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Masterbuilt Saddles and Nuts

#1 User is offline   trossit 

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 01:18 AM

Hi, my question is do the Masterbuilts actualy use real bone nut and saddles or are they "synthetic" bone? Is this also true with the new Texan re-issue?

Where the saddle is compensated on the B-string, this would be difficult with real bone. Let me know if I am wrong.


#2 User is offline   Mike54 

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 06:08 AM

My Masterbilt AJ-500R, purchased in 2004, has real bone nut and saddle. For a couple of years after that I read, mostly on this forum, a lot of questions about whether the Masterbilt line continued using bone. But their website video about the Masterbilt line continued stating bone nut and saddle, and the newest addition in the Masterbilt collection, the DR-500MCE, lists bone nut and saddle. I would think it's real bone. If it were synthetic, like tusq, I'd think they would call it "Bone-ique" or something other than plain "bone". Otherwise it would be misleading advertising.

Curious. . . Why do you think it would be hard to shape real bone into a compensated saddle? I've had mine out of the bridge a couple of times, and the grain in the bone is evident. I've shaped a saddle from a bone blank, and although I didn't go to the trouble of compensating on the B string, it was for a beater/campfire git, it wasn't that hard to sand and file the exact shape of the plastic saddle I replaced.
Re: the Texan, no experience with it, but I looked up a few reviews and the official Epi press release, and with that limited reserch, didin't see anything about saddle/nut material either way.

#3 User is offline   Mike54 

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 01:55 PM

Correction: I purchased it in 2006, not 2004.

#4 User is offline   Matt the Cat 

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 07:14 PM

I have the new Texan and can confirm that the saddle is bone. Once I started to sand it down a bit there was no mistaking the smell! Also, shaping a compensated bone saddle is not difficult at all. Just a bit of time and precision required.
Cheers, Matt
'10 Epiphone '58 Korina Explorer

'09 Epiphone 'Inspired by 1964' Texan

'83 Gibson Invader (Now sold! Boo-hoo, bloody recession)

'02 Tanglewood TW-15 Baby

#5 User is offline   Rockanrolla 

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Posted 30 May 2010 - 08:32 AM

My 09 AJ500RE has a synthetic saddle, I beleive they go better with the undersaddle pickups, or so I am told, But the Texan has no problem with the bone, I am thinking of changing mine to bone to see if it makes a difference acoustic and pluged in.
I'll post what I find in the future.

#6 User is offline   Zork 

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 10:38 AM

The non-pickup Masterbilts are supposed to have a bone nut and saddle. They are also constructed with hide glue which is very old-school and desirable in boutique acoustic instruments. Some builders charge $500 plus for the hide glue option.

#7 User is offline   ETxBluesMan 

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 11:55 AM

My Masterbilt DR-500M has a bone nut and saddle.

Just picked it up from having a K&K Mini-Western pickup installed on it. It kicks butt now!

#8 User is offline   rocman13 

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 08:26 PM

I have a Masterbuilt DR-500MCE and it has (had) a real bone saddle and nut. The bridge pins are (spit spit) plastic. The intonation was off about 7 cents on the B string, so I installed a fully compensated Graph Tech Tusq saddle and tusq bridge pins. The intonation is now almost dead on for all strings, and holds true all the way up the neck with a peterson V-SAM strobe tuner.

The tone of this box was already great, it is now superb! I bought a tusq nut for it, but didn't bother changing it... yet.

This is without question the least expensive accoustic I own, but also without question, the best sounding acoustically , and a very close second to my Takamine with a cool tube preamp when plugged in.

I wish I had checked out Masterbuilts a few grand ago! :-({|=

Rock Lorenzo

Epiphone Limited Edition Les Paul Studio Deluxe
Epiphone Limited Edition Riviera Custom P93
Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE Acoustic/Electric
Epiphone Dove Acoustic Guitar w/Fishman Matrix Infinity pup
Takamine EF508KC all KOA w/ cooltube preamp & TRI-AX pup
Takamine EG523SC12 12-String
Line 6 Variax 500 modeling guitar w/POD XT live

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