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Old 04-24-2016, 06:11 PM   #1
Thom1989
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Opinions on nubone nuts and saddles.

Hey guys,
Just wondering, what are people's opinions on graphtecs nubone saddles and nuts? Are they as good as their website says. They came as standard on my tanglewood and I've seen them advertised here and there before so had a nosey at their site. Their graph shows them performing almost exactly the same as bone.

Any info would be great to know.

Thom
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Old 04-24-2016, 06:29 PM   #2
TobusRex
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Nubone is good stuff. Taylor uses it in their guitars, which says something. I've heard it's better than bone because it's more consistent.

I'm not an expert on the topic though. I did find this link, which might help you a bit.

http://www.premierguitar.com/articles/going-nuts-1

Addition: found the following link as well. It's the company that makes the nubone, but they display a chart which shows Nubone performs sonically better than bone (better bass).

http://www.graphtech.com/products/brands/nubone

Last edited by TobusRex : 04-24-2016 at 06:32 PM.
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Old 04-24-2016, 06:45 PM   #3
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Graphtech Nubone is man made bone, better consistency than actual bone.. TUSQ XL nut is infused with teflon so it is better than nubone... if you want something else, brass nut has warmer sound but it is better to have luthier install it.
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Old 04-24-2016, 06:53 PM   #4
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Those "sonic" results notwithstanding, what's the benefit over bone? Affordability?

These tonal variations at this high end, to me, seem pedantically nuanced and ultimately nearly inconsequential.
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Old 04-24-2016, 07:01 PM   #5
Tony Done
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I know this is going to start a tone debate, but here goes anyway.

I think that the nut only makes a difference with opens strings, within reasonable limits, so I have never worried too much about them. However, I use bone as the default replacement. OTOH, I do think that the saddle can make a significant difference, and I use bone, and more recently aluminium.

Re Tusq. I tried Graptech black, because it looks cool, and had a very good "metalic" tap tone, but it killed the high transients. If Tusq has similar composition and properties, I wouldn't want a bar of it.

I have a brass nut on my old Westone 335 knockoff, and it sounds very warm and dark. I might try replacing it with a bone nut.
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Old 04-24-2016, 07:19 PM   #6
TobusRex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreadnought
Those "sonic" results notwithstanding, what's the benefit over bone? Affordability?

These tonal variations at this high end, to me, seem pedantically nuanced and ultimately nearly inconsequential.


I think Nubone is quite a bit cheaper than bone.
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Old 04-24-2016, 08:54 PM   #7
Thom1989
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TobusRex
I think Nubone is quite a bit cheaper than bone.

I don't think that's necessarily true. I have ordered a bone saddle and nut for my other guitar. It's a cheap guitar and wanted to see if a decent saddle and nut could improve over its nasty plastic ones, as a set of silk and steel strings really transformed it and I wanted to see what it's capable of. Found a set made of cattle shin for 5 including postage. Having never looked for them before I don't know if that's right or if it's waaaay to cheap but nubone ones seem to be around 10.
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Old 04-24-2016, 09:09 PM   #8
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I've used cheap bone nuts and saddle. I think they come from India, the downside is that they are heavily bleached and vary in hardness.
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Old 04-25-2016, 12:21 PM   #9
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You can get real bone very cheap but I don't know how good it is, or if there is really any difference than the more expensive bone. From what I understand, there can be a big difference in the consistency from one bone sample to the next. I prefer tusq over anything but never tried nubone, can't imagine there would be that big of a difference.
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Old 04-26-2016, 06:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Done
I've used cheap bone nuts and saddle. I think they come from India, the downside is that they are heavily bleached and vary in hardness.

So what is the issue with it being heavily bleached?
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Old 04-26-2016, 06:32 PM   #11
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^^^^^It makes the bone less dense, and variable in hardness. I've occasionally had saddles crumble at the crown. At the price, I would still chance them though.
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Old 04-26-2016, 07:25 PM   #12
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I'm surprised. I thought bone was much more expensive!
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Old 04-26-2016, 11:36 PM   #13
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When I do home made I use antler as I have plenty of it. As Tony indicated, the nut is not really a factor on fretted strings but the saddle is of much more importance. Anyone for brass frets?
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Old 04-27-2016, 08:27 AM   #14
Thom1989
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So how would i tell if it's bleached? They arrived today and looking at the invoice they were only 3.70 so cheaper than I remembered. They have a creamy hue and a slightly oily feel. Would bleached feel dry. The item has some great reviews and it looks as though people have used them on high end guitars from what I can see. Only thing that I can see being an issue is the VERY shallow slots in the nut. Also had a though. Do under saddle piezo pickups affect acoustic tone? The guitar I'm using as a test bed has some dodgy electrics so the pickup doesn't work unless you hammer it so if it affects unplugged tone I will just tear it out. I don't have an amp anymore anyway.

Last edited by Thom1989 : 04-27-2016 at 10:00 AM. Reason: Fat thumbs make for bad spelling
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Old 04-27-2016, 01:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skido13
Anyone for brass frets?
Too soft! Stainless steel instead!
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Old 04-27-2016, 02:57 PM   #16
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Bleached bone looks dry and chalky in places, so yours may be unbleached. I wouldn't worry about it either way too much though.

Some of the softer types of UST might affect tone, but I don't think that the much more common hard ones will. I personally would take it out and make the replacement saddle deeper to compensate. You can test the UST, at least partly, by wiring direct to the amp (solder it to a an amp cord) and tapping it.
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Old 04-27-2016, 03:17 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captaincranky
Too soft! Stainless steel instead!


The brass frets on my most used instrument has probably worn the least of any of my instruments.
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Old 04-27-2016, 03:21 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captaincranky
Too soft! Stainless steel instead!


Just curious: do any of the "regular" guitar manufacturers offer stainless steel frets? I know the Carbon Fiber guitars have stainless steel frets.
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Old 04-27-2016, 03:45 PM   #19
Thom1989
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Done
Bleached bone looks dry and chalky in places, so yours may be unbleached. I wouldn't worry about it either way too much though.

Some of the softer types of UST might affect tone, but I don't think that the much more common hard ones will. I personally would take it out and make the replacement saddle deeper to compensate. You can test the UST, at least partly, by wiring direct to the amp (solder it to a an amp cord) and tapping it.


To be honest that's more hassle than it's worth. As said I don't have an amp so it never gets plugged in. It was just a 3.5mm head phone jack on the end of it that plugs into the preamp. So I've unplugged it. It's made one hell of a difference though. When I first got the guitar it was mushy and twangy and all things horrible. Put some John Pearce silk and steels on it and then it because warm and mushy. Removed the pickup added a bone saddle and nut today and now it sound lovely and warm with crisp but not overly bright highs and fairly well defined lows. Still a bit muddy when played moderately hard but I'm more finger style than anything else. Can only imagine it will sound better when I get a replacement saddle for it. The one that arrived today was snapped just before the compensated section. Stuck it in anyway to see whether it's worth asking for a replacement or refund.
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Old 04-27-2016, 03:51 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TobusRex
Just curious: do any of the "regular" guitar manufacturers offer stainless steel frets? I know the Carbon Fiber guitars have stainless steel frets.
Yes. Carvin offers them as an option on anything they build for you. I'm pretty sure some of the "shred heads" guitars come equipped with them.

They're an up price option as they tear up the maker's fretting tools.
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