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Buzz Feiten Nut Installation

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Just because someone is an authorized Buzz Feiten retrofitter, doesn’t mean they are detail oriented. Here’s a Les Paul Custom that came in with a previously installed Buzz Feiten nut that really had me scratching my head.  Although hard to see, the picture on the right shows the almost 1/16″ gap under the shelf over hang.  Probably the worst job of a nut install I’ve ever seen..and to think someone charged him $150 for this!  Wow.

Buzz-3 Cropped.jpg Buzz-4 Cropped.jpg 

After clearing the glue with micro chisels on all contact points of the nut slot, I then clean and square the bottom with a Stew Mac nut slot file, then proceed to clean the end of the fingerboard with this fine cut Swiss-made Grobet pillar file.

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The final result is nut slot that is so flat and clean, it’s actually shiny.  This, along with a shiny snug fitting nut insures the most contact possible, thus transferring more resonance back into the instrument where the string’s energy is high.

Here’s a LP Custom beauty that came into the shop. This picture really shows the nitro cellulous finish starting to haze a bit where your arm rubs the top, in addition to the general neglect of the chrome.

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The real problematic issue with this guitar was the nut. First of all, it’s WAY too close to the binding. It’s gives “life on the edge” new meaning. This nut also allowed strings 1-3 to rattle against the 1st fret.

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After removing the nut, we can see a TERRIBLE thing, a shim made with a piece of duct tape! Gibsons are made to be tone machines.  This shim completely reverses that. Who ever did this should be tied to the whipping post.

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You can also clearly see the transformation of the fretboard and frets starting here at Straight Frets. I usually do this step 1st thing after the strings come off, so that I can put 2-3 coats of conditioner on the wood with 2-hour intervals.

Here’s a pic of the patented Buzz Feiten shelf nut (with a 12′ radius) before it’s fit to this guitar…

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And here it is once it has been fitted to allow maximum contact with all of the wood surfaces, including the top of the rosewood fingerboard. This is a bit tricky to fit like a glove, but it’s worth the extra time, as the extra contact improves resonance.

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Here’s the nut getting cut with the proper sized nut files. I have14 different sized cutters for accurate groove width.

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And here’s the final product, next to the original and the list of pros and cons:

gibson3b.jpgOLD NUT:Too close to the edge
Too close to the 1st fret
Shimmed with wrong material
Standard shaped nut allows for 1st fret notes to sound audibly sharp.
gibson6.jpgNEW NUT:Properly spaced between the strings
Correct height allows for clear open strings
No shim = best clarity possibly
Buzz Feiten shelf overhang not only allows the first fret notes to sound in tune, but also for more contact with the the rosewood board.

Finally I buffed the entire body with cotton buffing wheels and high quality 3M compounds, added some white felt strap button washers, cleaned the chrome, restrung it, checked the truss rod, and set the intonation. It’s now ready to rock.

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Here’s the itemized receipt for this bill:

$120.00 Buzz Feiten shelf nut:

40.00 Buffing out of the body, neck, head, and chrome.

55.00 Labor for setup: Polished frets, conditioned fretboard,

restrung, adjusted truss rod, set action, set intonation

5.00 D’addario 11’s

 

$220.00 Total

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