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Strings slipping out of saddle grooves in NS-2 DW

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Andrew Jacob, Nov 1, 2017.

  1. Andrew Jacob

    Andrew Jacob

    Oct 29, 2017
    Hi all,

    I've had a Spector NS-2 DW for the past couple of years and have noticed that the A and D strings don't want to stay in the saddle grooves at the bridge. The strings are the same gauge that it shipped with (.45-.105), and in retrospect, the original strings were doing the same thing, looking at older photographs.

    I'm wondering if this is a common problem with NS-2s and would appreciate some suggestions on how I might go about resolving this. The bass stays in tune and plays fine, but I feel this is something I shouldn't ignore.

    Many thanks,

    Andrew IMG_1130.JPG
  2. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    Welcome to TalkBass.
    You could play with a softer touch and turn your amp up, or closer to the neck, or file the notches a little deeper.
    Andrew Jacob and DiabolusInMusic like this.
  3. Those saddle slots seem awfully shallow on all four for a normal 45/105 set. The strings should sit deeper imo.

    Filing those is going to take some finesse to get them right though.

    How's your skill level? And do you have the right files?
    Andrew Jacob and Bobster like this.
  4. Bobster


    Mar 27, 2006
    Austin, TX
    I agree with ZenG. Could the saddles be up side down? I'd flip one over and take a look.

    All the best,
    Andrew Jacob and Lownote38 like this.
  5. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    Good thought (flipping the saddles over)! It looks like there aren't any slots in the saddles for the strings. If so, they're hard to see, and need to be filed deeper.
    Andrew Jacob likes this.
  6. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    File them deeper
    96tbird and Andrew Jacob like this.
  7. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    They're not upside down. The intonation screws make it impossible to flip them.
    They do, however, look as if the slots were not cut "wide" enough as well as possibly not being deep enough either.
    One of my Spector's had this problem on the D saddle. Making the slot/groove a little bigger did the trick.
    Lownote38 and Andrew Jacob like this.
  8. Andrew Jacob

    Andrew Jacob

    Oct 29, 2017
    Thank you and the others for these excellent responses. I feel compelled to pick up a file kit from my local hardware store and give it a go, but I have no experience with filing. It looks like a Spector owner has responded below, so I may pick that individual's brain a little further.
  9. Andrew Jacob

    Andrew Jacob

    Oct 29, 2017
    Looking at the slots, it does seem that width is an issue as well. If you don't mind my asking, what was your experience level when you made your Spector's D saddle slot a little bigger? Is it possible that I could screw up my intonation, strings, etc. if I pick up a file kit from my local hardware store and try making very gradual adjustments to the slots?

    Thanks very much!
  10. hotbass57


    Nov 27, 2011
    I think if you go slow and take away same amount from each saddle may be ok.
  11. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    Buy a chunk of steel angle or strap while your there. Buy a file card (a brush with short stiff steel bristles) to clean your new files.

    Draw some lines on the steel. Chuck it up in a vise. Center the file on the line. File. File soft. File medium. File hard. Figure out the technique that works best in the material. Concentrate on keeping the slot perpendicular to the steel. Score another line across the steel. Practice filing to depth. The depth you're shooting for is one half the diameter of the string.

    When you feel confident, find some other materials to practice on. It won't take long to get a good feel for it.

    Don't be afraid to spend a half an hour or an hour. Old school machinists used to spend literally hours over many months doing this kind of practice while serving their apprenticeship.

    Most techs use nut files for this job. These files create a round bottom slot. Bruce Johnson recommends using a triangle file and only going to the depth necessary to hold the string in place. This method works very well and allows the one-off tech to forgo the price of dedicated nut files.

    Repeat the mantra: Practice on scrap.
    Andrew Jacob likes this.
  12. You might want to get a needle file set. I used the round one out of that set to carefully do nut slots for bass strings for quite a while before I got real nut files.
    Andrew Jacob and sissy kathy like this.
  13. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Get a set of needle files (cheap) and File them. You won’t have to go very deep to make them stay in. You just have to pay attention that you make the contact point on the neck side of the saddle and sling the slot down toward the tail. If you go too deep, raise the saddle. It’s a pretty simple operation.
    Andrew Jacob and sissy kathy like this.
  14. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    May 9, 2021

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