Need Advice - String Not Seated in Nut?

ConnorK

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Here is my problem: 8highe (2).jpg

It is kind of an awful picture as I have poor lighting so here is a description. My high E string on my LTD JR-208 is not fully seated in the slot. It seems to catch in the slot about 2/3 of the way down, or maybe on the very corner. It hasn't affected my playing, I played just as hard in the -1 week since I changed the strings hoping it wouldn't break or pop out, and it hasn't done either of those things. This only started right after my last string change, and to my knowledge the previous owner used this gauge as I measured the strings before and after the change with calipers due to this occurence and they both measured out to be 9s. This seems like it isn't a huge problem, unless the string is just on that corner of the nut slot and the added tension from the baritone scale would cause the thin string to cut off part of that nut only to need to replace it regardless of what I do now.

I believe this can be easily solved just by purchasing and installing a string guide, and right now this is my preferred fix. However, I know little about the nut compared to the rest of the guitar, and was wondering if someone else has an easier solution? I'm not looking to replace the nut if a string tree would work, as I feel more confident in my drilling and screwing skills than my nut replacement skills, and think a gold string tree wouldn't look half bad, possibly playing into the more vintage vibe (as opposed to a djenty theme for an 8). I also haven't had any qualms with this nut other than this and don't think a replacement is really justified if I can just get away with using a string tree. Anyway, a string tree should be a quick installation to do while I replace the (frankly already fine) tuners with a locking set in the near future.

And yes I am aware of how odd a string tree is on an angled headstock lol.
 

ConnorK

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I looked at the Sweetwater and ESP site photos and it seems it is supposed to do this. I must have purely not noticed it before and just now did after restringing as it looks like this on every model.
 

JimF

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Looks like it could be potentially miscut nut. I wouldn't say it's supposed to do that.
 

ConnorK

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Looks like it could be potentially miscut nut. I wouldn't say it's supposed to do that.
There is a slight bit of room to the right at that angle at the top of the nut that i hadn't noticed. I think it's supposed to do that because all catalogue pictures of the guitar have it like that, even the model Javier Reyes demo'd in a video for ESP. I think I just posted without checking what I should've lol.
But it's super bizarre. Never seen a nut cut like this, and even if this extra room possibly cut by the string isn't purposeful then it seems it isn't a big deal. Still thinking about getting a string tree just because of how bizarre it is.
 

JimF

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Ah I'm with you, I didn't see that bit in the picture sorry. Its a bit small!
As long as it plays alright then all is good
 

bostjan

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If it doesn't bother you and doesn't mess with intonation or your ability to play, then I say don't worry about it. Otherwise:

1. Pop the string out of the slot and see if there is something you can remove from the slot (z.B. a piece of loose material) preventing the string from seating.
2. If so, remove it, then reseat the string.
3. If not or if this doesn't help, you might need the part of the nut slot closest to the tuner to be either widened or deepened. If you have a nut file, there you go. If not, just take it to a qualified tech and describe the specific problem, then they should be able to fix it.
 

ConnorK

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Alright, sounds like I shouldn't really worry about it. Thanks for some more opinions guys!
 

CanserDYI

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Forgive me if I'm incorrect, but any chance you twisted the tuning peg the opposite direction as the others to tune up to pitch by accident? The break angle on the Reyes models I just looked at doesn't look that angle IMHO, and from my eyeball it kinda lines up as if the string was coming out the other side of the tuning peg, like you twisted the wrong way? Again, I cant see the pegs so I'm just eyeballing and have zero expectations of your abilities, so again forgive me if I'm wrong.
 

Matt08642

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Forgive me if I'm incorrect, but any chance you twisted the tuning peg the opposite direction as the others to tune up to pitch by accident? The break angle on the Reyes models I just looked at doesn't look that angle IMHO, and from my eyeball it kinda lines up as if the string was coming out the other side of the tuning peg, like you twisted the wrong way? Again, I cant see the pegs so I'm just eyeballing and have zero expectations of your abilities, so again forgive me if I'm wrong.

This was my first thought, but the picture on Sweetwater looks about the same:

1669939166196.png
 

ConnorK

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Forgive me if I'm incorrect, but any chance you twisted the tuning peg the opposite direction as the others to tune up to pitch by accident? The break angle on the Reyes models I just looked at doesn't look that angle IMHO, and from my eyeball it kinda lines up as if the string was coming out the other side of the tuning peg, like you twisted the wrong way? Again, I cant see the pegs so I'm just eyeballing and have zero expectations of your abilities, so again forgive me if I'm wrong.
IMG_20221129_153605_850.jpg
I croppped the original, heres the full picture. I think it is definitely at a weird position relative to the normal 3x3 positioning, but it ia definitely on there the right way. I had to double check myself lol
 

bostjan

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The weird string angles are common in any guitar with a headstock design that is curved on the sides.

