Nut Replacement

Cheaper guitars tend to be fitted with plastic nuts. If you have a guitar fitted with such a nut and are looking to upgrade your guitar, replacing your nut with one of a better quality, such as bone or a good quality composite material, is an easy and relatively  cheap way to upgrade the tone and sustain of your guitar. If you are not sure what type of material your guitar nut is made of, I can advise you on this.

Generally I fit four types of nut. These being; bone, TUSQ, lubricated and Earvana nuts. Bone and TUSQ nuts do produce a slightly different sound and I can advise you on this. I would recommend fitting a TUSQ XL lubricated nut for guitars fitted with a tremolo as they help to prevent the string sticking in the string slot. Earvana produce a compensated nut which helps to inprove the overall tuning of the guitar. They do work and I fit them as standard on Flame Guitars. To my ear they sweeten up the tuning. However, they are quite expensive to buy in the first place and so I generally only recommend them to customers whoes ear is more sentitive to the tempered tuning of a standard fretboard. If you want to know more about how a compensated nut can improve the tuning of your guitar I suggest you visit the Earvana website.

But using good quality nut material is only part of the process of improving the tone and sustain of your guitar. The nut must be installed correctly with strings cut to the correct depth. At the bottom of this page you can click through some pictures which show the installtion of a new nut on a Telecaster.

Cost of installing a new nut:
 

Bone or TUSQ
COST:  £40 (including materials)

Earvana
COST:  £60 (Including materials)

 

This is the nut that is to be removed.
The edge of the nut is scored with a sharp knife. This is to prevent lacquer chipping out when the nut is removed.
On this type of nut I saw down the centre. This makes removal easier and prevents lacquer chipping away when the nut is pulled out
The nut is removed and no lacquer has chipped away.
The new bone nut blank is installed and the string spacings marked.
Using the nut files the strings slots are cut to the right depth.