McSeem Posted May 18, 2010 Report Share Posted May 18, 2010 Hi, While tuning the saddle intonation I've noticed the first frets sound too sharp, up to +6 cents, while the tune is perfect at the 12th fret. I use a very accurate software strobe tuner: http://www.tbstrobetuner.com/ It's quite understandable: the nut is supposed to be slightly higher. That is, the distance between the string and the 1st fret strip must be a bit bigger than the distance on the 2nd fret, when you hold the 1st one (yes, I've read an article about the nut tuning). So that, the difference in string tension is higher on the first frets, while on the last frets it's compensated with the saddles. Long time ago I tried to replace the nut with a metal strip and a spacer behind it, and then polished it together with the other strips, as if your fret board was extended. I did everything very carefully, and the intonation was perfect. But there was another problem: open stings interfered with the first strips! Why? The string height was the same and it was very accurate. The answer is: open strings sound brighter, with stronger high harmonics. Your finger damps high harmonics, even though, the string lies on the metal strip! The string is also vibrating lengthwise, so, your finger removes high harmonic energy. The difference is very slight, but it's enough to make open strings interfere with the strips. This is why the nut must be slightly higher, or, otherwise there must be a damper above the nut that imitates your fingers. But I assume the guitar players do not appreciate it, because it's nice to have a bright sound of open strings. As the result, first frets sound sharper and you can't compensate it with the saddle intonation. The solution is to have an adjustable nut. Not just adjustable height, but most of all, individually adjustable positions! I could only find these ones: http://www.earvana.com/products.htm But they all are pre-fixed and adjusted for average strings, while there can be a huge difference, especially on light and heavy strings. Wound and unwound G string also makes a huge difference. So that I came up with an idea of fully adjustable nut. It's not about the height, it's only about the position. I have a couple of versions of the design in my mind, and my main question is: in your opinion, how cool would it be to have this kind of a nut? Is it worth giving a try, or it doesn't make much sense? McSeem Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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