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a real question about nibs


saturn

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In the past, I've kinda laughed off the whole nibs debate. I still don't think of them as deal breaker either way, with or without them.

 

But I must say I am now noticing a small issue with nibs on my R7. I'm not sure if this has always been there and I just never noticed it, or if it's recently developed. The guitar belonged to my good friend for several years and I played it many times. Then after his untimely passing, the guitar went to me. I've obviously played it a lot more since.

 

So, I've noticed lately that if I pull-off to the Open skinny E string that it sometimes gets snagged on the end of the fret. After inspection I see that there is a very small, not a gap, but a little drop-off from the fret to the top of the nib. Just enough that if the string is pulled to the edge it slips over and you obviously lose that fretted note and you get a "ping".

 

I tried to photo it but it's hard to zoom in and get a clear shot.

 

DSCF4711_zps7a5215bf.jpg

 

It's not that big of a deal, especially since now that I'm aware, I can adjust my playing with that guitar. But it is a little bit of a pain and I can see where some people who are more picky that I, might have a real problem with it. Do you think the fret raised slightly up or the nib shrunk slightly down? Again, maybe it's always been this way and I just never noticed. :-k

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I don't see a question you are asking.

 

I think you said it- it doesn't REALLY matter. Regardless of to nib or not to nib, if a guy is "loosing" the note at the edge of the fretbaord, you gotta change technique regardless if you are avoiding a "ping" or avoiding loosing the note from the string falling off the fretbaord.

 

Personally, I prefer nibs. To me, it makes the neck feel better, more comfy, because of what I feel in the web of my hand. Makes the neck feel smoother. But does this "feeling" affect my playing? No, it doesn't.

 

Either way, there is no way to win the debate. If Gibson gets rid of the nibs, people complain about fret spout. If they keep them, then there are complaints about small cracks at the edges (which, if not for nibs, you would have fret spout, right?). Hold the frets in a little, and poeple will likely complain there isn't enough fret on the ends.

 

Of corse, maybe just make the fretbaord wider so one could aggressively vibrato on the outside strings?

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I don't see how your problem has anything to do with the nibs.

 

"ping" or not, if your pulling the string off the end of the fret I would suspect a string alignment problem.

 

Well, the E string is only a small fraction of an inch away from the edge of the fret board on any guitar. It's pretty easy to slightly bend the string down to the edge. On any guitar it will slide over if you go too far, but in this case the "edge" is just a little bit closer. And rather than being a gradual slope, it ends abruptly and the string falls over the little cliff. It's easiest to make it happen when pulling off to the open string.

 

Like Farns said, I will probably file it down eventually. Or just live with it.

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Well, the E string is only a small fraction of an inch away from the edge of the fret board on any guitar. It's pretty easy to slightly bend the string down to the edge. On any guitar it will slide over if you go too far, but in this case the "edge" is just a little bit closer. And rather than being a gradual slope, it ends abruptly and the string falls over the little cliff. It's easiest to make it happen when pulling off to the open string.

 

Like Farns said, I will probably file it down eventually. Or just live with it.

Consider:

 

A lot of "non-nib" guitars I see, the fret ends are shaped to have more of a 45 degree rather then a straight up and down. On a nibbed guitar, the fret end where it meets the binding can be all the way flat to the binding.

 

So...I know we often "see" a nibbed guitar as having less fret to work with on the end, but is it?

 

IF you were to file that particular end down, you might end up with less fret there to work with, and your string will fall off quicker than what you have now.

 

Not to mention, from what I can judge from the pic, it looks like there is plenty of space there anyway.

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Consider:

 

A lot of "non-nib" guitars I see, the fret ends are shaped to have more of a 45 degree rather then a straight up and down. On a nibbed guitar, the fret end where it meets the binding can be all the way flat to the binding.

 

So...I know we often "see" a nibbed guitar as having less fret to work with on the end, but is it?

 

IF you were to file that particular end down, you might end up with less fret there to work with, and your string will fall off quicker than what you have now.

 

Not to mention, from what I can judge from the pic, it looks like there is plenty of space there anyway.

 

Yeah. More than likely I will leave it alone. It doesn't bother me too much. I was mainly looking for an excuse to post a new topic that wasn't a link to Youtube. :rolleyes:

 

But to your earlier remark asking what my question was.... I guess I was mostly wondering out loud whether it has been this way all along and I just recently noticed, or if it's something that recently "happened"? Also if it did "happen" is it the fret slightly popping up or the nib being worn down. The nib wearing down seems more likely to me.

