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 accidentally 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.

With many models to choose from, there is a solution for all everyone. The Cobra features an HSH design which give the player a nice wide variety of sounds. The humbuckers produce the thick fat tones completely hum free, and the center single coil pickup can still deliver those crackling high tones when needed. By using the 5 way selector, any combination is possible.

The Rebel has the traditional honky tonk amazing highs that you’d expect from its dual single coil pickups.

The Roadster comes with dual humbuckers and produces the smooth mid tones, sometimes referred to as “fat”. Humbuckers, by nature of their width, can “sense” a wider section of vibrating strings, which results in more lower harmonics in the total signal. This gives a nice full, “fat” sound.

Whatever your preference in sound, Big Lou has you covered.

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 hard tail bridge, or a weighted bridge (heavy sustain block inside the guitar body). 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 its good sustain. It’s not an accident. Good sustain comes understanding physics and from using heavy duty components.

Below are the results of a sustain test. This test was performed at the Guitar Center in Murrieta CA. We used a Line 6 spider 75 watt amplifier set to “clean”, dialed up to 90 decibels. We plucked the low E string and high E string on various guitars and used a stop watch to count the seconds of sustain. We stopped the timer when we could no longer hear a tone from the string. Below are the results.
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
Ibanez Art $299 22 7
Schecter Damien $449 10 6

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 since a good amplifier can provide the sustain using the electronics. However, for those who like this feature, the Big Lou Wide Nut performs well.