Discussion in 'Tone Zone' started by guitarthur, Oct 8, 2012.
Does graph tech make a drop in nut for a Gibson sg standard? Thanks for your knowledge.
They make one that fit my G400.
yes the Graph Tech XL can be found with the correct string spacing for the USA-made SGs. But as the name "XL" implies, they are oversized to fit many different neck widths and you will need to file down to the size you want. It's an easy job though.
Though I prefer bone over synthetics, that brand is one of the better made. The string spacing can be pretty close for a general fit, pre-slotted nut. They wear well according to many that use them. Sure beats all out plastic!
I'm with Wade in that I prefer a bone nut, though slippery 6/6 nylon nut setups work well with Bigsby and Maestro vibratos. Gibson used nylon back in the day, so it can't be that bad!
I would suggest, if you can, to take your guitar to the shop where you intend to get your Graph Tech nut and lay the replacement nut next to the one in place now. Or take a piece of thin cardboard and make a tracing of your present nut and it's string layout. That way you can find one that has the closest match for the spacing. Some are quite wide, and can cause problems with being too close to the edge of the fingerboard. Best check before you buy and install only to find that your guitar now has a string spacing problem. A good rule of thumb is to have both E strings about 1/8" from the edge of the board measured at the nut. This insures that the afore mentioned problem will be reduced or eliminated.
Further, some pre-slotted nuts will not have the spacing wider on the wound string side to allow for the increased string diameter. This is a common problem with some I've seen in lesser quality pre-slots. Though I never used Graph Tech when I work on guitars, I've not heard this complaint about them. Just an FYI I suppose if one is looking for pre-slotted nuts as this can come back to haunt you with some of the "fit all" nuts being sold.
Good luck on your replacement quest
I have a bone nut on my G400, and graph tech on all other guitars.
Im 99.9% sure this one Graph Tech PQ-6000-00 GTPQ1 Nut - Thomann UK Cyberstore
will fit a gibson, it did fit the epi 61 SG special, but you should double check dimensions before ordering, as they make a similar one, but lower, so it would't fit without shimming...
I installed those myself, every package comes with instructions how to install them. It's not hard, takes about half an hour.
Measure all sides and E-E string spacing, preferably with digital calipers, and buy the one that's the closest - or slihtly larger.
The tools you need are some 360 and 800 grit sandpaper, a drop of plain white wood glue (supergrlue not recommended), a carpenter knife, and a set of automotive feeler gauges. A bit of common sense and patience is recomended too.
Both bone and tusq work well for me, I do like bone just becouse it's traditional - I'm like that; but to be fair, tusq is as good or better, and looks 'vintage' as well. I bought and changed 5 or 6 of them so far, all were very accurately made; absolutely no tuning issues, the slots fit all standard string gauges and there's definitely a slight improvement in sound over stock plastic.
I like both also and think the Bone looks more traditional also.
Not really - Graphtech made a patented material for sanding without flaking, they expect you to make post sale adjustments everytime. The good news is that it carries great sound and adjustment is pretty easy. This article helped me when I wanted to upgrade to a graphtech guitar nut. Hope it helps you.
here's a Video from StewMac and Dan Erlewine:
STEWMAC.COM : Issue 178, How to fit a preshaped nut on a guitar
I believe StewMac sells the correct size for your guitar. Erlewine recommends a couple of dabs of Shellac to hold the nut in place lightly... so it holds, but it can be tapped out easily.
I've put Tusq nuts on two Epiphones, and they were a definite upgrade to what was stock. But doesn't your Gibson already have a nut that's as good (Micarta) or better (bone) than the Tusq? I wouldn't replace it unless someone had cut the slots too deep.
But maybe Tusq sounds better than what you have... I sure do like the Epiphones with these, and they were easy to install,with only a minimum of sanding. good luck
like col i put a tusq on my epi and it was a definite upgrade i also put one on my acoustic to great effect. and as said its not to hard to adjust, just time consuming, but i did have to have 2 attempts with the slots on the acoustic. and as said before take your nut or guitar with you. i couldn't find a match for mine so had to use the blanks. and do the slots and shaping my self. good luck with it
I just ordered the BLACK TUSQ XL last week for a build I`m doing.Will soon see how it works out and report back.
so now we want to hear all about it... how hard it was to get the original nut outa there, and how hard it was to clean all the old glue outa the slot, and how hard it was to sand it down just right, and how hard it was to get the string spacing equal on both sides, and how great it sounds when you've done all these things right.
and remember... PICTURES, OR IT DIDN'T HAPPEN
I wanna hear about (and see) the black tusq too! I JUST ordered two of them for my SG. I got a backup I case I mess it up real good on the first attempt....!
