Anyone Swear By Compensated Nuts?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Collin D Plonker, Mar 19, 2021.

  1. stonge

    stonge TDPRI Member

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    My Strandberg Classic has the zero fret, is strobe-tuner intonated correctly at the 12th fret on all strings, and the third fret D on the B string runs noticeably sharp (I have a tin ear, and when I can hear it it's really wrong lol). I have to tune the B slightly flat to get open position C and D chords to sound ok. On the high frets, I find my poor note choices cover up the intonation issues so as not to offend (much).

    I have a Warmoth parts strat with the Earvana nut - it sounds good to me at all the frets but I can't see a huge need to update every other guitar I own. Like dogs, each one has their own quirks and I can live with that.
     
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  2. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    its a fairly simple dynamic

    string length (nut to saddle)
    string diameter (guage)
    fret hieght, level, clearence ( action)
    set harmonic intonation (scale)

    but its different for every player i guess
    Ron would be a go to person on this level as he makes beautiful instruments, ( I wish I had one or could afford one! ) :lol::lol::lol:
     
  3. Collin D Plonker

    Collin D Plonker Tele-Afflicted

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    This is the guy I referred to in my OP. I forgot his channel name. I like to give credit as due. It's String Tech Workstations. He has a pretty cool bench he invented. Everyone should check it out if not familiar.
     
  4. Mojotron

    Mojotron Poster Extraordinaire

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    Sure I do... It's the concept of equal temperament

    http://www.earvana.com/in-depth-1.html

    "Technical Rational of How Compensation at the Nut works: String Mass, Tension, Pitch and Equal Temperament Our nut is designed around equal temperament. You must accept this compromise because the guitar is an instrument of fixed pitch and the strings must be tuned to the tempered intervals, not pure. Guitarists who have been trying to tune to one or another pure chord forms must learn to understand and accept equal temperament . An interesting note to know is that to approximate pure chords on all forms would require about three dozen frets within the octave. The system of equal temperament reduces the number to twelve frets."


    ---------- Rick, Earvana Creator and Patent Holder"
     
  5. DugT

    DugT Tele-Afflicted

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    Nice job of cut and paste but that doesn't explain how a compensated nut works and how it is different from adjusting intonation with the saddles.
     
  6. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    You need to learn how this works.

    One of the most fundamental tuning issues on guitars is the spacing between the first fret and the nut. If that's not set properly, the guitar will never tune properly regardless of what bridge you're using.

    Look up compensated nuts, and why people use them. I make them for some of my guitars and they work extremely well.
     
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  7. DugT

    DugT Tele-Afflicted

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    So you have never tried a guitar with a Compensated Nut and all 20 of your guitars are perfectly in tune at every fret. I've been playing guitar since 1964 and I'm skeptical but I am positive of this. You should try a guitar with a compensated nut if you get a chance. It is too bad that they aren't more available.
     
  8. Mojotron

    Mojotron Poster Extraordinaire

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    ...because I already did that in my earlier post. I can't read it for you...
     
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  9. Collin D Plonker

    Collin D Plonker Tele-Afflicted

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    I did the intonation test in this vehicle on my latest build. It was in tune on all the notes he specified across the fretboard.

    That's not because I have a compensated nut, but due to my method for cutting nut slots. As I said earlier, I set the guitar up first then cut the nut slots to the depth at which the first fret is in tune.

    I guess I don't need a compensated nut after all. I am already compensating it in my own way.
     
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  10. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I have installed them and In my opinion it is fugazy a well made instument set up properly does not need one, but hey if you are sold on them , cool, and I believe that you believe they work for you , I dont need convincing and I have a strong appreciation for opposing points of view , no good guy /bad guy here .
    if the instrument is built badly , out of alignment and will not settle into set up , no need for bandaids on bullet wounds , I believe in these as I do for the FAT FINGER mass extensions from a few decades back , some swore by them , I dont. Maybe look at the Buzz Feinten tuning system for intonation if the guitar is out of whack that much and unplayable , appearently that works also

     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2021
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  11. Collin D Plonker

    Collin D Plonker Tele-Afflicted

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    The issue is that the first three frets tend to be sharp to varying degrees even though the 12th fret is dead on.
     
