it when you change strings.

    Since you went to heavier guage strings, an adjustment is probably in order anyway.
  4. morebass!

    morebass! I'm all ears Supporting Member

    May 31, 2002
    Madison WI
    JimmyM - Thanks. I wonder why Fender (and others) recommend cutting it at 3.5" from the post when this can happen? I used to leave them long and never had any trouble. Then I read the BP article and Fender website on how to change strings. Both recommend cutting it that short.

    Pkr2 - I'm tuning down so I don't think the tension is much different. In fact I chose the gauge so that tension would be similar to standard tuning (.055-.110 for DGCF). How would more relief put more tension on the nut? It seems that any change in angle would be slight - but maybe that's all it takes. :confused:
  5. pkr2

    pkr2 Guest

    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    It increases the distance between the fret and the string in the first four or five frets. The extra distance gives the string more room to vibrate without rattling on the frets.

    What I suggested wont put more "tension" on the nut. It may allow you to make a compromise, though.

    You understsnd that I'm addressing the "it rattles a little" part of your question. The " it doesn't feel right " part. You're on your own. I don't know what it felt like before.

    The fact that you put a piece of paper under the string and the problem was improved tells the whole story. If the problem was a simply a lack of break angle, how did the paper improve it? The paper changed the string angle an extremely small amount. It did increase the distance between fret and string enough to make a noticeable difference.

    Short of that, Jimmy made the better suggestion. :)

    P.S. Don't confuse tension with mass. They don't react the same.
  6. Dr. PhunkyPants

    Dr. PhunkyPants Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
    A. Leave string longer
    B. Make sure it's as far down the peg as possible, to max break angle
    C. Check the nut to make sure the larger-gauge string is seated properly
    D. Incread neck relief or heighten bridge, as needed
    E. Consider aftermarket all-string string tree from AllParts if none of the above work

    Think those are your choices, there.