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nut size on a classical?

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nut size on a classical?

Postby Simon Magennis » Sun Aug 21, 2016 8:23 am

Why is the nut on a classical guitar typical about 5mm wide and not 2.5mm or 3mm like a saddle? Currently I have a 2.5mm nut on a guitar I am finishing as I have not finished the nut slot - works fine.

The only reason I can think of is that a longer ramp from the tuners is somehow beneficial. Any other theories? Many classicals in the past as well as gazillions of other guitars have a zero fret so it can't really have anything to do with the sound as such.

Ideas, theories?
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Re: nut size on a classical?

Postby Waddy Thomson » Sun Aug 21, 2016 11:12 am

I don't know, and I don't particularly adhere to the 5 mm thickness of the nut. Most of mine, which are tapered, are about 4mm in the center, so go from approximately 4.2 to about 3.8. Just enough taper to keep them tight in the slot, which is tapered to match.
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Re: nut size on a classical?

Postby Simon Magennis » Mon Aug 22, 2016 7:14 am

Thanks Waddy. I am not too bother about the exact size either but it tends to be in the 5mm range as that seems to be the typical area for ready made nuts or for bone blanks. Curious why this is the case. I have never seen an explanation.
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Re: nut size on a classical?

Postby Barry Daniels » Mon Aug 22, 2016 10:46 am

Because it's tradition. And there is not an overwhelming reason to change.
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Re: nut size on a classical?

Postby Brad Heinzen » Thu Aug 25, 2016 12:08 am

Mine are the same thickness as the file I use for cleaning out the slot between the fretboard and the head stock veneer. I can't think of a more practical reason than that. I'd be fine with zero frets too, but most players would probably think they looked funny. I can't think of a good argument for CG nuts to be any particular thickness.
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Re: nut size on a classical?

Postby Clay Schaeffer » Sun Aug 28, 2016 12:14 pm

It's also possible that the wider nut (than saddle) when properly made provides greater bearing surface and wear resistance than the saddle. The saddle performs a different function and being thinner allows it to perform that function better, at the expense of some wear resistance (saddles are usually made to be easily replaced).
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