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J45 Nut (again)


Mike.J.Faulkner

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I started a thread a month or so back (J45 Nut) in which i was talking about replacing the nut in my J45, the reason for me wanting to replace it was that i wasn't happy with the way the Graphtec nut was performing. Lots of people offered support, many of whom advised me to take it to a luthier.

 

So today I did.

 

He was quite astounded at the quality of the work done by Gibson. He pointed out that the nut was not aligned properly (something which i suspected) and it was shifted 1 mm towards the high E string. He also noticed that the slots cut in the nut were poorly cut and could lead to tuning issues.

 

Anyway he offered to do the job for me, replacing it with a bone nut, which i agreed.

 

I then took a trip to the shop from where i bought it and had a close look at a new J45 they had hanging on the wall. I noticed exactly the same problems with the nut on this one. I spoke to the guy in the shop and he said it was a common problem with Gibson J45's and we compared it with other Gibsons which all seemed fine.

 

Just wondered if anyone else had had a problem?

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I have a recent J-45 Standard and have noticed that the nut slots are not cut exactly parralel to each other. A few are angled sort of toward the middle of the nut. I assumed that Gibson recieves the nuts pre-slotted like that from Graph-tech.

 

I haven't noticed any tuning problems, though, and the strings seem to be at a comfortable height.

 

This is a picture of a nut on a new J-45 from the Elderly website. This is the way mine looks, also:

 

http://elderly.com/images/vintage/20U/20U-14838_headstock-front.jpg

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You see that nut looks aligned, by which I mean it sits flush with the fingerboard. The one i am having replaced is fitted 1 mm toward the high E, so it is outside the slot.

Also it looks like it has been shaped, with smooth corners. Mine had sharp corners.

 

I have a recent J-45 Standard and have noticed that the nut slots are not cut exactly parralel to each other. A few are angled sort of toward the middle of the nut. I assumed that Gibson recieves the nuts pre-slotted like that from Graph-tech.

 

I haven't noticed any tuning problems, though, and the strings seem to be at a comfortable height.

 

This is a picture of a nut on a new J-45 from the Elderly website. This is the way mine looks, also:

 

http://elderly.com/images/vintage/20U/20U-14838_headstock-front.jpg

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I am the original owner, but am in UK. Shipping costs and time would far outweigh what i am paying to have it replaced.

 

 

 

I'd assume you would take it to an authorized Gibson repair shop..there are many in the UK I believe..surely one near Liverpool ? I would hope your warranty would cover this..even your standard warranty from the store where you bought it ??

 

I have not heard many issues like this come up on this board... in fact i have never heard of one nut being out of line..so its obviously a fault... you are covered for this surely.

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IME.. you are far better off find a competent luthier to fix it, and pay him than fuss and argue with Gibson who will probably deny there's a problem at all.

 

I'd just want the problem to go away and I'd pay the money to someone to MAKE IT HAPPEN. I have 5 Gibsons I've had to do this in the past with three of them.

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IME.. you are far better off find a competent luthier to fix it, and pay him than fuss and argue with Gibson who will probably deny there's a problem at all.

 

I'd just want the problem to go away and I'd pay the money to someone to MAKE IT HAPPEN. I have 5 Gibsons I've had to do this in the past with three of them.

 

Well the guy i have taken it to has repaired a guitar for Bob Dylan, so i know he knows what he is doing, and yes this is my thinking exactly. I probably will write a letter to Gibson, maybe i will enclose the bill.

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I have seen the same issue on some G-brand guitars also... I also pondered at the time if it was Gibson cutting some dodgy nuts or being supplied with dodgy pre-cut jobs. I suppose it's an easy enough fix and not too costly for those affected, but again I would also support the argument should you need to given what you've just paid out for an American made premium brand guitar.

 

I'm not a brand basher at all, but I'm not beyond supporting a relevant criticism and I think this is one. Apples and oranges it may be, but you can buy 'cheap import' guitars which have a better cut nut than some of the graphtech ones you can see on some Gibson models out there. I'm now wondering if thisa is related to what was said a while back about an extra production shift being introduced, ramping up the numbers but not ramping up the QC associated with it.

 

In such a subjective field as guitars, it's the little things that can make the biggest impact

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Before I started to read these guitar forums, any guitar I bought was played in the belief that the guitar setup was 'how it is'. I was fleeced by a few charlatans that made my Tele worse and charged me for the joy!

