1. #1

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    Question a):
    How do you tell--if possible--that you are buying a quality bone nut? I imagine that bone like everything else comes in varying qualities. Do you go for the word bone and hope that it is quality?

    Question b): Have you ever tried a wood guitar nut? Ebony or Ironwood perhaps,both very hard woods. Bone being harder and lasting longer?


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  3. #2

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    a): Generally, bone is bone. Untold millions of cattle are slaughtered in the US every year (perhaps every day) and there is no shortage of bones, nor of high-quality bones. I don't have time to worry about it.
    b): It has been tried, but not by me. Wood works, but wears more quickly than bone. However, consider that ebony and rosewood are commonly used as bridge saddles, and there is no more movement there than in the nut. Bone is traditional, as was ivory and abalone once upon a time, but tradition is just tradition.

  4. #3

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    I've compared nut materials and I really feel that bone is one of the worst possible materials to use for a nut. Imo it makes the guitar sound like a tin can. My favorite material for a warm and full sound is corian, and my favorite material for a zingy sound is graph tech plastic. Just my 2 cents. I would advise not to use bone.

    That said, I don't see how wood wouldn't be a viable nut material, although I haven't tried it. I already have my corian and tusq nuts perfectly slotted from the warmoth factory and it would take a lot of work to build a wood nut from a blank. I might have to just do it though to see how it sounds.
    Last edited by Clint 55; 11-12-2020 at 05:16 PM.

  5. #4

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    Maybe because I'm still having my morning coffee, but I thought this post was going to ask guitar nuts 2 questions.

  6. #5

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    Well, didn't it?

  7. #6

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    Not an expert but from what I know material consistency and homogeneity are important for nuts. Hence, corian, tusq, etc. are materials that can work better than natural materials like bone and wood. Not to say that you wouldn't get good results with bone and wood, but from an economies of scale viewpoint other materials are more of a hit rather than an miss.

  8. #7

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    I think quality refers to how the nut is carved, rather than the material itself. Carving bone nuts is an art.

    There are alternatives now. Tusq comes pre-slotted for a variety of guitars. You still have to make adjustments, but it's not anywhere near like carving a blank.

    Bone is often preferred by the trad community; the violin family, classical and romantic guitars, lutes, ouds, mandolins, hand-carved archtops, and so on. Often these instruments are over 100 years old, so authentic replacement materials matter.

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  9. #8

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    Tusq XL is more consistent than bone and easier to work with and strings glide through Tusq XL better than all but the best cut bone nuts. Pre-slotted Tusq XL nuts make installation much easier.