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Nut replacement on a Yamaha RBX170

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by fortysixandtwo, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. I was changing the strings on my Yamaha RBX170. When I took off the E string, a piece of the nut fell off. After looking around at GC and some local shops, nobody has the nut that I need. I was able to epoxy the broken one and it seems to be working for now. I did get referred to a guy in my town who carves nuts (LOL). He indicated that he uses Bone, copper and a couple of different composites. What is a good material to use and how can I ecxpect it to affect the tone?
  2. I use Corian and Micarta, basically hard plastic that is easy to slot and shape. You can use whatever material, remember it only affects the tone of the open string.
  3. testing1two

    testing1two Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    Bone or Tusq are the traditional materials. Corian, Micarta, Graphite, Brass, Plastic, and other alternatives are in use. To me the best material is one that is long lasting, polishes up nicely, and doesn't radically alter the tone of the open strings. I happen to like the look of unbleached bone, especially after it's polished.

    But more important than the material is the cut (cut = shaping + slotting). A properly cut nut makes a big difference in terms of playability and tuning stability. If you can afford it, have your nut cut by the best tech you can find. It will last a long, long time...basically until your frets need leveled or replaced.
  4. Rock-Bassman


    Dec 25, 2008
    Whats a reasonable job gonna cost you? Not to hijjack the thread so early or anything..
  5. testing1two

    testing1two Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    In my experience a bone nut for a 4-string bass ranges from $65-$100 depending on the luthier.

    One last thing to keep in mind: the nut slots will be cut based on the gauge of strings you provide. So if you're still undecided on your preferred string gauge, hold off on getting a new nut until you've decided. Nut slots can always be widened to accommodate heavier strings but that decision is irreversible.
  6. I found a guy in my town, a retired luthier, who fabricated a nut from micarta, set it and adjusted my action for 35.00 Really nice and knowledgeable older guy. Lots of really cool custom made guitars and basses in his shop too.

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