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So, I Replaced My Nuts...


Fluke
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I just replaced the string nuts of my guitar and bass from crappy plastic ones, to a "tusq" nut on the guitar and a graph-tec nut on the bass. It made a lot of difference in the tone of both instruments, And I recommend to anyone who has a plastic string-nuts on their axes to change them immediately to either bone, brass, nickle/steel (to make open strings tone blend in with frets better), or the above mentioned graph-tec ones. To remove old nuts, tap firmly, but lightly, on the old nut in a downward direction with a hammer to losen it from the fret board. Then file the new nut if neccessary (many are pre-filed or in need of only resizing to fit into its slot). The nut should been held in by glue, but it isnt always needed if it fits the slot snuggly.

Most factory guitars in the low-to-medium end come standard with plastic nuts, so if you think your guitars tone is being sucked up by a nastly, cheap plastic string-nut, replace them and enhance your tone. I know to most of you this is somewhat elementary, but its often over-looked.

-Fluke

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I put on Graph Tech Trem Nuts as a standard mod, mostly because I like the idea of the slippery stuff as part of the total system of keeping the guitar in tune.

As for tone, I don't know if the graph tech stuff will help all that much there, but it's only an issue on open strings...

I cut my first nut the other week, using a trem nut blank it went pretty well, I'd be willing to try it with bone blank next (and just use graphite in the slots --best of both worlds?)

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Speaking of Graph Tech trem nuts... just got a preslotted one. But it's a little wider than it said on the website (44mm vs 43mm). String spread is 36mm which means the distance of outer strings to fingerboard edge is 4mm on each side. For comparison, my Jackson Kelly's nut is 43mm wide with string spread of 37mm which leaves 3mm on each side. Now, should I sand off 0.5mm on each side of the nut to make it 43mm wide (and have 3.5mm from string to edge of fingerboard) or leave it as it is and make the neck 44mm wide at the nut?

Sorry if this sounds confused, my English isn't very good.

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Sand it down to fit your neck. A 44mm wide neck will (IMO) be too wide to be comfortable to play. I usualy go for a string-to-fretboard-edge-distanse of about 3 mm on the guitars that I make for myself, so you'll be fine with that.

A trick I've used for customers that like narrow necks, but get problems whith the E-string being pulled off, when playing solo, or open cords, is to to place the nut slightly offset, so that the distance from string to fret board edge is larger on the high E-string. You are more likely to pull the high E-string off the fret board than the low one.

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I have a small problem with the nut on my guitar. The small e-string slot was cut just a tiny, tiny bit to deep and the open string sound dim and buzzy. Currently, I am using a very small piece of paper stuck in the slot and holding the string a bit higher. is there a better way to fix this??

-Fluke

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You could shim the nut and deepen the other slots, or fill the slot with epoxy (or some such durable filler) and refile it. Personaly, I'd buy another nut and redo it. I might even flop the existing nut over and practice filing it while the new nut was in the mail.

Nate Robinson :D

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