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nitram rekab

How long was it before you needed to replace the nut on your acoustic guitar / guitars due to wear?

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I've never needed to replace a nut on any of my acoustic guitars. Nuts don't wear. At least none of mine ever have done so.

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Given the amount of wear and tear on my currently oldest guitar - a 12-string Ovation Balladeer of - IIRC - 28 years it will have had been another 15 years before I will have had to have replaced the nut.

 

Or in other words: even on a highly stressed 28 year old 12-strring, there still is the original nut in place.

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It would depend on what material it is made of. Most builders use something that will last the lifetime of the instrument.

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Wear generally isn't a factor in replacing a nut, although a cheap plastic nut is more susceptible to wear than, say, bone or brass. There are, however, other reasons: I replaced the nut on my second electric because the slots were too deep and it was causing buzzing on open strings. That may have been caused by wear; I bought the guitar used. I replaced the nut on my "good" acoustic because the material (Ibanez's proprietary "Ivorex II") was too soft and was causing binding on the G string. Sometimes folks replace the nut on an acoustic because they think it gives better tone. The jury's out on that one but generally wear isn't a factor.

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Never for me. I keep the slots polished and lubricated and haven't needed to replace one. I've replaced a bunch of stock plastic nuts for bone or Graphtech over the years but not because they're worn out.

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I do a lot of repairs and adjustments on guitar and I'm frequently asked to replace nuts. I ask the owner "why?" If the nut action is wonky, if the string spacing is not to the players liking, if the slots are too low, if the nut is broken, then I'll replace it (with bone, that's all I use). Otherwise I might work on a nut - lower the action a hair, widen the slots if the player uses heavier strings - but I don't see any need to spend my time and their money if it ain't broke.

 

Remember that a nut is only in play for open strings - once you fret it the nut is out of the picture.

 

Btw, it usually takes me one to two hours to make a new nut from scratch, I charge my time out at 30 bucks an hour. Add in a blank and a new nut will cost you $40 - 60, at that point I want to do the rest of the setup.

 

Before I forget my manners, welcome to HCAG

Edited by Freeman Keller
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Well...:rolleyes:...I've never quite worn out my nuts on my guitars but that's because I never get that far with them.

 

There. I do sincerely believe I have heard it all now.

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Never if it's WAHI. I have only worn out one tusq one and it took a few years but I was changing strings on that guitar about once a week.

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I do a lot of repairs and adjustments on guitar and I'm frequently asked to replace nuts. I ask the owner "why?" If the nut action is wonky, if the string spacing is not to the players liking, if the slots are too low, if the nut is broken, then I'll replace it (with bone, that's all I use). Otherwise I might work on a nut - lower the action a hair, widen the slots if the player uses heavier strings - but I don't see any need to spend my time and their money if it ain't broke.

 

Remember that a nut is only in play for open strings - once you fret it the nut is out of the picture.

 

I've seen techs go so far as to re-fill overly deep nut slots with a mixture of powdered bone and super glue, then recut and shape the slots. I think at that point I'd probably opt for a new nut, but I totally agree with you that nuts only need replacement due to the types of things you mentioned, such as accidental breakage, and usually not from ordinary wear.

 

Out of all the various guitars I've owned over the years (probably a hundred of them, easily) I've only had to have the nut replaced on one of them, and that's my old Strat. It got a new bone nut in the mid 1980s. I've played the heck out of it since then, and today it's in the same shape it was when it was first replaced.

 

 

Before I forget my manners, welcome to HCAG

 

Indeed - welcome! :wave:

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Never if it's WAHI. I have only worn out one tusq one and it took a few years but I was changing strings on that guitar about once a week.

 

The frequency of string changes shouldn't make a huge difference. I have toxic sweat that utterly corrodes uncoated strings in a fairly short amount of time, and that Strat I mentioned has been my main / favorite / go-to-first electric guitar for the better part of the past thirty years so it's seen a LOT of string changes, and as I said, the nut's in essentially the same condition today as it was right after it was replaced, and that was thirty years ago.

 

But that guitar has a bone nut. You did say Tusq... that's what my '94 Taylor 510 has on it, and it's been my main acoustic since I got it new as a wedding present from my wife. Like the Strat, it's seen tons of string changes over the years, and the nut and saddle still basically look like new.

