Nead Ideas: Slight loss of sustain on B and E strings.

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by UMT, Feb 19, 2009.


  1. UMT

    UMT Member

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    Ok, Tele HH that is my main axe and true love. I've used stainless steel strings (9- 42) for decades. This axe has always had exceptional sustain and resonance but I just started to notice a slight decrease in both. My strings were getting slightly old so I slapped on a new set on and no change. This guitar has a graphite nut on it. Is it possible that process of doing minor tuning adjustments has worn a 'groove' in the nut causing a slight dampening effect? I'm noticing it mostly on the E (.009) and B (.011) strings. I do all my own setups and I haven't touched this guitar since I completed the original setup about 2 years ago... It just doesn't 'ring' and have the 'sparkle' that it used to. I've just started noticing it within the last 2-3 months. Any ideas of things I may want to check?
     
  2. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Member

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    Maybe those nut slots have lost that necessary bevel, as they wear down towards a flat slot;

    Is the string tree loose, perhaps the screw stripping out?;

    I don't know what material your saddles are made of. Perhaps they've worn down through the chrome and into casting metal? I'd lean more that way, if I knew they shared a barrel type saddle but most HHs are 6 saddle type.
     
  3. UMT

    UMT Member

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    I don't think the string trees are loose, but I'll check. Yes, the HH has a 6 saddle bridge and I'm going to be checking that also.

    I guess my real question is regarding your point with the graphite nut. Is this a common occurance with that material?

    Thanks!
     
  4. UMT

    UMT Member

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    By golly, the string tree on those strings WAS a little loose. I tightened it up and it seemed to have helped a little bit but didn't provide the cure.

    I'll keep anyone who is interested posted as I delve into this thing.

    Thanks!
     
  5. Eagle1

    Eagle1 Member

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    Take it apart and clean it ,restring it and make sure the witness points are all good.
     
  6. mc5nrg

    mc5nrg Supporting Member

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    Once you fret the influence of the nut is minimal.
     
  7. Eagle1

    Eagle1 Member

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    And!!!!
     
  8. UMT

    UMT Member

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    Can I get a witness! I got to looking at that graphite nut and noticed that the area where the strings rested was 'shiny.' I took my trusty needle file and went thru all the slots, more or less just 'cleaning them out' and making sure the bevel was there and it seems to have cured the problem.

    While I agree that once a string is fretted, the nut has minimal effect on tone, my big issue was the strings sounding slightly dead on the open strings.

    I'm going to fabricate a Corian nut for it this weekend and do a A/B thing and see if there is a noticable difference.
     

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