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i want to put a new nut on my basses and guitars...

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Nick Yordon, Apr 22, 2015.

  1. Nick Yordon

    Nick Yordon Banned

    Jan 21, 2015
    I just think the stock nut on my instruments is cheezy looking and would like to put a good quality one on my basses and guitars.any info on what I should get,if I should do it,the pros and cons etc...inputs please!
  2. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Polished bone and find a decent tech to do the work...that was easy. That being said, a cheezy looking nut does not necessarily mean it's a bad nut. A little TLC, few swipes of a nut file, etc will bring it into spec both functionally and cosmetically.

    bholder likes this.
  3. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    I agree, if the current one fits, but you don't like the looks, why not pop it out and paint it? That's what I just did on my black Jack Casady project - popped it out, masked everything that touches wood or strings, then spray painted the rest black using a home depot black epoxy appliance spraycan. Looks great. But learning to carve your own isn't a bad thing either. Not hard unless you choose brass.
  4. Nick Yordon

    Nick Yordon Banned

    Jan 21, 2015
    the nut is fine but I always see people wth a nice metal nut.Good quality and i'm always about customizing my instruments.I like keeping them basic and close to stock looking as possible but twith a little attitude adjustment
  5. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Red herring. Throw money at it if you must but is the cost of a brass nut worth it? You won't know until after when it's too late.
  6. Thomas Kievit

    Thomas Kievit Guest

    May 19, 2012
    If I would have to change the nut on my bass guitar, I would go for a brass nut. Bit expensive, but well worth the investment.
  7. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    I managed a guitar store from '77 - '88, right through the "brass is better" era. I put a LOT of brass nuts on a lot of different instruments, including my own '73 Precision. My experience is that unless you actually WANT open strings to be more similar to fretted notes, or you are very hard on nuts (breaking them, retuning extensively enough that the slots wear quickly, etc.) brass nuts don't make any difference at all. They do NOT affect the sound of fretted notes to any appreciable degree.

    Almost all of the presumed "improvement" in either playability or sound going to a brass nut is simply due to the fact that for almost every one of the customers we put a brass nut on, it was the first time they had a properly cut nut ever. Almost no factory mass-produced fretted instrument has the nut cut correctly. The exceptions in my experience were Guilds, Takamine (the ones that went through Ovation's factory for set up before shipment to dealers), Ovation, an later Lakland. Everyone single other company with which I have experience leaves the nut too high, and often has poor angles from the fingerboard side to the tuning machines. Plus most of the slots are sloppy and haphazardly finished.

    A properly cut nut is the starting place for all real set up work, but it's painstaking and time consuming. While not particularly hard, you have to be patient. And if you make one pass of the file too many, you have to start all over to do it right (rather than shimming the nut or filling in with super glue). That is why most factory stuff is too high. If you leave it high you don't have the possibility of having the line need to start all over so the product gets out the door quicker, you have less labor cost, and no re-work investment.

    Brass nuts are simply cosmetic in my experience.
    petey293, Yahboy and Thomas Kievit like this.
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Metal nuts are useless. They only matter on the 4 open notes, and the sound changes so much that it sounds like I'm playing a different bass when I play open notes. I had one once on my Precision in 1983, and had it removed and replaced within a month.
  9. Sounds like another case of "upgrading" for the sake of it. That rarely leads to satisfactory results.
    lz4005 likes this.
  10. What's the big deal with bone nuts anyway? Seems like the popular thing to use now, but why bone?
  11. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Strong, resilient, attractive, readily available, inexpensive, relatively easy to fabricate & install.


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