Is A Custom Carved Bone Nut Better?

Posted by: Daniel R. Lehrman Posted in: Guitar Repairs Upgrades

At some point in ones road to becoming a great guitar player you may need or want to have your guitar set-up and even upgraded to further personalize and improve tone. Our main focus is if this is the best guitar nut and best fender stratocaster guitar  neck.
What is a basic set-up? A basic setup, lets assume the guitar has no serious problems first. If you need frets or have a scratch fixed, those don’t come in a basic set-up. Broken parts generally are not included in the setup. Bring a set of “your brand” of strings.
Usually the guitar is looked at closely. The neck is checked for flaws on the fingerboard, nicks and dents on the body, how straight the neck it is and if the frets need leveling, contouring or flattening, needless to say always have your frets polished. Especially if you do any string bending.
Cleaning up the wear in the bridge saddles, cleaning and leveling the frets, intonation, adjusting the string height over the neck and making sure all components are working there best, which includes adjusting the instrument to factory or your personal specs are part of the basics .

The luthier that originally did my setup is Bob Peterson. He is a master guitar maker, guitar repairman and knows everything to be known about guitars. His main ingredient is “love”. He works by himself too. No distractions. That is a good thing.

Note: Since writing this post, we have taken over the guitar repairs and setup work at GuitarPlayersCenter.com. GPC has an innate ability to read through the lines and provide you with the setup you need, exactly how you like it. Our dedication to detail is incomparable to anything other than a great car transmission re-builder or an orthopedist.
Some of the vintage wood tools we use are over 100 years old. We also make good use of some newer guitar tools like a milling machines and other modern wood working equipment to make our own necks and bodies.

The guitar in question is a three year old (at the time of this post, it is almost 5 years old as of 12/29/2009). It is a Custom Shop Eric Clapton Stratocaster with Active TBX boost. It was set up when it was brand new. So this is the second time Bob has done his thing to it. The second time is even sweeter than the first.
Cleaning up the wear in the bridge saddles, cleaning and leveling the frets, adjusting the string height over the neck and making sure all components are working there best, which includes adjusting the instrument to factory specs or your personal specs. These are unspoken truths, we know that he will do those procedures without even talking about it.
Enough suspense, what was done that improved the sustain so much you can probably get rid of one sustainer and a compressor (or you did not need them)? I had a Bone Nut installed, thus replacing the synthetic plastic nut. Bob supplies and cuts his own nuts. This guitar is set up with such a low action that it’s as close to string buzz as possible, obviously without the buzz. He also re-polished the frets. Frets wear and the more wear the harder it is to play. You won’t notice it until they are polished. you won’t be disappointed.
Well, the bone nut is pure bliss. We tested it immediately and were blown away at how much better a great sounding guitar can become. The amount of sustain a bone nut adds is unimaginable. If you have one, you know what I’m talking about. More than sustain the guitar tone is more honest and adds pure clarity to each note. No guitar can be complete without the right nut.
Some other nut materials include Graphite, Brass, Nickel, Tusq, Corian. Some guitars use The Schaller Floyd Locking nuts, both right or left handed. Another popular type of nut is the Earvana Compensating nut. If you want to buy and install your own nut, you will need a nut file kit and the correct hight specifications.
Good luck with getting your guitar setup. Only choose the best luthier/guitar maker available. If you can’t find a competent one, please consult with me on helping find one near you. Call us@ 1-772-989-2887.

Make sure you subscribe to our free blog. If you enjoyed the article on this guitar update and find it use-full, GPC would be grateful to all who Share It allowing the guitar community to pick up this vibe, and please leave a Comment containing your thoughts about this subject.

Notice: We will be adding guitar setup and repair services and free tips very soon. I’m spoiled from having every one of my guitars setup immediately upon getting it. Every guitar player deserves to play a well setup guitar. Our mission is to make it affordable and easy. Stay tuned in.

48 Responses to Is A Custom Carved Bone Nut Better?

  1. In case any one is interested, we have a great luthier here in Kent OH (near Cleveland and Akron), Roger Thurman on Franklin Street.

  2. Thanks for reminding us to take care of our instruments — vitally important!!

  3. Adina, That is a very good point. However, all of the electric tuners and pedals, etc. have backup batteries. But at least you are thinking and I like a thinking person.

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  7. Where can I find a good luthier in Phoenix Arizona?

    Thanks,

    -Greg

  8. What is wrong with it? We operate guitar repair shop here. Shipping and ins. are fairly inexpensive for a competent luthier. We are in Fl.

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  12. This is all fine for recreational players but anybody who spends a lot of time with a guitar should know out how to do thier own setup. When your out in the middle of nowhere and your guitar freaks out because of changes in the weather etc. there won’t be anybody there but you and the crew. Lee Sklar (look’m up)told me he won’t even let the road crew plug in speaker cables or tune etc. for the simple reason that it’s not the tech who looks like a retard in front of an audience but you when something happens. Don’t be afraid to tweak, do be patient. If you do screw it up then go the the repair shop. Go to a luthier when you need some one who has a full on wood shop and is going to turn a tree into guitar. Honestly, if your not in a major city your chances of finding a tech who knows much more than you are slim, so be proactive – I mean heck, do you want some one to come play it for you? too!

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