This article will show you the benefits of having horn shaped string slots on the Outdoor Ukulele™, Outdoor Banjolele™, and Outdoor Guitar™.
Our instruments are injection molded from composite polycarbonate, which allows us to create complex and precise features that can’t be made by hand. One of those features are horn shaped string slots, which are used on the nut of our Ukuleles, Banjoleles, and Guitars. We also use horn shaped holes on our floating Banjolele bridge.
Stringed instruments use a nut made from a hard material like bone or other synthetic materials that are attached to a wooden neck between the fingerboard and headstock. Slots are filed into the nut, determining the string spacing and height from the fingerboard.
String slots are typically filed by hand or with a jig. It can take years of experience to get the slots filed to the correct depth and angle. The slot should be angled downward and pointing toward their corresponding tuning machine and string post.
Straight string slots have two termination points. One at the front edge of the nut and a second point at the back of the nut. Even if the vertical angle was filed correctly, it’s almost certain the side angle isn’t perfectly aligned with the string post. This adds pressure to the back of the nut and reduces pressure on the front of the nut.
A horn shaped string slot has one termination point at the front of the nut, with a smooth transition to the string post at any angle, improving sound quality and intonation.
We took our nut design one step further by compensating for the diameter of each string. This is accomplished by stepping the height of the nut at each string location.