The PRS Factory Blog
The PRS Factory Blog

Nut Material

by Paul Reed Smith on April 26, 2012

Filed Under Rules of Tone

Here is a video about the beginnings of our theories and experiential understanding of nut materials. As we said in the Rules of Tone segment on our Phase III Tuners: every part of a guitar has an effect on its overall tone. The nut is no exception. Some things are pretty obvious…the nut should not “grab” the strings, for example. What may not seem so obvious, is the importance and impact the selection of nut material can have. The nut material should always add to the resonance of the guitar. To exaggerate it and boil it down to the bone, almost anyone will admit that a guitar with a silicone rubber nut will sound different than a guitar with a steel nut. It is definitely an important piece of the puzzle.

Comments (5)
Add a Comment
Mark Abbott November 06, 2012 - 3:35am
I've had a Custom 24 since 1991, it's a good guitar and definitely up there with other custom shop instruments. The question I find myself asking is how many times has PRS changed nut material since my guitar was made and why?
Paul G Sherman May 29, 2012 - 1:05pm
I wish Paul would have identified the nut materials other than bone, but it's kinda moot because for Wilkinson, Floyd or Bigsby trems my builds mostly get a Graphtec nut for tuning stability ( I like to place a Floyd lock behind a nut). Some luthiers opine than bone is slippery enough for trem tuning stability but I'm not sure how bone could possibly be as friction reducing as a graphite or Graphtec nut... so I'm not convinced enough to even try bone on trem equipped instrument.
Wilvus May 10, 2012 - 10:39pm
I always wondered why more builders didn't use a zero fret and take the nut out of the equation. i've cut a lot of nuts, brass was the rage in the '70's. All playing above the first position chords pretty much removes the nut and open strings from the equation. More so than material, the compensated nut has done more for the sound of the guitar than nut material. Of course PRS would be paying licensing fees to use compensated nuts unless that could create a unique "new" version. Like Paul, this is just my opinion.
JD Bradshaw May 06, 2012 - 11:06am
PRS Guitars are the best playing guitars in the world!
Paul Needs April 19, 2012 - 5:22pm
I have an old CU22. Wonderful instrument (of course). 10 top, trem. People who also play, drool over her. But, I read and watch the progress you are making. Some of the very recent SE's I've played are almost at the same build quality as my "old lady" - that factory has made stunning progress since the first Santana II I played. So, if THEY are that much better now, how does that reflect on my guitar? There are some updates we can buy, such as trem upgrades, pickups, but what about replacement nuts? Very best wishes. Paul "Welsh Dragon" Needs.
Add A Comment

All fields are required. Your email address will not be displayed with your comment.