What Strat NUT is the BEST?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by DoctorWu, Apr 16, 2021.

  1. nutball73

    nutball73 Senior Stratmaster

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    Actually the only thing you need to know I whether you need a curved base to the nut or flat. I don't think I've ever used a nut blank that wasn't oversized and needed to be sanded to fit, so any should do the trick.

    I much prefer Graphtech Tusq XL, because they are very well shaped to start with, will fit curved or flat neck slots, and need the least work to make fit.
     
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  2. lammie200

    lammie200 Senior Stratmaster

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    Earvana shelf nuts have a curved base. They will work for either a flat or curved nut slot. I have 4 guitars that I have fitted with them. All of the guitars have flat nut slots.
     
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  3. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon

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    One that is properly cut works best.
     
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  4. Bladesg

    Bladesg Funk Meister Silver Member

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    I'm not sure but I do know brass can be extremely difficult to work with.
     
  5. Fenderbaum

    Fenderbaum Strat-Talker

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    I bought my own nut files and started learning myself. Get good and you can do it for others and make a buck.
     
  6. nutball73

    nutball73 Senior Stratmaster

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    Brass is very easy to work with compared to steel and other hard metals. Making a brass nut needs no more than a small saw (hacksaw or jewellers saw) plus the usual files and sandpaper/wet and dry.

    I don't see any advantage to using a brass nut, however. And because the metal is so soft, they wear very quickly. Gibson provided replacement Titanium nuts in their 2015 models because the brass nuts were wearing out in a few weeks (I know, I have one).
     
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  7. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon

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    We did the brass nut thing in the late 70s. By the start of the 80s we'd replaced them again, with bone...
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2021
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  8. nutball73

    nutball73 Senior Stratmaster

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    The first strat I ever built in the 70s was a hardtail strat body/tele neck finished in natural with a brass nut, brass bridge, brass scratchplate and brass knobs. Weighed an absolute ton and needed polishing every 5 minutes to stop it tarnishing...
     
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  9. Dreamdancer

    Dreamdancer Senior Stratmaster

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    Anything other than soft plastic, thats filed down by the strings pretty damn fast, is suitable as long as its cut properly.Bone,Ivory,micarta,corian,tusq,brass,aluminum...you name it..they all work and do that job as good as the next one cause they are hard enough to not get filed by the strings.I favour aluminum cause it also looks better.
     
  10. henderman

    henderman Most Honored Senior Member

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    if the nut material is good enuff it is good enuff.
    the nut slots heights, size and shape determine the usefullness.
    bone can be inconsistent in density so a graphtech is imo a great choice.

    i have made things from scratch my whole life but i screwed up big time the first few times i constructed and slotted a nut. like throw it out and start over screwed up! but now i can also repair and redo a slot.

    learning and properly setting the slots will make a guitar play like a dream, it is one of the big adjustments.
     
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  11. jonathanbarton9

    jonathanbarton9 Strat-Talk Member

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    The nut is actually one of the the most important factors in your setup and playability. If you subscribe to the idea, and I do, that the vast majority of time comes from your hands then getting the nut right is going to be vital.

    I prefer graphtec tusq xl over bone because bone tends to have more variability when it comes to density. Bone has tiny holly pockets like a sponge that can affect vibration, and it's easier to file down to much or chip pieces off. Don't get me wrong, I think bone is still far better than plastic and is a good option. This is just why I prefer tusq, and the XL is supposed to stay lubricated. I'm not sure if it actually does, but my experience has been good with it.

    As far as cutting the nut, Dylantalkstone's YouTube channel has several videos on the nut and is a great resource. If you are a patreon member, he even did a live zoom nut cutting class that was very helpful when I did my first one. If you're worried about it you could join up for a month (the diy option has it available so its like 15 bucks) and watch it and then cancel lol. Check out this site below that helps calculate string spacing...
     
  12. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Most Honored Senior Member

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    a few Million guitarists have chosen bone... that might suggest something.
     
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  13. rockon1

    rockon1 Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    Another vote for the Tusq XL. Hard yet self lubricating.
     
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  14. Believer7713

    Believer7713 The Pink Bunnyman Frankenstein Silver Member

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    I like Tusq and the LSR roller nut. The advantage to the LSR is you don't need to file it if you go up a string size, in fact, you never have yo file it and you don't need to repair or replace it if you go down. It just won't hold the bass guitar sized strings that SRV played.
     
  15. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Guy Who Likes to Play Guitar Silver Member

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    I was assuming that @DoctorWu would get a pre-slotted nut. If so, he'll need to make some choices about the nut in addition to the base shape. Maybe I'm wrong and he will carve one from scratch or get a nut blank.
     
  16. EXTRABLUE

    EXTRABLUE Strat-Talker

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    That demo of the Earvana shure put me off. I had thought it was something Id try but not now.
     
  17. Bladesg

    Bladesg Funk Meister Silver Member

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    I've never tried cutting a brass nut but I have tried fabricating a brass microphone capsule mount for a U87 clone and it took 5 or 6 attempts to get to right,
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2021
  18. BuffaloHound

    BuffaloHound Strat-O-Master

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    I’d prefer a well cut plastic nut to a bone nut that’s a little off.
    I get bone or TUQSK. I don’t notice a difference between them except that the synthetic bone materials have never split in half on me. I can’t say that for bone, which is probably better but can be less consistent in terms of quality.
     
  19. albala

    albala Most Honored Senior Member

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    Roller > bone
     
  20. Chuck Conner

    Chuck Conner Strat-Talker

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    graph tech nuts TUSQ XL are my choice, the precut nuts for fender guitars are good for 9.5 radius,1 11/16 width, they fit right into place and need very little touch up
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2021
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