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Graphite, Bone, Ivory Nut????

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by jokerjkny, Feb 21, 2002.

  1. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    hey all,

    what do each of these nuts do for the tone of my bass?? how are different? is one better than the others?
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Graphite is perfectly ok. It doesn't matter on my bass anyway, since it has a zero fret :D

    Real ivory is illegal AFAIK.
  3. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Graphite is good, so is brass, bone is OK, ivory is illegal (more or less), LignumVitae (wood) is cool.

    But honestly, on a good instrument: who cares?

    (a good instrument has a zero-fret)
    my neck is stretched on the schavotte
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well you're only going to hear any effect when you play open strings and I have had basses with each in the past - I don't think it has any noticeable effect, but then I usually avoid open strings!

    I think that other factors are going to make much more difference to tone.
  5. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    I like graphite these days just for mechanical reasons, but I've had no trouble with the bone nut on my p-bass.
  6. Erm.. A 0 fret?? Is that just like a 12th fret? Only with the pitch of an open string WHILE *before* the first fret??

  7. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    A 0-fret is located just below the nut. The location and height of that fret decides the string zero, instead of the front of the nut.
    Gives you a better defined scale length, string height at first fret and same timbre at every fret.
    The better string height at fret 1 also means less stretch when fretting the first, hence better intonation.
    For some reason, american luthiers seem to be reluctant to use them, while they seem to be standard among better luthiers in Europe.
  8. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL

    what's lignumvitae??
  9. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    If anyone can hear a difference, we ought to be flying that person over caves in Afghanistan to find out who's in them.

    Graphite has the shock resistance, but I spec'd a bone nut for my custom anyway. It's classy and the bass has a zero fret.

    That ivory you're talking about is fossilized/ancient ivory from walrus tusks. A piece big enough for a bass would probably be around $35 and it only offers an audible difference, (as they claim), when used on an acoustic guitar, (and a good one at that).
  10. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Heavy, 1.3 kg/l or more.
    Used for machine parts, like band guides for bandsaws, bearings for ship propeller shafts (yes, ships, not boats!).
    A.k.a. pockenholtz, guyacan and other spice names. Actually, sometimes I believe it's a collection name for many spieces with similar properties.
  11. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Dupont Corian is also used for nuts.
  12. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Ohio, USA
    I recently carved nuts for a classical guitar, an oud, and a bass using Micarta that I bought from Stew-Mac. It carved well, looks like bone, and sounds good.
  13. malibu

    malibu Guest

    Dec 26, 2001
    brass supposedly can help make an open string sound like a fretted note - maybe this is true

    while none should ever crack/break supposedly with brass you could slot the outer strings closer to the edge,
    which is where some nuts (at least plastics) can split off with hard play -

    graphite is hardest on wearing out files -

    I'm workin' on a brass blank for one of my p-basses - just started the beginning of slots today

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