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

#61 User is offline   sboiir 

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 05:41 PM

Anybody ever heard of "Kauila" wood ? It is the wood used by "Ancient Hawaiians to tool down to make axe heads and spears ect. then used for cutting down Koa and other trees for Canoe building and such. It was their Iron wood so to speak. I'm in the process of quartersawing it to make nut, saddle and bridge pins. Any thoughts ?

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#62 User is offline   racer 

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 06:55 PM

make before and after vids so we all can hear the diff.
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#63 User is offline   sboiir 

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 10:28 PM

I'm not a performer like most here seem to be. I am just an enthusiast and Love the sounds of strings. I'll try to get my wife to do a before and after. She is less inhibited than myself. Also, she makes music. I will only be able to record directly into my laptop, so please forgive the sound quality. We'll do our best, but give me time, I still have the wood in log form as you see in the pic. Will follow up though.
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#64 User is offline   Harmonics101 

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 12:32 AM

Is harsher, brighter, louder, sharper .... is that an improvement in the tonal quality ?

Some would say yes, some would say no.

I am very relieved and blessed that i am in the 'no' category in this regard. Saves lots of swapping out nuts, saddles and bridge pins [flapper]

I'm of the belief that brightness, loudness, sharpness can mostly be achieved by experimenting with strings.

If you are compelled to swap out a nut or saddle or experiment and to a lesser extent swapping out bridge pins to achieve your desired tone, you've purchased the wrong guitar !

If you are a tinker type of person and enjoy these activities, well then more power to you if that is how you achieve enjoyment with your guitar.

I'll stick swapping out strings thank you very much since that is a requirement, unless you like to play with dead strings [flapper]

I'm in tpbiii's camp on this more or less but i aint raisin' too much of a stink if guys like to do this.

But, i don't think its gonna be any sort of panacea or aha moment.

Your mileage may vary of course.

Cheers and pick on when yer not swappin' out bridge pins [flapper]

Harmonics101
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#65 User is offline   Windwalker9000 

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 10:03 PM

If you want to play using a amp or a PA SYSTEM you will get a better sound with in MOP with Tugsten saddle. Also a FI Walrus nut and saddle is not as bright as bone!!!
Music is the universal language!!!
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#66 User is offline   blindboygrunt 

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 04:35 AM

View PostWindwalker9000, on 05 January 2012 - 10:03 PM, said:

If you want to play using a amp or a PA SYSTEM you will get a better sound with in MOP with Tugsten saddle. Also a FI Walrus nut and saddle is not as bright as bone!!!


thats quite a definate statement for such a broad scope of scenarios !
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#67 User is offline   GottaBeGibson 

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 08:27 AM

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.


I've played a lot of beautiful sounding Gibsons with adjustable bridges and even Tune-O-Matics. These bridges have long been branded "tone killers," by some, but Pete Townshend's J200 had a TOM, George Harrison's J200 had a TOM, Mickie Most's J200 (which Jimmy Page borrowed for some Zep stuff) had a TOM - and those guys had some truly great acoustic guitar sounds. Were there dogs with TOMs and adjustable bridges? Sure, but there are dogs without them. If the guitar sounds good, it's not a mistake.
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#68 User is offline   duluthdan 

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 05:56 PM

J-45 TV - Bone Saddle - Compensated or uncompensated? The existing saddle is not compensated, but a bit low. Looks like it had an undersaddle pickup, but that is gone - was replaced with a Seymour Duncan Mag-Mic in the soundhole. All three of my Martin dreads have a compensated saddle. Won't break the bank if I order one of each, but thought I'd ask.
Smile Fierce !!!
Gibson J-45 TV (Lyric)
Gibson J-45 Legend
Gibson J-50 (K&K)
Martin D-35 (Trance)
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#69 User is offline   duluthdan 

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 08:47 PM

Ok - I put in a bone (compensated) saddle, and at the same time I replaced the plastic bridge pins with these bone pins. Except for the vaguely odd color of the pins I detect no change in tone on this J-45 TV. The saddle that was replaced was stock bone, I believe, but not compensated - putting in the compensated saddle lowered the action on the high B and E strings a tad and makes this instrument very easy on the fingerstyle that I am addicted to.[attachment=7059:Bridge Pins.jpg]
Smile Fierce !!!
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#70 User is offline   duluthdan 

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 10:52 AM

Somewhere I read that if you take bone, and smear it with brown shoe polish, tie it up in a rag overnight, that it will result in a dyed hue, tempering the white, and perhaps resulting in an aged or vintage look. I just did this with a bone strap pin, and it turned out to be the same odd color as the Bridge Pins pictured above. My wife said "how come they're pink?". Guess that means I'm going back to white.[attachment=7093:Strap Button.jpg]
Smile Fierce !!!
Gibson J-45 TV (Lyric)
Gibson J-45 Legend
Gibson J-50 (K&K)
Martin D-35 (Trance)
Martin 000-42
Gibson J-35 Vintage
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#71 User is offline   E-minor7 

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 05:39 AM

View Postduluthdan, on 26 February 2012 - 10:52 AM, said:

Somewhere I read that if you take bone, and smear it with brown shoe polish, tie it up in a rag overnight, that it will result in a dyed hue, tempering the white, and perhaps resulting in an aged or vintage look. I just did this with a bone strap pin, and it turned out to be the same odd color as the Bridge Pins pictured above. My wife said "how come they're pink?". Guess that means I'm going back to white.Attachment Strap Button.jpg


Try bone in a strong cup of coffee or tea, , , with salt.
Let them be overnite and check next morning.
Still too white - Give the item(s) another 6 hours bath.


