Anybody else swear by bone nuts on guitars?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by dave s, Mar 22, 2006.


  1. dave s

    dave s Member

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    Every guitar I take to the best tech in my area walks away mumbling under his breath, "...and then I'll cut and install a bone nut on this baby ...."

    My eyes roll, he charges arm and 1/2 leg and any guitar he touches is good to go for the next 3 - 5 years.

    Just bought a new guitar that has your standard issue thin plastic nut with the slots cut too tightly. Tune up, up, up ... PING! Sharp. Tune down, down, down ... PING! Flat.

    You never realize how much smoother tuning is with the bone nut until you get a new guitar with a new plastic nut installed in it! I'm not going to use graphite, or recut the nut myself. Having this guy cut and install a bone nut cures the problem for the life of the guitar.

    Time to see tech for one of his patented bone nuts. If I remember correctly, he crafts them using the bone of a steer's leg.

    dave
     
  2. Ben Furman

    Ben Furman Member

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    Good, dense bone is lovely and takes a good polish. However, I'm quite fond of the Graphtech products (both original and Tusq) and have no qualms using them. They're relatively hard and don't cause tuning problems.
     
  3. beNsteR

    beNsteR Member

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    my tech SWEARS by well-cut bone nuts and acoustic guitar saddles. he says absolutely nothing else will transmit vibration 'better' in a 'more toneful way'

    i was initially skeptical.. but after it was done on one of my guitars, i wholeheartedly agreed with him.. in every single one of the several guitars that i eventually had him replace plastic, Graphtec or TusQ nuts or saddles with bone, i noticed a significant improvement in tone and 'liveliness'..

    for example, he rescued my strat from being sold.. it literally came alive after a bone nut was installed.

    my larivee acoustic experienced improved bass response, much better sustain and dynamics when he replaced the stock TusQ nut and saddle with bone.

    tone is in the bone!!! :cool:

    *disclaimer - in my humble experience :D
     
  4. Spudboy

    Spudboy Member

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    I couldn't say that bone is necessarily the be-all and end-all of nut materials, but it's nice to work and the material is nice and cheap (all you have to do is get the bone away from the dog)... however that dentist chair odour that you get while cutting and sanding them gives me the willies sometimes. It's definitely better than those cheap plastic nuts. Probably most of the advantage to a bone nut is that it is fitted precisely to the guitar, and usually the guy installing it does a better job of setting the depth of the slots.
     
  5. Rock Johnson

    Rock Johnson Member

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    I want to put a bone nut on my LP, but the Corian nut from the factory is cut so well that I'm almost afraid to!!!
     
  6. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

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    My tech, Phil Jacoby, swears by 'em, too, which is why almost all of my guitars have 'em now. :) But, for my last axe, I went with a brass nut and I'm extremely happy with the results.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Todd Lynch

    Todd Lynch Member

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    Another vote for bone here.
     
  8. guitarlovero5

    guitarlovero5 Member

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    I prefer Zero Frets but when that's not possible bone for me as well
     
  9. Digitalman

    Digitalman Member

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    Yep - I get bone nuts made for all my guitars...at least the ones I'm planning on keeping for a while. 90% of tuning problems have to do with the nut.
     
  10. Barefoot

    Barefoot Senior Member

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    A well cut bone nut is one of the things that brought my PRS HB2 to life. That and a switch to Gibson P94s. Very nice.

    On the acoustic the change to bone nut, saddle and pins made an even more dramatic difference. More or everything..
     
  11. erksin

    erksin Member

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    Bone for me too...
     
  12. Karmateria

    Karmateria Member

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    I dunno if bone is any slipperier than other materials, the guitars I have with bone work really well compared to the plastic ones I have.

    I do like the idea that the luthier had to hand form and cut the bone so size and shape in an old world way. Those plastic nuts are pretty cheezy looking too.

    Karma
     
  13. tac5

    tac5 Member

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    I most definitely prefer bone nuts on my electrics, for both tone and longevity. I'm selective about the quality and know a dealer who has the best I have seen (No, all bone is not the same). I use fossilized walrus ivory nuts and saddles on my two Taylor acoustics and the tonal quality is stellar.
     
  14. Vince

    Vince Member

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    Only if it's Norwegian moose shin bone boiled in the fat of the animal....

    Oh wait, wrong thread. I meant to be on the Guitar Myths thread.

    Seriously though, I prefer bone and it's what we offer on all our guitars except trems, which are Micarta.
     
  15. fullerplast

    fullerplast Senior Member

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    Nah, domestic Alaskan moose thigh bone makes that Norwegian shin bone sound like balsa wood.;) It's a good thing the blanks are small because I hate it when I have to replenish my stock....the moose don't like it much either.
    [​IMG]

    Moose bone aside:D (and I'm sure Vince knows this), but not all bone sounds the same. Take a bunch of same sized blanks from different sources and drop them each on a hard surface....they will ring differently. Do the same thing with Tusq or Micarta-they will "ring" differently than bone. Kind of like tap tuning a neck or body.
     
  16. vinni

    vinni Member

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    Ok,
    I'm willing to try....

    But are bone nuts commercially available?
    Im mean....precut for LP-style guitars?
    Vinni
     
  17. Mr.Hanky

    Mr.Hanky Supporting Member

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    Add this to the guitar myth thread please.
     
  18. Vince

    Vince Member

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    No myth. There is a difference, just like with all the other materials you choose for your build. "Believe It or Not";)
     
  19. Dickie Fredericks

    Dickie Fredericks Member

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    Sorry Lance - Global Warming Enthusiast!
    Ouch the poor Walrus..

    Goo goo ka joob... or something like that...

    Dickie
     
  20. Mr.Hanky

    Mr.Hanky Supporting Member

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    Put that joint down!!

    Step away from the marajuana.

    Ok, so it has some minor impact, but to listen to some you'd think it was a holy grail or something.
    Who the hell plays open strings anyhow?
     

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