 

Someone suggested a famous luthier lived just down the road from me! What's that? Set your guitar up nicely for you! Huh?

 

So after tentative steps, I took my Dobro for some much needed help and got back a superbly playable instrument. I felt unworthy, but have taken everything to him ever since.....

 

 

Always worth doing.... guitars have travelled all over the map since leaving the shop.

 

 

BluesKing777.

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He was quite astounded at the quality of the work done by Gibson. He pointed out that the nut was not aligned properly (something which i suspected) and it was shifted 1 mm towards the high E string. He also noticed that the slots cut in the nut were poorly cut and could lead to tuning issues.

 

 

 

yup the nut on my j45(2007) is shifted towards the high E side.

 

I just haven't had the time to take it to a luthier. :(

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yup the nut on my j45(2007) is shifted towards the high E side.

 

I just haven't had the time to take it to a luthier. :(

 

 

 

OK, here's the deal. This is an answer for all the posting on this subject. When Gibson puts the nut on their guitars they just use a spot of glue to keep it in place. They don't hard glue it because they know that many like to replace the stock nut with something more suited to them. It's much easier for a repair person to replace it and not damage the guitar trying to get the nut off.

 

You can rest assured that when the guitar left Gibson the nut was in the proper place. When the guitar is shipped it gets bumped around a bit and things have a way settling in so to speak. The dab of glue holding the nut in place can give and the string tension will shift the nut a bit. The strings are heavier in the bass side so the nut usually shifts to the trebel side.

 

All you have to do is detune your guitar and pull the nut off and sand the old glue off and just put another spot of glue on. Let it dry overnight and restring. If you can change your old strings you can reglue a nut. It really isn't that difficult. Should this happen? No.... It's no different than a string breaking. Deal with it.

 

This is in no way an apology it's just what happens and why it happens and if you are still having problems with this policy and you can't see the benefit then you need to rethink your purchase. And no...I don't work for Gibson. I live in Bozeman and have been in the music business for 50 years.

 

As to the slots... They are hand cut by Gibson for each guitar. Some of the staff find it works better filing the string slot at the angle that the string naturally takes as it leaves the nut and wraps around the string post. The guitar is easier to tune and the string is less likely to break as there is less tension on it as it leaves the nut slot. This is a benefit and any set-up tech knows this. It takes a bit more time to do it this way but the time is well spent. Yes ...Gibson need to hire more staff in the set-up area. This has always been their weak spot. They never learn.

 

As to a so called luthier in Europe working on Bob Dylon's guitar? I know Bob's road crew and I know that his repair tech would never let one of his guitars out of his sight. They do all of their own work and never let an important stage guitar be handled by anyone but their own staff. Bob Dylan never travels solo and always has his staff with him.

 

The nut can't be cut sloppy. They have exact size fret nut files to make the slots and these files do not cut sloppy. I would think that your luthier is trying to sell you something. Sigh.....By the way anyone that changes strings in a music store is not a luthier. A luthier is a person that makes music instruments. I know of very few luthiers that take the time to repair guitars. Very few work in music stores.

 

Anyone that goes to the Homecoming has seen this process and they should have answered your questions. Sorry to be abrupt but anyone here will tell you that I am a bit of a jerk when it comes to this sort of post. Hope it works out for you..

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.

 

@Gibson - no thanks on the temporary nut. For a guitar in the price range Gibson charges, I'd rather have the guitar assembled with a decent nut in such a way that it doesn't fall apart. I really don't think that is asking too much. I've seen/owned plenty of Gibsons and I don't know what it is with Gibson and nuts, but it's not just Bozeman, Nashville is worse.

 

 

.

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So why does my other acoustic guitar, made by another well respected USA company, not have this problem?

 

Why do the other Gibson guitars i looked at in the shop, The SJ's TV's etc, with other nuts than Graphtec not have this problem.

 

Why have several people, replying to this thread, had a similar experience?

 

I'm not trying to make an issue, but i do agree with BigKahune, when i buy a product with a reputation for workmanship, i expect it to have just that, not to have to take it apart and rebuild it. The only thing i expect to have to do is change the strings to my preferred brand. I don't need a luthier to do that either.

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So why does my other acoustic guitar, made by another well respected USA company, not have this problem?

 

Why do the other Gibson guitars i looked at in the shop, The SJ's TV's etc, with other nuts than Graphtec not have this problem.

