TONE TALK NUTS AND SADDLES
Sometimes, the little things do a lot more than we think. A simple guitar nut and saddle may seem minimal in the structure of a guitar, but these two are the contact points of the strings to the body of your instrument. They are the ones that send all those beautiful notes pressed by your fingers, onto the strings, to the nut and saddle, then to the soundboard of your guitar. So how important are they really? In this issue, we’ll cover the different materials used in the production of nuts and saddles, how they sound on their own and how they sound on your instrument.
Plastic nuts and saddles are used mostly in mass-produced guitars. They’re cheap, easy to manufacture and are somewhat sturdy to handle the string tension. However, it does come with a few drawbacks, since plastic is soft, it needs to be replaced after some time. The friction caused by the string when you tune and change strings eats through the plastic after some time. The tonal quality of plastic is also not that significant. In the drop test, you could hear a big difference between plastic and other materials. It lacks density and body that makes tonal transfer minimal compared to bone and synthetic bone.
Bone nuts and saddles on the other hand are used in middle to higher-end guitars. They are sturdy, have better tonal transfer and have less friction on their contact points compared to plastic. Bone has been used for centuries and has proven its value. You can clearly hear the density of the bone nut in the drop test. It has more body and weight that can handle tone transfer better. The only drawback is that since it comes from a natural source, there are inconsistencies. Bone is porous and can have cavities big enough to interfere with tone transfer. This issue is more prominent when using under-saddle pickups.
Graphtech NUBONE/BLACK TUSQ - these nuts and saddles are permanently lubricated, the makers made sure that friction would be the least of our worries. At the same time, their research team found the best materials to use for optimum tonal transfer producing crystal clear notes. In the drop test, you can hear that the Graphtech nut sounds like glass hitting the table. It’s consistent all throughout that it gives each string a chance to project its voice. Since their goal is to mimic natural bone and ivory, they made sure that the cons of these materials aren’t included in their blueprint. That said, they made Graphtech nuts and saddles structurally consistent, unlike its natural counterpart.
At the end of the day, it’s still a personal preference. You won't know till you try it yourself. Happy tone hunting!
FEATURED GUITAR | Sire S7
RESTOCK ALERT! The Sire S7 is the perfect marriage of classic looks and modern innovation. Sire and the jazz fusion legend, Larry Carlton, worked on an instrument that can be in any genre and in any artists' hands. Made from premium alder with a roasted hard maple neck and HSS configuration. The frets are rolled to perfection to make gliding over the neck feel like a hot knife through butter. The attention to detail and quality of these guitars will make you think twice if you leave the store without one. These beautiful guitars never stay long in our showrooms, so be sure to check them out at your closest Guitar Pusher branch or book a GP Online Concierge appointment.
Body Shape : Sire Strato Shape
Body Color : 3TS, SG, AWH
Neck Material : Roasted Hard Maple
Neck Shape : C-Shape
Scale : 25.5"
Fingerboard Material : Roasted Hard Maple
Fingerboard Radius : 9.5"
Frets : 2.7mm Medium Jumbo
String Nut : Bone Nut:42mm Width
Inlay : Abalone Dot
Neck Joint : 4-Bolt Steel Square Plate
Pickups : HSS S7 Pickup Set(Alnico5)
Electronics : Volume, Tone, 5 Way Lever Switch
Controls : Volume, Tone, 5 Way Lever Switch
Knobs : BK Strat Knob(Volume and Tone)
Bridge : S7 2-post Bridge(Steel Block and Stainless Saddle)
Tuning Gear : Sire Premium Locking Tuner
Hardware : Finish Chrome
Pick guard : White Pearl 3ply
FEATURED GEAR TC ELECTRONIC PLETHORA X5
It takes time to set up a new pedalboard. The planning, measuring cables, cutting velcros and thinking of the different pedals you'll put. Not to mention the budget required for collecting all those pedals. The awesome people from TC Electronic decided that enough is enough! Give the guitarist access to our arsenal of pedals and bring out the Plethora! The Plethora X5 makes the entire board building experience much more intuitive and fun.
You get to create and store up to 127 custom boards. With just a flick of your finger, you can have a pedalboard for every song on your setlist! It also features TC Electronic's Toneprint with 75 slots for a quick recall of your favorite settings. Not to mention all the TC Electronic pedals you'll have control over when using the Plethora. This tank of a treasure chest is really something to behold.