If you are curious about Corian as a guitar nut material, this post is for you!
I don’t often write about guitar manufacturing materials.
(Instead, I usually write about guitar-like instruments here on the blog.)
But since this seems like a hot topic, I wanted to cover it here on the blog. A nut is one of the smallest parts of the guitar, placed at the end of the fingerboard. It is the last thing the strings come in contact with on their way to the headstock. It acts as an anchor for the strings, ensuring proper string spacing at the correct height from the fingerboard. The ridges carved into the nut help hold the strings in one place.
The nut has a minor impact on playability. In addition, the shape and material used affect the tone and performance of your guitar.
Guitar nuts are made of various materials like bone, ivory, graphite, plastic, and metal.
In this post, I will cover Corian as a material used for the nut, what type of material it is, and if it is better than a bone nut.
What is Corian?
Manufacturers first developed the synthetic material, Corian, for use in kitchen countertops. It is a non-porous, homogeneous material made of natural minerals and acrylic resin, making it very durable. Since these are synthetic materials, they have the same density throughout and are a bit softer, allowing the slots to be cut easily compared to bone. In addition, the material is quite strong and doesn’t bind.
How does bone behave as a guitar nut material?
Bone is the most popular nut material in mid to high-end guitars. Bone nuts are durable, well-balanced, and many believe they are the best material for use as a guitar nut because they may improve the resonance of your instrument. However, they have some limitations, and to overcome that, many guitar manufacturers are using Corian as a nut material.
Some comparisons between using Corian versus bone as a guitar nut material
Most consider Corian nuts of higher quality than a typical plastic nut. It requires a high-precision process to manufacture these and make them consistent and uniform throughout. As a result, they are durable and will not break under string tension.
On the other hand, bone is an organic material and does not have the same consistency throughout. Depending upon the source, the bone consistency varies, making it hard to get the same bone nuts for any two guitars.
Plus, some bone is denser, others more porous, and these qualities along with other highly variable qualities that any organic substance has will have an effect on the sound of your instrument.
In short, one instrument’s bone nut could be great, and another instrument’s bone nut could be lacking.
Availability and Sourcing
Corian nuts are readily available on the market. Bone nuts are available too, but sometimes they are made of ground-up bone mixed with epoxy. In other words, they aren’t always the highest quality whereas Corian is of more consistent quality. Also, if veganism is important to you, Corian is an obviously superior choice compared to bone especially when the two materials can be of comparable quality when it comes to their effect on your instrument’s sound.
Effect on Playability
In general, the nut has minimal effect on the tone. That said, a high-quality nut is often one of 100+ little details that go into making a high-quality guitar sound great. Thus, A good nut alone won’t make much of a difference to the sound of your instrument. But the net effect of a good nut on a guitar along with all the other details contributes to your guitar sounding as good as it can. So don’t sweat the nut material too much on your instrument.
Visual Changes Over Time
Corian’s color won’t really fade over time. It should remain as bright as when you first purchased it for several years. Bone, on the other hand, will both age and discolor with time usually turning a bit yellow. Some guitarists like the aged look of bone. Others prefer the clean white look of synthetic materials like Corian for their instrument.
The nut is a very small part of the guitar and likewise, a small cost as well.
Guitar nuts typically range from $5 to $20.
So cost shouldn’t be the determinant of what nut material you use if you decide to change your guitar’s nut.
Corian as a Guitar Nut Material: Conclusion
A high-quality and well-constructed nut will make a small contribution to the overall sound of an instrument. On the other hand, a poorly constructed or worn-out guitar nut can negatively affect your instrument’s sound. Both the nut material and construction can affect the tone and overall performance of the guitar. So if you are having some issues with the tone and think the nut might be the culprit, I recommend taking your instrument to a local luthier to have the nut checked.
I hope this post has helped you understand how this material works as a guitar nut!
Let me know if you have questions in the comments!