Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Compensated Nut

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by whodatpat, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. whodatpat

    whodatpat Friend of Leo's

    Jul 21, 2007
    College Park MD
    I looking for some cheap nuts on ebay, I ran acrost these.
    Idea looks easy enough to modify a regular nut with. Has anyone ever heard of this or done it?

    They claim; "we've specially slotted our compensated nut at the G, B and high E slots. By removing material to the proper depth in those three slots, the scale length for those strings is increased just enough. Now, even if bridge saddle travel is nearing the end, you'll still get the intonation "just right".

    My sense of intunation sucks. After 20 years, I still have to use the electronic tuner ALL the time, so I would not be a good judge of this.

    Is this more Snake Oil or a simple detail in setup that actually makes sense?

  2. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Telefied Ad Free Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
    I have seen Earvana, Buzz Feiten (system), PRS and the old Micro Frets
    compensated nuts over the years.
    Their fans swear by them.
    My question is, given the "fleeting" nature of guitar (or any fretted instrument)
    playing, how useful is it?
    In other words, once a chord or series of notes are played, it's over, no?
    Once an instrument is set up, and intonated, it seems to be "in tune" to me.
    If one sits and analyses the relationship of fretted notes to one another, you
    will surely lose your marbles.:lol:
    Why bother:?:
    I vote for the "Snake Oil" assessment.

  3. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Jan 21, 2007
    Tucson, AZ
    I don't find them all that useful on a properly setup guitar. I find most guitars have the action too high at the nut, and that causes the main problems.

  4. telex76

    telex76 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Jun 24, 2006
    Fort Worth,Tx.

  5. Mikus11

    Mikus11 TDPRI Member

    Jan 15, 2013
    Ummmmm maybe I'm missing something but will a nut not only contribute to the sound and intonation when the string is open and not fretted?

  6. Doug 54

    Doug 54 Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 12, 2004
    Not snake oil.

    My Albert Lee has their own design.

    Played a Tom Anderson with the Feiten.

    On my SX I have an Earvanna


  7. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    May 1, 2003
    Jacksonville, FL
    They are one of the best things available for fixing a nonexistent problem.

    Ron Kirn

  8. whodatpat

    whodatpat Friend of Leo's

    Jul 21, 2007
    College Park MD
    Yeah, they do say it is specifically to help open chords like a C or G. You would technically set the original intonation based on this slightly longer G-B-e string lengths so that would concievably change the pitch at the 12th fret and so on. However, the difference between Concievably and Realisticly now have me not even wanting to to waste time trying this out and risk screwing up a perfictly good 50 cent plastic nut.

    BTW I meant to post in the Home Depot instead of here, even though I am talking specifically about my Tele. ;)

  9. whodatpat

    whodatpat Friend of Leo's

    Jul 21, 2007
    College Park MD
    I thought that centerline finder was the best at that?:confused::lol:

  10. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    May 1, 2003
    Jacksonville, FL
    In all reality, here's how I see it…

    Not everyone's hearing is as acute as the next guys… there are some that can hear extremely subtle differences in intonation from one note to the next. Most cannot…. any, I mean MANY people simply can barely hear the difference between two different fret positions on the same string….

    Since the guitar, as well as ALL musical instruments, are inherently defective, there have been products developed to address these imperfections..

    Free market ya know…. when ya try to sell whatever you have made to address those issues, ya HAVE to promote it as "My thing cures all ails".. you simply cannot say, "My thingy might cure something you suspect is goofy" even if it is dead truthful, you aren't gonna sell diddly… you gotta "press the confines of truthfulness". Then you have minions that embrace the "quasi truth", hear a difference based on something like Psychoacoustics"… and argue the point ad nauseam..

    While they DO work, i.e. address those imperfections, what they do is shift the imperfections to other areas of the acoustic spectrum.. that's it, that's all they CAN do...

    Guys. . . there is NO perfect guitar…. those of you chasing 'em are like that little pooch, chasing his tail…. 'round 'n 'round ya go…. never making any real gains….. theres more productive things to do with your "guitar time, efforts and re$ource$….


  11. jammers5

    jammers5 Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 21, 2009
    Mount Pearl NL
    Wow how did we get by for the past 60+ years without it!


  12. Doug 54

    Doug 54 Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 12, 2004

    Respectfully and disrespectfully disagree!! (hehehe)

    I use a thumbpick and all fingers with picking in a clean style: Part Chet, part extreme bending in contrary motion, part... me (!!).

    Anyhoot I definitely notice a diff, minor as it is.
    I've heard it said it 'sweetens' it up a bit.

