E String Slippage

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by sgtbeefheart, Oct 21, 2012.

  1. sgtbeefheart

    sgtbeefheart Well-Known Member

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    I thought to start a new thread here, rather than continue in the "Design Your Own SG" thread.

    The problem is that both "E" strings are slipping off the lower frets.

    Chords are not a problem.

    BlackSG91 thinks it may be the nut, but it doesn't look like it, and I'd
    hate to remove such a nice aged part as this. (ctrl + to zoom in)

    [​IMG]

    Gillean suggested a re-fret, and that's most likely, but I think it's
    just a few frets that need replacing.

    It was re-fretted a four years or so ago, and I think some of them are too short, and causing the slippage.

    [​IMG]

    This one shows what can happen to string with a pick stored under it.

    [​IMG]

    Any thoughts chaps?
     
  2. SG John

    SG John Well-Known Member

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    Looks like the strings are way too close to the edge of the fretboard. I'd get a new nut cut with just a tad narrower spacing (and a good setup). Should be good as gold after that.
     
  3. sgtbeefheart

    sgtbeefheart Well-Known Member

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    That's how it's been for ever, and I was thinking I just needed
    some new frets that didn't taper off as early as these do.

    You know what we're like here, we get attached to our nuts.
     
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  4. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    Sarge, I had this problem with my ES-225 and a nut with narrowed splay corrected it . At that time, the tech blamed the lower tension set up I used making it easier to pull the E strings over the edge of the board . So I guess a set of 1959 Black Diamond Steel Electric would have saved me a bundle . Biddlin ;>)/
     
  5. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    The strings seem to be right over the edge of the fret where the fret is filed down a bit; I think this is a bit off, I prefer the fret to go a bit past the strings.

    Do the strings ever get caught under the fret on the side of the neck? - I've seen this happen. The nut looks correct.
     
  6. oldrockfan

    oldrockfan Well-Known Member

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    Just looking at the pic, I'd say the low E is too close to the edge of the fret. Either the nut is spaced a bit wrong or the fret wires are filed down a bit too much taper. I think the easiest fix would be to get a nut blank so it can be cut with spacing to allow a bit more clearance on the ends. Stew mac sells both the blank nuts and spacing guides.
     
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  7. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    Cutting a new nut is indeed the fastest solution - but if it was my guitar I'd refret at least the lower frets with a somewhat wider fret that goes to the edge of the fingerboard.
     
  8. Alex_SG

    Alex_SG Well-Known Member

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    I agree with David and ORF. Looks like the frets to me. The nut slot looks a "little" shallow on the low E string, but I'm sure it's just the angle of the photo. My vote is for the frets.
     
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  9. sgtbeefheart

    sgtbeefheart Well-Known Member

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    Well, the concensus seems to go with my own thoughts.

    As I said earlier, I think I just need to re-fret the ones with
    the exaggerated taper.

    Next is the old problem of finding a tech who knows what
    he/she's doing.

    I've lost enough neck binding already.

    Thanks all for the suggestions.

    BTW, how do you like my new camera pics?
     
  10. Alex_SG

    Alex_SG Well-Known Member

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    Sarge, I love the pics. You must have a decent camera to get that sort of detail at such close range, or your macro setting must be awesome! What camera/lenses etc are you using?
    I have a 12MP Nikon digital camera and have trouble getting that sort of detail...
    BTW regarding that kinked G string... I put my pick under the strings as well, but I do it above the nut, so that any kinks that occur aren't really going to affect the working part of the string.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2012
  11. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    Ah, frets that go all the way - to the unbound neck's edge. I like binding, but this is a plus for an unbound neck, it's easier to re-fret.
     
  12. Relic61

    Relic61 Well-Known Member

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    Sarge, It truly appears the nut is cut too close to the edge of the frets which leaves no room for any string vibrato. My 69 does this to me and that is after a refret and newly cut nut. Imagine how pissed I was about that. I bought an 81 335 that was refret and not only did my E string come off the fret but it would get caught under the fret. That was a crap fret job and the danger of internet purchasing for guitars. I dont think some of these Luthier/techs whatever (hacks, amateurs, shade tree mechanics) take our playing style & vibrato into account when they make the fret ends taper and the cut nut so far out.

