#1
Hey, I figured I would start a thread on the subject. Lately (tonight) I have been entertaining the idea of getting a compensated nut on my acoustic.

I see that there is the Earvana offering, but it seems like a lot of people just do the compensating themselves? You would think that, being each guitar is different, that a nut tailored to that specific guitar with those specific strings would be superior than a cookie-cutter model.

So, like, what's up with these nuts anyways. Do I need to seek out someone with specialised training? Is Earvana the only real offering for compensated nuts?

Is this going to be crazy expensive?

Please, and Thank You.
#2
The original, and probably best compensated nut setup is the Buzz Feiten tuning system. http://www.buzzfeiten.com/

The Earvana is sort of its poor relation, but is supposedly better than a simple nut. http://www.earvana.com/technology.htm

Putting an Earvana on the guitar is better and easier than having some "loo thee ehr" sawing away trying to duplicate it.

Compensated nuts = belong to a gigolo?
Last edited by dspellman at Oct 13, 2013,
#3
I tried the drop in Earvana and wasn't impressed. The factory installed versions shorten the fretboard slightly (thereby shortening some strings) and set other strings back so they're longer. The drop ins use a shelf that extends out over the fretboard instead to shorten some strings. I found that the shelf needs to sit firmly on the fretboard or you get buzzing. Since the string lengths are set on the top of the nut there's really no adjustment for string height either because tryign to adjust slot depth will affect the string termination point.

If you want to get a BF system installed they used to recommend getting it done professionally. Not sure if that's still true but the BF requires compensated tuning as well so you need a tuner that supports the settings I believe.
As Dspellman says, be careful about who calls themselves a professional. Lots of store workers call themselves pros but are really limited. Years ago when I needed a pro to look at my Strat I did some research and went with someone with lots of good references.

No tuning system fixes all the areas of a guitar. The fret spacing is always a compromise as string diameter is a factor. A large portion of the professional world is fine with the guitar as is when well intonated.
Last edited by KenG at Oct 13, 2013,
#4
i agree. 99 percent of the time, the average guitar is not perfectly setup, not perfectly strung, not in perfect condition, etc to worrant a perfect pitch.

not to mention, do we take 10 mintues to tune the guitar? we click a box, fiddle with it till we get a green light, and move on. chances are its still not perfect.

the best advise is: 1 get a quality tuner pedal, 2, get your guitar setup well, 3 intonate your guitar, 4 make sure your frets are in good working order (really work ones affect intonation), GET LOCKING TUNERS (few reasons, reduced windings mean better stability, most locking tuners are generally high quality, and it makes string changing EASY, you wont dread changing strings all the time).
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#5
Quote by ikey_
i agree. 99 percent of the time, the average guitar is not perfectly setup, not perfectly strung, not in perfect condition, etc to worrant a perfect pitch.

not to mention, do we take 10 mintues to tune the guitar? we click a box, fiddle with it till we get a green light, and move on. chances are its still not perfect.

the best advise is: 1 get a quality tuner pedal, 2, get your guitar setup well, 3 intonate your guitar, 4 make sure your frets are in good working order (really work ones affect intonation), GET LOCKING TUNERS (few reasons, reduced windings mean better stability, most locking tuners are generally high quality, and it makes string changing EASY, you wont dread changing strings all the time).


I agree with all of your suggestions except locking tuners. Yes string changes are easier but the lack of wraps are really to compensate for tremolo dive bombs where the windings come loose and don't tighten up the same. For non-tremolo guitars they only offer the easier string changes.
Moving on.....
#6
Quote by KenG
I tried the drop in Earvana and wasn't impressed.


Ditto. Trust me, I'd have it on at least one guitar if I thought it was worth it.
I don't have the Buzz Feiten setup on any of my guitars, either.
Suhr guitars originally came standard with them (and some Andersons still do), but Suhr no longer offers it, even on custom builds. The reasons were more practical than technical, but very few customers appreciated it.

If you want to get a BF system installed they used to recommend getting it done professionally. Not sure if that's still true but the BF requires compensated tuning as well so you need a tuner that supports the settings I believe.


On the money. I'd forgotten about needing a tuner that had compensation tuning as well, but there are even iPhone tuners that have that, I believe. There are two ways to get the Feiten system installed; one is to use a "shelf nut," but that's largely a temporary setup to try things out and see if you really hear a difference. It allows you to return the guitar to its original condition quickly and easily. But on a guitar that's had the Feiten system installed professionally, the nut is actually in a different place than where a standard one would be, and it's difficult (though not impossible) to return it to standard.

As Dspellman says, be careful about who calls themselves a professional. Lots of store workers call themselves pros but are really limited.


An understatement. I'm in LA but have been using Gary Brawer's shop in San Francisco. He was first recommended to me by the Fernandes folks when I inquired about installing a Sustainer, and I found him highly expert, non-judgmental (though he's honest and shoots from the shoulder), patient, precise and quick. There are, no doubt, expert professionals in LA, but some I've worked with are lacking in some of the aforementioned other qualities <G>.


No tuning system fixes all the areas of a guitar. The fret spacing is always a compromise as string diameter is a factor. A large portion of the professional world is fine with the guitar as is when well intonated.


There are things like the tru-temper frets that take the issues that all stringed instruments exhibit regarding tuning and try to fix them, but some of these solutions take things further than I ever need to go, given my talent and skill levels <G>. http://www.truetemperament.com/site/index.php :