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Rattling Nut


bricks
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I've just become the new owner of an IBANEZ 5 string bass,

The only problem with it is that the E string buzzes at the nut?? I've not seen this before ever so I don't know exactly how to best fix it.

When the open E is played there is a buzz,

Any other fretted note has no buzz at all,

If i touch my finger ( even lightly) on to the nut over the Estring when I play it, the buzz dissapears.

No other string has buzzing,

Only two possible causes that I can pick,

The action is a little high ( i've only ever played guitar before but it still looks high)

The nut slot looks to be ever so slightly larger than the string, the others seem to be a tighter fit ( where talking about a hairline difference)

Is there something I can use to fill the nut slot and then file out again to the correct size, or do I need a new nut compleatly???

Any other solutions please also<>>

Cheers Bricks. :D

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The nut slot looks to be ever so slightly larger than the string, the others seem to be a tighter fit ( where talking about a hairline difference)

Is there something I can use to fill the nut slot and then file out again to the correct size, or do I need a new nut compleatly???

You got it.

First step, take a tiny piece of tin foil, fold it up a few times, position it in the slot. The idea is that you're raising the string ever so slightly to see if that corrects the problem.

If it does, then you have options: replace the nut (or have that done for you) or fill the slot or leave the tin foil in place until you need to replace it.

To fill the slot, you can use the baking soda/superglue formula. Basically you mask off everything except the nut slot. Use masking tape to create 'walls' for the forward and backward sides of the slot. Fill that with a little baking soda. Apply a drop of superglue. Watch it fizz (don't breathe the fumes, they're toxic). That stuff becomes super-hard. Then file the slot for the string. If you get just the right amount of baking soda in there, you won't have to file too much, if at all.

A filled slot is only meant to be a temporary fix. Eventually you're going to have to get a new nut cut for that bass. If you bought the bass new, then the shop should do it for you for free. If you bought the bass used, then the seller should chip in for the cost of the new nut.

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Basically the guitar was free for me ( I swapped it for a favour) onw of those win-win situations, came witha 200 watt amp and cab too.

Anyways Why would raising the string height help the buzz, the string definately is not hitting a frett, but instead is buzzing right at the nut slot?

And the string is at the same height as the rest of them, the over size part of the slot is sideways if that makes sense?

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Anyways Why would raising the string height help the buzz, the string definately is not hitting a frett, but instead is buzzing right at the nut slot?

And the string is at the same height as the rest of them, the over size part of the slot is sideways if that makes sense?

Yep, that's why I recommend you try filling the slot with tin foil first--because the symptom you describe is a worn-out or poorly cut nut slot. I know that it seems weird that that would cause a buzz, but it can. And string height can be deceiving-- adjustments are made in fractions of a millimeter.

I read somewhere that a lot of old blues guys liked to have a buzzy E string on their guitars, gave it kind of a distorted sound...makes sense, since they spend a lot of time hammering that open E string.

Does the buzz come through when the guitar is plugged in, or only when it's unplugged?

Must have been a nice favor though!

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Cheers mick, I did as you suggested and put a piece of foil in the slot, it doesnt buzz with the foil.

I think I do need a new nut tho because the nut slot for the .100 Estring is about the same size as the .130 b String? I really think it's rattling sideways.

Ps I fixed this blokes gas line on sunday, in his roof, in 39 degree heat, and i didn't charge him for it. He was selling the bass anyway I noticed him taking photo's of it, he was just about to put it on the internet.

PS the action is about 1mm at the nut and about 3mm at the 12th frett, reckon that sounds ok. I'm not a guru bass player but it looks pretty high? the neck has almost no releif in it, and it doesn't buzz at all anywhere else?

And the guitar makes that buzz all the time, plugged or unplugged.

Edited by bricks
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I have used a slither of thin brass and superglued it into the slot to raise the string. It seems to work ok.

The superglue and baking soda sounds an easy fix.

I'm not going to lift the slot at all? What i'll do is try to fill the slot with the baking soda and glue trick and then re-cut it. If that doesn't work i'll get a new nut put in it.

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Well, it doesn't cost much to have a new nut recut. They'll do a setup and put a new set of strings on there too.

Otherwise, you'll see, the baking soda/superglue gets real hard--in fact, I patched one of my guitars like that, it's still holding strong after 7 years (I couldn't replace the nut--it's a fancy b/w/b laminated nut.)

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  • 1 month later...

I took the bass to a guitar shop, did'nt end up touching it at all.

Lucky for me it was an easy fix.

The guy at the store said it did't have enough winds on the peg head. This meant that the string was hitting the nut at too shallow an angle and wasn't getting enough bite on the nut.

He simply did a set up, which he rekons was bugger all because it didn't need it

Oiled the fretboard

Put new strings on

Charged me $75 including strings

It doesn't buzz anymore!

Cheers for your help just thought you might want to know how it turned out.

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