 

Why have several people, replying to this thread, had a similar experience?

 

I'm not trying to make an issue, but i do agree with BigKahune, when i buy a product with a reputation for workmanship, i expect it to have just that, not to have to take it apart and rebuild it. The only thing i expect to have to do is change the strings to my preferred brand. I don't need a luthier to do that either.

 

 

Some people tend to defend Gibson (and other brands) no matter what, even if Gibson did something wrong. As a matter of fact, a J200 I purchased had badly misaligned bridge pin holes. I was told by forum members it is a new design, it cannot be faulty because they are cut by a CNC machine and the best was, don't worry about it if it sounds good, play it and be happy. No matter how much I proved it was not a new design, showed other bridges made days earlier and days later that were fine and that it in fact was poor workmanship, I was still hung out to dry by some people because in their mind, Gibson does no wrong. That's cool but people need to understand that Gibson (and others) can make mistakes but what will eventually cause them a bad reputation is if those mistakes are not corrected/ignored. In the case of the misaligned bridge pins with the J200, I tracked it down to 7/13 to 9/5/13 as the bad days for the bridge. Prior and after those dates the bridge pin holes are aligned perfectly. (This alignment issue has also been found on other Gibson models such as the Dove)

For me, it's ok of people disagree with what I show no matter if there is proof on my end or not. everyone has their opinion as well as everyone is entitle to own an expensive guitar that does not have shifting nuts (LOL) or crooked bridge pin holes

 

If I were you, I would get the new bone nut installed, send that letter to Gibson and if that Guitar Tech is a authorized Gibson repair person (or facility)include the invoice requesting reimbursement for realigning and securing the original nut. Good luck!

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So why does my other acoustic guitar, made by another well respected USA company, not have this problem?

 

Why do the other Gibson guitars i looked at in the shop, The SJ's TV's etc, with other nuts than Graphtec not have this problem.

 

Why have several people, replying to this thread, had a similar experience?

 

I'm not trying to make an issue, but i do agree with BigKahune, when i buy a product with a reputation for workmanship, i expect it to have just that, not to have to take it apart and rebuild it. The only thing i expect to have to do is change the strings to my preferred brand. I don't need a luthier to do that either.

 

As to your first question. Other companies glue them in hard and they don't care if you have problems getting them off if you need to or want to.

 

Second question. Please re-read the 1st and 2nd paragraph of my explanation.

 

Third question. Gibson knows that their customers all like to make adjustments to their guitars. They are always talking about bridge pin replacement. There are many discussions about bridge saddle material and fret nut material and the benefits of using other materials. If you've ever tried to take a fret nut off that has been hard glued you will understand that they are trying to do you and your guitar tech a favor by making the fret nut easy to remove. If I had a black Graftech fret nut I would replace it immediately. I think they are fugly. I would be happy that I didn't have to take a hammer and chisel to my guitar to remove it.

 

You don't have to take it apart and rebuild it. You stated it already came unglued?? It is unfortunate that you are having this problem but you need to know that no one singled you out to injure you. Stuff happens and I agree with you it needs to be fixed. The fix will take no more time than changing your strings and you stated you could do this yourself so?????

 

Since you are upset and have the need to punish Gibson for their inferior building practices call customer service and ask them to make you a happy customer. If you don't want to take the ten minutes to fix it yourself then by all means ship it to a repair facility and they will be happy to do it for you. Didn't someone already state there was a facility near you? Just remember that at some point in its life it may need to, or you may want it to come off.

 

Please let us all know what Gibson says about this. I sure hope that we can hear more from you on this forum. I think this building practice shoud be discussed. If more of you folks would like Gibson to secure the fret nut more securely please jump in on this issue. I can't be the only one that has tried to replace a fret nut and had to tear it apart to get it off.

 

So Mike, other than the obvious problem are you happy with the sound and playability of you guitar? I hope there is something positive in this experience for you.

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Hogeye is right. Anyone who has ever watched the final inspection at Bozeman knows they don't ship like that. Something happened between factory and you. It's easy to knock the nut loose because it's lightly glued. If it's heavily glued somebody may try to tap with a mallet and tear off some of the neck wood along with the nut. Check the entries on removing a nut at frets.com. It's not a big deal to glue it back in. The store should not have hung it up on the wall like that.

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Why do the other Gibson guitars i looked at in the shop, The SJ's TV's etc, with other nuts than Graphtec not have this problem.

