1. Welcome to TalkBass, the Premier Bass Player Community and Information Source. Register a 100% Free Account to post and unlock tons of features.

Metal Nut Materials

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Dream Weaver, Sep 22, 2009.

  1. Dream Weaver

    Dream Weaver

    Jul 11, 2009
    OH
    With metal nuts, does the type of metal have an impact?

    I have some thick flat stock aluminum, and was wondering if that would work well as a nut material.
     
  2. DSB1

    DSB1

    Mar 8, 2006
    Aluminum is fine. Don't major in the minors.
     
  3. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Banned

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Disclosures:
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    Make sure that it is 6061 Aluminum! 5052 will have a horrible tone :bag:
     
  4. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    6061-T6 only, otherwise you risk mid-humposis. ;)
     
  5. Dream Weaver

    Dream Weaver

    Jul 11, 2009
    OH
    =p

    I wasn't referring to tone...

    I've only ever seen Brass used, and since it is rather soft... I was curious if there was a reason for it. I figured aluminum is harder and more conductive so it should be fine, but I figured it couldn't hurt to ask and get a definitive answer. I was worried about wear and tear with the metal on metal contact with the strings. =/
     
  6. John Wentzien

    John Wentzien

    Jun 25, 2007
    Fort Madison, IA
    Disclosures:
    Artist:TC Electronic RH450 bass system
    I'll tell you what.

    Honestly I've never heard a metal nut that I didn't absolutely HATE.

    Try Graphtech "TUSQ" (man-made Ivory)

    Way better than metal of any kind..
    I promise!
     
  7. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    FYI

    High strength aluminum alloys can be pretty strong, but basic aluminum is pretty soft and wear-prone, much moreso than brass. Brass is commonly used as a wear surface in engineering applications. Even high strength aluminum is avoided in wear sutuations unless the weight savings is of highest importance, and then only with a hard coating on it.

    Not saying you can't do an aluminum nut; guys here have done it and been happy with it. But it doesn't compare with brass as far as wear.
     
  8. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    It's funny how people are different. I've never heard a nut whose composition mattered to me tone-wise, mostly because I rarely use open strings.
     
  9. John Wentzien

    John Wentzien

    Jun 25, 2007
    Fort Madison, IA
    Disclosures:
    Artist:TC Electronic RH450 bass system
    Just IMO..:cool:
     
  10. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
  11. RedemptionBass

    RedemptionBass

    Dec 12, 2007
    Crystal Lake, IL
    Disclosures:
    Head (and only) Honcho at Redemption Bass
    Danelectro has always used aluminum nuts.

    I have used them several times in the past with great success.

    Give it a try and see what you think.
     
  12. Dream Weaver

    Dream Weaver

    Jul 11, 2009
    OH
    I'll give it a shot. Tons of 80/20 laying around the shop. Nothing to lose but a piece of scrap and some elbow grease I guess. =p
     
  13. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    80/20 t-slot extrusion is 6105-T5, which is a pretty strong alloy and temper. Their angle stock is 6061-T6, also good stuff.
     
  14. John Wentzien

    John Wentzien

    Jun 25, 2007
    Fort Madison, IA
    Disclosures:
    Artist:TC Electronic RH450 bass system
    I'll have to admit..The Danos do sound good with aluminum...never tried it.
    Tried everything els.
     
  15. Beej

    Beej

    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    I dunno what my nuts are made of, but after being booted in them by my wife a year ago, I'm pretty sure they ain't brass...
     
  16. Greenman

    Greenman

    Dec 17, 2005
    Ontario Canada
    Buffed up nice I think an aluminum nut would look killer. I plan on an aluminum string spacer for my zero fret neck.
     
  17. I'm not a guitar tech, but brass is about 3x the density of aluminum. Since you see more plated brass bridges being used than aluminum, I guess my thought is that the choice is related to tone. I know Warwick used to use brass nuts, too. That's my uneducated 2 cents worth.
     
  18. moonshinegtrs

    moonshinegtrs Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2009
    White Bluff,Tn.
    Disclosures:
    Owner: Moonshine Custom Guitars
    I use aluminum nuts on my Resolectro Resophonic basses (just like Uncle Nate!)and I am very pleased with the results.
    Moonshine (www.moonshineguitars.com) :bassist:
     



Share This Page