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NGD Need Help with Nut Replacement


mydeadblues

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I just bought this Epiphone Riviera and the nut is cut too low on the A string. It plays great up and down the neck but the open A has a pretty nasty buzz. The neck is straight and there isn't any other buzzing frets. I ordered a Graph Tech Tusq pre-slotted nut for Epiphone guitars but the slots are much wider than the original nut. Anyone know where to find a nut for this guitar? I guess I can always get one made, but that usually costs a lot more. Any help would be appreciated!

 

Also, I've never seen another Riviera in this finish. It's MB which I think stands for Metallic Black. It has a subtle sparkle finish.

 

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Nice guitar, love that colour. If you did find a nut off-the-shelf, you would still have to sand the base to get the height close, and then there's no guarantee that the radius of the slots would match the neck. In my opinion, the nut is one area of the guitar where you can't get 'close', it has to be perfect if you want the guitar to play right. If I were you I'd bite the bullet and take it to a luthier for a new nut, it wouldn't be too expensive.

 

There is a fix for slots, which is generally considered temporary but they can last, and that is to fill the slot with a mix of ground bone and superglue. But then you still need to file the slot down, so if you don't have tools and/or experience I'd still suggest getting a new nut cut.

 

Something else comes to mind on reading your post again. You say the neck is straight. I have a friend's guitar in at the moment and at first view it looked like all the nut slots were too low. But the neck was dead straight. Putting a little relief into the neck, about .008", measured at the 8th fret with the 1st and 17th fretted, gave enough string height over the first fret to cure the buzzes. Every neck is going to respond differently to truss rod adjustment and I was surprised this made such a difference, YMMV, but it's worth a try. And you might end up with the other slots too high [glare].

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Thanks for all the info! When I bought the guitar I thought I saw a piece break off the A slot of the nut. It had strings on it that looked like they hadn't been changed in years. I put new strings on hoping it would help the buzzing issue but it didn't. I will definitely try working with the truss rod some, but I think I will ultimately need to get a new nut made. How much do you think it'll set me back?

Thanks!

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I can not speak for the luthiers in your area, but in my shop when you get a new nut, you get the complete setup. All for about 70 bucks.

 

That includes:

1. Fret dressing, including filing sharp fret ends.

2. Truss rod adjustment if necessary.

3. Bridge height and intonation adjustment.

4. Check and tighten all hardware.

5. Set tuner tension.

6. Clean and oil fretboard.

7. Check all electronic functions.

8. Set pickup height.

9. Clean and oil fretboard.

10 New strings

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Also, I've never seen another Riviera in this finish. It's MB which I think stands for Metallic Black. It has a subtle sparkle finish.

 

 

Sorry, cant help with the nut, but I'd like to address the color designation for a moment.

 

According to Epiphone, MB is "metallic blue". Obviously, yours isnt blue. Are the color designation letters on your guitar MB or BM? BM is supposed to be for "black metallic", but if yours is actually MB, it would be good to know that they doubled up on the color designation letters for other references. Also, if you dont mind, I would like to know the year of your guitar. It should be the first numerical digit in the serial number.

Thanks!

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Thanks for the info Gordy01, I think I'm going to try a temporary fix until I have some extra cash. I just cleaned the guitar up before putting strings on it, fret dressed, oiled the fretboard, and wiped it down. I didn't deal with the intonation yet because of the nut issue. $70 for everything is not bad at all.

 

RTH: I double checked the label it's a '96 made at the Peerless factory. The sticker says, "MB" so I'm guessing it might have been a typo if MB usually stands for metallic blue? Check out the picture below.

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Thanks for the pic! It is indeed MB. Good to know. I've been compiling a list of Epiphone color codes and now I know for sure that MB stands for both Metallic Blue and Metallic Black - probably depending on the year, model or maybe other factors. I see you guitar was made at the Peerless factory, so maybe that was a factor as well. Thanks again for the info. Much appreciated!

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No problem RTH!

 

dporto: Ya the nut is definitely too wide. I would love to learn to start making my own nuts however, tools seem to be a bit pricey. I know in the grand scheme of things they will pay for themselves, but I do not have the extra funds to buy them at the moment. I'm looking at stewmac, are there other tools that are more reasonably priced?

Thanks!

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There are cheaper nut 'files' available but they are small and flimsy. Some people also use welder tip cleaners, (no idea what they are), or cut teeth into feeler gauges. I bit the bullet and bought Stewmac's. They are double sided so you get two sizes in one. Buy three and you'll be covered for most electrics, add a bigger one for acoustics. I've got .012"/.020", 26/32, 36/42, and 50/60.

 

Read up on technique too- you can make a file cut a wider slot by rolling it side to side as you go. Easier than it sounds and strangely satisfying when you get the hang of it [biggrin].

 

I also bought files for shaping the nut blank, and found I mix these with rubbing the blank on sandpaper- you can do it just on the sandpaper. I've found the coarse/medium file gets much more use than the fine/extra fine, that's when I tend to go for the sandpaper.

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There are cheaper nut 'files' available but they are small and flimsy. Some people also use welder tip cleaners, (no idea what they are), or cut teeth into feeler gauges. I bit the bullet and bought Stewmac's. They are double sided so you get two sizes in one. Buy three and you'll be covered for most electrics, add a bigger one for acoustics. I've got .012"/.020", 26/32, 36/42, and 50/60.

 

Read up on technique too- you can make a file cut a wider slot by rolling it side to side as you go. Easier than it sounds and strangely satisfying when you get the hang of it [biggrin].

 

I also bought files for shaping the nut blank, and found I mix these with rubbing the blank on sandpaper- you can do it just on the sandpaper. I've found the coarse/medium file gets much more use than the fine/extra fine, that's when I tend to go for the sandpaper.

 

That's really good to know; thanks for all the info! I will definitely invest in some files from Stewmac when I get some extra cash.

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