Gibson Guitar Board: Strings - Nut - Saddle - Pins - They are essential to TONE! - Gibson Guitar Board

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Strings - Nut - Saddle - Pins - They are essential to TONE! Lets discuss the different brands and materials

#41 User is offline   Windwalker9000 

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 09:53 PM

I tried a new brand of strings on my Montana Gibson Hummingbird the other day they were recommended by a friend and they are awesome sounding so far, I am really impressed with them. {John Pearce} Phosphor Bronze Medium Gauge, .013 - .056, 700M the bass is balanced and the meds are woody the highs are tingly went from real good sustain to Fantastic sustain thought I would mentin it as they my be others that could benefit from them as well!!!
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#42 User is offline   struma6 

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 09:40 PM

bone top to bottom...I've used corian to nice results as well.

for strings, NOTHING, to my ears or touch, comes close to thomastik infeld. The "Spetrum" set is monster on both my Bird and 165. For a "softer" feel on an older instrument (instead of silk and steels) check out the "Plectrum" sets. They're more expensive than most but they DO last me about 3X as long! For an arch-top...the Jazz sets seem to be preferred. (never tried them though so I can't speak from experiance.

In the last year or so I've gone from the orange Tortex to a heavier purple...which I couldn't quote the thickness as I sit here. May be 2.0?
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#43 User is offline   EuroAussie 

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 05:50 AM

Have you had mids on the HB before ? If not the additional tone youre talking about might not necessarily be from the string brand but simply from putting 13's on the Gibson. I know that both my mahogany Gibson dreads sound massivelly better with 13's then with 12's.

View PostWindwalker9000, on 16 May 2011 - 09:53 PM, said:

I tried a new brand of strings on my Montana Gibson Hummingbird the other day they were recommended by a friend and they are awesome sounding so far, I am really impressed with them. {John Pearce} Phosphor Bronze Medium Gauge, .013 - .056, 700M the bass is balanced and the meds are woody the highs are tingly went from real good sustain to Fantastic sustain thought I would mentin it as they my be others that could benefit from them as well!!!

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#44 User is offline   poisonfox 

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 12:07 PM

Anyone have experience with the change in tone on a j 45 with a bone nut VS. stock?
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#45 User is offline   chasAK 

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 02:49 PM

I changed the nut, saddle, and bridge pins on my 08 J45 MC. Here are the notable differences to my ears.

1. Increased volume

2. Improved note clarity

3. Greater sustain

4. A little brighter (When it was changed over I tried a new brand of strings which I have sense replaced the add brightness may have been from the new strings)

I would do it again in a heart beat!!



chasAK


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#46 User is offline   ponty 

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 08:09 PM

So, after all the discussion here about the merits of bone pins and saddle, I decided to fit them to my 000-28EC.
I bought the pins - 2A, and bone blanks from Stew-Mac. Using an online radius gauge, Dremel multi-tool, and a sharp pencil
I cut my own saddle. The bridge pins do stand proud somewhat, as I was told they would - normal for Martin!
So, was it worth the effort and cost? Absolutely it was! It has improved tone, volume, and overall sound without doubt.
I am now going to do the same with my 45s.
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#47 User is offline   nodehopper 

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 09:23 AM

View Postponty, on 30 June 2011 - 08:09 PM, said:

So, after all the discussion here about the merits of bone pins and saddle, I decided to fit them to my 000-28EC.
I bought the pins - 2A, and bone blanks from Stew-Mac. Using an online radius gauge, Dremel multi-tool, and a sharp pencil
I cut my own saddle. The bridge pins do stand proud somewhat, as I was told they would - normal for Martin!
So, was it worth the effort and cost? Absolutely it was! It has improved tone, volume, and overall sound without doubt.
I am now going to do the same with my 45s.


I did the same to my 000-28EC and agree it improved tone and string to string clarity. I personally sanded my pins so they sit down ..I don't like the looks of the standing way up pins like Martin does them OEM.

Congrats on your "modifications" !!
Stephen ...... "Ain't no more potatoes, the frost have killed the vine ......
Well, the blues ain't nothin' but a good woman on your mind" MJH


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#48 User is offline   ponty 

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 06:11 PM

Thanks Nodehopper.
Update...... I took the pins off the 000-28EC, and have temporarily put back the TUSQ pins.The reason is I cant live with the bone pins sticking up so much!!
So, I put the pins on my J-45, and a new bone saddle, restrung it and a great result. I am going to get pins for the 000-28 that seat lower down.
All in all, I am sold on this minor modification which to my ear has produced a major change.
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#49 User is offline   j45nick 

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 12:35 PM

View Postnodehopper, on 03 July 2011 - 09:23 AM, said:

I did the same to my 000-28EC and agree it improved tone and string to string clarity. I personally sanded my pins so they sit down ..I don't like the looks of the standing way up pins like Martin does them OEM.

