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mcc

Anyone changed the string spacing at the nut with a zero fret?

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Hi guys,

I have had a (headed) Status Matrix bass for about 15 years now and love it's sound and most things about it. However, over the years I have been using it less and less given that I moved on to 5-string. In the process I found the string spacing at the nut on my 5'ers much more comfortable (A Yammi TRB5II and a MM Sub5 ... for those wondering).

Now i'm trying to spend more time on the 4-string and I have picked up a TRB4 (have a thing for TRBs) and again love the comparatively narrower string spacing.

I would love to "copy" the string spacing over from the Yamaha to the Status and in theory at least I think it should work. The frets on the Status are visually fine (light string gauges and increasingly less usage over the years) and the nut has already been repaired once so it would not mean hacking into a pristine instrument.

Has anyone done it? Any suggestions?

I should mention the bass is back home in South America, where I'll be moving back soon, so taking it to a luthier here is not an option.

any comments welcome.

M.

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A new nut with the string slots cut closer together and adjust the string space at the bridge saddles if possible. However; the neck would still be the same width and so the top and bottom strings would now be further from the fretboard edge so you would get a different 'feel' which you may or may not like.

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I'm not sure what you are asking.
A zero fret is just another fret close to the nut, you couldn't alter the string spacing with one.
If you just want to replace the nut with one cut for a different spacing then whether the neck has a zero fret or not shouldn't make any difference.

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Hi guys, thanks for the answers and sorry if it is a bit confusing... after pondering I think the question is not exclusive to zero frets...

I guess I just wanted to know if anyone has changed the nut on their basses for a narrower option and if intonation and everything (after setting up the bridge) was OK. The issue about the zero fret is that the nut only functions as a string guide for the width not for the height.

Just to give you context, here is a photo of the bass... The spacing at the bridge is 18" so I only want to narrow nut width down a very tiny bit (I have always found the strings look a little too parallel as opposed to fanning out slightly).



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That looks like a really badly cut nut. The spaces between the strings should all be the same, (not string centre to string centre 'cos of the different thickness strings) and your G string looks far closer to the edge of the fretboard than the E.

I'd get a new nut cut to even out the string spacing and bring the G string in.That'll give you what you want and make it better to play.

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I doubt it would have left the factory with the problem, but maybe a previous owner "played" with it or lateral pressure has taken its toll. Thanks. I'll tackle it when I get home and see how it works.

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[quote name='RhysP' timestamp='1476701376' post='3156346']
I'm not sure what you are asking.
A zero fret is just another fret close to the nut, you couldn't alter the string spacing with one.
If you just want to replace the nut with one cut for a different spacing then whether the neck has a zero fret or not shouldn't make any difference.
[/quote]

Actually the zero but can make a difference as there can be significant groves worn in there over time and the strings might be reluctant to sit exactly how you want them to from the new nut

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[quote name='mcc' timestamp='1476712541' post='3156522']

I guess I just wanted to know if anyone has changed the nut on their basses for a narrower option and if intonation and everything (after setting up the bridge) was OK. The issue about the zero fret is that the nut only functions as a string guide for the width not for the height.

[/quote]
Yes - I've narrowed spacing and widened spacing at the nut. It won't affect intonation, tone or anything else as long as the strings never go beyond where the fret starts rounding off at the fret ends.

As dyerseve says, there may be grooves in your zero, but if the new nut slots are properly cut, that shouldn't give problems. If the grooves are that deep, then the zero probably needs replacing anyway (a not-uncommon occurrence in general)

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