Nut Width Preference

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Strat81, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. Strat81

    Strat81 Member

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    Just wondering what everyone's guitar nut width preference is? Do you think that other than to accommodate different finger sizes, that different nut widths can help accommodate different playing styles?

    Also, has anyone ever cut the stings slots on a nut in a non-standard way i.e. (non-equal spacing) to help accommodate certain techniques? The reason I ask is that I have relatively skinny fingers and I have been trying to master the technique of being able to finger two stings at once with the tip of my finger, specifically the A&D stings when fingering an E-shape barre chord. I cut a new nut for my Strat that places the A&D stings slightly closer together and it seems to be working quite well for me. Your thoughts?
     
  2. Bryan T

    Bryan T Guitar Owner Silver Supporting Member

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    I can play anything from 1 5/8" through 2 inches. My preference on acoustics is 1 3/4". I'm not that picky on electrics.
     
  3. A440

    A440 Silver Supporting Member

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    1 5/8 on fender style guitars, but I get along real well with the PRS WF carve and those are 1 11/16
     
  4. goodwill559

    goodwill559 Member

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    Nut width on my electrics, 1 11/16 or 1 3/4.
    String spacing at the nut on my classical, from center e to center E 38mm.
     
  5. Strat81

    Strat81 Member

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    Oh BTW, I have two Strats one has a Maple/Maple Warmouth SRV neck and a 1 1/16 " nut (my first guitar). The other is my newly built USAGC 50's Soft-V Maple/Rosewood with a 1 5/8 " with the custom spacing. I haven't really decided which one is easier for me to play but the purpose of the latest guitar was to be more accommodating to thumb-over Jimi Henderix style playing that I found challenging with the SRV neck profile of my first Strat. So far, I have found the soft-V profile and the smaller nut width to be beneficial to JH style playing.
     
  6. alnico2

    alnico2 Member

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    1 11/16" just feels right to me - prefer it on Fender style guitars too.
     
  7. BatChainPuller

    BatChainPuller Member

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    1 3/4". I wish there were more production electrics like that. The only one I have is a Rick 650D. I later ended up ordering two partscasters from Warmoth--1 3/4", fatback.

    I'd love to have a Les Paul with that width, but have never seen one. I'm pretty sure there were a few LP Jr. models with that size nut, but never actually played one.
     
  8. archtopjazz

    archtopjazz Gold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

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    +1.
     
  9. The Golden Boy

    The Golden Boy Member

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    1.5"

    Oh, that's for basses.
     
  10. RomanS

    RomanS Member

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    1-3/4" is my preferred nut width; 1-11/16" is OK with a reasonably flat fretboard radius (12" and up), but I know from experience that I play better on ma 1-3/4" Warmoth necks; 1-5/8" is absolutely unplayable for me, I tend to mute adjacent strings unvoluntarily on those...
     
  11. nmiller

    nmiller Drowning in lap steels Silver Supporting Member

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    1.625 for electrics (with a D-shape) and 1.75 for acoustics (with a C-shape).
     
  12. LaXu

    LaXu Member

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    No more than 43 mm unless it's a 7-string. I don't get along with most PRS necks because they're wider than that. I also like the 42mm narrower spacing on some guitars.

    While the wider nut on acoustics can be useful if you're finger picking, I still feel comfortable with acoustics that are bit more like electrics neckwise.
     
  13. Strat81

    Strat81 Member

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    You must have some banana hands? If JH & SRV could play those vintage widths and radiuses with thier monster hands, surly you could as well. I think the smaller width just forces you to come more straight down on the strings rather than on a more lazy angle.
     
  14. TaZMaNiO

    TaZMaNiO Senior Member

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    I like 1-3/4" for soloing, but it just feels wrong for chords - Guess all those years of playing 1-11/16" just feels like home...
     
  15. kmcmichael

    kmcmichael Member

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    I like the wider necks and the next strat that I build will have 1 7/8. My current one has 1 3/4. Warmoth makes such a neck. Yes, I do resemble an orangutang from certain angles. Possibly an ancestor took a nap near the cage. I have an old strat with 1 5/8 that I can play but the bridge is pretty wide on the old strats and I do not play that many open chords on an electric anyway.

    Keep in mind that sometimes you can purchase a wide neck that is made for the modern narrow bridge spacing and end up with a high E string that slips of the edge of the board.

    I realize that SRV and JH had large hands and used small necks but they were not big guys (I believe that both were under 6', I could be wrong) and that made thier hands look larger
     
  16. RomanS

    RomanS Member

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    Nope, I play "classical style" (thumb behind the neck, fingers at a steep angle) - but I've got fat, stubby fingers (ahem, that description kinda fits my body shape, too... :eek:), and esp. with more complicated chords I tend to accidentially mute adjacent strings...

    [​IMG]

    With those long, spidery, thin fingers those guys had, I'm sure they didn't have that problem.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2008
  17. jay42

    jay42 Member

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    1 5/8" for guitar and bass. I have a couple 1 11/16" and the extra 1/16" gets in the way.
     
  18. Gary F.

    Gary F. Member

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    I am comfortable with Ernie Ball's true 1-5/8", actually 1.625" (vs. 1.650) that works well in conjunction with their offset carve. On acoustics i tend to favor 1-11/16." My finger size is average.

    Gary
     
  19. HRydarcik

    HRydarcik Member

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    My Edwards and Greco Les Pauls both have 1-11/16" nuts...my Tokai ES 120 has a 1-5/8" nut...the difference is so small that it doesn't bother me at all. I don't know what my Fenders are.
     
  20. Strat81

    Strat81 Member

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    Ya, I guess JH & SRV had fingers that were more longer rather than fatter. I'm kind of in that same camp (i feel blessed :) )
     

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