Congrats on your "modifications" !!



I have a 2007 000-28 EC, which came with bone nut and saddle, but plastic (presumably) pins. I added Colosi bone pins. The recommended 2A size sits even more proud than the OEM pins, so I spent some time taking them down individually by hand, as Colosi says you will need to do. It isn't that hard, and you can seat them at any height you want. I marked them individually for each string position as he recommends, but that isn't really necessary if you fit them carefully, and have a relatively new guitar whose pin holes haven't been damaged by years of abuse by "pinheads". :rolleyes:
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#50 User is offline   AnneS 

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 11:14 PM

View PostchasAK, on 07 June 2011 - 02:49 PM, said:

I changed the nut, saddle, and bridge pins on my 08 J45 MC. Here are the notable differences to my ears.

1. Increased volume

2. Improved note clarity

3. Greater sustain

4. A little brighter (When it was changed over I tried a new brand of strings which I have sense replaced the add brightness may have been from the new strings)

I would do it again in a heart beat!!



chasAK


Well, I am now officially in the club! (Yay, me!) I brought my maple J100 Xtra home today after having a Colossi nut and saddle put on. (Is there a secret handshake I should know about now??[biggrin] )

The verdict? Definitely louder (which I would not have thought possible) and excellent clarity and sustain.

At present, I'm hearing quite a bit of brightness--more than before, I think. But...at least two other things might be adding to that effect: I've been away from home--and guitarless--for nearly two weeks (abstinence makes the ear grow brighter??), and the new D'Addarios need some time to settle in. (I usually use DR Rares; they lose the new-bright zing much faster in my opinion than do the D'Addarios, which I also use from time to time.)

At the moment, the brightness is almost masking the mellow low end I'm accustomed to hearing and seems to be muting the chimeyness up the neck (esp capo'd) that I have come to know and love, but I really do think these are "brand new string" effects more than anything.

I suspect, too, that the action is a tiny tad higher than it was when I took it in. But, given the grooves that were worn into the old saddle (yikes!), I'm sure the string-break angle is more uniform at the very least. If so, I suppose that, too, could account for some of the added volume and sustain.

Regardless, whatever minor adjustments were made, the action is still low (like I like it) so I'm a happy camper. [thumbup]

I'll work those strings in some more tomorrow and report back, but if no one hears from me for awhile, it's cuz I can't put 'er down. I, too, would do it again in a heartbeat. [smile]
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#51 User is offline   retrorod 

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 09:50 PM

Oh yeah! The secret handshake. Extend your index and pinky fingers whilst clasping the hand of the greeter. They will 'get it' and 'know' that you and 'he/she' are Colossi 'brothers/sisters' and all will be well and in sync with your bodies and minds for 'only' as long as you hold 'that' grip ....and after that....well you MUST perform some other physical contortions to make you 'one with the world'..... [blush]
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#52 User is offline   Rockanrolla 

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 05:03 AM

Hi, I had an Epiphone masterbilt AJ500 rosewood that sounded really nice, I decided to try some brass pins on it to see if there was a difference and I could hardly beeive it, it sounded a little more resonant but added a deep sweet tone.
I didn't think I would knotice such a difference by such a small mod.
BTW it had a bone saddle and nut as standard.
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#53 User is offline   E-minor7 

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 12:17 PM

View PostRockanrolla, on 06 August 2011 - 05:03 AM, said:

I decided to try some brass pins on it to see if there was a difference and I could hardly beeive it, it sounded a little more resonant but added a deep sweet tone.
I didn't think I would knotice such a difference by such a small mod.
BTW it had a bone saddle and nut as standard.

This is good news. I had a suspicion that brass would sound metallic. Hard in some way – overdefined or too distinct.



All I dared up till now is a brass t.r. cover.
You just can't keep coincidences down. .
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#54 User is offline   tpbiii 

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 04:22 PM

I guess I'm the odd man out here. I've been comparing guitars, new and old, strings, saddle, nuts, -- even bridge pins -- for 40 years, and I have some pretty well formed opinions.

