The best nut?


Junior Member
Hey, I've only ever used bone nut, but am now planning a build w/ a tremolo.  I've never tried an LSR roller nut, or even seen one up close.  Anyone have any experience with these?  How is the sustain?  How does it compare with graphite?  Does LSR really have better tuning stability than graphite?  :dontknow:
I would suggest that you use "Slipstone" from Stew Mac.
It's a nice light cream colour, so it looks "normal" on a vintage type instrument.

The LSR works well, but you are stuck with its radius and string spacing etc.
I would say that there is no difference in tuning stability compared to Slipstone and Graptech.
Sustain-wise, I think that you will always loose a bit with the LSR, due to the moving parts.

The Graphtech ones work great, if you don't mind the look.

Make sure that you fit locking tuners as well, as the string wrap on tuner posts causes much of the tunung issues with non-locking trems.
What trem are you thinking of?
1) I'm not sure sustain is a problem with the LSR, as the reason that people have backed away from brass nuts is that there was too much difference in tone and sustain between the fretted notes and open ones. Jeff Beck does OK. However, LSR's are still really rare, if they were a huge improvement, wouldn't they be all over?

2) The graphite nuts are a little tricky to work with. Compared to bone, a file will just slip around at a certain amount of pressure, then start biting really hard with just a little more pressure. I've found it easiest to shape the grooves with abrasives instead, various grades of gray wet/dry sandpaper wrapped over a fret file, 6" steel rule, toothpick, etc.

3) Dan Erlewine has a pretty extensive section on nuts in his book "Guitar Player Repair Guide", along with everything you need to know about fretwork. Among his suggestions for making a non-locking whammy nut are details about carefully shaping the ramp up on the back side of the string, making the "break" point a little wider than you might think (so that no individual winding is likely to catch on an edge); most important, the slots for the wound strings should have a little flat in the bottom, instead of being perfectly rounded like a normal set of files will do. I've been able to muddle through with bone nuts doing the conventional stuff - straight string pulls, fine-polish the slots with 600->1500 grit sandpaper, and keep 'em greased.
Thanks very much.  I was concerned about the moving parts/sustain, but haven't seen one, so I wasn't sure if it really had moving parts.  I'm not stuck on the vintage look (purpleheart strat body/wenge-ebony neck), so the I'm leaning towards graphtech. 

Regarding working with graphite...I have no intention of doing this personally, because this is my first build and I could see myself really screwing up a nut.  How are they out of the box from Warmoth?  I was hoping that it would work just fine shipped straight from Warmoth, but have resigned myself to dropping it off at my local tech for final setup after I get it together.  Seems like I'll have to get that Erlewine book.

Regarding tuners...I was thinking about the Gotoh/Kluson staggered-height non-locking tuners (used on Eric Johnson signature strat).  I realize the advantage of using a locking tuner, but I'm hoping that avoiding the string-tree will allow better tuning stability than using locking tuners + string tree.  I do prefer the kluson look, but if I found locking staggered-height tuners, I'd probably consider that.

I'll probably use a gotoh-wilkilson 2-point tremolo bridge.

I've used, fit, grooved about a half dozen black graphtech nuts, never an issue with slotting.  I use slotting files for the slots, not sandpaper, but DO use sandpaper laid on a flat surface to fit them.  Also use dremel to get the width close then sand to final size.  Perhaps a little more care is needed for these - trying, fitting.  But not much.

I've also fit about 4 Tusq nuts.  One was a mandolin (8 string) nut.  That was a chore!  Tusq files a little better than the black GraphTech ones, and hold up well.

I could not hear any outstanding tonal coloration from either, and chose them strictly for the color not for the material used.
Thanks everyone for sharing your insight and experience.  I've ordered graphite nut on wenge/ebony strat neck.    :eek:ccasion14:

Sorry couldn't resist that.  :laughing7:

At least I make myself laugh.  :tard: