Artificial nuts VS Authentic Ivory - which is more durable?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by lightningsmith, Jun 28, 2008.

  1. lightningsmith

    lightningsmith Member

    Messages:
    781
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    Are artificial nuts like Graph Tech's tusq and delrin more durable than fossilized ivory?

    And while we're at it, which among the artificial nuts lasts longer - graphite, delrin, tusq, corian etc.?
     
  2. GAD

    GAD Wubbalubbadubdub Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    14,326
    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    I like my nuts just the way they are thanks. :)

    I would worry about tone over durability though. I would choose FWI or bone over Tusq every time given the choice. In fact I'm off right now to sand my new bone saddle for my Taylor, thus replacing the Tusq.

    GAD
     
  3. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,741
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    Southern California
    These aren't exactly high wear items, but either the natural bone or the synthetic material will last as long as a set of frets...at which point it's time for a new one regardless.

    However, regardless of which material you choose, make sure it is slotted & shaped properly, preferably by the best tech in your area that you can possibly afford. Shaping a nut is a time consuming, labor intensive process and it only takes one or two careless passes of the file to ruin everything.
     
  4. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,741
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    Southern California
    Oh, I almost forgot: my nut material of choice is ivory or bone, then tusq. I try to avoid the delrin or graphite products as I feel that they adversely affect the tone of the instrument, especially acoustic instruments.
     
  5. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

    Messages:
    15,571
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    Location:
    In The Basement
    First you're talking about your nuts, then you're off to sand your bone! I suppose you'll polish it when you're done sanding?

    NO PICS, PLEASE!!!!

    THIS THREAD WOULD BE WORTHLESS WITH PICS!!!
     
  6. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,741
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    Southern California
    I prefer to have my nuts done by a professional
     
  7. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

    Messages:
    15,571
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    Location:
    In The Basement
    What's her name and what does she charge?
     
  8. Jon C

    Jon C Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    15,257
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2002
    Location:
    Mid Atlantic USA

    Fwi? ...
     
  9. Eagle1

    Eagle1 Member

    Messages:
    8,678
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    Location:
    The Twilight Zone
    Real Graphite sounds similar to Tusq it's just a lot of so called graphite nuts are just black plastic.
    Oh and Tusq wears down quite fast in the wound string slots from a lot of string changes . One of my pro customers goes through one a year.
     
  10. Eagle1

    Eagle1 Member

    Messages:
    8,678
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    Location:
    The Twilight Zone
    Tusq actually sounds better than bone to me and a lot of acoustic builders but bone is a lot more durable.
     
  11. Structo

    Structo Member

    Messages:
    9,573
    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2007
    Location:
    Oregon
    I believe true ivory is not legal to use.
    Something about protected species.
    Maybe the OP meant bone vs synthetic?
    Slippery nuts (oh my!) like graphtech, tusq and the like are good with trems as the strings slide more easily through the slots without binding.
    Bone is probably the best subjectively for tone.
    Another trick even when using bone is to use a lube on the nut slots and bridge saddles on a trem equipped guitar.
    I like Nut Sauce on my nuts! How's that?
     
  12. Motorhed

    Motorhed Member

    Messages:
    6,044
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Location:
    Where the winds of Limbo roar
    Its fossilized mammoth ivory that thier talking about, its perfectly legal since no animal is being killed. Then as far as elephant ivory goes, I guess as long as it was already here in America before the laws making importation of it illegal were put in place is perfectly legal to have and I would guess use in nuts. But given that it would be so easy for illegal ivory to be used, I personally woudn't use it.
     
  13. mkolesa@mac.com

    mkolesa@mac.com Member

    Messages:
    104
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    the ivory that's being referred to is fossilized walrus ivory (fwi)... my understanding is that walrus ivory (the walrus tusk) can be obtained legally up north, and is sometimes used as is... the fossilized version is from material that's been discovered after having aged for a few thousand years...
     
  14. GAD

    GAD Wubbalubbadubdub Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    14,326
    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    You can learn all about bone, Fossilized Walrus Ivory (FWI) and such on Bob Colosi's excellent site. Bob is a top-notch guy. I recommend buying from him.

    http://www.guitarsaddles.com/products.asp

    BTW, my bone is now well sanded and polished! Fit's like a glove. :)

    GAD
     
  15. EADGBE

    EADGBE Member

    Messages:
    12,379
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2005
    I have a graphite one. But I'm not real crazy about it. I think I'll go with bone next time. You could always go with brass.
     
  16. Whiskeyrebel

    Whiskeyrebel Member

    Messages:
    24,945
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    Location:
    Center Line MI
    Where does Corian fit into the equation, he said rapidly ducking for cover...

    I only ask because I have a Corian sink counter cutout that would probably make a enough nuts and saddles to redo a storefull of guitars.
     
  17. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    33,558
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    brass has its own set of problems, needing constant lubrication and frequent maintenance to keep from grabbing strings.
    the stuff i've seen files and wears like blackboard chalk. no thanks.
     

Share This Page