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Yeah. More than likely I will leave it alone. It doesn't bother me too much. I was mainly looking for an excuse to post a new topic that wasn't a link to Youtube. :rolleyes:

 

But to your earlier remark asking what my question was.... I guess I was mostly wondering out loud whether it has been this way all along and I just recently noticed, or if it's something that recently "happened"? Also if it did "happen" is it the fret slightly popping up or the nib being worn down. The nib wearing down seems more likely to me.

He...yea, maybe I should READ better?

 

If the fret is popping up, that would be it's own issue regardless of the edge, right? I mean, you would have some buzz going on there. I don't think it is, but if it was, USUALLY if the fret has popped up, you can pop it right back down. That's how I would do it anyways.

 

Funny how we don't notice things unless we look?

 

Just my personal experience, on all the Gibby's or nibbed guitars I have seen where I cared to look, the amount of fret end vs nib can be anywhere. I have seen some that have the frets ends mostly exposed and polished and just the slightest bit of nib, to no nib, and some with nib all the way to the top level with the fret. They all have to wear, don't they?

 

With an R7, I would assume there is a little bit of polishing/finishing of the fingerbaord instead of pleked and out the door of the "standard" models.

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...if I pull-off to the Open skinny E string that it sometimes gets snagged on the end of the fret...

...I can adjust my playing with that guitar...

I've heard a few people mention this 'problem' over the years.

 

Personally when string-bending any of the top 3 strings I always push from edge-to-centre and so have never experienced such an issue with the E.

I'm not sure how easily you could adjust your playing-style to accommodate this niggle nor whether you bend often enough to warrant a change of technique but it would sort things out.

 

P.

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Guest Farnsbarns

I don't think it's so much a problem with bending which is usually done the way you mentioned. It's more a problem with pulloffs. If pulloffs are a big part of your playing style than nibs are going to be an issue.

 

I think I pull off upwards too. More of a "push off". Not sure but I do know this doesn't happen to me.

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The issue is one that's been addressed in here a few times. There are a couple good home remedies that folks have used and one has even been the subject of a Stew-Mac tech-talk newsletter issue...

 

One way is something called the super-glue fix where you get one of the Stew-Mac pointy needle dispenser oil bottles and put some super glue in it or buy one of the super-glue tubes with the long metal needle dispenser on it and carefully fill the little gap and let it set up and very carefully file it to shape. It works, but is tedious and I'm not one for potentially dripping/spilling super-glue all over a high end guitar that I coveted and cherish...

 

The other is getting a knife blade, miniature tech screwdriver or some other such metal implement with a small and intuitively shaped end or blade and heat it up over a candle and apply to the nibs and as the heated blad or tip heats the nib it will become pliable and allow you to reshape and seal the gap.

 

Although this method can soot stain the cream or white colored binding material that the nibs are a part of and will require a cleaning/polishing/filing to restore the finish color...

 

This whole issue usually stems from temperature and environmental conditions and is often much like sharp fret ends protruding from not-nibbed/unbound necks that need filing or dressing. Often it is worsened by low moisture environments that happen during winter months when we tend to heat the moisture content out of the air in the environment our guitars are in. Guitars like the same humidity that human beings thrive in and anywhere from 40% - 50% relative humidity is optimal. I suspect 40 - 45% being the best. I recently found my studio down to 27% and have been working feverishly to bring it back up and my only recourse is steam. But I don't have a standard steamer that we can all get from our local drugstore that we use when we are sick and moisture and steam are prescribed by our healthcare... The only thing I currently have is a tiny personal steamer with a removable soft plastic face-piece that cups round the nose and mouth to focus about of 1/4 cup's worth of water as the heating element under the metal cup steams away the water placed within the cup. But this runs dry about every 20 minutes so I have to keep refilling it. I have it placed in front of a small Pelonis Safe-T-Heater forced hot air ceramic heater (a little 6" cube with a blower fan built in) I've place the personal steamer about a foot in front of it so as the heater warms my basement studio it is also spreading the minimal humidity back into the air...

 

So far after about a day I'm back up to 35% and should be back to around 40% later this afternoon... It's been a long and fairly laborious process...

 

There was a recent thread with pictures and all of the heating a knife blade method for alleviating the nib gap issue in here...

 

Here it is

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