I don't think that the string being angled across the nut like that is a typical thing, though, but like I said before and everone else seems to be saying, it should be harmless.

Side-topic, though...

1669939166196.png
Isn't it supposed to have gold tuners? The Sweetwater one appears to have nickel tuners. At first I thought maybe it was the lighting, but look at the screw for the truss rod cover and how much richer it looks than the tuners, in the same lighting. I just thought that was weird. Carry on, I guess...

But speaking of tuners, another thread gave me an idea. If this really bothers you and you don't want to use a string guide, maybe you could replace the high E tuner with one from a staggered tuner set (whichever one has the lowest post hole). The extra downward angle would likely seat the string in the back end of the nut.

I'm guessing ESP must have specified a nut with too much of a back angle cut (or more likely moulded) into the top of it. So, the string sits properly at the business-end of the nut, but then the break angle of the string is too shallow to keep up with the angle at the top of the nut, so it loses contact. They ought to fix this, but unless you get some sort of unwanted buzz from the string behind the nut (which would be easy to fix with foam or fretwrap anyway), it's really just an aesthetic thing.
 

ConnorK

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The weird string angles are common in any guitar with a headstock design that is curved on the sides.

I don't think that the string being angled across the nut like that is a typical thing, though, but like I said before and everone else seems to be saying, it should be harmless.

Side-topic, though...


Isn't it supposed to have gold tuners? The Sweetwater one appears to have nickel tuners. At first I thought maybe it was the lighting, but look at the screw for the truss rod cover and how much richer it looks than the tuners, in the same lighting. I just thought that was weird. Carry on, I guess...

But speaking of tuners, another thread gave me an idea. If this really bothers you and you don't want to use a string guide, maybe you could replace the high E tuner with one from a staggered tuner set (whichever one has the lowest post hole). The extra downward angle would likely seat the string in the back end of the nut.

I'm guessing ESP must have specified a nut with too much of a back angle cut (or more likely moulded) into the top of it. So, the string sits properly at the business-end of the nut, but then the break angle of the string is too shallow to keep up with the angle at the top of the nut, so it loses contact. They ought to fix this, but unless you get some sort of unwanted buzz from the string behind the nut (which would be easy to fix with foam or fretwrap anyway), it's really just an aesthetic thing.
Hadn't even thought of using a staggered tuner. That is a good idea. Might install one of those once my locking tuners are here and I get to putting those on. But I also might not because from an aesthetics perspective, knowing and seeing that I have 1 of 8 tuners that is different looking enough and doesnt lock might make me go crazy, more than the string thing has lol.
Also, I think the model on Sweetwater does have nickel tuners... Weird stuff since everything but the saddle screws, switch tip and pickups is gold with those being black.
 

BillCartESP

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apologies for bumping your thread seems is was a little while back. Am curious if you fixed the nut or treed it. Another note on JR signature guitars. I am interested in the Javier JR-7 and was wondering how the build quality is on your JR-208. Any word would appreciated.
 

ConnorK

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apologies for bumping your thread seems is was a little while back. Am curious if you fixed the nut or treed it. Another note on JR signature guitars. I am interested in the Javier JR-7 and was wondering how the build quality is on your JR-208. Any word would appreciated.
I almost bought a string tree, but waited to see if anything would happen - even if I just noticed the string had some minute tension or tuning stability difference. After about 2 weeks nothing was different than before, that and the fact that I haven't heard of any problems but looked and saw that almost every picture of them online had the same weird angle led to my decision to just leave it alone. I even pulled to the side/off the fretboard on that string as hard as is reasonable just to see if maybe it would pop out and it didn't. So I just installed my new tuners I previously mentioned on here and that was that lol.

