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Is a bone nut a worthy upgrade?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by santacruzom, Mar 18, 2006.


  1. santacruzom

    santacruzom

    Jul 22, 2004
    I'm thinking about having the plastic nut on my Lakland Joe Osbourn replaced by a bone nut, but it's a pretty pricey upgrade. Is it worth it? Can you actually hear or feel the difference, or is the advantage simply one of better construction and longer life?
     
  2. RevGroove

    RevGroove Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2002
    Burlington ON Canada
    Manager, Account Services: Long & McQuade Ltd. (Burlington); MTD Kingston Basses International Emerging Artist; Bartolini Electronics Emerging Artist
    My new tech just put a bone nut on my fretless, replacing the plastic one, and then I had him do the same for my fretted, replacing the brass nut...definitely an upgrade on both...and it wasn't that expensive, like $65 for that and the setup....so like, $30 for the nut, parts and labour.
     
  3. SBassman

    SBassman

    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    Yeah, but, can you now really hear a difference?
     
  4. RevGroove

    RevGroove Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2002
    Burlington ON Canada
    Manager, Account Services: Long & McQuade Ltd. (Burlington); MTD Kingston Basses International Emerging Artist; Bartolini Electronics Emerging Artist
    Not really fair to say, because I changed strings and electronics at the same time...I have another 4 string that I'm going to have it done to, so I'll do a comparison after that. I think the denser material does have a positive effect on the tone though...
     
  5. barthanatos

    barthanatos Insert witty comment here

    Feb 8, 2006
    South Carolina
    I talked to Rob Allen about putting one of these on the bass he's building for me, and he was not a fan. He said because the bone is natural, it is going to have inconsistencies in it (i.e. not uniformly dense or whatever), and that a synthetic nut is the better way to go (in terms of tone).

    But meh... let your ears guide you, I guess.
     
  6. ElBajista

    ElBajista

    Dec 13, 2005
    Sebring, FL
    I replaced the shoddy plastic nut on my SX in with a Tusq nut. I also replaced the bridge and the strings at the same time, so it's hard to say if it improved tone. I know for a fact that it helped with a dead-string problem I had, because the previous nut wasn't properly cut. The dead-string problem is fixed, and I'm satisfied.

    Overall, I don't think there is much tonal difference between nut materials.
     
  7. keyboardguy

    keyboardguy Supporting Member

    May 11, 2005
    The ONLY time you might notice a difference is when you play an open string. All other times your 'nut' is your finger on the fret....

    So why bother?

    Mike
     
  8. +1 Synthetic or Graphite over bone.
     
  9. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Graphtech's Graphlon or Tusq nuts are superior to bone for tonal consistency and sustain. Take a look at their website - they even have some comparison graphs.
     
  10. wpkg

    wpkg

    Sep 22, 2006
    bloomfield, nj
    +1

    makes sense to me!:hyper:
     
  11. CentralCoastBass

    CentralCoastBass Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2004
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    National Reso-Phonic Guitars
    gotta love bone! and i do disagree with rob allen. not that bone itself adds "tone" to an instrument, but it certainly doesn't take any away. bone is just a nice touch on an instrument, classy. probably more of a traditional thing. because of its toughness, the slots stay true longer and wont pinch strings over time the way some synthetics can.(especially b and high e strings on electric guitar). plus, its relatively easy to work with and buffs out nicely, though it can be very brittle.
     
  12. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Instrument Technician, Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Really stinks when you machine it though.
     
  13. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Finally someone touches on the best reason for changing to a hard nut, synthetic OR natural. Plastic nuts can deform under pressure of the strings, and mess up your tuning. That's the biggest reason for me.