Roller Nuts

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by NWAttorney, Nov 30, 2014.

  1. NWAttorney

    NWAttorney Country Gent

    Feb 27, 2010
    Does anybody have any experience with roller nuts? I know Fender makes them as does Gibson on some of their new guitars. It seems like a good idea as the tuning instability seems to always go back to the nut micro-binding the strings in their retreat from bends/bigsbys to neutral. Even in minor tuning adjustments you get strings hanging up just a bit.

    I use nut sauce, etc., but am interested to know if this would be a perfect fix...

    Your thoughts/experiences???

  2. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    I'm interested too , anyone ???
  3. Bill

    Bill Country Gent

    Oct 16, 2012
    Cambs, UK
    Fenders have a straight string run so not sure the LSR would or wouldn't handle the sideways break angle Gretsches have (looking down at the h/stock). Installing them means chopping some wood out so it's not reversible, without a filler piece. Maybe there's others that don't need that.

    I have an unused LSR but so far bone nuts with flared slots & lube work OK, so there's that and reluctance to cut into a Gretsch in case it's no better... wonder if someone has though?
  4. DW_Dillinger

    DW_Dillinger Country Gent

    Bill makes a good point. Im not convinced the LSR wont work with 3+3 configuration but the obtrusive and irreversible nature of this mod make it a non starter for me unless i was sure it would work.

    I can say that that the LSR on a Fender works great. My brother has a mid 2000 Strat ive done some work on and it has one in combination with a Floyd Rose jr/mini (??). you can dive bomb all day and it stays in perfect tune.

    Ill also mention again that Graphtech TUSQ nuts are great for solving tuning stability issues and are easy to install by comparison.
  5. NWAttorney

    NWAttorney Country Gent

    Feb 27, 2010
    Are the "Graphtech TUSQ nuts" better than what comes stock in the pro-lines?
  6. DW_Dillinger

    DW_Dillinger Country Gent

    I cant speak for all prolines but the last few ive owned had plastic nuts, not as poorly executed as the electromatic nuts but chintzy nonetheless. I would say the Graphtech nuts are a substantial improvement over these.
  7. The Marlin

    The Marlin Friend of Fred

    Feb 2, 2011
    I have an LSR Roller nut on my G Love Corvette. It's not radius matched, as the nut is 9.5", while the neck is 12". This results in slightly high action at the first few frets, but it's never bothered me. I love it. And, it really helps tuning stability.

    However, I do think a properly cut and finished brass nut will do the same job.

  8. NWAttorney

    NWAttorney Country Gent

    Feb 27, 2010
    Where do you get them? (Graphtech or brass)
  9. Admiral Ballsy

    Admiral Ballsy Gretschie

    Nov 25, 2014
    Central IN
    I've never seen a roller nut on a Gibson. AFAIK the only production guitars with them - produced in any numbers, anyway - are the original Jeff Beck Strats with the Wilkinson nut, and then the current Beck/American Deluxe/myriad Custom Shop Strats with the LSR.

    I've not played a Wilkinson long enough to form an opinion; I understand that they're very finicky to set up and they only work with a very narrow range of string gauges. However, FWIW, Beck still uses them - he apparently has a stash of them and that's what his personal guitars get.

    I love the LSR; all my Strats have it and when properly set up (tuner post heights correctly 'calibrated') it stays in tune 95% as well as a Floyd Rose and better than any other non-locking setup I've tried.

    Having said that, it's got its limitations - as mentioned, it comes in one radius, one width, and requires a straight pull.

    The 'slippery' nut materials can work well, properly cut, but they don't stay that way very long because they're relatively soft.

    Bigsbys in general are pretty forgiving, as long as sanity prevails, because they simply don't move enough to cause a lot of linear displacement.
  10. Admiral Ballsy

    Admiral Ballsy Gretschie

    Nov 25, 2014
    Central IN
    Possibly. But it won't last.

    Twenty years from now, the LSR will still work as it does today. Conventional nuts have a finite life; in order to set up a conventional nut for absolute minimum friction - and I agree with you that brass would be the way to go - you greatly reduce the life, because you must minimize the bearing surfaces.
  11. wrvond

    wrvond Gretschie

    Mar 23, 2014
    West Virginia
    I'm pretty sure that even at it's most finite, a brass nut is going to outlast me. ;)
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