Gentlemen I am seeking some hands on experience and some opinions concerning Black Buffalo Horn Nut.

I have a customer who thinks he wants a black horn nut on his Fender P Bass with Maple fretboard. He heard a video on YouTube, and played it for me, and I have to agree it does sound good in the lower registers.

But, a bit of reading up on the subject, I find a lot of Luthiers who are not inthusiastic about using it. Mainly that it isn't hard enough, wears fast, and can be mean to work due to delamination.

So, I was hoping that someone here has some actual experience with it? Should I get some horn and give it a go? Will the customer not be happy with the results? Or should I try to talk him into using some Tusq in black? Other than Tusq and Buffalo Horn, are there other "Black", alternatives? Could I fashion a nut from Ebony?

I should follow up by saying that I've been a member here for a long while but have rarely posted. And I've probably done less than a dozen nuts for other people, and maybe that many for myself. I've never done one for someone that they weren't happy with. So, I'd kind of like to keep that average! So thanks guys, grace me with your wisdom!

Tags: Buffalo Horn, Nut

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question? the nut only comes into play on a open string Right?

Next Segovias sound comes from his fingers , nails and atact!

 I tried testing the wear  of diferent miterals by putting each into a vice and take a string and try to saw the nut into.

Do the same pressure and the same number of strokes and see the wear of each.

Try this.


If the issue is that the customer is convinced that Black Buffalo Horn is going to give him the sound he wants, you are likely to be fighting a losing battle to convince him otherwise.  And it may not be a kindness to try to convince him otherwise. For example, if the player got the advice to use BBH from someone he respects (perhaps even youtube), you will be standing between the customer and his advisor, and that's not a good place to be. If the customer goes with your advice and choses another material, he will take flack from his advisor.  If he goes with his advisor, then is unhappy with the result, he is likely to feel sheepish about not listening to you.  OTOH, if the customer asks for your advice, give it freely - then it's really his decision.

If the issue is color, go for a black material.  Or even dye bone black.  I've done that a lot for customers who really want a black nut.

Thanks Richard, some great advice. Luckily for me the customer changed his mind to brass before we ever talked about it. But my curiosity is still up about BBH, I may have to get some, and test it as Ron Suggested perhaps. I've never heard of dyeing bone before, sounds simple enough. I've also worked with the Graphtech black and it's very easy to work with.

Russ K


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