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Epiphone nut slotting


creekster52
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Does virtually everyone have a minor problem with nut slotting on their Epiphones?

Not everyone but, it is a common enough occurrence. The nuts are inexpensive production plastic.

Many have no problem at all.

Some take them to a tech. (slot adjustment should be part of a decent setup)

Many get replaced with GraphTech Tusq or bone. Personally, I replace all mine.

 

The most common reasons for adjustment are strings that bind in the slot(s).....and/or...

slot depth/string height.

If all you need is minor slot adjustment then "torch tip cleaners" work well:

 

Torch-tip-cleaner.jpg

 

They are small round files.

Available from most welding supply stores for about $5.

 

Willy

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The nut on my Casino was cut horribly. Slots were ridiculously high, making it almost unplayable and open chords sounded horrible and were pulling sharp because of the horribly cut but. The thing that cracked me up were the "inspected by" stickers and statements that the guitar was factory set up. I understand that things can go out of whack from the time the guitar leaves the factory and is shipped across the world in a container, but this was something totally different.

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To start with, how a nut is cut is a matter of preference.

 

For example, you CAN have a really low cut nut which gives great low action all down the fretbaord, and that can be as low as what would be one fret to another on a fretted note. THAT's pretty low, and lower than you would find on any guitar leaving a factory.

 

But that would suck for slide, and also, be as prone to fret buzz as much as a fretted note. And if you consider that, how much fret buzz a guy can live with for low action is also a matter of preference.

 

But also, and mainly, how well a nut is cut overall is a matter of time and care. How much time do you want to be spent at the factory? How much do you want that to effect the price of the guitar? I think we all expect a good compromise, in that a guitar should be nicely playable, but maybe not perfect for every guitar every time.

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To start with, how a nut is cut is a matter of preference.

 

For example, you CAN have a really low cut nut which gives great low action all down the fretbaord, and that can be as low as what would be one fret to another on a fretted note. THAT's pretty low, and lower than you would find on any guitar leaving a factory.

 

But that would suck for slide, and also, be as prone to fret buzz as much as a fretted note. And if you consider that, how much fret buzz a guy can live with for low action is also a matter of preference.

 

But also, and mainly, how well a nut is cut overall is a matter of time and care. How much time do you want to be spent at the factory? How much do you want that to effect the price of the guitar? I think we all expect a good compromise, in that a guitar should be nicely playable, but maybe not perfect for every guitar every time.

 

if the nut is cut so high that fretting chords causes the notes to be sharp, than the nut is cut INCORRECTLY. No matter of personal preference there, unless your presence is to have a poorly cut nut!

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I enjoy redoing the nuts on my guitars myself, I almost always manage to get around to pulling off the plastic nut and shaping a new one out of bone, I don't always get it right and have to start over, but bone is fairly soft and is quick to work with so no biggie.

 

DSC_0015.jpg

 

DSC_0019.jpg

 

DSC_0044.jpg

 

DSC_0046.jpg

 

DSCF1034.jpg

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if the nut is cut so high that fretting chords causes the notes to be sharp, than the nut is cut INCORRECTLY. No matter of personal preference there, unless your presence is to have a poorly cut nut!

Absolutely agree with this.

 

Most guitars, in my opinion/experience DO go a LITTLE sharp fretting at the nut. HOW sharp is sharp?

 

I am splitting hairs here, because a lot of people (me too) tune the guitar using open strings, which is the LEAST accurate way to tune.

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Absolutely agree with this.

 

Most guitars, in my opinion/experience DO go a LITTLE sharp fretting at the nut. HOW sharp is sharp?

 

I am splitting hairs here, because a lot of people (me too) tune the guitar using open strings, which is the LEAST accurate way to tune.

 

to sharp is when it's VERY obvious and you can easily hear it when playing open chords in the first position.

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I enjoy redoing the nuts on my guitars myself, I almost always manage to get around to pulling off the plastic nut and shaping a new one out of bone, I don't always get it right and have to start over, but bone is fairly soft and is quick to work with so no biggie.

 

DSC_0015.jpg

 

DSC_0019.jpg

 

DSC_0044.jpg

 

DSC_0046.jpg

 

DSCF1034.jpg

I notice in the picture of the nut with only the D and G strings attached that the string angle breaks across the nut. Is there a reason why the slots are cut in an absolute vertical position, or would it be preferable to cut those two slots at a slight angle? Just curious.

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I notice in the picture of the nut with only the D and G strings attached that the string angle breaks across the nut. Is there a reason why the slots are cut in an absolute vertical position, or would it be preferable to cut those two slots at a slight angle? Just curious.

 

I tend to start straight and then 'flare' the headstock side.

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What is your gripping strength? I tend to grip a little too tight sometimes and and make my open Ds, particlularly the A note on the third string go sharp but only on my Strat. I try to lighten my grip a little with that one. Maybe I'll try a set of the torch tip cleaners on it. What is your grip strength. Maybe try it with a lighter touch and see what happens.

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What is your gripping strength? I tend to grip a little too tight sometimes and and make my open Ds, particlularly the A note on the third string go sharp but only on my Strat. I try to lighten my grip a little with that one. Maybe I'll try a set of the torch tip cleaners on it. What is your grip strength. Maybe try it with a lighter touch and see what happens.

 

Haha. Definitely not my grip strength. When I took it to get set up the tech started laughing at how high the nut was cut. I really wish I had before and after pictures. It's was a major difference and major improvement. Playing an 'F' chord in first position was a chore, and seriously every fretted note sounded pretty bad. Now that he folded down the nut and slots it plays like butter.

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I notice in the picture of the nut with only the D and G strings attached that the string angle breaks across the nut. Is there a reason why the slots are cut in an absolute vertical position, or would it be preferable to cut those two slots at a slight angle? Just curious.

 

I usually run the slot straight (parallel to the neck), but sloped back to match the angle of the headstock. However, i'm not an expert and perhaps a slight angle would be beneficial, especially with trem equipped guitars ?

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