 

I can't imagine string changes causing significant wear on the nut unless you're taking the string off by dragging its length through the slot or something. :idk:

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I have filled nut slots with a little powdered bone and CA glue (they tell me baking soda works too) as a temporary fix until I can make a new one. I've also shimmed a nut that I cut too low, again as a temporary fix.

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Tusq is a synthetic that is supposed to be similar to ivory in hardness. It can be molded in the shape necessary and can be cnc milled. Bone has a lot more variety in density but is cheap, readily available and easy to work with. Ivory, of course is out of the question.

 

I was working on a new Martin yesterday and was surprised how soft the saddle felt when I was sanding it. It already has slight grooves from the strings (and this was a brand new guitar I was installing a p/u in). I think Martin is using micarta but whatever it is I would replace it just on principal.

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i have encountered one gibson that was incorrectly spaced,from teh factory...

Edited by Voltan

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I Thank you all for your response much appreciated

However the reason I asked was because I bought a Taylor 314ce last March .From new I had problems with this guitar.High action and string buzz. As these two don't go together you might expect the authorised Taylor repair center here where I live to spot the problem ,but no.A fret was filed down and my guitar was left with very high action.Finally I sent the guitar back to Amsterdam where the real problem was spotted .A low nut .like that since I bought it but Taylor refuse to fix it unless I pay for repair and for shipping.They are not saying it is worn but they say the nut is a wear and tear item and not covered by the warranty.As hell will freeze over before I pay a penny ,I have decided to seek a refund from the shop who are trying to say the nut is worn.

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Nitram, sorry to hear about the issues with your new Taylor but a couple of things in your post don't make sense. First, is this a new guitar? I ask that for two reasons - first Taylor has a reputation of doing some of the best setups on their new guitar of anyone in the industry - it simply should not have low nut slots or high action. The neck angle should be perfect since it has the NT neck, frets should be perfect since they were Pleked. Taylor cnc mills their Tusq nut slots - they should also be perfect. If its a used guitar, of course all that goes out the window - who knows what the PO did to it.

 

Second reason is that in the US Taylor has one of the best lifetime warrantees to the original purchaser (you if its new). I know that in the EU some of these warrantees are different, but returning it to an authorized Taylor dealer should get you complete satisfaction. In fact if you are having warranty issues you should go thru a dealer rather than some one else.

 

Technically they do not warrant "wear and tear" items like frets and I would suppose a nut or saddle. While I have never seen a nut "worn out" I frequently have to do a little work on them when I do setups, on many guitars you can lower the action a bit at the nut from the factory setup.

 

Two quick checks for nut slot depth. If you fret at the third fret you will also be holding the string down against the 2nd fret. Tap the string over the first - you should hear a tiny "ping" indicating that you have a bit of clearance. Another test is to measure the first fret to bottom of each string with feeler gauges - ideal clearances are somewhere around 0.014 inch (you can convert to mm) on the high E to about 0.018 inch on the low E. More than that is OK but will feel stiff, much less will cause some buzzing. Also, of course, confirm that the relief is somewhere between 0.004 and 0.010 inches, less than 0,004 can cause buzzing in the first few frets.

 

Last comment, if you are truly not satisfied with your Taylor repair shop call or write to Taylors customer service department. They are one of the best about making their customers happy. (no I don't work for Taylor LOL)

 

Let us know what happens

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Freeman keller

In response to your reply ,The guitar was bought new from the shop in fact I was the first to play it. It had just arrived to the shop and he unpacked it for me to try out. As I say I took the guitar back a week or so later for a truss rod adjustment because I noticed when playing with a pick the buzzing strings .I hadn't used a pick in the shop before I bought it as I mostly play fingerstyle.I told him that I also thought the action was high. He played the guitar and said he could see nothing wrong with it ,but reluctantly adjusted it.

