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will using thinner strings cause nut problems?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by darthbatman, Feb 12, 2014.

  1. darthbatman


    Feb 2, 2009
    hey folks,

    i've seen the opposite question addressed, when people switch to heavier gauge strings, time to file them nut slots..

    how about switching to a lighter gauge? obviously you can't add nut :rolleyes:
    what i'm wondering is are there other problems i should anticipate.
    i think maybe a thinner string would mean more moving around in the slot?

    also of note, i should mention i actually have a solid brass nut someone was kind enough to build and install.
    i like it cause it adds a unique sorta metallic zing to the tone. so if ordinarily I'd be worrying about wearing
    grooves down into a wooden nut over time, i'm not sure that would affect my brass one.
    if i'm planning on going from standard 45-105 down to maybe 40 60 80 100,
    what else should i maybe be concerned about or keep in mind? thanks :cool:
  2. Yeah, nothing to worry about. I have gone as much as .054" with the same nut and had only minor spacing issues.
  3. mrmills


    Jun 22, 2009
    Kent, UK
    Shouldn't be a problem so long as you get the neck/bridge adjusted for the tension differences.
  4. ixlramp


    Jan 25, 2005
    No problem, i'm using a .045 in a .135 slot and have used a .007 in a .032 slot.
    It's not the 2 slot walls that hold a string in the slot, it's the downforce centering the string in the curved slot floor.
  5. Flyingfrets


    Dec 25, 2011
    Actually, you can.

    Probably not worth the effort unless you're talking about a vintage instrument & are trying to keep the parts as original as possible, but...

    You need a blank nut made of the same material as the one you're using. You grind/sand the blank till you have a pile of dust to work with. You'll also need one of the syringes that's made for precision application of super-glue.

    Once you put a fine film/dot of super-glue into the nut slot, sprinkle the dust you ground off the blank into the slot. Repeat as necessary to close the diameter/depth of each slot to the gauge of the lighter strings. File to final shape/size if needed. You don't want the strings binding...

    It can be done, but generally it's far less trouble to just replace the nut altogether.
  6. darthbatman


    Feb 2, 2009
    hah, wow that's interesting. where there's a will there's a way!