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Author Topic: Compensated Nuts  (Read 4602 times)

Offline raven17

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Compensated Nuts
« on: December 03, 2005, 02:27:20 PM »
I've been playing an American Deluxe Fender Fat Strat for quite some time, and was pleased with the sound of it.  But as anyone knows, the price you pay for that "classic" Fender sound is a horrible battle with intonation problems.  It was driving me absolutely mad.  I spent more than an hour each week adjusting the set-up.  But then I added an ear-vana compensated nut and was totally blown away by how perfect the intonation was.  Everything just sounded incredible.

About 6 months ago, I picked up a Nitefly mojo in a store.  It was the most beautiful creature I've ever seen.  And it sounded 10 times as good as it looked as far as tone is concerned.  I was totally in love.  Until I started playing more mellow and intricate riffs and especially barred and open chords.  It has nothing to do with Parker, in fact the intonation of even this display guitar was still better than most other guitars I've seen and played that didn't have compensated nuts.  But after a year of having my ears in bliss and a guitar with perfect intonation (while lagging far behind Parker in almost all other aspects), it was just something my ears couldn't ignore.

I would part with $1800 in a heartbeat for a Nitefly Mojo with the flamed maple top.  I'd sell both of my American Fenders for it.  If only it had a compesated nut.

I don't want to buy a sonically-perfect instrument and then put a ear-vana nut on it that was designed for a Fender (which are imperfect, as charming as some of their quirks might be) or a Gibson.  Besides, installing the ear-vana nut on a guitar that it was designed for even resulted in a tiny loss in sustain.  I would never want to do that to a Parker.  

Therefore, I'm suggesting that Parker make their own compensated nuts precision built into the guitars, offered as an option.  Based on the incredible quality in everything else I've seen from Parker, I'm sure the builders would make the compensated nut absoluelty perfect and incorporate it seamlessly.

I just think that offered as an option, this would be an incredible selling point, and would just further the distance between Parker and all other guitar makers in the perfection of the instruments.

Does anybody else think this would be a great addition to all the other features that have made Parker guitars so incredible?
 

Compensated Nuts

Offline trap

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Compensated Nuts
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2005, 08:01:14 AM »
i don't know anything about the compensated nut.but i haven't had any intonation problems with any fly i have owned,including the nitefly.thats what the compensated bridge saddles are for. i don't know why your experiencing this problem.how do you tune your guitar?
 

Compensated Nuts

Offline raven17

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Compensated Nuts
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2005, 04:02:02 PM »
Your ears are used to the inherent imperfect intonation in guitar strings.  You can try to compensate just at the bridge saddles, but that won't make it perfect all across the fretboard.  The strings distort under their own mass, making each fret's intonation imperfect.  

Okay, when you check intonation, how do you do it?  You play the harmonic on the 12th fret.  That's supposedly the middle of the string, right?  Well, if the 12th fret is EXACTLY the middle, then why do you have to adjust each bridge saddle differently?  What a compensated nut does is give you the ability to adjust the string length from both the bridge and the nut so that the 12th fret is the EXACT center, and then each fret EVERYWHERE on the fretboard, no matter what string, is the same increment to a thousandth of a cent as every other fret.  The result is that every fretted note is 100% on.  It has nothing to do with the guitar company, the strings you use, or the precision with which the fretboard is made... it's the laws of physics at work that cause the intonation problem.  For a .48 gauge string, a perfect half-step up the scale isn't going to be the same distance of the string as a .09 gauge string.  Their masses are different.  But the frets are laid for both strings the same distance apart.  Adjusting intonation at the nut as well as the bridge makes about 95% of this error go away, resulting an a much more beautiful sound.  And when all the notes in a dominant chord are PERFECT, it rings much brighter and louder.    

Just play a guitar with a compensated nut versus one without.  You WILL hear an incredible difference that you won't believe you didn't notice before.  I didn't know how I had lived my life without one until that point...
« Last Edit: December 05, 2005, 04:06:45 PM by raven17 »
 

Compensated Nuts

Offline raven17

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Compensated Nuts
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2005, 04:22:59 PM »
Well...I looked it up and there is some good news for me.  

The Parker I have my heart set on is the Nitefly Mojo Flame...

Nut Width: 1.68"
Scale:  25.5"

And Earvana (http://www.earvana.com/), as I know, has compensated nuts for Stratocasters, like the one I have now.

American series Strats

Nut width: 1 11/16" (1.68")
Scale: 25.5"

And Earvana now offers the nuts in black, which is a good deal because they used to only be in ivory, which would be one horrible eyesore on a sleek, dark Nitefly.

And the nuts are only $30... so if I don't install the first one flawlessly I can just buy another and try, try again.

I still think it would be a good idea for Parker to make their own, because I do anticipate a minor loss in sustain (it's a 2-piece nut) if I install an earvana nut.  But I suppose if it's HORRIBLE, I could buy a a chunk of Corian or something and fashion a custom 1-piece compensated nut using the earvana one as a pattern.
 

Compensated Nuts

Offline Bill

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« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2005, 04:28:35 PM »
My wife found out what I paid for my Fly deluxe. Now I have compensated nuts!

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Compensated Nuts

Offline trap

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Compensated Nuts
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2005, 03:52:40 PM »
if the guitar sounds better i'm all for it.but i never was bugged by the intonation as it is.it's never perfect,but as the old expression goes,"close enough for jazz". pianos have a tempered tuning,sax players can go sharp if they blow too hard.it adds character,like crooked walls in an old house. so if it improves the tone,i can see it.
 

Compensated Nuts

Offline LooseChange

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« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2005, 04:41:27 PM »
Bill.. You beat me to it.
My OLD Parker has excellent intonation and stays in tune.  I actually love my Parker. :-)

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Compensated Nuts

Offline bostjan

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« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2005, 05:41:56 PM »
all guitars have awful intonation on thirds and sixths.  buzz feiten tried to help things by sweetening the thirds, at the cost of the octave.  if you divide the octave into nineteen equal parts, instead of twelve, you get much better thirds and sixths, while retaining a perfect octave, and as an added bonus, you get seven more notes to mess with.  not many people are keen on this idea at all, but it's certainly been strongly embraced by a handful of people throughout history.
 

Compensated Nuts

Offline David Tomkins

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« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2005, 02:08:54 AM »
do you know of anywhere where we could hear music that is played on a 19-part octave guitar?  sounds intriguing....i bet there are some ear-twisting intervals going on there
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Offline bostjan

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« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2005, 03:22:51 AM »
quote:
Originally posted by David Tomkins

do you know of anywhere where we could hear music that is played on a 19-part octave guitar?  sounds intriguing....i bet there are some ear-twisting intervals going on there



depends on who's playing i guess.

niel haverstick has a couple of records with weird guitars, including nineteen tone, standard, and fretless; but they are rather hard to find, as i recall.

bill sethares plays guitar and synth in nineteen tone equal on xentonality.  the record is rather spacey-sounding, though.  i think you can still get it on amazon.com.

the cool thing about having nineteen frets per octave is that the major and minor scales are very easy to play.  the thing you have to be careful about, though, is that a# is no longer the same as bb, b# is not c...but it is cb, and so on.  a whole step is three frets, and a sharp/flat is +/- one fret.  sounds pretty complicated at first, but it's actually really easy to get the hang of after a few minutes.