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What gauge can you go up to before you need to file nut

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by Chont, Dec 30, 2017.

  1. Chont

    Chont Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 25, 2012
    My new Epiphone 335 plays great but after closer inspection it definitely needs intonation set. Paperwork says it ships with Daddario 10-46 gauge strings. I usually use GHS Gilmour 10-48 and have a set of those on hand. Would the 48 low E require any filing of the nut? The strings on there now are in good shape as far as I can tell but I figure if I’m going to do a set up it should be with the strings I plan on using.

    Thanks very much
    strat_strummer likes this.

  2. strat_strummer

    strat_strummer Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Dec 17, 2017
    That's kind of hard to determine without knowing what the measurement is on the nut from the factory. After I string all of my guitars and after the stings stretch I always push on the stings above the nut just to make sure they stay tuned. If it don't then I file the nut accordingly. Good question though. I always use Lube also.....
    Chont likes this.

  3. Ebidis

    Ebidis Providing the world with flat bends since 1985 Strat-Talk Supporter

    Nov 14, 2013
    IME going up or down one or two gauges (like 9's to 10's or 11's) will make no noticeable difference at all. I doubt going from 46 to 48 is going to be a problem. It's only 2 thousandths of an inch. I would be shocked if Gibson cuts their nuts that precisely.
    Chont likes this.

  4. vid1900

    vid1900 Senior Stratmaster

    Nov 25, 2016
    Move the 46 out of the way, and try dragging the end of the 48 through the slot.


    You will hear/feel if it's hanging up.
    Chont and Ebidis like this.

  5. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 26, 2014
    ^^^^^ What they said! ^^^^^

    And in addition to vid1900's comments, if the .048 feels a little tight, use the cut-off piece (after installing the string and cutting to length at the tuner) as a file to slide back and forth in the slot, until it gently opens the slot and moves freely. Once you have a nice fit, take a pencil and rub back and forth "across" each nut slot, to basically fill each slot with powdered graphite and then gently lay the string into the slot. Do this every time you change strings and/or whenever your strings start to exhibit tuning/binding issues. FWIW, 8 to 12 hours of "actual playing time" is about the extent of the life span of strings, though YMMV on this aspect!
    Just My $.02,