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

Opinions on Tusq pre-slotted replacement nuts?

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by mlove3, Nov 10, 2015.

  1. mlove3

    mlove3 Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 15, 2008
    Phoenix Az

  2. Steve_U1S

    Steve_U1S Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Apr 23, 2013
    Toronto, Canada
    I like them; have used them several times.
    Like any nut, they'll always want for some tweaking to suite a specific instrument.
    They're sized well, have great string spacing to guide fine-tuning of the slots, etc.
     

  3. thatkeithmorris

    thatkeithmorris TDPRI Member

    71
    Sep 19, 2013
    Carlisle, UK
    Just done my first ever nut and decided to go with a Tusq for simplicity. And it was simple, just needed a light sanding on the back to fit in the slot and everything else was fine. There's a Stewmac video on YouTube shows how to do it, including other tweaks if needed.

    I decided to go for the lubricated version (Teflon impregnated?) and tuning has been very slick and stable. Non of the stickiness and pinging that I get with my other guitars when I tune the high strings.
     
    RyCo1983 likes this.

  4. digmeout

    digmeout TDPRI Member

    21
    May 30, 2011
    Arizona
    I just installed one on a older partscaster that had a old plastic nut that wasn't in very good shape. They're just slightly over size so it's easy to sand to a snug fit. The string spacing was virtually the same and the slots just started. I had to trim the tab in the middle for the curved fretboard and sand the ends to fit, and just general shaping. All in all it went real well and gave the open strings a nice clean tone. I would buy one again.
     

  5. aunchaki

    aunchaki Friend of Leo's

    Mar 12, 2006
    Central New York
    Like the folks above, I used one for an early modding project--before I really knew how to do anything. I had to file off the notch and shorten the ends a bit. I didn't have nut files, but the starter slots served that guitar just fine.
     

  6. JeffBlue

    JeffBlue Tele-Holic

    700
    Oct 24, 2012
    southern California
    I like them and use them on my builds. Warmoth now offers an Earvana compensated Tusq nut.
     

  7. DaveDeMagico

    DaveDeMagico TDPRI Member

    23
    Jun 12, 2014
    Ohio
    I've used a them on a couple of my guitars and I like them. I had to deepen the slots on both and do some minor sanding but that was a breeze. I've yet to make a nut from scratch, but I imagine the time you save with the pre-slotted nuts are worth the extra bit of $$
     

  8. Cat MacKinnon

    Cat MacKinnon Friend of Leo's

    Nov 13, 2011
    Colorado
    I'm a big fan of TUSQ nuts: they're just about as hard as bone, but a bit easier to shape and the XL version is impregnated with Teflon (or whatever they use), which is great stuff. Also, they don't smell bad when you're sanding them, which always grosses me out when it comes to bone nuts.

    The trick with the pre-slotted TUSQ nuts is to find one in the right size. They offer a few choices for each type, so it pays to spend a few minutes on their site comparing sizes. I don't look at string spacing so much as the overall size: oversize is fine, you just don't want something smaller than the slot on your neck.

    I emailed GraphTech a couple years back, asking about the radius of the pre-slotted Fender style nuts. They told me the ones meant for metric slots (42mm and 43mm length) have a 12" radius, and the "inch" sizes (xx-5000-00 and xx-5010-00) are slotted for a 9.5" fretboard radius. I've found them to be slightly off, but more than close enough to be playable if you don't have a chance to tweak the slots a bit. I'm inclined to think the xx-5000-00 models are actually slotted for 7.25" radius, but I don't have radius gauges to check and I could be wrong about that.

    For quick reference, here's how their model numbers break down:

    PQ-xxxx-xx = regular TUSQ, not Teflon-impregnated
    PQL-xxxx-xx = off-white TUSQ XL, Teflon-impregnated
    PT-xxxx-xx = black TUSQ XL, Teflon-impregnated

    The numbers after the letters are the same across all types, ie a PQ-5010-00 and a PT-5010-00 are the exact same shape, just a different material. If the number ends in L0 instead of 00, that means it's a lefty.

    FWIW, the following four are the pre-slotted sizes that fit various Fender-type necks:

    xx-5000-00 = meant to be easily used with flat or curved-bottom nut slots. Might be 7.25" slot radius.

    xx-5010-00 = standard flat-bottom Fender nut, supposed to be 9.5" radius. The best all-around replacement, will fit pretty much anything with a flat-bottomed Fender-style nut slot. If in doubt, just get this one: at worst, you'll just have to sand/shape it a little more to fit the slot.

    xx-5042-00 = meant for 42mm nut width, works great for Squiers. Supposed to be 12" radius.

    xx-5043-00 = meant for 43mm nut width, but is really short and not the best choice for most Fenders or Squiers unless it has a really shallow nut slot. Supposed to be 12" radius.
     
    nermal, src9000 and Telesphere like this.

  9. digmeout

    digmeout TDPRI Member

    21
    May 30, 2011
    Arizona
    "I'm inclined to think the xx-5000-00 models are actually slotted for 7.25" radius, but I don't have radius gauges to check and I could be wrong about that."

    I checked mine and it was much closer to 7.25" than 9.5", not dead on but close enough that a little sanding was all that was need to fit the curved nut slot just right.
     

  10. Telesphere

    Telesphere Tele-Meister

    210
    Oct 11, 2005
    In the Telesphere
    Thanks for the help in wading through the many confusing model numbers, Cat, much appreciated.
     

  11. xafinity

    xafinity Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Dec 24, 2015
    west of I-10

  12. Lefty Addams

    Lefty Addams Tele-Holic

    927
    May 6, 2012
    England
    What is the difference between an Earvana Tusk nut and a Standard Tusk nut?

    Mr cat, maybe you know this?
     

  13. Shango66

    Shango66 Friend of Leo's

    Aug 15, 2012
    Australia
    Love em. I have 2 teles with b benders and they go a long way in helping with keeping them in tune. A bit of filing or sanding and an easy mod.
     

  14. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 29, 2013
    NYC
    Earvana nuts are compensated and supposedly provide better intonation.
     

  15. Lefty Addams

    Lefty Addams Tele-Holic

    927
    May 6, 2012
    England
    A compensated nut? really ...
     

  16. Cat MacKinnon

    Cat MacKinnon Friend of Leo's

    Nov 13, 2011
    Colorado
    It's "Miss". ;)

    LutherBurger already answered though. Earvana nuts are compensated (and expensive, about $35 USD each). Same material (they probably have GraphTech manufacture them), but they can be compensated very slightly for intonation. However, the compensation only affects the open strings, so whether that's worth $30+ (and installation if you pay someone) is up to you.
     

  17. Lefty Addams

    Lefty Addams Tele-Holic

    927
    May 6, 2012
    England
    Excuse me, Miss Cat.

    Well he did mention compensated but didn't enlighten me further, it's something i've never heard of a nut. Saddles of course. You live and learn.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017

  18. Strato50

    Strato50 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    50
    201
    Mar 30, 2017
    Port Arthur TX
    I do exactly what Dan does in that vid on my necks...Tusq is the way to go...I do use bone as well.
     

  19. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Friend of Leo's

    Apr 3, 2015
    Winchester, VA
    I used one on my Squier Affinity telecaster. Aside from having to shave a little off the ends due to the weird Squier nut width, it was perfect.
     

  20. Flakey

    Flakey Friend of Leo's

    I use them for all my builds. I concur with others have previously said. It can't get any easier IMHO.
     

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