Why didn't Hogeye's explanation make this obvious to you? :). Graphtec nuts are more slippery, so the glue doesn't stick to them as well.

 

Different companies do things differently. I could complain about that other company making it too hard to swap out the stock nut for the FWI nut I ordered from Bob Colosi, and my complaint would be precisely as valid as yours. Both boil down to "I would prefer that the company do things my way rather than their way." That's fine. Maybe the company will actually change its ways if enough people complain.

 

But I doubt it. If you don't care enough about a problem to take your business elsewhere, what is the company's incentive to make a change? If I were in charge, I would write this off as insignificant nitpicking -- unless and until my highly paid marketing staff tells me that I'm losing sales because of the issue.

 

-- Bob R

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Hogeye is right. Anyone who has ever watched the final inspection at Bozeman knows they don't ship like that. Something happened between factory and you. It's easy to knock the nut loose because it's lightly glued. If it's heavily glued somebody may try to tap with a mallet and tear off some of the neck wood along with the nut. Check the entries on removing a nut at frets.com. It's not a big deal to glue it back in. The store should not have hung it up on the wall like that.

 

 

No offense but final inspection videos for companies mean nothing. Even if a company's inspection process sucked they would make it look very good during the video.

 

Case in point: There is a show call Ultimate Factories and they did a special on the Dodge Challenger. At the final inspection area of the assembly line, ever Challenger goes under a serious water drenching test to find leaks. When it comes out of the water test, two workers wearing paper gloves feel all inside the care for wet spots before it is allowed to move to the next test area.

Well in June of 2011 I took delivery of a brand new SRT8 Challenger and after owning it for 1 week, it rained and the inside of my car was SOAKED. I tested the windshield and along the roof line it leaked into the car a nice stream of water. I can tell you it was not caused by UPS shipping (LOL) rather the water test inspectors did not do their job that day.

 

This type of thing happens in every company no matter who it is. Martin, Gibson, Taylor etc. The thing to look at is how much does it happen and does it get fixed.

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No offense but final inspection videos for companies mean nothing. Even if a company's inspection process sucked they would make it look very good during the video.

 

Case in point: There is a show call Ultimate Factories and they did a special on the Dodge Challenger. At the final inspection area of the assembly line, ever Challenger goes under a serious water drenching test to find leaks. When it comes out of the water test, two workers wearing paper gloves feel all inside the care for wet spots before it is allowed to move to the next test area.

Well in June of 2011 I took delivery of a brand new SRT8 Challenger and after owning it for 1 week, it rained and the inside of my car was SOAKED. I tested the windshield and along the roof line it leaked into the car a nice stream of water. I can tell you it was not caused by UPS shipping (LOL) rather the water test inspectors did not do their job that day.

 

This type of thing happens in every company no matter who it is. Martin, Gibson, Taylor etc. The thing to look at is how much does it happen and does it get fixed.

 

I am not talking about looking at a video. I have actually stood on the factory floor and watched the inspection several times. It's hard to conceive of a nut in the situation described passing inspection. People who have never been there can't seem to believe this. Go sometime and check it out. I am not saying they never make a mistake. But this particular mistake is just not likely because you can catch it several ways. It came loose sometime after leaving the factory.

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I am not talking about looking at a video. I have actually stood on the factory floor and watched the inspection several times. It's hard to conceive of a nut in the situation described passing inspection. People who have never been there can't seem to believe this. Go sometime and check it out. I am not saying they never make a mistake. But this particular mistake is just not likely because you can catch it several ways. It came loose sometime after leaving the factory.

 

I agree that it shifting is probably what happened and the dealer should not have hung it on the wall like that. However, the guitar owner should be able to have it fixed if he cannot or does not want to do it himself and it should be warrantied. I think it is as simple as the spot glueing failed when it should have not failed rather then the suggested idea that Gibson builds guitars thinking people may mod them so they do things to make it easier for the modders.

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I agree that it shifting is probably what happened and the dealer should not have hung it on the wall like that. However, the guitar owner should be able to have it fixed if he cannot or does not want to do it himself and it should be warrantied. I think it is as simple as the spot glueing failed when it should have not failed rather then the suggested idea that Gibson builds guitars thinking people may mod them so they do things to make it easier for the modders.

