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Does the nut affect tone?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Nino Valenti, Apr 12, 2002.

  1. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    I've been told that the material of the nut effects tone. I've been told that Brass is brighter. I don't know what thew tonal qaualities for other nuts are. I'm mostly interested in Bone vs. Plastic vs. Graphite (Graph Tech). I just completed my 4th Warmoth bass & all I could find was a plastic nut. It was actually an acoustic bridge saddle that fit in to the nut slot & I grinded & filed it to fit. Thanks in advance. Nino
  2. dhuffguitars

    dhuffguitars Luthier/Bass Wanker depending on your opinion

    Sep 18, 2001
    It can only effect the open strings. After that you are fretting, which then excludes it from effecting tone.

  3. Would my open strings sound more like fretted notes if I had a metal nut? (A brass nut for example)
  4. dhuffguitars

    dhuffguitars Luthier/Bass Wanker depending on your opinion

    Sep 18, 2001
    I think it does. I perfer to use brass for my fretted, and wood for my fretless.

  5. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Just wanna toss in a torch for the zero fret.
    With such a gadget, you will have the same sound on all positions. The string height at the first fret will also be better/more consistant, and the nut material is suddenly insignificant.

    A "zero-fret" is also possible to achieve on a fretless, quite common on "plastic" fingerboards. It takes some tought and good workmanship on a wooden board, but it can be done with very good result.
  6. just my point of view on the subject..

    In an open string situation, both the nut and bridge are conductors that transfer the vibration of the string into the wood.. each material transfers the vibration in a different way ( resonance ).. so changing the material of the nut would indeed affect the tone of an open string...
  7. JimS

    JimS Supporting Member

    I'm a nut. I get pretty good tone.;)