I thought the black would look cool too. I'll def post pics info after I swap mine!
Wish me luck!
Chicago Dave — RE: Nuts
Chicago, this is just my humble 2 cents. I have an 06 SG Standard. I had a tech in my city do a bone nut - my first ever. It was only about 50.00 bucks.
But, I had also given him this bridge, and iNserts to replace the zinc bushing inserts that came stock with the guitar.
SEE Faber Steel iNserts:
Faber iNsert Steel Bridge Studs
Faber Tone Lock ABR 1 Bridge: (it uses retainer clips, not springs)
It's a dense, machined, solid piece of steel, + those locking threaded barrels around the bridge posts which cinch the posts downwards, locking the bridge in place. The bridge, posts, saddles, all behave and feel like they're 1 single part.
These 2 upgrades, including the bone nut, are the best 3 things that could have ever happened to this guitar. The sustain, snap, and general feel is considerably better - and immediately noticeable. I also added 3 titanium saddles for the E, A, D strings (3094-Natural TITANIUM) CV Guitars and 3 nickel over brass for the G, B, E. Those titanium saddles do make a difference as well. I was skeptical at first, but now there's more definition and ZING in the wound strings, a kind of snappy springiness that wasn't there before, and much more detail.
After the stock bridge was removed, we found out it was a Gotoh - not a terrible bridge, but not as dense, the saddles had too much movement, caused noise, poor contact etc - hence less string energy, or rather, LOST string energy. The Faber parts aren't cheap, but they're worth every penny, and I feel like you get more than what you pay for. I can't speak highly enough about the quality of the parts, and Larry Corsa at CV Guitars is totally professional, and a pleasure to deal with.
06SG - Thanks for that info & links. I was looking into the GraphTech bridges & tailpieces as next possible upgrade (after I decided how I like Tusq nut). The price seems comparable. I'll have to do my homework on the metals and differences between the systems.
I do like the locking feature of that bridge...and curious how much more precise the adjustment screws are. The GraphTech version uses magnets to hold the bridge in place. I wonder, but doubt, if that would affect the pickups at all. I'm sure we'd know by now if it did.
Anyway...my Black Tusq XL nuts showed up this afternoon! After looking over instructions and finding this video on YouTube, I jumped in and replaced it.
In many ways it was easier and faster than changing strings! It went smoothly. I didn't even have to take strings off. I just loosened them and pulled them to the sides of the nut — you can see that in one of the photos. I bought the Gibson sized replacement nut. It was precut/slotted perfectly. I just had to smooth off a little nib on bottom (leftover from molding process, I assume?) and sanded a hair off each end so it would be perfectly flush with sides of neck/headstock.
It sounds great! My guitar vibrates so much now! ...especially the neck. I can really feel it in my left hand. It tunes great, and my strings no longer get stuck in the lots. And...it's taller, so it fixed my string rattle issue too (E string was bouncing off frets a lot). I can't say enough good things about it. It was under $15 bucks. It was delivered FAST. It was a piece of cake to install. And, it works, sounds, and looks great. I really dig how the black color looks on my SG.
Hopefully the photos below will show up correctly. This is my first photo post, but I read the post about how to post pictures. (Fingers crossed!)
"Before" You can see how I moved strings out of way. I also put padding between strings and headstock after I took this photo....so they wouldn't scratch.
"Comparing new/old" I think I had an Epiphone sized nut instead of Gibson size. You can see the huge difference in height. The ivory one is same dimensions as GraphTech's precut Epiphone replacement.
"After" — And this is the new, sweet looking, black nut after I put strings back and tuned it. That just looks nice....to me anyway!
I also used the black tusq XL nut and it sounds just fine and I have no binding or tuning issues. Hard to beat for $12 it cost me.
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