Why did we do it? We know what we like......
The ultrawide 47.625 mm (1-7/8")" nut with 8 mm (.315") spacing between the strings is just easier to play. That generous room between the strings means that it's harder to accidently mute strings while fretting around. If you're a big person with large hands and fingers, you'll be pleasantly surprised at how nicely your hand fits this fretboard. And there is still an adequate 3.81 mm (.15") of shoulder area to help keep the E strings on the board while working your vibratos. If you're a beginner with less than perfect accuracy, you'll be constantly forgiven by this wider fretboard. A little extra room can make a lot of difference.
The Big Lou Pinky slot (Magnum only). This is a handy little slot in the pick guard, right below the high E string. This is an anchor point for your little pinky. Most players press their pinky finger against the pick guard when picking the strings. The problem is, you never really land in the same place. So, the brain cannot use this "random placement" as a reliable reference point. The Big Lou pinky slot changes this. By placing your little finger in this slot, you are precisely the same distance from the strings, every time. The brain learns to depend upon this as an accurate reference point. This greatly improves your picking accuracy.
Elevation bar (Cobra Magnum Rebel right hand models only). This is a new development by Big Lou Guitar. There is a bar (removeable) located over the humbucker. This is designed to give you a reference point of the hand elevation over the strings. Just lightly touching this bar with the heal of your picking hand lets you know that you are at the perfect height over the strings. This allows you to pick with more confidence and accuracy. Diving too deep, or missing the strings is reduced when this bar is in place. Of course, very experienced players may not need this. However, for beginners, it's a very handy little device. When your in training, every little advantage can help to build your confidence and improve your playing. It attaches with double stick foam tape and can be easily removed. While in place, you can still slide your hand toward the bridge for palm muting.
HSS coil tap design (Magnum only). We like having that crunch tone from the bridge humbucker but we also like a nice full sounding single coil in the neck for those Hendrix slightly overdriven moments. HSS is a good way to go, and arguably the most versatile configuration. With a 5 way switch, the coil tap, and two tone controls, you can get almost any sound you need, without having to switch guitars.
Floating tremelo with a locking nut (Magnum Only). Okay, we like to get crazy and work that whammy bar on certain songs. However, no one likes a guitar that goes "out of tune" just because we hit the bar a few times. The locking nut insures that the strings are locked at both ends. This eliminates any potential "string stretch" on the other side of the nut, in the headstock area. This problem can effect guitars that are not equipped with a proper locking nut. If the strings are allowed to slide across a (non locking) nut, there is a potential to be out of tune when you let go of the whammy bar. Not good.
Pearl pick guards and jumbo frets. Enough said. On a solid color, pearl pickguards look good, and so do those larger frets.
Big Lou Sustain. Let's talk about physics. "Sustain" refers to the ability of a vibrating string, to keep vibrating for an extended amount of time. A vibrating string has kinetic energy (1/2mv²). As this energy is transfered to the neck/body through the bridge, nut, frets and air, the energy dissipates, and the string vibrates less. The things that we can control are the nut, bridge, frets and wood. We can't control the air. Great stiffness and heavy weight (inertia) repel the transfer of kinetic energy better than lightweight components. Therefore, sustain is increased by using a very heavy Floyd Rose style bridge, with a heavy sustain block (inside the guitar body). The heavy locking nut is better than a lightweight standard nut. The heavier jumbo frets allow better sustain than the skinny frets. The neck is wider (1-7/8") so it's heavier and stiffer than a "skinny fast neck". The components chosen for the Big Lou Wide Nut guitar contribute to it's good sustain. It's not an accident. Good sustain comes understanding physics and from using heavy duty components.
This section is imformational, but also designed to enhance the google rankings by allowing us to use the keywords more often. You can read it, but it's a bit boring.
Advantages of a wide nut guitar:
A wide nut electric guitar means that you can allow more room between the strings. The wide nut on the Big Lou electric guitar measures 1 7/8" wide. This wide nut allows for a full 8 mm between the strings.
The wide nut on the Big Lou electric guitar is much easier for a beginner to play. Accuracy does not count as much. Your playing will sound better, as it is harder to make a mistake on a wide nut guitar.
The wide nut guitar is also better for the larger players who have big hands and fingers. The 8 mm string spacing allows for more room for large fingers. This decreases errors, and enhances the sound while playing songs.
The wide nut guitar can still be an advantage for players with smaller diameter fingers. No matter who you are, the added spacing between the strings just make the guitar easier to play.
There are some acoustic guitars that feature a wide nut and more space betweent the strings. If you are used to playing one of these, then the Big Lou wide nut electric guitar will feel like home.
Some of the very experienced (15+ years) players who first picked up a Big Lou wide nut electric guitar said that it felt a bit strange at first. However, after spending several minutes playing on it, they said, it's really no problem getting used the increased string spacing. If felt fine. Additionally, if there is a complicated riff that you are having trouble with, chances are good that you'll be able to play that riff without mistakes on a wide nut Big Lou electric guitar. This happened with some players at the Summer NAMM trade show in 2010.
I can tell you from personal experience, once you play this wide nut guitar for a few weeks, going back to a 1 5/8" nut feels like a move in the wrong direction. It's like, you never noticed how difficult it was, until you got spoiled by a wide nut electric guitar. Getting used to a wide nut electric guitar usually means that you don't ever wish to pick up a skinny neck guitar again. The increased need for accuracy is not really missed or appreciated.
Louis Carroll - inventor
|Make / Model||Retail||Low E seconds||High E seconds|
|Big Lou Wide Nut (standard pickups)||$339||28||14|
|Epiphone Limited Edition Les Paul||$399||21||11|
|ESP LTD Standard w/EMG pickups||$599||11||10|
|Fender Stratocaster HSS||$499||12||6|
|Gretch Electromatic Pro Jet w/Bigsby||$599||16||6|
|Hohner HR600 Tesla pickups||$399||24||9|
The results reflect what we expected. The wider neck on the Big Lou Wide Nut guitar simply has more "meat" in it. It is wider, stiffer and heavier. So the sustain is better. Many guitarist may not know what they are giving up by purchasing a guitar with a "fast skinny neck". A skinny neck will be lighter, more flexible, and can cost you sustain performance. The sensitivity of the pickups and internal resistance of the related components also play a part in sustain. However, even the best pickup's can't produce a signal, if the strings stop vibrating. This test was for the 1 7/8" neck. We have not tested the 2" wide neck, but it might be even better.
Of course, not every guitarist is interested in sustain performance. However, for those who like this feature, the Big Lou Wide Nut performs well.