As for the quality of the guitar, it's amazing, especially for the price that it is. Definitely the most comfortable 8 I've played, but if you mind a heavy guitar then go for something else. This may be due to using a headless guitar the times that I've performed live (mostly at school) and sitting to play in musicals, but having used this live recently you can feel this guitar is there. It also has a relatively chunky neck and assuming the JR-7 has the same neck shape and you prefer thin ibanez style necks you might want a different model. However, like I said, my JR-208 is the most comfortable 8 string I've ever played and I feel no slower than on said headless that is second in line for most comfortable and fast-playing, and headless guitars are typically known for being made to be the most ergonomic/whatever other word the marketing uses lol. Ideally, there would be more backwards travel on the lowest string saddle just so I have more space if I want to intonate it for anything lower than E, but I probably won't anyway and it's probably fine for down to D or D# at least. That's just nitpicking and with the 7 shouldn't be near a problem tho. For the lower-cost JR signature, it has amazing wiring and electronics. Aside from the intonation thing that really just may be an issue for those players that just tune as low as possible and all that, the bridge really is amazing. Most comfortable style IMO and the gold plating hasn't worn from my acid hands. The binding and finish are very well executed and I love the shape. The tuners that came on it weren't locking tuners but worked very well, but IME almost no non-locking tuners are as easy to use or keep tune as well as a set of high-quality locking tuners. Since the JR-7 is comparable to the JR-608 and not 208, these are probably equally as well done or more so features. I love the stock pickups and wiring, but the extra options and fishmans in the 7 are probably better. It also comes with locking tuners, I believe. That being said I cannot account for how the neck feels at upper positions but I assume it feels even better due to being neck-thru, thought the 208 does have my favorite heel carve. The 7 is like an upgraded 7 string version, and I already think the JR-208 gets a 5/5 stars for the price and a 4.5/5 in comparison to all 8s for the lack of locking tuners and straploks (something you should immediately change out for in any guitar imo, even my jazzbox has them lol), since I don't vastly prefer set or thru necks like some. I'd buy this guitar twice before I bought a real LP or (insert other highly regarded guitar).
Also, based on your sig looks like you're an ESP guy, and I'd say based on that, that a Mystique shape for a guitar is probably a plus to you as it is to me. Ngl I was about half compelled to buy it because of the body shape!
 

BillCartESP

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Thank you for such a detailed review. I agree with locking tuners. Feel the tuning is more stable And such easier string changing. Good choice on the upgrades. Some of esp’s moderately priced guitars blow others away. My EC300AT was like 300 brand new in 2005. I replace the nut with bone, upgraded the pickups to JB/59 and had to do very little fret leveling when setting it up. In the end 300+150 for pickups+ 6 for the bone turned that guitar into a fine tome machine for any stay. I’m in love with the esp mystique body style. Not sure what attracts me to but I cannot stop lusting over it. More specifically the esp $7k+ mystique 6 string. Maybe some day. I’m overly leaning on the JR7. More so because of the features you mentioned above. I have only played fishmans and never owned a guitar with fishmans. Most of my pickups are sentient/Pegasus. My ec1000, the tone boss EC300AT has the now too as well as my horizon I, the horizon III has the SD Jazz and SD custome 5 from the factory. Not sure if I‘m going to change those or not because it is. Lot brighter than my others and its not a bad thing. So going active is a big step for me. Not really a fan of EMG’s personally but I do like the sound some models produce. And yes I am a big esp guy. I‘ve bought and sold/traded more eps’s and have always stuck to the brand for the most part. Through the years I really regret selling some. but I digress.
 

ConnorK

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Thank you for such a detailed review. I agree with locking tuners. Feel the tuning is more stable And such easier string changing. Good choice on the upgrades. Some of esp’s moderately priced guitars blow others away. My EC300AT was like 300 brand new in 2005. I replace the nut with bone, upgraded the pickups to JB/59 and had to do very little fret leveling when setting it up. In the end 300+150 for pickups+ 6 for the bone turned that guitar into a fine tome machine for any stay. I’m in love with the esp mystique body style. Not sure what attracts me to but I cannot stop lusting over it. More specifically the esp $7k+ mystique 6 string. Maybe some day. I’m overly leaning on the JR7. More so because of the features you mentioned above. I have only played fishmans and never owned a guitar with fishmans. Most of my pickups are sentient/Pegasus. My ec1000, the tone boss EC300AT has the now too as well as my horizon I, the horizon III has the SD Jazz and SD custome 5 from the factory. Not sure if I‘m going to change those or not because it is. Lot brighter than my others and its not a bad thing. So going active is a big step for me. Not really a fan of EMG’s personally but I do like the sound some models produce. And yes I am a big esp guy. I‘ve bought and sold/traded more eps’s and have always stuck to the brand for the most part. Through the years I really regret selling some. but I digress.
I totally agree, some of the cheaper and moderately priced ESPs do blow others away, it seems. Thinking about going with the 8 string sentient and pegasus models but honestly the stock pickups are really great especially in split coil, for djent to death metal to playing through a bass amp to playing regular clean stuff. I have an active JM but despite playing almost all metal for a bit I stick to passives unlike more and more people lol. And yea those nicer mystiques are insane. Hope you love the JR-7 (assuming you get it)!
 


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