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Author: Subject: Are slots in the nut necessary/common?
oohoud
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[*] posted on 8-23-2019 at 10:32 AM
Are slots in the nut necessary/common?


Hello.

I searched the forum before posting.

My question is are slots in the nut necessary/common? I'm guessing every oud and maker is different.

I have a Sukar oud with a wood nut. It plays great, no issues. Tuning is easy.
I noticed there are no slots cut into the nut. I was wondering if I should have someone cut some slots. The reason would be so when I change the strings, it would make it easier to know where each string goes.

Is it common for ouds to not have slots? Does it sound good? Pros or cons for slots/ no slots?

I noticed there are a few "slots" on the nut, but I think they are from the string cutting into the wood, since there are only a few of them.

Also I have read on the forum that the slots need to be cut a certain way, but I haven't found a thread that actually explains how to cut them?
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Jody Stecher
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[*] posted on 8-23-2019 at 06:22 PM


Good information on cutting nut notches can be found here:

http://www.lutherie.net/nuts.html

and on the tools here:

http://www.lutherie.net/nut.files.html
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Jack_Campin
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[*] posted on 8-23-2019 at 10:16 PM


I asked this a while back, about the Romanian cobza/Hungarian koboz. As they come from the Reghin factory, the nut is slotted. Csángó Hungarian players pare the nut down to remove the slots and then add grooves to the bridge. Apart from lowering the action a bit, I don't get the point.



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abc123xyz
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[*] posted on 8-24-2019 at 11:54 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Jack_Campin  
I asked this a while back, about the Romanian cobza/Hungarian koboz. As they come from the Reghin factory, the nut is slotted. Csángó Hungarian players pare the nut down to remove the slots and then add grooves to the bridge.

I took note of your question the first time you asked it, but didn't know the answer, offhand nor even after a few hours of checking my books on organology and some googling, so I didn't reply. I suppose we can speculate, however.

I'm not even entirely clear what we're talking about, though: on these prepared koboz do the strings merely run from the peg box over the bend in the neck without anything to control their placement? Does that work? Do the strings not slide to one side or another of their ideal position when plucked hard enough? Are the slots cut into the bridge there as replacement for the stabilization no longer provided by slots in the nut or something? Not sure how that works either. Maybe some detailed photos would help, if you know of any.

Quote: Originally posted by Jack_Campin  
Apart from lowering the action a bit, I don't get the point.

Well I don't understand why lowering the action wouldn't be explanation enough. Is there some reason that alone can't be the answer to why they modify their instruments? I like as low of an action as I can get on strings too.

David
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Jack_Campin
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[*] posted on 8-24-2019 at 01:00 PM


I didn't take a photo, but Csibi Szabolcs is the guy I watched wielding a pocket knife:

https://www.napsugar.ro/gyermektabor/main.php?cmd=imageview&var1...

A koboz/cobza has the courses very widely spaced at the bridge, maybe that affects your options.




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abc123xyz
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[*] posted on 8-24-2019 at 07:02 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Jack_Campin  
I didn't take a photo, but Csibi Szabolcs is the guy I watched wielding a pocket knife:

https://www.napsugar.ro/gyermektabor/main.php?cmd=imageview&var1...

Yes, as I feared, photos with enough detail are going to be hard to come by.

Quote: Originally posted by Jack_Campin  
A koboz/cobza has the courses very widely spaced at the bridge, maybe that affects your options.

Yes, I suppose that would make precise string spacing less crucial.

Well, without any more information, my vote/guess is that it's just for lowering the action.

Stretching the imagination a little, there's one other possibility I can think of. When the strings run right to the top edge of the fingerboard like that, without being lifted at all above the plane of the fingerboard by a nut, and the angle of the strings is low enough, one can get a sawari/juwārī effect. That, however, without deliberately precise string angle and finishing of the fingerboard surface, is usually a hit-or-miss affair, and I don't know if the style of music in question even prizes that effect.

David
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Brian Prunka
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[*] posted on 8-25-2019 at 05:36 PM


Quote: Originally posted by oohoud  

Is it common for ouds to not have slots?


No, it is not.
There should be slots in the nut in order to maintain the correct string spacing and so they stay in place.
The slots should be approximately 1/2 the depth of the string.

even a small movement of the string will cause drastic tuning problems.
I would advise that you have a bone nut cut for your oud to match the stringing and tuning you use.





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