1. Old instruments sound better in general than new instruments -- if sound is your thing, buy old.

2. Construction materials (woods) are important -- not necessarily better, but tonally predictably distinctive. Some materials are known to work better for different styles and genres.

3. Top/bracing,bridge,bridgeplate geometry -- there are the major determiner for guitar tone.

4. Setup -- neck pitch, saddle height, etc., etc. Incredibly important -- setup is where the money is to be made. Optimize these, you optimize power.

5. Strings are mostly a matter of taste. I agree that coated strings last longer but lose some power. Once you have the right guitar with the right setup, cheap strings will work fine and will be really hard (impossible?) to beat.

6. Finally, there is saddle materials, bridge pins, and nut materials. I suppose if you used chewing gum, you might have an effect. What we have found is that the geometry of these are very important -- the materials (within reason) are not.

There it is -- sad but true.

Let's pick,

-Tom
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#55 User is offline   E-minor7 

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 06:19 AM

I guess I'm the odd man out here. I've been comparing guitars, new and old, strings, saddle, nuts, -- even bridge pins -- for 40 years, and I have some pretty well formed opinions.

Appreciate it -

1.Old instruments sound better in general than new instruments -- if sound is your thing, buy old.

There is a clear difference. A 20 - 30 - 40 - 50 year old instrument has something indefinable. You feel/hear how much the instrument has come together.
The different pieces of wood really know each other and vibe as a whole.

2.Construction materials (woods) are important -- not necessarily better, but tonally predictably distinctive. Some materials are known to work better for different styles and genres.

Wood is one of the main keys to tonal identity.

3.Top/bracing, bridge, bridge plate geometry -- there are the major determiner for guitar tone.

Be conscious about scalloped or non-scalloped braces and the bracing pattern itself. A long lasting deeply interesting riddle.


4.Setup -- neck pitch, saddle height, etc., etc. Incredibly important-- setup is where the money is to be made. Optimize these, you optimize power.

The right set-up makes you go from struggling over playing to flying.

5.Strings are mostly a matter of taste. I agree that coated strings last longer but lose some power. Once you have the right guitar with the right setup, cheap strings will work fine and will be really hard (impossible?) to beat..

Older strings can like grow to be a part of the guitar as they fade. If that happens, don't change them before they no longer stay in tune.

6.Finally, there is saddle materials, bridge pins, and nut materials. I suppose if you used chewing gum, you might have an effect. What we have found is that the geometry of these are very important -- the materials (within reason) are not.

Bridge-pin and saddle material affects sound. I'm not heavy enough to talk about nuts and bridge plates.

There it is -- sad but true.
What is the sad part. . .

Let's pick,
What key ?

-Tom
E-minor7








You just can't keep coincidences down. .
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#56 User is offline   gibbyguy 

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 04:53 PM

Thanks Tom for a great summary. I had my 64 Hummingbird's adjustable bridge (which was a fiasco IMHO) replaced with a plain rosewood bridge with a new bone nut and saddle.
The sound difference was like playing a new guitar. Didn't replace the pins, but may do that someday. I had some other repairs done on her, repair and glue the top cross brace, replaced 4 frets.
The luthiers did a stellar job on the 64 Bird. I've done some recording with her and she does very well.

PS: Why has Gibson reissued the "Early 60s Hummingbird" of late (2011) with an adjustable bridge? I don't get it; why repeat the mistakes of the past? Apparently some don't feel that an adjustable bridge was a mistake.
Huh....
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#57 User is offline   E-minor7 

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 06:52 PM

View Postgibbyguy, on 18 October 2011 - 04:53 PM, said:

PS: Why has Gibson reissued the "Early 60s Hummingbird" of late (2011) with an adjustable bridge? I don't get it; why repeat the mistakes of the past? Apparently some don't feel that an adjustable bridge was a mistake.
Huh....

Where did you see that one ?
You just can't keep coincidences down. .
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#58 User is offline   veggieryan 

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 10:42 PM

I have recently found that using rosewood bridge pins gives a very nice soft and mellow tone vs ebony which is a bit brighter and tighter...
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#59 User is offline   sboiir 

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 02:23 PM

I happen to have a piece of ebony laying around and wonder if it's worth the effort involved to make a new saddle with it, and replace my plastic saddle with ebony. Has anyone any thoughts or experience with ebony saddles ?
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#60 User is offline   racer 

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 09:06 AM

this is a great thread, you guys have talked me into trying this. i have a Gibson DSR ( Canada ) that i do realy like but just needs a little more volume and sparkle for me. thanks for the info.

racer
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