Should I have a bone nut fitted to my PRS?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by Rich T Fingers, Jul 23, 2006.


  1. Rich T Fingers

    Rich T Fingers Member

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    I have a PRS CU24 that has some issues with the nut. You know, that "unobtainium" material that PRS say doesn't allow the string to stick. (Yes it does stick, PRS!)
    Also the top E is now sounding a little dead and my guitar tech say that I need a new nut and suggested putting a bone one on there.
    Much as I love the guitar (it's the most resonant guitar I own) it has a mid-range slightly muggy sound to it and I wonder if a bone nut would brighten it up.
    What do you think, should I go ahead and fit a bone nut to my CU24 and what could I expect soundwise?
     
  2. dzrati

    dzrati Member

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    I had a bone nut installed on a guitar that wasn't a PRS but it really gave a brighter tone.
     
  3. ES350

    ES350 Member

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    If the slots are cut right and polished, a nut shouldn't stick no matter what it's made of (within reason). It does seem that bone and the TUSQ material give a slightly brighter tone; how much this affects other than open strings is another question.
     
  4. Soapbarstrat

    Soapbarstrat Senior Member

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    It's not going to make any fretted notes sound better.

    If you want your open notes to sound brighter, that Tusq material seems to be the brightest of the materials that are easy to work with. ( I mean glass or hard stone would probably make a brighter tone, but too hard to work with).

    And most important, the way the nut is made makes a lot of difference in how the open notes sound. You can pick out the most exotic material you want, but if it's not made right, you probably wont like the sound of it.
     
  5. Guitar Dave T

    Guitar Dave T Member

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    I had a PRS CU24 that had that same midrange/"muggy" sound to it. Pitty, because it was incredibly resonant wood, played like a dream and was one of the best made, best finished, production guitars I've ever owned. 5 pickup changes later, I sold it.

    The problem, IMO, is the 24 frets, not the guitar, pickups or nut. The 22 fret PRS's I've played don't have this problem. With 24 frets, you have to make room on the guitar for the extra frets by pushing the neck pickup toward the bridge, away from where, on a 22 fret guitar, it would be at the perfect harmonic placement.
     
  6. EADGBE

    EADGBE Member

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    Go ahead and get the bone nut. It's one of the best materials there is for one.
     
  7. Rich T Fingers

    Rich T Fingers Member

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    OK, I had the bone nut fitted. Sounds just fine, clearer, more "toppy" sound and perhaps a little more sustain. The single coil sounds come out best and maybe the neck pickup tone is a little less full but barely noticeable.
    All in all, a good mod.
    :AOK
     
  8. Brian D

    Brian D Member

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    I'm a bit late to this thread, but I just wanted to point out that the stock PRS nut is slightly compensated. I doubt that a well-made "non-compensated" nut will sound noticeably different, but it is something to be aware of for future reference.
     

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