The Canadian Guitar Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,381 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone,

I'm working on an R&D project and wondering if anyone has tried my latest hair-brained idea.

What I am going to attempt is likely similar to the Feiten tuning system, but the physical method of achieveing it is a little different (at least I think it is, as I haven't seen their system).

My R&D guitar for this project will have a floyd rose trem and a locking nut, as I also want to see if the graph tech nut will offer any improvement in tone over the die cast metal one, and it will allow me to be able to adjust the individual string heights at the nut end.

Anyway, I am planning on adding a strat style graph tech nut in front of the locking nut and using a dremmel cone bit to remove the nut material to adjust the break point on each string. I'm going to use a cone bit so the string does not contact the nut on the longer strings, and I don't like the staggered shim look.

I have seen a few different formulas for how far forward I can move the nut, but I just going to extend the nut shelf to accomidate the graphtech (3.18mm), and deppen it slightly under the lock nut to ensure that the strings break on the 2nd nut.

Has anyone else tried this? I figure that the 3.18mm is overkill, but I don't mind cutting back each break point in favour of a nice, clean look.
This is my first crack at compensating a nut so be gentle...
 

·
All the way to ten
Joined
·
936 Posts
The compensated nut idea has interested me for quite a while but I have never got around to having it done. Let me know how it goes for you. It sounds more like Earvana. Feiten's nut has a slight radius to the front end. You have to cut the fretboard back to fit it.

P.S. I checked out your site. Nice guitars! Whereabouts are you in Hamilton?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Mr Hamm!

Have you gone forward with this project? I'd like to know how it came out, or will come out - and pictures. I have done nut compensation on a half dozen guitars, but not yet using the method of moving the whole nut forward, and drilling back in some way.

I would say that 3.18mm is about twice as much as you need. Are you intonating each string separately? (I'm not quite sure from what you said.)

I'm a big advocate of nut compensation, so I also advocate intonating the saddle(s) comparing the the 14th to the 2nd fret before compensating the nut (instead of intonating 12th to open) (google Stephen Delfts article.) It doesn't make a lot of sense to intonate to an open string that is out of tune with the frets. An electric player who plays all the way up to the 22nd or 23rd, may want to compensate the saddle comparing the 17 to the 5th, or thereabouts.

Also, before any nut compensation project, in order to know what is needed, it's necessary to fairly accurately measure the intonation error from first fret to open on all the strings. If all are all sharp, then all need to move at the nut toward the bridge. If some are sharp and some are flat, then the nut has already been moved up part way; many custom builders and some Mfrs are doing this. (I don't know from your post whether you are using a mfrd guitar, or one you are building.)

The big problem for you is how to figure out how much to cut back for each string. With a full or partial shelf-nut, I think it's easier to file back a little at a time - trial and error.

I'm working on a way to calculate the amount of compensation offset needed, based on the scale length and the existing error in cents - but not ready yet.

Dan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Your problem is that you need a custom compensated nut. No matter how well you tune in "open" tuning, when you press each string down to fret, each string has a different diameter, so a different mass, and each string will go sharp "at a different rate" so they will be out of tune "with each other". This is true for virtually all guitars to some degree or another. I have done both the extended shelf compensation, one piece compensated nuts, and extended straight across nuts with the cut backs as you describe on 25 of my own guitars as well as many friends and clients. It really does work . The thing you have to know if doing it yourself is that once you do the comp nut , you also HAVE to re- intonate at the bridge. The comp nut will correct the reason the string length needs to be lengthened at the bridge in the first place.. if that makes sense.
You will find that the amount of comp shelf needed for each string will vary quite a lot for various reasons. ex: String gauge, nut slot depth, fret height,and Action (string height)..all have a roll in how much each string needs. The high E needs the least (being the smallest dia) and can be anywhere from .015 inch to .050 inch (.4 mm to 1.3mm approx), and the G and low E need the most anywhere from .080 inch to as much as .150 inch (2.1 mm to 3.9mm or so). There can not be a set formula to figure the amount, due too all the variables mentioned. I have been a guitar tech for 30 years, so this is not a guess, this is real world facts. you can email me at [email protected] if you have any further questions or need clarifications. Good luck in your effort.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top