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Does the nut make a big difference in tone?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by JFace, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. JFace


    Apr 17, 2008
    Columbus, OH
    If I changed my plastic nut to something like brass or nickel, would the change be noticable, or would the trouble outweigh the slight difference?
  2. Some say yes, some say no.

    Pass the popcorn, plizz......
  3. vinny


    Apr 3, 2006
    Las Vegas, NV.
    IMO it will sound brighter. More popcorn please.:D
  4. 60bass

    60bass Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2005
    Charlotte, NC
    I have a brass nut on one of my P's and it made the bass much brighter when used with my Badass II bridge. It's also held up well using RotoSound RS66. Been on there over 20 years now.

    I have popcorn now, please pass the butter and salt.
  5. Robin UK

    Robin UK

    Feb 1, 2007
    i've been wondering about this also. I have a takamine acoustic bass which i put some of the rotosound plastic covered strings on by reccomendation of my local guitar shop, but did this whilst talking to my girlfriend, and didn't notice that the E string was slightly too wide for the nut and snapped the end off. So for the past 8 months i've been using a nut tha i made out of wood, and fairly soft wood at that. I've been meaning to get a new nut, but never got around to it. how much do you this that would be affecting my sound?

  6. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    If, and I emphasize IF the nut makes any difference to the tone, it will only be on open strings. Once the string is fretted anywhere, the nut no longer figures into the equation. Except that it may ever so slightly change the mass of the instrument as a whole and will theoretically then affect the resonant frequency, but you would need some pretty serious analysis equipment to detect the difference. Your ears aren't sensitive enough to hear it.
  7. Joshua

    Joshua WJWJr Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 23, 2000
    Hey, great to see ya!
  8. You, sir, get extra butter on your popcorn! :cool:
  9. bassman314

    bassman314 I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process...

    Mar 13, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    The harder you squeeze your nut, the greater the impact on tone... Usually detremental

    Oh... we are talking about the nut on the neck...

    Gimee some of that popcorn...
  10. I thought squeezing raised the pitch of the "instrument".

    Pass it back when you're done.
  11. Joshua

    Joshua WJWJr Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 23, 2000
    By the way, Turnaround, to those not in the know, is one of the true assets to S&R. We're lucky to have him around!
  12. Jontom


    Mar 11, 2002
    New York
    I think what you should shoot for is a sameness of tone on an open string as a fretted note. Whatever substance will get you there.
  13. bassman314

    bassman314 I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process...

    Mar 13, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    I'm certain it would do both, really... I'm fairly certain it's a debate I'd like to leave academic:atoz:
  14. LowBSix

    LowBSix Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 25, 2008
    818 ~ 805 ~ L.A.
    Endorsing Artist: GHS Strings
    I prefer a brass nut...
  15. Matt R.

    Matt R.

    Jul 18, 2007
    Huntsville AL

    If you play open strings exclusively, then yes.

    On second thought, no. :meh:
  16. Thank heavens we got THAT settled! :ninja:
  17. Tenma4


    Jan 26, 2006
    St. Louis, MO
    Having a brass nut insures me I won't bust a nut at an inopportune time... Seriously, you don't want to deal with that at a performance. An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.
  18. gre107


    Dec 25, 2005
    The nut only makes a difference for the open strings. Other than that it has no effect on the tone.
  19. Bassenstien


    Jun 13, 2006
    I like nuts made out of popcorn and butter. Now pass me some brass. Wait... Im confused :meh:
  20. You like your brass buttered?

    Well then, what about Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass? Did they like nuts?

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