Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #126751  by Ddavis510
 Tue Apr 16, 2013 7:35 am
I have an LSR roller nut on a strat I built and really dig it. Holds tune like all get out. I've never used or built a brass nut. Is the brass significantly better? I know its more historically correct but I'm after an end product that is Irwin/Cripe/Jerry inspired not a copy.

Any thoughts?

 #126891  by Ddavis510
 Sun Apr 21, 2013 5:43 am

Do any of yall that have brass nuts also have (or have had) roller nuts?

Do you get the same or nearly the same timbre out of a roller nut as you do a brass nut?

Thanks for the info.

 #126897  by mgbills
 Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:36 am
I can't really imaging a huge difference. I've bought & fabbed brass nuts for accuracy, but I have a roller nut in my parts that I intend to try. There seems to be many indications that Jerry's primary concern was playing in tune. There is a thread here somewhere about Wolf II, and how it was supposed to have this fancy trem system that would stay in tune.

My guess is that tonally it's splitting hairs, and that any artifice that reduces drag across them nut/nut slots is a good idea. There are as many subtle ways to file/dress nut slots as there are luthiers. It's a work of judgement, and judgement is subject to inaccuracy. I personally like machined pieces provided all the ideal geometry is known from the outset. For example...are there ideal string gauges that the LSR works with? I bet it's a narrow selection...0.10's & 0.11's or something like that.

Just my opinion. I bet it's just fine.
 #126898  by NWPines
 Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:56 am
Not much help in terms of comparison since I've never had a guitar with a brass nut, but my 97 natural ash Strat Plus has an LSR roller nut and I love it. Best tuning stability of any strat I've had or played.
 #126919  by foolofships
 Mon Apr 22, 2013 12:44 pm
On principle, I suggest that adding moving parts to anything connected to the strings will rob tone and sustain. The rollers of a roller nut will move as the string vibrates instead of transferring that vibration to the guitar. That movement, while slight, is a factor that you should consider. There is probably a trade-off in terms of tuning stability that becomes important with tremolo use, but if the guitar won't have a trem (another set of moving parts!), I would think that a solid nut would give better tonal and sustain responses.
 #126949  by Ddavis510
 Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:19 am
@ foolofships,

I hadn't given it much thought that I would be losing energy. I won't be using a trem. My playing style uses lots of bends and the string returning to zero is important to me. I have not fabbed a brass nut but I assume its the same as a bone nut which I do often. The fact that I haven't made a brass nut is enough reason to go with brass.

 #126966  by softmachine72
 Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:37 pm
make sure you scallop the area in between the strings it serves the purpose of isolating the vibration of each individual string. I believe the brass nut adds to the attack and definition of the open strings. It is minute but precept-able