Last summer I had my main guitar refretted by Mike Lull, luthier extraordinaire. I had worn down the frets on my black Stratocaster to the point where it was pretty difficult to play. Mike did a beautiful job of refretting the guitar, and it made a world of difference in the playability of the instrument. I took the guitar back to him last week to have a quick adjustment made to the neck, and while I was there I asked him to remove the stock “roller nut” and replace it with a standard bone nut. The roller nut on this model strat is a source of rattling and vibration dampening. I should have had Mike do this replacement when he was working on the frets, but it didn’t occur to me.
The overall difference since the nut replacement is very noticeable. The tone of the guitar is clearer, and I don’t hear that occasional rattle from the headstock. I also think it’s vibrating more cleanly, with less dissipation. I’ve only had a chance so far to use the guitar in a practice environment; the real test will be onstage this next weekend. I’m looking forward to hearing it in that context.