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PRS Compensated Nut / Modification

Kenny Blue

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,633
I have been reading threads here on TGP which refer to the PRS Compensated Nut being responsible for PRS guitars sounding "more sterile" or maybe another way of putting it is that they sound more "clear", removing some overtone distortion inherent in non compensated nut guitars.... but in doing so sound somehow less full when compared with a Fender or Gibson.

My question is has anyone actually modified their PRS nut, moving it or having it moved back slightly from the 1st fret to a non compensated position, and how did that effect the tone of the guitar compared to how it sounded stock ?
 

Pietro

2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy
Messages
16,447
The nut has nothing to do with the guitar sounding sterile, and everything about the guitar sounding like it's actually in tune.

If you want an out-of-tune guitar sound, perhaps you should get a Gibson. (But what do I know, all my electrics have the BFTS and I love it.)
 

Pietro

2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy
Messages
16,447
I can see the nut making a difference for open played strings. Once you are fretting a string, the nut is out of the equation. The guitar is what it is and is still an excellent guitar.
But that has nothing to do with the PLACEMENT of the nut, only the material and quality of workmanship an installation.
 

Kenny Blue

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,633
Funny....

All I did was ask a question....

I have read about the compensated nut on PRS guitars and about doing this modification.

I only asked if anyone had done this mod and what the result was.... thats all.

I am not saying that I do not like how PRS guitars sound or evaluating them compared with any other guitars.

Why the hostility and why don't people read what is written before reacting ? ?

I asked a simple question out of curiosity.... period .
 

Pietro

2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy
Messages
16,447
I don't think anyone was hostile. I know I didn't intend to be.
 

clmazza

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,874
To the OP - I attempted this "experiment" when swapping out the worn nut on my 2002 McRosie. I did not notice any difference except the unsightly shim at the nut. Apparently others may find differently.
 

Kenny Blue

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,633
ok... well then I possibly am reacting....

But again... just to be clear in this post...

I have owned PRS guitars.... I understand what others have tried to describe regarding the particular "character" of the PRS sound. I experienced it also with mine.

Hard to describe sound in words... so people use words like "sterile" to describe. Perhaps not the best word because that word kind of not only attempts to describe the particular character of the sound but also seems to evaluate it as not as good as a guitar with... I dont know... a "non-sterile" sound.

But in the end its semantics.... Just trying to describe sounds. To me there is no good or bad... better or worse... just different.

For example....Fender Tele (longer scale, bolt on neck) sounds different than Gibson LP ( shorter scale, set neck)... not to mention the wood differences.

I liked my McCarty.... very much. I unfortunately had to sell her and am considering buying another.

I read posts about the compensated nut on PRS guitars....( yes I read them... thank you very much).... ( and I'm sorry.... What does Jump the Shark mean anyway ??)
And those threads all go around and around about this issue... or if it is really a real issue.... etc...etc...etc...

But I have not seen anyone actually say that they did this specific nut modification on their PRS... moving the nut back to a non compensated position....

So... I am just interested in learning if anyone has simply done this mod and how did it effect the sound of the guitar....?
 

AaeCee

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
18,652
The nut has nothing to do with the guitar sounding sterile, and everything about the guitar sounding like it's actually in tune.
This. There was one poster who speculated that there was such a cause and effect, but it's a silly claim. But if by 'sterile', he meant 'clear and in tune', then OK, I'll certainly accept that virtue.
 

patentcad

Member
Messages
9,417
Funny....

All I did was ask a question....

I have read about the compensated nut on PRS guitars and about doing this modification.

I only asked if anyone had done this mod and what the result was.... thats all.

I am not saying that I do not like how PRS guitars sound or evaluating them compared with any other guitars.

Why the hostility and why don't people read what is written before reacting ? ?

I asked a simple question out of curiosity.... period .
Oh relax.
 

patentcad

Member
Messages
9,417
Actually, for the life of me I can't wrap my guitar weenie head around this compensating nut causing PRS guitars to sound 'sterile'. If PRS guitars ever have tone issues, 90% of it is tied to the pickups. Now that the pickups are great they don't seem to have tone issues. Hell, I picked up a Custom 24 at GC a month ago, and that was always a pretty lameass guitar in the tone dept. Sounded great, MUCH better than one of those would have ten years ago.

I have an MEQ, and SC-58 and a DGT, and they all have absolutely amazing tone to my ears. So if somebody else thinks they sound sterile, it wouldn't really bother me, it would puzzle me.
 

Kenny Blue

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,633
Oh relax.
I'm relaxed .... thanks...

Just asking a question. Not meaning to continue the debate about compensated nuts or whether PRS guitars sound good or bad.