    Look at the distances & string positions on Alex's pic. One good look & it is obvious your strings are much closer to the end of the frets due to the cut...of the nut... OWW! Hurts to type that but its the cut of your nut bro and you need a pro if you are going to mess with your nut. I'm afraid you would be barking up the wrong nut tree if you are thinking about leaving that nut as is and changing some frets in hopes of curing the problem. You would have to leave so much fret sticking out that you would have the string catching problem & you would still be slipping off your frets. Besides, a nut should be quicker, easier & less expensive that pulling frets (glad we dont pull nutz huh). I understand some of us are 'attached' to our nutz and dont look forward to someone removing one or cutting into a nut we are fond of.

    All nut jokes aside, get a better cut nut that leaves you some wiggle room on the outer edges of those frets and you will be happy happy happy.
     
  13. sgtbeefheart

    sgtbeefheart Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps I should send it back to the guy who installed the nut.

    Anyone have an address for people employed at Gibson Kalamazoo
    factory in '67?
    :)
     
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  14. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    string splay on 02 faded

    Sarge, Here's my 02 Faded Spec, all original,and my brothers 67 junior . The junior's E strings are definitely closer to the edge of the board . While a nut alteration might be efficacious, the re-fret seems the most likely cause of the condition . Biddlin ;>)/
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 22, 2012
    Alex_SG likes this.
  15. Tobacco Worm

    Tobacco Worm Well-Known Member

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    I jumped the reservation!
    After being in the business for decades, I've seen all sorts of improper cuts with the nut. This is one of them. The spacing is not correct. The lower E is truely too close to the edge. The fret issue is minor when compared to the problem with the nut. If you brough your instrument to me, you would have a new and proper nut installed ASAP. Then if your playing style indictes that the questionable low taper on the fret edge is an issue, then the frets that are cut too low or too short would be replaced with ones that extend to the correct length. But the nut would be built first.

    My feelings are first get a properly cut an installed nut. That's the bugger giving you the worst of it. I'd be willing to bet a pint that once the new and CORRECT SPACED nut is in place, your problems will be quite small after that.

    Years ago when in school to learn the trade, the old head honcho handed us small chunks of cow bone. He told us to build a nut for a Gibson acoustic and gave us the nut width and string height only...Many failed to get the spacing correct when they built the nut, even when the known size was availble. It's not uncommon for some to build then wrong.

    Wade
     
  16. oldrockfan

    oldrockfan Well-Known Member

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    sarge, didn't comment about the pics earlier but must say the camera does a great job with macro. I use a canon digital with long zoom and it also does a decent job on macro but not as nice as yours.

    Hope you get the issue sorted out and be sure to post up the after pics.
     
  17. tpa

    tpa Active Member

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    Consider replacing the short frets and adjusting the existing nut using the baking soda and cyanoacrylate trick and cut new slots.
     
  18. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    Best advice yet....covers all bases
     
  19. Relic61

    Relic61 Well-Known Member

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    I'd listen to 'the Worm'.
     
  20. sgtbeefheart

    sgtbeefheart Well-Known Member

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    Hmm, I'm a bit puzzled.

    If something goes wrong with anything, my first move is to
    check what has been changed, if anything.

    This nut has been functioning perfectly for 45 years.

    There was a re-fret in the late '70s, due to fret wear from
    a lot of use.

    Another re-fret in the last 5 years due to fret wear.

    No slippage till now.

    Now, I don't know about fret metals, whether they use
    different types that are harder or softer.

    The slippage happens on pull-offs in that area where I,
    and I suspect, most players do them most often.

    If the frets are made of metal that's too soft this would
    wear the tapers, though It might wear them whatever the metal.

    Anyway, the thought of hunting down a tech that I could trust,
    after my previous experiences, is not an option, so I'm selling as is.

    Life's been too long, now it's too short. :)

    Thanks for all the input.
     

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