The Adjustable Locking Nut reaches new heights (a pun!), thanks to Hangtug.
What is your action at the 1st fret? If you don’t know, grab your feeler gauge. Or if you’re like me, you grab your Nut Slot Gauge. A good starting point is about 0.015″. That’s fifteen thousandths of an inch. Something close to 0.020″ might be on the upper end of reasonable. Taller than that and it can be considered too high. I hear of an know players that like it down less than 0.010″. Find what works best for your style and your setup.
Why does it matter?
Your first fret action is as important to your setup as your action at the 12th fret. Or 17th fret. Or wherever you prefer to measure. Just as the action up high can help your solo playing, the first fret action can affect your chording. Too tall and your notes can go sharp, where as too low can cause string buzz.
We are a few decades removed from the time when the Locking Nut is considered a necessity for many players. In my case, I have double locking tremolo systems on all my guitars. The original Floyd Rose style, where possible. I am lucky in that a generous tech showed me many years ago the importance of the nut height.
If you’re a follower of Yamaha guitars, some of their Pacifica models had an adjustable locking nut. You remember the Pacifica! Where are the Michael Lee Firkins, Bill Leverty, and Mike Stern fans out there?!? For the curious, here is the basis of that one:
Yes, that is peak-level techno-geek awareness of how to set up your locking nut. But why mention the Yamaha approach? Glad you asked! LOL! I’m bringing it up to display that this is an established approach and not some whimsical flight-of-fancy or snake-oil idea. In other words, this sort of thing has already been on stages around the world.
But the 1990s hit us and the shoe-gazing players made double-locking tremolos a little out-of-the-norm. And the technical proficiency also goes by the wayside. Meaning that many off-the-shelf guitars these day may have a double-locking tremolo system, but it’s rare to find one that is set up properly. A 0.030″ clearance is not uncommon. I saw one Gibson product in a store with a 0.040″ action at the first fret. Sorry, but that is just negligence IMHO. LOL!
We are lucky to have Hantug keeping the fire burning in to the 21st century! Even more so in the titanium realm, as high quality titanium parts of this nature are virtually non-existent.
Given the option, I’m going with the R3 width. Considering the test subjects I’m working with, I’m choosing the 12″ radius. Check your radius to see which one is best for you. Over the course of a few weeks, I do try this adjustable locking nut on a few guitars. You know, the more opportunities to see how it responds over multiple scenarios.
The mounting holes are set up for the current norm of top mounting, as well as the classic method of the rear screw mounting. There is a unique feature for the top mount that we will get in to here in a little bit.
The most obvious feature are the set screws on either side of the base. This is great because it allows independent adjustments if one side needs more or less tweaking than the other. Since it’s still a single unit going up and down, it’s best to double check both sides after an adjustment. It is also an improvement over the older Yamaha style in my opinion, where as slipping with the Yamaha style can result in damage to the fretboard.
Another thoughtful feature is the range of motion. The stock configuration is shorter than the stock FR nut. Which is to say that it allows for nut shelfs that are too high, which is actually common. If your nut shelf is too low or if the nut needs to be raised, just turn the set screws to reach your preference.
About that top-mount feature. The nut clamp blocks are machined to allow access to the mounting screws. The result is that you don’t have to totally remove the clamp blocks to snug-up the nut once your adjustment is made. If you watched that Yamaha video above, you know what the means.
Finish: Black, Gold, Silver
Size: R3 FR Original, R2 FR Original, R3 FR Special/1000. R2 FR Special/1000
Radius: 10, 12, 14
Hantug’s Titanium Adjustable Locking Nut is a welcome idea whose time has come. At least until all the manufacturers manage to re-learn the proper installation of a locking nut. LOL!
As with other Hantug items that I have on-hand or that I have given evaluations, the craftsmanship is top notch and the professionalism is unrivaled. Reach out to them via their website and/or social media with questions and the way to buy that is best for you.
For reference, this Hantug Titanium Adjustable Locking Nut evaluation was conducted with the following: Fractal Axe-Fx II XL+ featuring Celestion Impluse Responses and Fractal MFC-101 MIDI Foot Controller. ADA MP-1 Tube Pre-Amp loaded with Tube Amp Doctor ECC83 Premium Selected tubes, using the ADA MC-1 MIDI Controller. Fryette LX II Stereo Tube Power Amplifier. Physical cabs in use are Marshall 1960B, Mojotone British, and Peavey 6505 cabs loaded with Celestion Classic Series Vintage 30s and Classic Series G12M Greenbacks.
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