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Does the material of the nut matter?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by StrudelBass, Sep 3, 2005.

  1. StrudelBass


    Jul 6, 2002
    Just wondering if there is any tonal difference between nut materials.

    Oh, and where can I buy a pre-slotted nut?
  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    There are slight differences, but none that really matter too much. I've got bone nuts, corian nuts, graphite nuts, and plastic nuts on my basses, and they all sound pretty much the same to me. The only one I don't like is brass. Brass is a little too clanky for my tastes and doesn't match up with open notes vs. fretted as well.
  3. Franklin229


    Jul 25, 2004
    Northeast USA
    I agree, except I thingk brass is great on neck thru/hardwood basses. Not too good on bolt-ons-my opinion.
  4. Sparkie


    Nov 15, 2004
    It matters only on open notes...no?
  5. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
  6. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    On a bass, it only matters on fretted notes. One guitar, where strings are bent and there can be trems, the nut material and cut is more crucial, as it affects the tuning when strings are moved.
  7. Ostinato

    Ostinato Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Toronto ON
    I found the complete opposite. I think brass gives a very even response from the open string when compared to fretted. It does take away from the vintage sustain, by which I mean it tends to aid in sustain.
  8. Jonki

    Jonki I will not slap my Bee!

    Oct 14, 2003
    Arendal, Norway
    i had a tusq nut on my p-bass, i lost it, and then i replaced it with a graphtec graphite nut, the sound was slightly warmer.
  9. Ostinato

    Ostinato Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Toronto ON
  10. strummer


    Jul 27, 2005
    Any decent guitar shop can make you a new nut in the material you choose. Buying a preslotted will not help too much because you still need to match it you your bass and setup preferences. Having a nut cut professionally is not expensive.
    I think you might find adjustable nuts somewhere (like what warwick and alembic use) but those are generally made of brass (or some other kind of metal) and will sound a bit different from your typical bone/tusq/micarta/whatever. Aso, I *think* most adjustable nuts are for one fretboard radius only.