G&L tech resources: Parts & patents


Without a proper chemical assay its is hard to figure out the material a nut is made of. And discerning sonic differences can be hard, certainly when talking about amplified instruments where so many factors weigh in much more. So the foundation of this section is Craig Dewey’s “Nut Material used over the years at G&L” posted on the Guitars By Leo (GbL) website. Between 1980 and 2009, the default nut on any G&L instrument was made out of Micarta after which they switched over to a bone nut, still the default today. But other options have been used over time and/or can still be special ordered today. Some examples of instruments with a Micarta nut, Wilkinson roller nut, Graph-Tech nut of different kinds, Floyd Rose locking nut, or bone nut are provided in the albums below. However, notwithstanding quite a few F-100 guitars have been seen with such a nut, no brass nut was ever installed by the factory as convincingly argued by Tim Page in his “Re: Was Brass nut ever offered as original?” post on GbL.

To optimize the string break angle over the nut, usually one finds some string retainer/tree on the headstock. The only exception might be when tuning machines with staggered string posts are used. But all G&L guitars in this collection with such machines still have a string tree of some kind. All 4-string basses and the L-5500 5-string bass use a disc shaped string retainer; all other basses, and guitars until 1988, use(d) a U-shaped bracket by default. The exceptions are the few guitars built in the preBBE era with a Leo Fender string lock mechanism licensed to GuitarTech. Starting in 1988, all guitars built during the next decade by default came with a Graph-Tech string tree. The BBE-era Invader uses a full-width bar behind the nut when it has the Floyd Rose Tremolo system/locking nut, something still true even today. All other guitars use a metal string tree since 2008 with the Graph-Tech string tree becoming an option again in 2015. One non-factory option thrown in is the roller tree found on Will Ray’s first ASAT to reduce friction even more.

Nuts & String retainers - The index