Stay Tuned: Chapter 2

A few blogs ago, I told you about the new tremolo bridge design for the JTV-69 and how it, in conjunction with the locking tuners, keeps you in tune. Well, there is one more piece to that puzzle: the Graph Tech Black Tusq XL nut.

To understand why these nuts are so amazing, you need to understand the motivation behind Graph Tech president Dave Dunwoodie’s innovation.

Two decades ago, as Dave explains on Graph Tech’s website, he was rocking a solo when he hit the tremolo bar on his first Strat® and was immediately introduced to the problem of string binding on traditional guitar nuts. His guitar slipped way out of tune and he realized he couldn’t use the guitar for stage work at all. Spurred on by the popularity of non-locking tremolo guitars and the need for pencil lead in nut slots, he engineered the world’s first permanently lubricated nut, which is 500% more slippery than graphite.

This is why James Tyler and other luthiers use Graph Tech nuts, and why James chose them for every James Tyler Variax guitar.

Anyone can see why the Graph Tech nut is essential to keeping the JTV-69 in tune. As you work the tremolo arm, the nut keeps the strings from gripping and sticking. But, even without a tremolo, it is still super important that the strings don’t bind up in the nut. As you hit the strings on a fixed-bridge guitar, they flex and retract and move back and forth in the nut. If they bind even just a bit you will end up horribly out of tune.

So it was an easy decision to use them on EVERY guitar we make.