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First e String wants to slide off fretboard

#1 User is offline   gcpicken 

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Posted 26 March 2016 - 09:09 AM

I have a new ES-335. After having played it awhile, my only issue is that the small e string seems to want to slide off the fret board, when applying a little vibrato. I have a Les Paul Custom that does not do that, so I don't think its my technique.

So I am wondering if perhaps it might be the way the nut was cut? I don't have much technology background on guitars, so may that is a naive hypothesis.

Any thoughts on that?

#2 User is offline   4Hayden 

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Posted 26 March 2016 - 11:50 AM

Heard others complain about that and other problems , I put a bone nut on mine. Welcome to the forum


#3 User is offline   SteveFord 

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Posted 26 March 2016 - 03:09 PM

Compare the string spacing to your Les Paul. It sounds like the high E string is a little too close to the edge.
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#4 User is offline   merciful-evans 

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Posted 27 March 2016 - 03:31 AM

I does sound as if the e is too close to the edge, though if the edge of the fingerboard is slightly more rounded, that can cause this too.

I hope its something as easy as a nut replacement that cures it.

TBH, I rarely apply vibrato to the top e (In my case it is my technique) and never on a narrower neck such as a typical 1.6875" @ nut Gibson. So I am impressed that you can do this at all!

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#5 User is offline   Pin 

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Posted 27 March 2016 - 04:22 AM

Your high E sounds too close to the edge. Either a nut adjustment / replacement (get bone if your replacing) or bridge saddle adjustment (or both) should fix it.

I used to have a Fender Squire Strat that did this all the time but replaced it with a MIM Roland hex pickup strat which doesn't have the problem.
GUITARS: 1978 Gibson Les Paul 25 / 50; Gibson ES345 1959 Reissue; 1974 Yamaha AE12 jazz box; Yamaha SG2000: Fender "Roland Ready" Strat; Epiphone Les Paul '56; Epiphone SG400; HK Steinberger copy; Cimar Classical.
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#6 User is offline   stein 

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Posted 27 March 2016 - 12:11 PM

It's partly a string spacing/placement issue, and partly technique.

There are really no "set" string spacing specs that say the strings must be this far from the edge or that close together, just whatever a particular factory is doing at whatever time. So depending on how old your guitar is or what kind, that distance from the edge of the fretboard could be anywhere.

So, it's often a matter of what one gets used to. And also what one prefers.

Good idea to not think of the guitar as defective, but rather what YOU might prefer.

On a lot of my guitars, I will shift the whole thing toward the bass side, keeping the spacing wide while giving space to the high E and taking space away from the low E where it doesn't seem to be needed.

#7 User is offline   gcpicken 

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Posted 27 March 2016 - 04:05 PM

Thank you everyone. Vibrato may have been an overstatement - perhaps a better description would be a slight movement of the finger to give the note a little "life" (I have adjusted making it "slighter"). It can also happen on a pull-off. I just have to watch myself a little.

Thank you for the insights.

#8 User is offline   charlie brown 

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 12:38 PM

I'm constantly amazed, at how little attention Gibson seems pay regarding the "nut," on their guitars!
It's seems to be a constant source of problems, and frustrations, with the buyers/owners. Personally,
I eliminated the issue, by having my dealer install a bone nut, as part of the "deal," on all my Gibson
purchases, from them. Had very little, if any tuning issues, at all since.


#9 User is offline   kaicho8888 

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 03:22 PM

I had the same problem and replacing the nut helped a little. It appears on some newer Gibsons that the frets are radiused more at the ends. The distance of the high E string (frets 1-4) from the binding edge is about 1/8", leaving about 1/16" of metal fret. However, the fret ends are dressed leaving about 1/32" to try your B.B. King vibrato or "pull offs".

Changing you playing technique also helps; but most Gibson's (older) do not have this annoyance. My '12 ES-339 was OK; but the Les Paul Std '12 was the worst.

Perhaps, the Plek machine could be programmed better at the fret end dressing by leaving more flat top playing surface... guess, the "no nibs" is a plus here.
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#10 User is offline   Chester Chesney 

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Posted 18 May 2016 - 01:06 AM

I replaced nut with a pre-cut bone nut and the metal saddles were also replaced and re-grooved to provide a more playable string alignment. The strings were not perfectly located over pup screws (are they ever?)but this did not have any noticeable negative impact upon sound. Overall the guitar was markedly improved.

#11 User is offline   jt335 

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 02:08 PM

I have the same issue with the high E on my 335, which I bought new in 2010. I liked the guitar so much I decided to live with it. I've seen it on most 335's and a 339 that I've played to varying degrees. I believe it is caused by 2 things: The way the fret ends are finished and the shorter scale as compared to a Fender making the strings have more slack in them. Using an .011 for the high E string will help a little and won't effect string bending because of the short scale of the guitar. I also find that the more I play it, I don't notice it as much, but if I play my Strat for awhile and go back to the 335 I notice it again.

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