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favourite NUT material

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Randyt, Aug 10, 2012.

  1. Randyt

    Randyt RAAPT Custom Wood Productions

    Jul 21, 2010
    Barrie, Canada
    I apologise if this has been posted before...but after a quick search ..I found nothing.

    I am really curious to know what your favourite Nut material is?:
    Real Bone
    Graph Tech

    After doing a bit of research, im finding that matching your nut material (Brass) to Bridge (Brass) makes a substantial difference in sustain and tone...
    or is it using different materials truly makes up the tone of the specific bass...ie..Fodera uses Brass Bridges and Brass Nut...Fbass uses brass bridge and Bone nuts...what would you expect if they changed their recipe>?

    What is your experience?
  2. My experience is that it makes no tonal difference. I like the Graph Tech for tuning stability, and it's easy to work.
  3. IME, nut material makes very little difference, unless you are going from a really cheap plastic one to brass or something, but some materials last longer than others. On acoustic guitars, though, the bridge saddle makes all the difference in the world.
  4. samurai1993


    Jun 6, 2010
    Brass, just because it won't break. The tonal difference is minimal, as stated above
  5. Rodger Bryan

    Rodger Bryan Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2006
    Graph Tech material is easy to shape, polishes nicely, is relatively slippery and it doesn't audibly dampen any frequency range. I also like brass as a close second preference.

    In terms of tone- the only way to do an apples to apples comparison is to make different nuts for the same bass, make recordings, swap them and note any differences you hear, then use a program such as Audacity to analyze the harmonic content of the same open string over different materials. That way, you can have something that can be referenced to your perceptions.
    Sustain... the more I read about that subject on MIMF and OLF site discussions and library archives from 1998- on, I realized that I had bought into a few myths and Luthiers such as Rick Turner and many others helped to debunk those- Here is some good information and lively discussions:
  6. The nut only effects the tone on open notes. It has no effect of fretted notes. Cheap plastic works for me.
  7. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    i once tried a guitar nut of the "worst" material i could think of, a hunk of pink rubber eraser;

    no difference in tone and sustain on fretted notes.

    get something durable that doesn't grab the strings and you're good, i think; these days i'm using nylon 6, which is hard to work but really tough and slippery.
  8. t77mackie


    Jun 13, 2012
    Wormtown, MA
    I think we'd all like to hear the back story to this...
  9. Jordan S.

    Jordan S.

    Mar 25, 2012
    NSW, Australia
    Blacksheep Effects Pedals
    +1, I'm curious...
  10. kesh


    Jul 9, 2012
    Brighton, England
    best tone i ever heard was from a nut made of narwhal tusk
  11. Randyt

    Randyt RAAPT Custom Wood Productions

    Jul 21, 2010
    Barrie, Canada
    Thank you for the attached articles...i have read them thoroughly and all involved have some compelling arguements...

    Saying that...still... there is no right or wrong as to be assumed...
    The reason I brought this up...is, I have my custom Fbass AC6 (Bone nut) starting production soon, and the other day I had the opportunity to play a fodera (Brass nut)...i know there is more to this than just the nut as I personally believe its the "whole" package that creates the Magic...ie..neck wood/FB wood...Im not even getting into the pickups/preamps etc ..as i played the Fodera unplugged for a long time...with my EVO 6 SC Elrick...i truly enjoy the way the bass resonates unplugged...this to me is what truly makes a quality build compared to mediocre.
    I have played many custom Fbass's and truly love the work George does..thats why I chose him to build this bass...i was just thinking of maybe a brass nut...but I dont want to mess with the "Recipe" that works so well!!!!
    Thanks for input guys...
  12. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    *Having second thoughts about taking any more basses to Walter for nut work*

    What material did you use on the Millennium 5 upgrade? It required a huge hunka-hunka blank, that's for sure.

  13. wong99


    Jun 6, 2012
    Agreed. Narwhal tusk makes a fine nut, but not quite the resonance or sustain of unicorn tusk, Bengal Tiger tooth, or space alien claw.
  14. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    I prefer the "Elephant Man's" bones. Narwhal tusk, really??? Talk about begging for a PETA attack, this takes the cake.
  15. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Couple years back, I sold a Hondo P bass clone sporting an ivory nut. Bought the blank back in the late 70's as NOS when the ban went into full force. Pisses off PETA, elephants, and Tarzan. You can still find scraps every now and then if you fly under the radar.

  16. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    I made a nut out of basswood and slapped it on a junque bass and it sounded just fine. Of course, just the act of tuning it caused the strings to file the grooves deeper....
  17. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Not that far off track. Several builders used stabilized (resin impregnated) hardwood nuts which hold up nicely.

  18. kesh


    Jul 9, 2012
    Brighton, England
    i made a nut out of my wisdom teeth after they were removed.

    it's a good job i play 4 string.
  19. Randyt

    Randyt RAAPT Custom Wood Productions

    Jul 21, 2010
    Barrie, Canada
    Dam....i havent seen a unicorn in years...as a matter of fact it was the same night I tripped over Elivis in the mosh pit of Black Flag (Stole his Doc Martins off him)...that i saw and rode a UniCorn....good times!!!LOL:meh::help:
  20. Coolhandjjl


    Oct 13, 2010
    Space alien claw really only works when you give it the cryo-treatment. Otherwise, it's no different than mastodon horn.

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