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  12. DugT

    DugT Tele-Afflicted

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    With a Compensated Nut, the String length is not the same as it is with a regular nut. When the edge of the nut is recessed (further from the 12th fret) to compensate for fretting a note, the bridge saddle must be further from the 12th fret as well because the 12th has to be in the middle of the string. Therefore, the string is longer. A longer string needs to be tighter to vibrate at the same frequency as a shorter string and play the correct note. The Compensated Nut adjusted string length, when intonated correctly and tuned with the string open, will be in tune better when fretted.

    The hard part is getting the string length correct for each string. To do that you can by a Compensated Nut or make your own. The second video in post #14 explains how to measure the ideal string length for your strings on your guitar and how to Compensate your nut yourself.

    No to both questions. It is about adjusting the overall length of each string so that it is in tune when played open and also in tune when fretted.

    I have not heard it explained as simply as that but I believe that is the essence of how a Compensated Nut works.
     
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  13. Collin D Plonker

    Collin D Plonker Tele-Afflicted

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    Fretted at the top of the neck, not just at the 12.
     
  14. tfarny

    tfarny Poster Extraordinaire

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    Manage your fret pressure better when playing near the nut. If you really clamp down on cowboy chords it does sound awfully out of tune to my ear, and an Earvana does help that. It does nothing if you try and play with a lighter touch, and helps with nothing above the 3th fret.
     
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  15. TeleCarlos

    TeleCarlos Tele-Meister

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    Because I like other perspectives....

    I am no pro. It appears compensated nut are good at what they were made for. Some people that have tried them hear the improvement and want to continue using them. I believe them. I like the things I read about the tech behind them. That doesn't mean everyone that doesn't have a compensated nut needs to stop playing their guitars until all of them and everybody else has compensated nuts. So if you like em, awesome! If you dont care for them, awesome also!

    I love how the guitar is still such an archaic instrument. That you have to use hands and dexterity to play well! And that the sound making and pitch changing technology is built on a metal string being pushed into a wooden board with metal bands! its a mazing!

    sorry... for the rant and speculation. plant medicine got the better of me!

    Still, it's a interesting topic.
     
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  16. Jipes

    Jipes Tele-Meister

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    Nice to have your experience on this I'm always amazed but doesn't always understand all the mechanistic of a guitar :confused:
     
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  17. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    The determining factor here is the relationship of the nut to the first fret. I have two guitars that were manufactured with the Buzz Fieten system, and they tune as well or better than any of the other 20 guitars I own. I have installed the Buzz Fieten system on my Heritage Blues Deluxe, (un-tuneable as delivered,) and it made the guitar absolutely wonderful to tune and play. My Heritage is a very well made instrument that I set up myself. I am very good at this sort of thing and have the hand made guitars to prove it.

    The biggest culprits inherent in tuning problems are usually the 3rd fret, low E string, and the G string 2nd fret. They're almost always sharp, and NO AMOUNT OF BRIDGE ADJUSTMENT IS GOING TO DO ANYTHING to help that situation. This is when you start to look at the nut and the relative distance to the first fret. If the space between the nut and the first fret is off, the entire guitar will NEVER tune properly without compensating the nut in some way.

    If you don't truly understand that, (and I'm not being rude or condescending,) you really don't have an understanding of how compensated nuts work, why they work, and just how effective they are.

    I wish it were a case of simple math, and that all guitars would respond the same way, but they don't. For those guitars that defy logic, there are compensated nuts, and the Buzz Fieten System to force these delinquents into order. The Buzz Fieten System is actually a compensated nut itself.

    Everything is adjustable and we should be happy for that!
     
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  18. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    OK thanks.. that's a great explanation. It's all about changing the length of the string without moving the midpoint of the string away from the 12th fret.

    I am going to go out on a limb and guess a lot of the skepticism has to do with most of our ears being conditioned to listen to and expect and even like imperfect intonation because of hundreds of years of guitars being that way.

    Probably not that different from acoustic players not liking how V-Class Taylors sound.. Taylor can claim the body reproduces the correct frequencies more "correctly" but that doesn't mean anyone needs to like it.
     
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  19. Zepfan

    Zepfan Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    If you are happy with it fine, go be happy. I don't want it, I don't need it. Now let it be.
     
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  20. Bedder18

    Bedder18 Tele-Meister

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    You: “compensated nuts “ .
    Me: picturing the prosthetic hardware hanging from the tow hitch of certain (obnoxious) pickup trucks. Yep, that’s compensation alright.
     
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