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Brass Vs. Stock Nut

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by gottawalk, Jul 7, 2005.

  1. I've heard that I can get more resonance if I replace the stock nut on my bass with a brass one. Thoughts?
  2. JazzBassvb


    Aug 5, 2003
    That's what I personally experienced.

    I'm not sure what sort of nut my Ibanez EX 5 had on it before, but on the recommendation of a tech at a local music store, I got a warwick adjustable nut and it made a world of difference in sustain. Not to mention, I like the fact it's adjustable if I ever want to string it up as a tenor, I can adjust the nut as necessary.

    I like brass. :)

  3. I have a Warwick corvette with the brass nut, and it sounds good, but the newer Warwicks now come with a graphite-loaded composite nut, it's either better or cheaper.
  4. KenToby


    Aug 15, 2002
    Remember, once you fret a note the effect the nut MAY have on tone is a non issue; the nut is taken out of the equation. What is important is the string highth at the nut; this can be adjusted no matter what the material is.
    Put your money in pickups or a good set up.


  5. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

  6. I'd lay odds on the graphite nut being "better" for a host of reasons.
  7. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Mainly cheaper to install. Brass nuts take a while to file.

    For me, I'm not too picky about the nut. But if it's damaged and needs to be replaced, a brass nut is going in it's place. For a few bucks more I might as well try to get that bit of sustain rather than the plastic Fender uses. But if it ain't baroque, don't fix it.
  8. Ostinato

    Ostinato Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Toronto ON
    I had one on a J bass and loved it. Mind you, it was done by an amazingly skilled tech, so I was lucky.

    You'll get a bit of brighter, more defined, more uniform feel between the open string and fretted notes, especially the E. I would highly recommend one.
  9. After installing graphite saddles on all my guitars, I was amazed at the difference in tuning the graphite saddles made. Maybe it's not as applicable on bass as you're not bending as much, but you get an appreciation for how much metal binds against your strings.
  10. Thanks for the info, all of you. I, too have (just) purchased and older Warwick with the adjustable brass nut. Cool idea. Surprised no one else is using it. I have a Fender 5-string, also, that I've noticed that the nut has come loose and is being held into place by the string tension. I understand that a little (very little), super glue will take care of that, but I was contemplating having a brass nut put in it's place. Hence, the inquiry. Had one put on a Gibson G-3, many years back and was pleased with it. I agree about the fretting; once I'm on the neck, the nut isn't really a factor, and I'm going to think a little about the "wear" factor on the strings, but I know of a really good tech, so I'll have it done right once I make up my mind.

    thanks again!
  11. Ostinato

    Ostinato Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Toronto ON
    You have to put some powdered graphite in the nut slots to keep the string friction down, especially if you're using steel strings. A cheap way is to use the lead shavings from a pencil.
  12. Heard of that for other things; never thought about it for this. Thanks.
  13. Ostinato

    Ostinato Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Toronto ON
    You're welcome. :D
  14. I love metal nuts of all kinds - brass, aluminum, copper...

    The reasons stated are all valid and true and I've experienced the same thing in all of my installations. One thing that hasn't been stated outright is that the strings are very balanced when playing open string double stops. I'm not an extended range instrument guy but I would think that that characteristic would be very desirable in a 6, 7, or higher stringed bass.

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