#1
Hey guys,

I have question about puttng a new nut on my epiphone sg. The stock one that comes with it snapped off on the edge and i want to obviously replace it. I want to put something better quality on there. My question is how much difference can a nut make to your sound depending what material its made of?

I notice there are many different materials used that you can buy. What would you guys recomend as a replacement? I play mostly rock and grunge.

Thanks ahead
#2
Opinions vary greatly on the tonal significance of the nut. Whatever effect it has, it will be less obvious with overdriven type sounds.

I would go for bone, especially on a guitar that didn't have trem. Tusq and Graphtech black would also be good, the latter fro low friction.
#3
I'm really impressed with the Graphtech® NuBone XL™ nut that's on the new Epi Sheraton-II! It is really smooth and the strings glide with ease. Not sure what a properly sized Graphtech® NuBone XL™ nut costs, but I'm considering upgrading my LPs. You may want to check them out.
Mustang v2 III/IV●EXP-1●FUSE●REMUDA●Yamaha THR10C
Epi LP Florentine Pro●LP Cstm Pros●LP PlusTop Pro●Sheraton-II Pro
Cstm Strat Vntg Noiseless●Guild D-55
So Creek Cables●BOSS RC-1●RS7500
D'Addario Strings●Vari-Grip●Planet Lock Straps
#4
I had to check I didn't make this thread as I'm in the exact same position with nut snapping off on edge of my Epi SG...
#5
they must be faulty Shelders. Cheap plastic garbage.

So bone seems to be the go then?
#6
TUSQ is harder than bone and has better lubricating properties. You want a string nut to be made from a hard material not only because it makes the nut more durable but because it'll sound more like the fretted notes.
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#8
Meh. If you drop most bone nuts on a hard floor, it'll sound almost like a regular piece of plastic. If you drop a TUSQ one, It'll sound almost like a piece of metal.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-U3Oi7Sn4rg

Its well worth noting that bone is not a consistent material either. Some bone nuts might be very hard, others being very soft. With artificial materials such as TUSQ, what you see is most definitely what you'll get.

Idk about you, but I think it only makes sense to get a nut that's hard and bright-sounding because that way, it'll sound a lot more like the fretted notes than a nut that's softer.
Roses are red
Violets are blue
Omae wa mou
Shindeiru



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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Oct 31, 2015,
#9
I have done drop tests on bone v graphtech black saddles. The black sounds harder and more metallic than bone, and for this reason I installed it in a couple of guitars. In both cases it killed the top end and enhanced the high mids. I went back to bone after a few weeks. If you do any kind of pressure/abrasion/scratch test on Graphtech black, it is clearly softer than bone. IOW, drop tests can be deceiving.
Last edited by Tony Done at Oct 31, 2015,
#10
The nut material will only affect open string notes.
If you're installing a pre-cut nut your options are limited, if you are making one or getting a tech to do it there's tons of options. Some of the materials used are too bloody soft for me, I tried a pre-cut Graph-Tec one that was bone coloured and it was way too soft. Same with Earvanna's aftermarket compensated nut.
I ended buying the Stew Mac tools and learned to do the job myself. Micarta is a decent artificial bone, fairly easy to work but not too soft. Same with corian.
Nylon is pretty nice too but doesn't cut easy, it's very dense.
Most acoustic players will opt for bone at the drop of a hat.
Moving on.....
#12
Quote by Tony Done
I have done drop tests on bone v graphtech black saddles. The black sounds harder and more metallic than bone, and for this reason I installed it in a couple of guitars. In both cases it killed the top end and enhanced the high mids. I went back to bone after a few weeks. If you do any kind of pressure/abrasion/scratch test on Graphtech black, it is clearly softer than bone. IOW, drop tests can be deceiving.

That seems very counter intuitive.
Roses are red
Violets are blue
Omae wa mou
Shindeiru



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#13
It sure does. It fooled me into using them for a few weeks. When I first installed them I had a bout of confirmation bias and thought they sounded good but after a few weeks I started to have my doubts. When I put the bone saddles back in, the improvement was so obvious that there was no mistaking it. I've discussed it with Al Carruth, a physics minded acoustic luthier of some repute, a he opined that it can be difficult to predict these things.
#15
bringing the topic back to electric guitar nuts instead of acoustic guitar saddles, i would suggest for that guitar that bone, fossilized walrus ivory, tusq, or graphtek etc... would work well.

corian and micarta are a little dead sounding ime. i would avoid them for this app.

but basically, anything aftermarket is going to be an upgrade over stock. no need to overthink this.
Last edited by ad_works at Nov 2, 2015,
#16
Quote by ad_works
bringing the topic back to electric guitar nuts instead of acoustic guitar saddles, i would suggest for that guitar that bone, fossilized walrus ivory, tusq, or graphtek etc... would work well.

corian and micarta are a little dead sounding ime. i would avoid them for this app.

but basically, anything aftermarket is going to be an upgrade over stock. no need to overthink this.


Really? Tell that to Gibson USA (Corian) and Martin Guitars (micarta)
Moving on.....
#17
I've got pretty much everything on various guitars, including brass nuts, brass/bone, brass/somethingelse, bone, plastic, Tusq, etc.

Honestly, if I were doing a nut on an acoustic, I'd probably use mammoth bone (mostly so that I could say that I have a mammoth bone nut), and these days I'm putting Tusq on electrics (if they need a nut for some reason) that don't have Floyds or something similar.
#18
Quote by KenG
Really? Tell that to Gibson USA (Corian) and Martin Guitars (micarta)


i would love too. have their people call my people -we'll do lunch.

but since they use bone on their >$1000 guitars, and plastic on their cheap ones, your point is what?
Last edited by ad_works at Nov 3, 2015,
#19
We do have quite a few guitar nuts here for you to select from. Several have survived the drop tests -- they're over there in the "drooler" pile. We provide a leash with which to lead them home.