I have about thirty dollars in my old Ibanez GIO Soundgear dinosaur electric bass guitar, ‘Old Black Lazarus’. I replaced one but the other three machine heads are worn too. The pickups, not top quality even when new, are sagging away from the strings as well. These components are all easily replaced.
Then I managed to topple the beast strings-first on to the concrete garage floor. No harm except more dings, I thought. But no, the plastic nut broke. Strum Shop tech says “is it the skinny kind that goes in a slot or the bigger one you knock out toward the headstock?” I said, duh, the little one?
Wrong. But I made it work for a few days by placing cardboard shims under it. Then, since I hadn’t wanted to glue the wrong nut down, it started migrating North. One, or perhaps two slight taps with this gun-smithing punch and mallet should get it right back in place, I reasoned. Wrong. Second busted nut.
So, back to Strum Shop for another bass nut at another $2.50. This is the right one and works well except I need to sand the back more for better string height.
Leo Fender perfected the electric bass guitar in 1951, my birth year. Not a musician, he was an inventor, craftsman and innovator in simple mass production techniques. Because it’s mostly modular and easy to build and modify, if you break something don’t hesitate to dive in DIY style. Especially if you are tweaking and fixing a ‘free’ $30 instrument.
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