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Thread: Replacement locking nut for Axis

  1. #1

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    Question Replacement locking nut for Axis

    Hi,

    I have a Music Man Axis guitar from the late 2000's with the older Gotoh locking trem system. I'd like to replace the nut to address a first fret string buzz issue, but unfortunately the UK distributor for Ernie Ball (who handle customer care in the UK) are currently closed due to the whole coronavirus situation. I've been having a look around for anywhere else in the UK that sells the official EBMM replacement part, but as expected, I couldn't find anywhere, so I've been looking at what other locking nuts would fit the bill.

    I've seen at least one post on here saying they've had good success with the Gotoh FGR-1. Looking at the images and technical drawings, it looks very similar to the current damaged one I have (no surprises there considering they're both made by Gotoh). However, the Gotoh part has a radius of 360mm, which is just over 14". I know that the Axis has a 10" radius, as do the original Floyd locking nuts. So, my questions are:

    • Would the original nut that came with the guitar have a 10" radius to match the fretboard (perhaps made especially for EBMM by Gotoh)?
    • If yes, presumably the 14" one wouldn't be a great fit?
    • What's the thinking behind Gotoh making their own-branded part a 14" radius if 10" is very popular for Floyd-style guitars (Schaller seem to have gone for 10" for theirs)?


    I know you can happily accept slight differences in radius between the nut and fretboard the actual effect on string height is very small - I just wasn't sure if 10" vs. 14" was a little too much?

    I did consider the Schaller 10" locking nut, but I then need to be very careful - particularly about things like bolt hole placement and other dimensions. I'm not experienced enough to be doing things like filling and re-drilling holes!

    I did spot a couple of posts on here discussing the issue, but nothing definitive:

    Radius of EBMM locking trem and nut
    Replacement nut for 2002 Axis

    Any help greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advanced & stay safe!
    Last edited by stringster; 04-27-2020 at 11:00 AM. Reason: Fix incorrect post link

  2. #2

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    Stevie

    EBMM Axis Gold Flame
    EBMM Axis Tribute Purple Quilt
    Warmoth Strat Purple Quilt
    Warmoth Strat Tobacco Burst Quilt

  3. #3

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    Thanks Stevie - the second of the two posts I linked to was supposed to go to another post where you've said the same. Somehow, I managed to link both to the first post though... fixed now.

    Were any of the ones you replaced the older models with a Gotoh locking nut from the factory? Any idea whether the factory nut you removed was 360mm/14" or 10" radius? Presumably you didn't have to do any modification like file or fill any nut slots or anything to get good action across all the strings?

    From what you've said, it sounds as though I'll be ok with using the Gotoh 14" nut, but I'm just curious more than anything whether the ones EBMM fitted back in the day were 10" or not. If they weren't, I wonder why? Was it just because that was what was available from Gotoh and in reality it doesn't make a noticeable difference?
    Last edited by stringster; 04-27-2020 at 11:09 AM. Reason: additional question

  4. #4

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    The last one I changed over was on my 1997 Axis. It had been a case queen till the time I purchased it in 2017, over the years strung up in the case the b string had formed an indentation on the nut. So the swap over worked. If there are different radius' for these I must have missed it. In any event the Gotoh replacement did the trick for me.
    Stevie

    EBMM Axis Gold Flame
    EBMM Axis Tribute Purple Quilt
    Warmoth Strat Purple Quilt
    Warmoth Strat Tobacco Burst Quilt

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevie View Post
    The last one I changed over was on my 1997 Axis. It had been a case queen till the time I purchased it in 2017, over the years strung up in the case the b string had formed an indentation on the nut. So the swap over worked. If there are different radius' for these I must have missed it. In any event the Gotoh replacement did the trick for me.
    Thanks - I have the same issue actually - indentations on the B and high E, but the B is worse and causing first fret buzz. I think I'll just get one and before fitting it, I'll compare them side-by-side to see if I can notice a difference.

    If anyone - from EBMM or otherwise - can shed any light on the question around different radiuses, I'd still be interested.

  6. #6

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    Hi everyone,

    Just a quick update on this just in case someone else is searching for the same info in future...

    I initially bought a Gotoh FGR-1 nut and fitted it. Just as @Stevie said, these totally work. I was able to set the guitar up to play pretty well. When fitting it, I did the usual nut height check by fretting between the 2nd and 3rd frets and checking the gap between the string and the first fret. I then adjusted the shims under the nut (supplied with the nut) until the height was good. While doing this, it did seem like the height of the outer strings (E, A and B, E) may have been just a tiny bit higher than the centre strings. I just adjusted the shimming until all strings were high enough to avoid 1st fret buzz. As I said before, I was still able to set up the guitar to play well, but it did make me wonder whether this was down the 14" radius of the Gotoh nut compared to the 10" radius of the Axis fret board.

    After a few weeks, the original EBMM nut that I had ordered arrived. As far as I'm aware, these were originally made by Gotoh for EBMM (my Axis is the older model before EBMM started using their own hardware on the Axis). Visually, it's very similar to the Gotoh nut, but clearly not the same. More obvious differences were the Gotoh was slightly taller and also had an indent on the bottom (presumably to allow access to a headstock truss rod adjustment, which the Axis doesn't have). I tried to compare them side-by-side to see if there were any more subtle differences, and there did seem to be some. The sorts of differences we're talking about are probably 1mm or less, so it was difficult to tell for sure with only a 0.5mm ruler and my eyeballs, but there did seem to be some. As for whether the radius was different between them - possibly, but it was really tough to say for sure. I haven't done the maths, but I'm sure the difference in relative string heights for a 10" and 14" radius are pretty small! I've got some pics, so I'll upload those in the next couple of days.

    I removed the Gotoh nut and fitted the EBMM nut. That did seem to get rid of the minor issue with differences in string heights. It's difficult to tell for sure though - I was doing my best with my eyes and a ruler. Plus, there may have been a bit of confirmation bias as that was what I was half expecting to see.

    So, summary is:

    • Gotoh locking nuts totally work if that's all you can get
    • The official EBMM nut is definitely not exactly the same, even if made by Gotoh
    • The radius *may* be different between them, but it was hard to tell for sure


    Anyway, the original string buzz issue is now fixed which is what really matters! I hope this info comes in useful to others at some point.

  7. #7

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    Good to know Stringster.

    It did not dawn on me to ask for an EBMM nut for the times I required one. I'm glad the Gotoh worked out and I'm I'm glad the EBMM did too, be a bummer if that did not!
    Stevie

    EBMM Axis Gold Flame
    EBMM Axis Tribute Purple Quilt
    Warmoth Strat Purple Quilt
    Warmoth Strat Tobacco Burst Quilt

  8. #8

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    That’s great news!

    2019 Albert Lee - BFR - Electric Shimmer
    2019 Axis SS semi hollow - DuBaldo Blue - rosewood neck
    2019 StingRay fretless - BFR - Sierra Vintage Burst
    2018 Axis SS - BFR - Buckeye Burl
    2017 StingRay 5 - 30th Ann
    2013 Luke III - PDN - emerald green sparkle
    - rosewood neck
    2012 Morse - BFR - Dark Lord
    2010 Axis SS - red flame - rosewood neck
    2009 Axis - pink quilt
    2006 StingRay fretless - 30th Ann
    2000 Axis SS - Lavender Pearl
    1996 StingRay - 20th Ann
    1995 Albert Lee - Jim Messina’s

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