Tusq Nut

Discussion in 'Tone Zone' started by tryagain, Nov 29, 2021.

  1. tryagain

    tryagain Member

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    Hello has anyone put one of these on their guitar? What is your opinion?
     
  2. soulman969

    soulman969 Well-Known Member

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    I have one on one of my guitars. It came stock with the guitar.

    To be honest I don't really notice much difference because it's an electric so I'm not playing open strings as often as I do on an acoustic. Once you begin to fret notes the nut is out of the picture anyway so IMHO it's impact is minimal.
     
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  3. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Well-Known Member

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    I use Tusq whenever I replace the nut. I don't know how well they help sustain or tone; as @soulman969 wrote, when you fret, you take the nut out of the sound equation. But I like the idea of a self-lubricating nut.
     
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  4. BGood

    BGood Well-Known Member

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    Like Davis said, they are worth it for their lubricating properties. Strings don't bind in them.
     
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  5. grinwer

    grinwer Active Member

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    Tusq is better than plastic.
    And not only on open strings. )
    When you press the frets you are not removing the nut from the sustain.
    Musicians are bad with physics.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2021
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  6. soulman969

    soulman969 Well-Known Member

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    That's why few of us are physic majors.....LOL.

    Other than the physics involved with setting up a guitar or bass to begin with and the impact of string pull and changes in humidity and temperature the rest of my knowledge about it remains in the practical zone and not the theoretical. ;)
     
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  7. grinwer

    grinwer Active Member

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    Clicked on the 5th fret (for example).
    From 5 to the tuning pegs, the string does not wobble to the sides. But it continues to stretch - to shrink.
    This is transmitted through the nut to the tree and back. Does it affect resonance and harmonics? or not?
    Is this theory or practice?
     
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  8. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]

    I have them on two out of four guitars, the other two being bone and graphite. I don't have an opinion on the stock Squier graphite nut on my Jag as I'm currently modding that guitar and don't have a ton of time on it.

    My G400 had a plastic nut that @Dave J and I replaced with a BlackTusq. I also had Sweetwater put a TUSQ nut on the Doheny before they shipped it out as part of the setup I wanted.

    The only reason I went with bone on the Strat was because the local shop I took that guitar to for some leveling and a replacement nut talked me into bone.
    Essentially, they were going to charge me the same to install a (provided) TUSQ nut as they would to do a "proper" bone nut, so I caved - if only just to have another data point.

    In hindsight, I probably should have stuck to my guns. I don't notice huge differences unplugged, and having a #2 pencil on hand to color in / lube my nut slots is a bit silly. It's done though and there's no real reason to change it.

    Not at all bound by tradition, I personally think TUSQ XL is the better product. It's consistent, self lubricating, and sounds good. It's FAR superior to basic plastic.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2021
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  9. The Convert

    The Convert Well-Known Member

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    In my experience, a nut being well cut is the key. Cheap plastic binds way too much, but otherwise: TUSQ, bone, other synthetics have worked fine by me. Like Davis, if I have to replace a cheap nut I always use TUSQ, but in my case I’d say that’s mostly cost and availability. Ive turned around a couple of Epiphones with tuning stability issues with that $11 TUSQ nut and careful filing. Even the preslotted nuts are usually pretty good.
     
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  10. tryagain

    tryagain Member

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    Thanks for all the feedback.
     
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  11. soulman969

    soulman969 Well-Known Member

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    It's not something I even think about because what little it may or may not add to my tonal equation isn't worth the concern. I have 14 guitars and basses and only one has a Tusq nut. I don't feel the rest are missing out because they lack one.

    But to answer the question asked no I don't believe it has a major influence on resonance and harmonics. At least in my world not enough to worry about.
     
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  12. Darkness

    Darkness Well-Known Member

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    I have a crappy acoustic that had a plastic nut and saddle. I pretended to be a luthier and replaced both with tusq. The guitar went from muffled and muted to singing loud.

    I also compared the two. Tapped them on my table and bounced them off the table. Plastic a dull thud and tusq sounded like a porcelain shard. Not sure if that matters on the guitar.
     
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