SE Hollowbody and Flatwounds. Experience? Suggestions ?

Frank McNerney

Oct 19, 2018
I have a SE Hollowbody standard - fantastic guitar. I tried a set of flat-wounds on it (10 - 48 with a 28-wound G string). These were the lightest I could find. Sounded great - except for the buzzing on the G string. First thing a thought of was the string was getting jammed in the nut so I tried some graphite to lube the nut but no change. Replaced the strings with normal 10's and no problem.

So - a few questions:

First - when the nut is too small is this the typical result? What I'm hearing isn't quite like a fret buzz - its more like the note starts out fine and then the buzzing starts - kind of a higher pitch, slightly screechy thing - that make sense?

Second - anyone tried flat-wounds on the SE Hollowbody? What was your experience?

Third - what's it take to enlarge the nut slot? Big deal or easy. Any downside to it or things to look out for ?

1) check your setup - bridge height and intonation after the gauge change , truss rod adjustment .
Typically +/- a string gauge does not necesitate a nut rework/replacement . If so take it to a good luthier .. that's why we are here ...
I can only speak to your 3rd question. Enlarging nut slots only requires the correct sized nut file. Unfortunately, they're not super-cheap, and are sized for each gauge string so depending on what you're looking at, you *could* only need one, but might need several to get it right.
It's simple to do...but also easy to screw up if you do it wrong. I'd start with this video from Stew Mac - they have quite a few on cutting nuts, filling and re-filing ones, etc. Decide for yourself if you're up for it!

One other thing you could try first. I've successfully used segments of a string itself as a file, just pulling a piece back and forth through the slot. I've never tried it with flatwounds, only round. If you have a wound string in the same gauge as the flat one you're trying to fix, you could try using that method first