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Old 12-21-2007, 07:13 AM
hector hector is offline
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Default Standard nut width?

What's considered "standard" in nut width, the 1-11/16 or 1-3/4 nut. I ask this because I just got my first guitar with the 1-3/4 and I don't like it. I'm a small guy and my hands don't feel comfortable. My older Martins, Taylors, and others are all 1-11/16, but I'm seeing more and more of these wider fingerboards (Larrivee, Taylors). I'm hoping the 1-11/16 doesn't soon become "special order".
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Old 12-21-2007, 07:22 AM
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stratokatsu stratokatsu is offline
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While no specific nut width is "standard" for the industry, I would say 1-11/16" width is probably the most common. Starting with their solid wood guitars and on up the line, Taylor uses 1-3/4".

It's funny how we tend to be comfortable with something because we think the size of our hands matters so much. What I found, having very large hands, was that a large nut width wasn't the answer, but rather that the profile of the neck made more difference to me. A narrow width on a full profile is just fine. A wider width on a shallower profile is just as fine.

Unfortunately, neither one of them turned me into Segovia, but I'm still searching.
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Old 12-21-2007, 07:25 AM
buddiesorg buddiesorg is offline
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I don't think there really is a standard nut width, unless you're talking a certain style from a specific builder.

All I had until my first Taylor was 1 11/16 (except for the classical, which I had trouble fretting). It took a little getting used to, but not that long. Now I have nut widths up to 1 7/8 and I actually prefer wider as they tend to have a wider spacing at the saddle, which really helps with fingerpicking.

I also have very small hands with short fingers, but I think all it takes is a bit of time working on your flexibility.
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Old 12-21-2007, 07:35 AM
MahogoheadJim MahogoheadJim is offline
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Hi Hector,
I think there are certainly more guitars with wider nuts out on the market than years past, simply following the fingerstyle players preference, and the growing popularity of the style. I'm not sure if there are necessarily fewer 1 11/16", in terms of 'numbers'..maybe just seems that way(?). I know too many guys who still prefer the narrower nut, so I would hope they're not doing away with it.

It's kind of funny - I have relatively small hands, but I've gotten used to a couple of 1 3/4" guitars I've played over the past number of years. Fairly recently, I aquired a 1 11/16" nut guitar - And wouldn't ya know it, I'm just having a heck of a time getting used to the spacing! Logic would say that this new one would 'fit' me better (and it probably does, technically). But it seems that even smaller hands can get used to a wider nut, if played long enough... hmmmmm....

...I guess I really don't know..
Jim
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Old 12-21-2007, 08:46 AM
hector hector is offline
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People keep saying the 3/4 is better for fingerpicking. Well, I checked the spacing of the strings at the nut AND the bridge on my guitars using calipers. The spacing - string to string at the bridge was nearly identical on the 11/16 and 3/4 nut guitars. So, I wouldn't say that the 3/4 is better for fingerpicking, in terms of the right hand.
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Old 12-21-2007, 09:35 AM
Freeman Freeman is offline
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I think it is reasonable to say that most larger bodied 14 fret guitars are 1-11/16 with 2-1/8 bridge, most 12 fretters are 1-3/4 with 2-1/4 bridges, most 12 strings are 1-7/8, many resos are 1-7/8 (altho many imports are narrower) and most classicals are 2 (altho most hybrids are 1-3/4 or slightly wider).

Of course there are lots of exceptions - most Taylors 3xx and above are 1-3/4 as are many smaller bodied 14 fretters. For me as a fingerstyle player I think the spacing at the saddle is as important (maybe more so) and as a fingerstyle slide player the fretboard radius makes a big difference.

However, I own them all from my little mandolin to 12 strings and classical and I play equally poorly on all of them.
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