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Thread: Setup question

  1. #1

    Default Setup question

    I was noticing that my e strings were lacking clarity, so assuming they were a tad low because of the weather change, I raised the bridge on the treble side a bit. Didn't do much. It wasn't a buzz per say, but just not a clear resonant ringing tone like the other strings.

    So I actually got creative. Yesterday I bought some prime tone picks when I was at Gryphon, and I slid them under the strings of a well set up Collings. It just cleared the bass strings, and slightly pushed up the e strings. So with this scientifically exact measuring tool, I checked the e string of my mandolin when I got home. Strings were way high. I lowered them to the action of that was on the Collings. Pure clear sound emerged.

    The only explanation I can think of is the nut slots not being ramped back enough, the slight weather change raising the string off the nut slot contact point causing the issue. Am I on the right track?
    Silverangel A
    Michael Kelly LSFTB
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  2. #2
    Registered User Buck's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    KY
    Posts
    284

    Default Re: Setup question

    I'd be shocked if what you describe has anything to do with the nut slots. A combination of high action and low frets can result in what you were hearing. That combination can make it difficult to press the string down hard enough to get clean contact with the frets. There may be something else going on, but I don't think it's the nut.
    Todd Yates

  3. #3

    Default Re: Setup question

    Frets are new, dressed, nut slots perfect. I just by seat of the pants thought raising the e strings might solve the issue, when in fact lowering them did. Even with the raised action, the mandolin played fine. So geometrically speaking, the bridge end contact point I believe was pretty much the same, but if the nut slot is flat and the string raised slightly, my thinking is it might have changed where the string makes contact, or spread the contact area instead of maintaining a clean break point.

    Anyway, lowering the action solved the issue, surprising in itself .I'll make a point of checking the nut slot angle when I change strings. May need to ramp it lower in the back. Sometimes I think the more I know the less I understand.
    Silverangel A
    Michael Kelly LSFTB
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  4. #4
    Dave Sheets
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Buffalo NY Area
    Posts
    227

    Default Re: Setup question

    I'm slowly turning into a nut slot fanatic- this seems to be such a common problem, issues arising from the nut slots being too high. Course, if you get 'em too low, that's not gonna be good...
    -Dave
    Flatiron A
    Way too many other instruments

  5. #5

    Default Re: Setup question

    When I first started messing with them, I became an expert with filing dust and superglue.
    Silverangel A
    Michael Kelly LSFTB
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  6. #6
    Confused... or?
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Over the Hudson & thru the woods from NYC
    Posts
    2,121

    Default Re: Setup question

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    When I first started messing with them, I became an expert with filing dust and superglue.
    Oh, you are bringing back some scary memories.

    On my first such foray three or so decades ago, well ... I eventually did tell my buddy that the nut of his Yamaha guitar was just slightly filled-in with superglue-saturated ... paper towel!

    But hey, it's still going strong.
    - Ed

    "What our group lacks in musicianship is offset by our willingness to humiliate ourselves." - David Hochman

  7. #7

    Default Re: Setup question

    Buying some proper nut slot files helped minimizing errors. That and experience. I know enough to be dangerous, and to appreciate people who really know what they are doing.
    Silverangel A
    Michael Kelly LSFTB
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

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