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Thread: Wide nuts?

  1. #1
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    Default Wide nuts?

    My mandolin instructor is recommending that I purchase a wide nut mando. The standard 1 1/8" may be a lil small for my chubbies (fingers that is). Any thoughts on brand, experience, coments and advise on 1 3/16 or 1 1/4 wide nuts would be appreciated. I have not found a local store that has one in stock. From the people I know who have played them, thay say 1/16 of and inch makes a lot of difference. Is
    1 1/4" too big. Also any thought on radius fret boards would be a great help. Thanks to all!

    CHEERS - Frecky

  2. #2
    Registered User George R. Lane's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wide nuts?

    Frecky,
    My new Weber Yellowstone has a 1 3/16 inch neck on it and it is way easier for me to play than my Vintage A with a 1 1/8 inch neck. I have played a few old Gibsons with a 1 1/4 inch neck, but that was getting a little too wide for me. I don't have chubby fingers, mine are long and have a touch of arthritis. That is why I chose to go with the wider neck.
    2010 Weber Yellowstone

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wide nuts?

    I have a couple of mandolins with 1 1/4" nuts and they are not too uncomfortable for me, however I do not have large hands or fingers so I prefer the std width.
    Jim

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    Default Re: Wide nuts?

    I think it's a great recommendation. 1-3/16" is what I consider the "right" width for me, with a generous a generous string spacing being equally important. Ie, it's no help to have a wide nut that then has an unnecessarily narrow string spacing.

    I can't tell you what mfrs offer 1-3/16" as standard width, but one that does is the Kentucky KM505, which if you're looking in the the $400-$500 range, is an excellent mandolin. It also has a radiused FB.
    Jeff Rohrbough
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Wide nuts?

    Have your nut re-cut to it's widest possible spacing by someone who knows what they are doing before you do anything more expensive. At the very least you will get a better sense of what it is that you are aiming for and if it helps you, and just possibly you may find that the instrument you have already is fine.
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    Registered User TDMpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wide nuts?

    You can get most custom builders to make a neck/nut to a specified width.
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    Registered User steve V. johnson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wide nuts?

    I did the research once, and it's been quite a while, but I think that Weber, Collings, and Breedlove have wide nut options from the factory. There may be others.

    I like wide nuts, lots of room on the fretboard because I come from playing bigger instruments and mandolin is my newest instrument attempt.

    I also like a radiused fretboard. But for you as a beginner, I don't think it will be a crucial thing. You'll be able to play either
    no matter which you start with.

    Enjoy,

    stv
    steve V. johnson

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    Registered User Grommet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wide nuts?

    Jeff R.- Folkways site list the nut width for the Kentucky KM-505 as 1 3/32". I hadn't previouosly heard that 1 3/16" was an option from that maker. If you have heard of examples that would be welcome news! I know I liked the 1 3/16" nut width models from Collings and Weber that I've tried. I know Washburn makes some at this width as well as several flat-top makers.

    Scott

  9. #9
    Fingers of Concrete ccravens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wide nuts?

    Quote Originally Posted by George R. Lane View Post
    Frecky,
    My new Weber Yellowstone has a 1 3/16 inch neck on it and it is way easier for me to play than my Vintage A with a 1 1/8 inch neck. I have played a few old Gibsons with a 1 1/4 inch neck, but that was getting a little too wide for me. I don't have chubby fingers, mine are long and have a touch of arthritis. That is why I chose to go with the wider neck.

    I'll agree with what George said. My Keith Newell flatop A has a 1 5/32 width nut, making it ALMOST (by 1/32) the same as George's 1 3/16. I also have long, not too chubby fingers, and this nut width feels good to me. But I've never tried 1 1/4, so I can't speculate on how that would feel. But now that I've played on a "wider" nut, I can't see myself ever going back to 1 1/8, if I have the choice.
    Chris Cravens

  10. #10
    Registered User Brent Hutto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wide nuts?

    My Mike Black A5 #5 has a 1-1/4" width at the nut. It's one reason I chose that instrument.

    It makes everything about playing easier for me than a 1-1/8" conventional width. Extra room between courses is great when you want to let one string ring through while fretting the adjacent string. Extra space between the top E string and the edge of the neck is heaven-sent for my oversized hands. More room to manuever for hammers, pulls, etc.

    The only downside is that playing/stretching for melody notes on the G strings is at times a bit harder than it would be on a narrower neck. I struggle with my technique on that string anyway and the extra reach-over makes it marginally more difficult. But that's nitpicking. In every other way it's wonderful. The G-string thing does make me suspect that 1-1/4" is reaching the point of diminishing returns for me, personally. Wouldn't go any wider. Somewhere from 1-1/4" down to maybe 1-7/32" or so is probably my sweet spot.
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Wide nuts?

    There is a modern trend towards wider necks and spacings, but as one's playing advances the ability to fret two courses at the same fret mostly with just a mashed fingertip, at higher speeds and without having to half barre, is something that a can also be aided by a not-so-wide spacing.
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  12. #12
    Registered User kirksdad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wide nuts?

    I have a wide nut mandolin from Weber.....think they have done a great job, and believe it helps me quite a bit. I think its importantant to try out a wider board if you can. Nothing said by anyone can match you own experience in trying out a wider board.
    One day I'll stop all this crazy buyin', practicin', and playin'........course I'll be dead.......

  13. #13
    Registered User baiyongjie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wide nuts?

    Quote Originally Posted by kirksdad View Post
    Nothing said by anyone can match you own experience in trying out a wider board.
    I think kirksdad is very right, but I'll go ahead and give you my experience. I started off on a 1 3/32 nut, and I found it difficult to fret one string without affecting another. The next mandolin I got had a 1 1/8 nut, and suddenly my fretting problems disappeared. Funny that it's only 1/32 wider! So I don't think you don't necessarily have to go to extremes with your nut width. But it's all up to you and your fingers. Now that I've got some more practice under my belt, I can play the 1 3/32 better than I could before, but I still prefer 1 1/8.

  14. #14
    I'll take it! JGWoods's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wide nuts?

    1 and 3/16 works very well for me. If you find that the spacing is too wide you can get narrower string spacing with a different nut but you can't go wider on a narrow neck.
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