Just asking a question out of curiousity... period.
 

patentcad

Member
Messages
9,417
Yeah, well I am also curious Kenny, I really don't understand why this is an issue, mainly because late model PRS guitars sound so good. I suppose I'd have to hear an A-B comparison between two guitars with compensated and normal nuts. Of course that's never going to happen (how would you arrange that?) but I tend to trust Paul Smith's take on this (he does it to improve guitar intonation) than some of the wingnuts posting about this alleged 'issue' here.

As somebody else observed, why would PRS, manufacturer of some of the finest guitars in the world, ever do something that would degrade tone quality.
 

Kenny Blue

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,633
Yeah, well I am also curious Kenny, I really don't understand why this is an issue, mainly because late model PRS guitars sound so good. I suppose I'd have to hear an A-B comparison between two guitars with compensated and normal nuts. Of course that's never going to happen (how would you arrange that?) but I tend to trust Paul Smith's take on this (he does it to improve guitar intonation) than some of the wingnuts posting about this alleged 'issue' here.

As somebody else observed, why would PRS, manufacturer of some of the finest guitars in the world, ever do something that would degrade tone quality.
I do understand what you are saying... really I do. I guess I am just curious if anyone has done the mod and how it effected the sound that's all.

Again... I personally am not saying... nor is it my opinion that the PRS sound is "degraded" in any way... not at all... I loved my McCarty.

But just for an example I also loved my R8 with the Classic 57 pickups.... and then changed to Antiquities.... and preferred them.

Really... this whole compensated nut thing is not an issue with me personally...I am just asking if anyone has done it.

I seem to be saying that over and over but somehow people keep responding to this thread as if I am somehow being critical of PRS guitars.
 

Serious Poo

Powered by Coffee
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
7,021
This thread has me scratching my head. I own maybe a dozen PRS's right now along with my other guitars and have never once found PRS's sterile sounding. They're different, sure, but sterile? That's kind of funny to me. I think it speaks more to the player than the guitar. Agree with patentcad, the newer pickups really make a huge difference.

You want weird, play my '74 Framus Akkerman. It's got a zero fret.
 

Pietro

2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy
Messages
16,447
...As somebody else observed, why would PRS, manufacturer of some of the finest guitars in the world, ever do something that would degrade tone quality.
Well... in the OP's defense, some people LIKE an "out of tune" sound. Obviously, since they rave around those simple bar wrap-around tailpiece/bridges on guitars like this one.



That would drive me crazy, but some people like it. Is it a "tone" issue when the guitar is always out of tune (imho) all over the neck? Perhaps, to some. I think it's just a defective bridge idea that was fixed later.

Now that all my guitars (except my acoustic) have the Buzz Feiten Tuning System, I could never stand that again. In fact, when I had a PRS Standard 24, with it's compensated nut (a great idea), it played as in-tune to my ears as the BFTS stuff does.

I can't understand why anyone would change it... but... as always... IMHO YMMV ETC...
 

patentcad

Member
Messages
9,417
This thread has me scratching my head. I own maybe a dozen PRS's right now along with my other guitars and have never once found PRS's sterile sounding. They're different, sure, but sterile?
That's all I'm saying. There's this one guy who keeps posting on this compensated nut like it's an 'issue'. If it's an issue then why have I never heard of it before (and I've owned PRS guitars since 1999) and why isn't this a running topic of discussion amongst the large community of PRS owners?

More TGP white noise.
 

Kenny Blue

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,633
To the OP - I attempted this "experiment" when swapping out the worn nut on my 2002 McRosie. I did not notice any difference except the unsightly shim at the nut. Apparently others may find differently.
Thanks for your input.... you are so far the only person responding to this thread that actually answered the question I asked.

( I am not sure what you mean by McRosie ? I am assuming it is a slang name for one of the PRS models... sorry for my ignorance.)

I will admit that I am a bit frustrated ( stupid me) by the replies to this thread.

I guess I just do not communicate well... although I try hard to.

I will try this one last time.....

I think PRS guitars are outstanding.

I do not have the opinion that there is anything at all wrong with them

I have owned a McCarty which I liked very much but I did notice it sounded ... shall we say... more "modern" sounding than my Gibsons or Fenders. (Again.. "modern"... maybe not the most correct word... How to describe sound ?)

I read about the compensated nut on PRS guitars possibly related to the more "modern" character to the sound.... gaining more tuning accuracy but possibly correcting that and in turn possibly "cleaning up" the sound enough to change some aspect of the character which is present in, for example Gibsons without compensated nuts.

I also read that some people suggested that a PRS could be modified by doing a very simple mod to the nut.

I was just curious if anyone actually did do this mod... and what they experienced as a result in the sound of their guitar from it.

That is all... PERIOD !

So... I dont need defending.... or correcting... or to buy a Gibson instead of a PRS.

I possibly need a language coach to help me express myself better maybe....

Anyway.... hope everyone has a nice weekend....
 






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