POLL: Bone, Ivory, Brass, or...

Your Favorite Guitar Nut Material is: (select one)

  • Bone (bleached or natural from any critter)

    Votes: 41 56.9%
  • Ivory (pre-ban, of course)

    Votes: 4 5.6%
  • Brass

    Votes: 3 4.2%
  • Tusq

    Votes: 19 26.4%
  • Corian

    Votes: 1 1.4%
  • Other (explain)

    Votes: 4 5.6%

  • Total voters
    72

Tidewater Custom Shop

Performance Enhancing Guitarworks
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,713
What is your favorite nut material? In my experience, once you get past plastic they all sound pretty much the same to me. There's never been a great enough distinction that I can sense, but ivory is my favorite aesthetically. Recently, ivory has gotten pretty tough to buy online... I had some leftover stuff from an acoustic saddle, so I crafted a nut for my Gretsch Double Annie (the subject of many experiments) using the ivory on the face, bone on the backside, and brass in the middle. Clear acrylic glue holds it together nicely.

Sounds good. Looks different!

What's your preferred material?

IMG_3190_zpskdzqry2o.jpg
 

mango

Member
Messages
5,152
I dunno ,but I have bone replacements on a couple of guitars and like them.
There's a dead cow in the back 40 behind my house,
I figure that there are lots of nuts in the ribcage to be had .
 

vortexxxx

Member
Messages
11,421
I would probably like ivory, but I've never played a guitar with an ivory nut. Second - bone.
 

EADGBE

Member
Messages
12,337
I haven't played all of them. But I think I'd like bone, brass, steel (like a Floyd Rose R2), and graphite.
 

Lone Bear

Member
Messages
2,200
I dunno ,but I have bone replacements on a couple of guitars and like them.
There's a dead cow in the back 40 behind my house,
I figure that there are lots of nuts in the ribcage to be had .

The best bone to use is the forearm(?). I've been told that bone is the most dense.
 

Tidewater Custom Shop

Performance Enhancing Guitarworks
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,713
The baculums of six rabid weasels, all drowned in a single sack on a moonless night.

I knew I should've included the baculum in the poll! I hear it's not a dense enough material though, not until the string vibration commences...
 

BigDoug1053

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,657
I guess no preference - just that it is cut properly and does the job. Any guitar with a non-locking whammy benefits from a graphite or teflon nut, but I keep all my whammy dogs lubed with my 0.5 mm mechanical pencil. My Reverend Warhawk 390 and my 85 Charvel Frankenstrat have GraphTech nuts and locking tuners. My Warwick Thumb Bass 5 NT has a brass nut (with adjustable saddles to boot) - it gives the bass a pure piano-like string sound. I like that!
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
40,984
not a fan of ivory; aside from the "ick" factor of the politics involved, it's essentially like bone but softer. i'd rather just use the bone, especially the harder unbleached stuff.

the tusq/graphite/teflon stuff just wears too fast for me, especially since i like my string height to be super close to the line over the first fret.

oddly enough, i like brass on my own guitars, it seems to hold up and stay in tune the best, as long as i keep it slightly lubed. i also think i hear a slight increase in "zing" on the open notes and maybe more sustain, but that could easily be imaginary.
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
40,984
that looks really cool, but i'd expect that after a while the ivory would wear away around the brass, leaving you with a nice speed bump in the slot to drag on the strings.

i remember terry mcinturff had a thing with bone or brass on the leading edge, backed with graphite or tusq, on the theory that the hard material at the witness point would hold up longer while the more lubricated backing material would actually rub off onto the harder material with string movement.

dunno how well it worked but he eventually abandoned the idea.
 

Tidewater Custom Shop

Performance Enhancing Guitarworks
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,713
that looks really cool, but i'd expect that after a while the ivory would wear away around the brass, leaving you with a nice speed bump in the slot to drag on the strings.

i remember terry mcinturff had a thing with bone or brass on the leading edge, backed with graphite or tusq, on the theory that the hard material at the witness point would hold up longer while the more lubricated backing material would actually rub off onto the harder material with string movement.

dunno how well it worked but he eventually abandoned the idea.

I hear ya. It's an experiment after all is said and done. I'm always testing ideas on this guitar, so a replacement in the future is likely. I just finished playing this guitar for about an hour. No noticeable difference plugged in from the bone that it replaced, but I did notice a greater sustain unplugged. Whether or not that transferred to the pickups... not sure. It didn't capture my attention.
 

Digidog

Member
Messages
3,014
Unobtainium is great! Makes for a hovering, buzz free first fret :D

Since import regulations from Pandora are hard, I voted "bone". Easy to work with, easy to adjust, easily replaced; a natural and bio-degradable materal.
 

VaughnC

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
19,045
If I'm replacing a nut on my personal guitars, I like brass as it sounds like a fret and I've yet to wear one out. I polish them and the slots and they typically have no string pinch and need no lube. Here's one example with EVO gold frets and Maxima gold strings on one of my Strats:
7gbrassnutj
 
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snow and steel

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,381
Graphtech Tusq XL for me as well. I would like to have bone - but 've had so many bad experiences with them being cut wrong, breaking, and wearing out prematurely that I got fed up and went to Tusq. I haven't wore one out yet, so I've been very happy with them.
 




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