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Tusq Is Some Seriously Hard Stuff


Bookkeeper's Son

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I just replaced a Tusq nut (with a new Tusq nut) on my granddaughter's guitar. So, I decided to see what this "man-made ivory" stuff is all about, since I was gonna throw the old one out anyway. Absolutely impossible to break it by hand; was only able to break it with a pretty sharp hammer whack. The stuff is really hard and really strong. Although I don't have any hands-on experience with bone, I suspect that Tusq would perform as well or better. The convenience of a pre-slotted nut is obvious, and the consistency of a man-made product might be preferable to the variable hardness and porosity of natural bone. This was the second nut replacement I've done, both with pre-slotted Tusq nuts that fit perfectly, only requiring sanding down to proper height, taking about ten minutes in all, and costing about ten bucks. I can see why so many guitar manufacturers use them as original equipment. An excellent product!

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There all right and a pretty well made solid material that seems to hold up well. I have used it only once for an acoustic nut but it worked well but plastic is still plastic so when I'm replacing a nut I usually prefer Bone on electrics and on my Acoustic's I like bone or even Mammoth Ivory. I've never used one of the pre cut and slotted nut's, but it sounds like they make it fairly simple and they must fit pretty well so I'll have to try one. At least one positive from the tusk s it doesn't smell so horrible when your cutting and sanding them I can't decide what smells worse sanding bone or hide glue and the combination is truly disgusting.

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Like I said before, I have no hands-on (ears-on) experience with bone. So, I'm not inclined to argue which materials are best. But I just found this, and it's interesting:

 

http://www.graphtech.com/fckeditor/userfiles/File/soundcharts.pdf

 

In any case, I think Tusq is a good solution for those of us who don't have the wherewithal and tools to fashion bone, or don't want to (or can't afford to) pay a pro to do one. I'm not saying anything about an "upgrade", just about replacing a worn or broken nut or saddle.

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I thought "tusq" was highly pressurized graphite.... [confused]

thats what we use for our smelting furnace crucibles at work

not only is it durable against breakage, it's also nigh on impossible to damage by wear....ours have been exposed to +/= 1700c degree metals for up to 2 years at a time, with minimal erosion.

 

good stuff !

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