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Thread: Nut Cut Too Low? JP6 String Break Issues

  1. #1

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    Exclamation Help: Nut Cut Too Low? JP6 String Break Issues

    Hey all,

    I've had a JP6 for a decade now, and got it when I was much younger and didn't know as much about guitars and how to set them up properly. I got the JP6 because it had the perfect feel and sound for my style and goals. However, a couple things have always bugged me. I tend to break strings on this guitar far more easily than any other guitar (even with EB Paradigms), mostly at the bridge and sometimes the nut, which has made it unreliable when recording or playing out. There are a couple factors I have observed which may contribute to this, and was curious to know others' thoughts.

    There seems to be a lot of resistance on the strings at the bridge - I thought there might be some rough edges inside the string holes, because the D string in particular is usually the first to break, but since I have still broken every other string at certain points I think the issue might be the saddle design itself. It seems they don't have a nice groove for the string to pass through, so the string sits right up against a bulky edge. I can see how the outer winding on the strings would start to unravel between the saddle and the ball end of the string and then start to stretch the core wire after some bending or fast picking, resulting in breakage. While I love the piezo functionality and would miss it, I have considered removing it and swapping the saddles with some Graphtech String Savers, which have worked amazingly on my Sub1 guitar and others.

    The other issue I see is with the nut. It was either cut too low from the factory, or there's a minor design flaw going on here, primarily with how the low E string sits. I always felt that the string doesn't ring out as well as the others, and I think it's because the string makes significant contact with the wood behind the nut where the fretboard meets the headstock. After the string passes from the bridge to the nut, it should pass directly to the tuning key. Instead, it sits on top of the rosewood and creates a point of friction. I have not seen this on any other guitar model, as there is either less wood or the nut is cut so that the string sits a bit higher up and doesn't come into contact with the wood. Has anyone else noticed this on their older JP6 guitars? I see that they have fixed this on the Majesty (with the angled headstock, the fretboard does not extend past the nut) and newer JP models (the height of the nut at the low E seems to be higher). Mine was completed in 2008. I was considering sanding down the edge of the fretboard wood, but wanted to hold off in case the flaw was actually with the nut. I don't care about the resale value, I just want it to work.

    Has anyone else had the same issues? I've used lubricants like Big Bends too and they help but don't fix the issue.
    Last edited by Billy Tennessee; 03-03-2019 at 01:23 PM.

  2. #2

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    What size strings are you using on it? I had an issue with the nut on my JP6 when I got it, but it was because the previous owner was using super heavy strings and had either modified the nut or it had just worn down over time from the bigger strings. When I put Super Slinkys on it, it was buzzy ugly, and I had to get it built back up. You might try building that low E slot back up with some super glue (or take it to a tech if you don't feel comfortable with it.) Alternately, you could get a new nut from customer service and have it installed.

    I've got nothing on the string breakage. I've never had that issue on any of my EBMMs. If it were one string, I'd say you had a burr on that saddle, but since that's apparently not the case, I don't have much to offer. Maybe someone else will.
    My stuff:
    2007 Axis Pacific Blue Burst (9/25/07)
    2016 Axis SS Starry Night PDN (11/23/16)
    2016 Axis SS Semi-Hollow Trans Teal one-off (6/8/16)
    2018 Axis BFR Steel Blue No. 45 (9/18/18)
    2010 JP6 Mystic Dream (6/22/10)
    1989 Fender HM Strat HSS Blackstone
    2016 Gibson Les Paul Studio Deluxe Caribbean Night
    1995 Washburn N2 Padauk Stain
    2017 Taylor 224ce-K DLX Koa
    SBMM JP70 Trans Purpleburst
    SBMM S.U.B. SB4 Black

  3. #3

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    The breakage issue does sound like a burr somewhere, and can develop over time (I've had a few). It's the sort of thing a good tech can find & fix quickly.

    With regards to the nut, contact behind the nut shouldn't really affect how it rings. Do you have the same issue when the string is fretted? I would also look at the saddle, to make sure the string is properly seated there. I've had the "sitar" sound before where the string was sitting on a burr and not making proper contact. Again, easily fixed by lightly filing the saddle.

  4. #4

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    I haven't used anything heavier than 10-46 mostly. Good to know others have had issues with burrs developing, so my suspicions may have been correct. I'm going to be taking it to a tech for a good setup and to look more closely at these points, so thanks for helping to point some of these things out. I do get a sitar-like buzz on the D and G strings mostly.

    Some images of the points I referenced regarding the nut:
    Imgur: The magic of the Internet Imgur: The magic of the Internet Imgur: The magic of the Internet

    Let me know if anything seems weird based on these photos of the nut. There's nothing visibly off with the saddles, which is why I think the burrs would probably be inside the string holes themselves.

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