I took the guitar home and continued with it but felt the guitar still.had the same issues.Eventually I noticed on the Taylor website the support contact for European customers and made contact where it was arranged for me to take the guitar to an authorised Taylor guitar repair shop in the city were I live.He ruled out humidity related problems and decided it had a high fret and told me he could fix this by taking it down and it would be covered under the warranty.On collection I noticed the action was still very high.He said he could take the action right down for me but it would cost me as this job would not be covered by warranty.As I was broke at the time I declined the offer and never asked him how he could do this.Again I took the guitar home and again I was still not happy with the action .Eventually I got a key to fit the truss rod and tryed lowering it but the buzzing as bad as ever .Frustrated I eventually contacted Taylor again and told them I want to return this guitar.They said Taylor do not do refunds but if I pay for shipping they would examine the guitar.The shop.agreed to ship the guitar.And finally Taylor discovered The nut was too low,and as it was a wear and tear item it was not covered by the Warranty.And said I would have pay for this and the shipping.Of course I argued with Taylor that if it has a low nut then it left the factory workshop like that.Taylor did not disagree with me but insisted I must pay as the nut is not covered by the warranty.The shop also argued with Taylor but Taylor refused to fix it without repair and shipping costs.The shop finally agreed to pay it but I refuse to take the guitar back now as is my right as this would be a second repair. So much for Taylor and their great reputation.

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OK, I'm very sorry about the hassles you are having - that simply is not my experience with either Taylor or their dealers.

 

However, whether you do anything your self or not, I would suggest that you take a couple of careful measurements. I tried to look up Taylors setup spec but couldn't find it so I'll give you some that I use (I do setups, but I'm not a Taylor certified tech). First, I told you how to check the nut slots, fret at 3 and tap over the first fret, you should hear a "ping". Next, put a capo on at 1 and hold the high (and then low) E strings down at 14 - slide a feeler gauge between the string and 7th fret. You should be able to get a 0.010 mm in there but not a 0.020 mm (ie, the gap should be within that range). Lastly, take the capo off and measure from the 12th fret to the high and low E strings - my target would be around 1.5 mm for the high E and 2.5 mm for the low. Report back with these measurements.

 

Also remember one very important thing about the truss rod - its function is to adjust the relief (amount of bowing of the neck) - NOT the action. It will change the action but that is not its function., Use it to set the relief between 0.010 and 0.020 mm, THEN adjust the playing action but changing the height of the saddle.

 

It is not difficult to adjust these but in my opinion you shouldn't have to - your Taylor tech should do it for you (if it was a new guitar, at no cost). If the nut slots are too low then it does need to be replaced - you and your dealer and Taylor will have to decide who pays.

 

Sorry I can't be more helpful, good luck.

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Sorry I can't be more helpful, good luck.

 

Freeman, that's as helpful as anyone here could possibly be! At worst, this purchase will serve as an expensive lesson to Baker in the wisdom of thoroughly test-driving a guitar before buying it.

Edited by Delmont
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I've had acoustic guitar nuts replaced twice, once because I wanted the string spacing a bit wider and another time because the tech had cut the first string slot too deep when I had asked him to deepen it just a bit (he replaced the nut for free - good guy). I've never changed one because of wear.

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How long was it before you needed to replace the nut on your acoustic guitar / guitars due to wear? Thank you?

 

Never.

 

I played a 1972 Guild D25 for 33 years, 15 of those were heavy use gigging. Played a US-made 1988 Ovation Elite - heavy use -16 years ditto. Have a few others, both US-made and foreign made and never replaced a nut. On any of them. That D25's had the same nut now for 43 years.

 

I've had acoustic guitar nuts replaced twice' date=' once because I wanted the string spacing a bit wider and another time because the tech had cut the first string slot too deep when I had asked him to deepen it just a bit (he replaced the nut for free - good guy). I've never changed one because of wear.[/quote']

 

Oops, I did change out the nut on my Guild F65ce after a few years .to get the spacing a bit wider

Edited by Etienne Rambert
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...I've only had to have the nut replaced on one of them' date=' and that's my old Strat. It got a new bone nut in the mid 1980s. I've played the heck out of it since then, and today it's in the same shape it was when it was first replaced....[/quote']

 

Doesn't a Strat have a zero fret and the nut just aligns the strings?

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Doesn't a Strat have a zero fret and the nut just aligns the strings?

 

Nope, there's no zero frets on Strats.

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