 

No, no, no. They don't glue in the saddle. They could, you know. I'm sure you understand, the saddle is a dynamic component. As the guitar changes, you need changes to the saddle. Typically the neck angle gradually changes requiring lowering of the saddle. Eventually the saddle can get grooves where the strings cross and might need to be replaced or shimmed up. Maybe your tastes change and you want a different height of action. So they don't drive you crazy trying to do basic maint with the saddle glued in. Same for the nut. This is a dynamic component. Years of loosening and tightening the strings eventually grind off some of the slot and it needs maint, just like the saddle. Gibson puts it in with a small dab of glue on the flat face at the end of the fretboard, but not underneath the nut. So when it is time to do maintenance - and eventually it will be - you don't have to go crazy. You just tap it with a mallet or something and off it comes. Putting it another way: this thing is designed to be removed. Don't freak out if the glue slips.

 

If you buy a guitar that has this problem, take it to the dealer and have them fix it. If that's inconvenient, you can do it yourself. Consult frets.com

 

Edit: I think it is good that you are bringing this up. Possibly they will pay attention, determine if this really is an issue delivering the guitar and move up to two dabs of glue for that type nut or something.

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As to your first question. Other companies glue them in hard and they don't care if you have problems getting them off if you need to or want to.

 

Second question. Please re-read the 1st and 2nd paragraph of my explanation.

 

Third question. Gibson knows that their customers all like to make adjustments to their guitars. They are always talking about bridge pin replacement. There are many discussions about bridge saddle material and fret nut material and the benefits of using other materials. If you've ever tried to take a fret nut off that has been hard glued you will understand that they are trying to do you and your guitar tech a favor by making the fret nut easy to remove. If I had a black Graftech fret nut I would replace it immediately. I think they are fugly. I would be happy that I didn't have to take a hammer and chisel to my guitar to remove it.

 

You don't have to take it apart and rebuild it. You stated it already came unglued?? It is unfortunate that you are having this problem but you need to know that no one singled you out to injure you. Stuff happens and I agree with you it needs to be fixed. The fix will take no more time than changing your strings and you stated you could do this yourself so?????

 

Since you are upset and have the need to punish Gibson for their inferior building practices call customer service and ask them to make you a happy customer. If you don't want to take the ten minutes to fix it yourself then by all means ship it to a repair facility and they will be happy to do it for you. Didn't someone already state there was a facility near you? Just remember that at some point in its life it may need to, or you may want it to come off.

 

Please let us all know what Gibson says about this. I sure hope that we can hear more from you on this forum. I think this building practice shoud be discussed. If more of you folks would like Gibson to secure the fret nut more securely please jump in on this issue. I can't be the only one that has tried to replace a fret nut and had to tear it apart to get it off.

 

So Mike, other than the obvious problem are you happy with the sound and playability of you guitar? I hope there is something positive in this experience for you.

 

 

You see this now raises a couple of concerns.

 

I will agree that we like to make adjustments. I have adjusted the saddle and have replaced the bridge pins and strings from the ones which shipped with it. Gibson have made this easy for me. The nut, however is a different matter.

 

It is glued in. So therefore I will assume it is in it's correct position. It should not move in transit because it is protected by a hardshell case which Gibson themselves say is the best protection for the guitar.

 

Quite simply, the nut on my J45 has been poorly fitted. It is not a case of punishing Gibson, it is mearly stating a fact.

 

If they are fitted to be replaced, then surely the Gibson Authorised Centre where i bought the guitar from should have pointed this out and offered a full setup service, replacing the nut, saddle etc to my specifications. They didn't, nor can i find anywhere on the Gibson site that the nut should be replaced, or reset.

 

You mentioned other manufacturers, well my other acoustics have well made, perfectly fitting nuts, which i do not feel need any adjustments.

 

Like i say, I am really not attacking Gibson. I have known Gibsons name for many many years and their reputation has stood the test of time, it is this reputation which made me want to add a Gibson to my collection, and once the issue is sorted out I am sure i will enjoy this instrument.

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Heiy, I'm seriously curious 'bout what was wrong with Bob's guitar - was it the 45 ?

 

 

No probs here. .

 

em7 the guitar was in bad shape..Bob wrote a song about it!

 

Broken lines broken strings

Broken threads broken springs

Broken idols broken heads

People sleeping in broken beds

Ain't no use jiving

Ain't no use joking

Everything is broken.

 

Broken bottles broken plates

Broken switches broken gates

Broken dishes broken parts

Streets are filled with broken hearts

Broken words never meant to be spoken

Everything is broken

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