5 out of 5 stars
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After more than 50 years of collecting and playing various types of guitars, Dennis Hook was inspired to write this book after realizing the importance of compensating the nut and bridge in your guitar. “Guitar Nut Compensation: The Physics and Mechanics of Setting Up a Guitar to Play in Tune” describes, based on this author’s experiences, everything that any player can do to achieve the near-perfect sound in their guitar without necessarily requiring luthier expertise.
The fact that Hook used his experience as a guitar veteran to describe this process lends credibility to the book. This enabled him to converse with readers using relatable analogies while emphasizing the importance of compensating both the nut and the bridge. The analogies were used to aid comprehension, and I appreciated how accurate they were.
This book goes into detail, describing how compensating the nut and bridge has improved the sound of his guitars and many others he has worked on. It was done very clearly, showcasing his descriptive expertise, so that anyone with the right tools, even at home, could do it. More information was provided to demonstrate what causes a guitar to go out of tune, as well as how environmental factors play a role. I loved this attention to detail as it eliminates ambiguity, which is critical in a book like this. He also discusses the physics of the strings and other components, as well as how different factors can cause them to go out of tune. This was the most amazing part for me because it blew my mind how someone could notice this much detail just by observing. Finally, the book provided little guidance to players on how to manage their instruments and what to look for when shopping for guitars, as even the most expensive guitars could be out of tune right out of the box.
According to the title, I expected this book to be all about guitar nut compensation. However, this was only covered in the first couple of chapters before the book moved on to discuss other ways to keep a guitar in tune. Based on the fact that a large percentage of the book was not about nut compensation, I thought the title would more accurately represent the book's contents if it included an "and" instead of the colon. Also, I believed that including more images would help readers better understand what was being explained. Not every reader will be as knowledgeable as he is, which could have been beneficial, especially when discussing topics like tremolos and vibrato makers. I had to use Google to fully comprehend those sections.
Ultimately, “Guitar Nut Compensation” served as a good piece to describe what the author had in mind for achieving an in-tune guitar. This handbook would be useful to many guitar players and technicians. Considering all the above and the fact that the editing quality of this book was absolutely flawless, as there was not a single error that I found, I give it a 5 out of 5. The drawbacks were minor and did not warrant a star deduction. This book was clearly written with guitar enthusiasts in mind, so I believe it would appeal to this demographic.
Guitar Nut Compensation
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