    Last edited: Feb 26, 2013

  13. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    May 1, 2003
    Jacksonville, FL
    the "litmus" test is always the same… If "it's" worth a hoot.. a Real Hoot… the guitar pickin' world will stampede to it….. Truss rods, Tremolos, precision engineered pickups…. they "came" they were touted… they are still here….

    If not… some will buy 'em. . . some will praise 'em, in flowing, gracious, and eloquent terms…. and then they will fade into the annals of "guitar gizmo" history with the likes of massive bridges… locking nuts with "engine mounting bolts" on 'em . . headless guitar necks…. that gawddawfull Gibby Robot…. The Casio Midi Guitar... and a long list of other well forgotten "snake oil"….

    analysis is that easy….. You don't need weird schidt to play like Frampton, Hendrix, Clapton…. all you need is a good guitar.. ya know… like they built in '62.. without all the funkiness... and, of course, the personal discipline to sit yer azz down and learn Music, Music Theory, and possibly, how to play the guitar…

    Which would ya rather have in your repertoire . . . that, or a "miracle nut".... one get's ya respect, self respect, the other goes unnoticed...


  14. t-ray

    t-ray Tele-Holic

    Apr 18, 2010
    Gotham City
    Well, just looking at the idea itself and the mechanics of it, it would only work when the string is open and vibrating. Once you hit a fret, the effect of the compensated nut is gone. Period. One would have to "compensate" each fret right on up the fretboard to have any further benefit from this idea. (Well, I suppose there would be diminishing returns, as the further up the board you go, the smaller the adjustment and the smaller the effect on pitch. So, at some point not too far up, you probably would not hear the difference.)
    (I tried, but I just couldn't keep myself away from posting on this thread! LOL)

  15. nogin007

    nogin007 Tele-Meister

    Apr 22, 2003
    Wellington, AL
    I wonder if their sales are as good as the "pet rocks" from a few years ago?

  16. mabley123

    mabley123 Friend of Leo's

    Aug 21, 2011
    ashland kentucky
    not snake oil...its the only mod i ever did to my 71 4 bolt strat.

    it has been stated that many people can hear a difference....and the strobe tuner does not lie either...if i was a guitar maker i would do my best to make my guitars like i was making 1 for segovia...think he can hear it ? alot of people ( more than you think ) have perfect pitch and cannot be discounted as nuts or cork sniffing.

    and yep alot of music has been made on less then perfect intonation...and you can see alot of people struggle with it live all the way back when....and nothing is perfect....but things can be ALOT BETTER.

    the guy at the shop that put mine on 10 years ago said i had the most intune guitar he had ever played...he let everyone at the shop play it and they all agreed amd all of them replaced their nuts withan earvana...mine ws the 1st 1 the guy ever did.

    i think everyone at the shop noticing a difference...and im talking big the most intune guitar they ever played....period.... that you have to admit thats pretty good ???

    the feiten system is also very good but you have to modify your guitar unless it came from the factory with it.

    then there is the truetemperment fretting system...of which john mclaughlin and steve vai use...vai had these put on all of his guitars...

    starting at about the 735 mark he talks about them again.

    to some it may not be so some it is all that matters..

    they also come in different compensations depending on he style of music you play..

    its also been said some cannot tell the difference between positions...

    it is very apparent to me of the different sounds of the same note/chords in different positions and that is 1 of the things i do when i try and learn a song....i hardly use tab....i play all by ear.....

    i try and figure out the correct positions the artist originally used.

    to me it is this simple..

    does an intonation problem exist on the guitar ???...answer is yes ( classical makers have been using compensated bridges forever ).....does earvana....feiten and truetemperment system help any at all or a huge difference ??? the answer is also yes......and this is measurable on a strobe tuner and not just heresay...

    so it is an improvement

    the question for me is ? is worth it ????

    but dont discount it as snake oil when the results can be measured on a strobe tuner....perfect ? nope....better ? yep.

  17. Peltogyne

    Peltogyne Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 29, 2012
    Northern California
    Like so many of these wonderful products that make us better than the other people for a price, no one can hear them until they know it's there. You'll never hear "Hey is that a compensated nut? I was listening in the audience or to a recording and noticed you are more in tune with yourself and less in tune with the rest of the band than most guitarists." it's more often something like. "Hey I just paid $100 for this can you hear it or are you stupid?"

    I've been watching people sell different versions of this stuff for 30 years and I ask them all the same questions. I ask how it specifically changes a particular note on a guitar and why. Few will actually answer this as they know it's a trap but when you find one that does the next question is what do you do if someone wants you to transpose up half a step? I think the Buzz Feiten people have been instructed to never give a specific to anyone at NAMM as I've asked them for years if they can give any specifics as to what their system does to a particular note and they get squirrely real fast.

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