Graphite nuts v.s Plastic nuts

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by metalbass101, Jul 7, 2004.

  1. metalbass101


    Jan 24, 2004
    Which one is better?I'd put my money on Graphite, but what do you guys say?
  2. danshee

    danshee Banned

    May 28, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    Just kidding, graphite for sure.
  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Graphite is supposed to be self-lubricating, thus making it easier to tune strings, but I read in a very thorough article in Gitarre&Bass magazine (German) that it doesn't really work that way.

    The only material that really does that is bone that's not completely dried(?) so that it still "oozes" fat or something, I don't really remember. All I remember is that some bone saddles are made out of "dry" bone that doesn't.

    In real life situations it probably doesn't matter at all.
  4. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    BTW I believe "graphite" nuts are actually plastic which is polymerized with some graphite in the mix, known in the plastics trade as, e.g. graphite-filled nylon (polyamide) or graphite-filled acetal. So they're still plastic. They do have lower friction than a non-filled plastic, though, and should result in better slip.
  5. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
  6. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    Looking at that page...

    micarta is a plastic composite (a rather hard one)
    graphtech I believe to be graphite filled nylon or delrin
    tusq is "a polymer material"... = plastic. Mention of "heat and pressure" implies that it's a thermoset type rather thatn a thermoplastic type (but still a plastic)
    "slip-stone" is Delrin = acetal = plastic

    everybody's beloved Fenders all use plastic nuts.
  7. vene-nemesis

    vene-nemesis Banned

    Jul 17, 2003
    Bilbao España
    any polimerized material its technically plastic, Why dont you try brass nuts???
  8. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    There's nothing inherently wrong with plastic. Wood itself is a matrix of cellulose, a long-chain polymer, bound together by lignin, which also acts as a plastic. It's nature's composite.
  9. Corwin81


    Mar 18, 2003
    Ames, IA
    why not just go for a diamond nut? :D
  10. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    I shipped a Lightwave off to them with a brass nut and they sent it back with graphite. Don't know why they changed it but I couldn't tell the difference. I always assumed that harder material would result in more sustain if nothing else. Sometimes little things can result in big changes in a given situation, not this time. Personally, if the tone is there, that's what matters so if it ain't broke I wouldn't fix it - plastic or not.
  11. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    LOL... Ok ok... where's that size 10...
  12. Mud Flaps

    Mud Flaps

    Feb 3, 2003
    Norton, MA
    Sorry to get off topic but Fodera basses have a nut made of something special that makes open notes sound just like fretted notes.

    Basically, what I am looking for in a nut is a certain level of vibration absorption. Not enough absorbtion so that the bass won't play, just enough so open notes sound more like notes, not clangs. Graphite nuts do it better than bone nuts. Whatever Fodera makes their nuts out of does it better than graphite by a much larger margin.
  13. Just make sure the material you use is harder than the strings, or else you'll eat up the nut as the strings pass the nut during tuning.

    Me? I'm getting some CA93200 Bronze-lead stock for some bearing/bushing projects at work. I may try to make a nut out of that material if I get time to fiddle. If it's good enough to make engine bearings out of in a 2.0 liter V-twin 120hp motor, then it should be just fine against some Nickelplate strings.

    I've also made some out of some 6061 alumimum that I put to a T3 heat temper after machining/fabbing. Works fine.

    The untempered aluminum piece I made wound up getting eaten up from the strings.

    And delrin would work great. Delrin is a great do-all material. makes good suspension bushings and slider/spacer pieces for anything that recieves a vibration that you don't want destroying parts that mount together.