Many guitarists suffer from the condition known as G.A.S. (Gear Aquisition Syndrome). We also suffer from another condition called; T.A.S. (Tone Aquisition Syndrome). If there is one thing we chase endlessly day after day, it’s the perfect guitar tone. We spend thousands on amps, pedals, new fangled strings, pickups, potentiometers, and even capacitors! There is little we won’t try.
So in the interest of helping you squeeze that last drop of tone out of your own guitar rig… I give you this. Upgrade your stock guitar nut. Seems simple and inconsequential right? Wrong. This little 1/4 inch thick piece of material is where the strings meet the fretboard. Much to my own surprise, the type of material you use makes a noticeable difference in your guitar tone, resonance, and even tuning stability!
Personally, I have found that this TUSQ XL Nut helps my guitar stay in tune. I have never once had a string catch in the slot since installing it. Its one less thing to worry about, and it has the added bonus of tone improvement. Somehow, it transfers the resonance just a little bit better than the stock plastic nut.
Here’s the deal. As guitar manufacturers make cheaper and cheaper guitars, certain corners have to be cut. An easy place to cut costs is the nut. Rather than using bone or ivory, lots of guitars are fitted with cheap plastic nuts. As a buyer, its easy to overlook this tiny part when shopping for a guitar, and the manufacturers know this.
Companies like Graph Tech have carved out a niche of their own. Replacement guitar nuts are what they specialize in. Bone and ivory nuts are great, but they can be pricey and difficult to work with. Graph Tech understands this reality, and therefore created a nut material called TUSQ XL. It’s easy to work with and affordable. They offer nut blanks as well as pre-slotted nuts for just about every model of guitar. Check the links below for a TUSQ XL nut for your guitar.
Intrigued? Try it for yourself. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by the results.
(Pro Tip: You will save a lot of time by getting a set of guitar nut files. String slots are super thin and need this special tool.)
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