• Ernie Ball
  • MusicMan
  • Sterling by MusicMan


New member
Apr 23, 2021
I play a Bongo 4H, as newbie I plan the changes MM installed strings for gauge 043 051 068 089. Now I wonder; Is a new nut required to prevent ringing due to the smaller string gauge?


Jul 8, 2006
Somewhere between Paris, Dublin, and Buffalo
Hi! In my experience with guitars any weird ringing due to a nut slot is if the downward angle to the tuners is too shallow and not due to horizontal size issues. On electric guitar I can put a 009 gauge string in the 046 slot with no problems. If you have a spare string of a lighter gauge you can try it in the bass E string slot to see. Now, you will see noticeable space in the string slot and you might find that little bit of lateral movement objectionable, or not. Try it and see!

The thing is, with the Music Man compensated nut, you cannot just throw any other nut in there and have the strings intonate right. And I don't know if Music Man sell nuts cut with narrower slots. You should call them and ask. That said, a good guitar tech or luthier might be able to fill the existing slots and recut them to suit your string gauge while maintaining the compensation.


Well-known member
Feb 6, 2009
England U.K
You shouldn’t have any problem using your chosen gauge with the standard EBMM compensated nut.
Problems generally happen when you use a gauge that’s too big for the nut slot so the string is sitting on top of the slot rather than in it, it causes tuning problems and eventually splits the nut from uneven pressure.
You will need to adjust your intonation to suit and the truss rod will need a bit of a tweak but apart from that your good to go.
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