#1
I just bought a Silver Creek D170. While tone is decent, the sustain is pitiful. I am going to change out the saddle which is easy, but the nut seems to be glued in or really tight. What is the best way to remove the nut? Thanks.
#2
is there finished that's got it stuck to the neck? if so, use a razorblade to cut the finish at the nut - otherwise you can pull a little wood off the neck with the finish.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#3
After scoring the finish by the fretboard, put a block of wood against the face of the nut and give the block of wood a light tap with a hammer. It should pop right off.
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#5
Thanks for the info. I am not sure which part is the face of the nut. Is it the top with the string grooves?
#6
if he does this, and there's finish that's attached to the nut, it will also knock away a little of the wood. i'd suggest inspecting for that before anything else.

Quote by rexherring
After scoring the finish by the fretboard, put a block of wood against the face of the nut and give the block of wood a light tap with a hammer. It should pop right off.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#7
I'd suggest replacing just the saddle first and leaving the nut alone until after you see how the guitar sounds. Chances are that a quality bone saddle will give ample sustain and volume that you won't feel the need to change the nut anymore. Besides strings, an upgrade saddle is THE single most worthwhile improvement you can make to any acoustic guitar that has plastic/man-made saddle from factory.
#9
Replacement of the nut won't significantly increase your sustain. I would replace the bridge pins with bone and you will notice an increase in sustain. Also do you have an undersaddle pickup? If so that will rob you of sustain. Undersaddle pickups are debtrimental to tone as well unless you are plugged in.
#10
Thanks for the info. What about a Tusq saddle? I believe the D170 already has a bone saddle although I've heard that if it is too pourous it will not work as affectively.
#11
As guitar hack says, the nut has little if any effect on the tone or sustain of your instrument. If it's mechanically OK I would leave it alone for now. A harder bone nut will prevent string binding when tuning, and resist wear from the strings themselves.

I would disagree about the bridge pins. Bridge pins are isolated from string vibration by the saddle, and have very little effect on the guitar's tone unless you replace them with something much heavier, like brass. Then they can add a tiny percentage of mass to the entire vibrating surface of the top.... A change that some people claim to be able to hear but for most mortals...No.
The saddle is directly involved in transferring string vibration to the top and is an important part of sound production. Bone and artificial substances like "tusq" (a synthetic bone substitute) are generally superior to plastic. However, such harder saddles may "brighten" the tone of the guitar a bit and some folks don't like the change.

Note that it's often not just a matter of buying a blank and slapping it in; the saddle may have to be "compensated" to allow for slight intonation adjustments.
#12
Quote by Guitar Hack
Replacement of the nut won't significantly increase your sustain.


There is more to tone than sustain. A bone or tusq nut has a dramatic effect on tone if you are switching from plastic.

I would replace the bridge pins with bone and you will notice an increase in sustain.


This is only true if you were stringing your guitar up improperly to begin with. The pins are not supposed to hole the string down, they are supposed to push the ball ends forward so that they catch under the bridgeplate. There should be no stress on the bridge pins, at all, when the guitar is in tune and in a perfect world you should even be able to take the pins out after tuning and everything should hold. Of course ones you strum it could work the ball end loose but that small amount of back pressure from string vibration doesn't increase sustain and therefore the pins do not increase sustain.

The reason people get better sustain from bone pins is because bone doesn't have any give. With a guitar with plastic pins it's easy to get the ball end of the string wedged between the brindgeplate and the pin which is why you get the dent in the bottom of your bridgepin. This puts pressure on the pin and kills your tone. Bone pins have no give so they force the ball end forward and under the bridgeplate. There is no room to wedge it between the bridgeplate and pin.

So if you string your guitar properly by bending the ball end forward and making sure it catches under the bridgeplate then bridge pins should not have a noticeable effect on tone but if you don't then they will.

Also do you have an undersaddle pickup? If so that will rob you of sustain. Undersaddle pickups are detrimental to tone as well unless you are plugged in.


That depends on what undersaddle pickup you are using. They have come a long way in the last 15 years and not all pickups are like the old fishman. Many undersaddle pickups are no thicker than construction paper and have no audible effect on tone if they are properly installed. On the other hand those giant things from years back that they still use in some cheap guitars do kill your tone.


To the thread starter.[?b]
The way to get the nut off changes from one guitar to the next. Most production guitars require you to score along the edge of the nut with a razor blade and then you just knock it off with a hammer. Some guitars, however, have the nut resting in a gap between the headstock veneer and fretboard. If this is the case then you actually have to get a back saw and cut through the cener of the nut, going the long way, all the way down to the neck. This will let you knock the nut out in two chunks without chipping the headstock veneer or the fretboard.

And most luthiers agree that bone is still better than tusq. The problem with bone is that not all bone is created equal. You can get one peice that doesn't sound good and another piece that does. Basically, you have to keep trying untill you get something that sounds right. Tusq always sounds the same so you always know what you are going to get. If you already have a bone saddle but you have a plastic nut I'd change the nut before changing the saddle. If you change the nut and still want to mess with stuff then look at getting a tusq saddle.
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Last edited by CorduroyEW at May 15, 2011,