You just can't keep coincidences down. .
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#72 User is offline   duluthdan 

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 07:23 AM

View PostE-minor7, on 13 April 2012 - 05:39 AM, said:

Try bone in a strong cup of coffee or tea, , , with salt.
Let them be overnite and check next morning.
Still too white - Give the item(s) another 6 hours bath.



I'm gonna try this over the weekend with the "pink" ones. Have to remember before and after pics, and the recipe.
Smile Fierce !!!
Gibson J-45 TV (Lyric)
Gibson J-45 Legend
Gibson J-50 (K&K)
Martin D-35 (Trance)
Martin 000-42
Gibson J-35 Vintage
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#73 User is offline   E-minor7 

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 10:58 AM

Do pins matter. . . .

Just replaced the G-string pin on 2 squares. I have a tendency to claw the G-string while playing a certain expressive fingerpicking style.
Especially the Bird-G sounds slightly boomy with 12's in that context. Up went the bone, down went the wood.

Do pins matter ?

Try it !
You just can't keep coincidences down. .
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#74 User is offline   GuitarLight 

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 11:18 PM

View PostHarmonics101, on 04 January 2012 - 12:32 AM, said:

Is harsher, brighter, louder, sharper .... is that an improvement in the tonal quality ?

Some would say yes, some would say no.

I am very relieved and blessed that i am in the 'no' category in this regard. Saves lots of swapping out nuts, saddles and bridge pins [flapper]

I'm of the belief that brightness, loudness, sharpness can mostly be achieved by experimenting with strings.

If you are compelled to swap out a nut or saddle or experiment and to a lesser extent swapping out bridge pins to achieve your desired tone, you've purchased the wrong guitar !

If you are a tinker type of person and enjoy these activities, well then more power to you if that is how you achieve enjoyment with your guitar.

I'll stick swapping out strings thank you very much since that is a requirement, unless you like to play with dead strings [flapper]

I'm in tpbiii's camp on this more or less but i aint raisin' too much of a stink if guys like to do this.

But, i don't think its gonna be any sort of panacea or aha moment.

Your mileage may vary of course.

Cheers and pick on when yer not swappin' out bridge pins [flapper]

Harmonics101

Thank you harmonics for your input. Having read what you said, I began to do some thinking about all these alterations we often do. I was about to sell my Martin J-40 Rosewood because it was just too loud to sing with, beautiful tone, but so loud and resinous that it upstaged me as I sang. I decided to get rid it of it. But first...after 10 years, I would remove the Ebony pins I had placed in it so long ago, and put back the standard plastic Martin pins that came with it, and sell it. After removing those Ebony pins, and playing it, I realized that i could now sing with it...the loud over volume, and sustain were diminished just enough to make it PERFECT!!! I will now keep it, because it is now my best singing guitar. A lesson hard learned...and as you said...LOUD, BRIGHT, Endless Sustain is NOT always a good thing. My J-40 is now MUCH more balanced with the factory pins it came with. Who knew? I thought I was doing a good thing by making it louder...NOT...In fact it was perfect the way Martin designed it. Thank you for your input....it has allowed me to save my treasured Martin J-40!
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#75 User is offline   nodehopper 

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 11:16 AM

View PostHarmonics101, on 04 January 2012 - 12:32 AM, said:


If you are compelled to swap out a nut or saddle or experiment and to a lesser extent swapping out bridge pins to achieve your desired tone, you've purchased the wrong guitar !


Harmonics101


I disagree with this statement. Even people who spend thousands of dollars on the perfect audiophile grade stereo systems will still adjust EQ to suit their ears. Your statement is like saying that if a person buys a guitar and needs the action adjusted to suit their playing style, they must have bought the wrong guitar. Every ones singing voice, picking attack, music style and desired tone is different and dialing in the guitar tone to best compliment is a very subtle and personal thing.

GuitarLights post is a perfect example of how a treasured guitar can and should be adjusted using all the tools at ones disposal such as: strings, picks, attack, nut/saddle/pins material, set-up etc so that the tone fits the owners ideals. (even if it means that the original plastic pins are the answer)
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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#76 User is offline   MarkR1 

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 06:15 PM

I have a 95 Gibson j-200 Birdseye Maple #19 of 250 made and I just got it back from Custom Inlay Inc. in Leitchfield Ky about 40 miles from me. It's owned by Brian England and its family run. He does inlay for Gibson and Jackson. They also make guitars, mandolins and banjos called England. I visited the shop a week ago and again today and he has quite a nice setup and some very nice instruments. He made a Compensated saddle out of bone and bridge pins out of fossiled walrus jawbone with I think it is abalone inlay on the tops of the pins.The guitar sounds fantastic now. I think instead of abalone inlay I think it is called MOP inlay. I'm just amazed at the difference in sound not to say the beauty of those pins. I've added some pics so you all can see them.Posted Image
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#77 User is offline   duluthdan 

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 08:34 PM

Those compliment that guitar very nicely ! Glad it had a good affect on the tone for you.
Smile Fierce !!!
Gibson J-45 TV (Lyric)
Gibson J-45 Legend
Gibson J-50 (K&K)
Martin D-35 (Trance)
Martin 000-42
Gibson J-35 Vintage
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#78 User is offline   MarkR1 

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 08:37 PM

Thank you, I just realized that MOP and Abalone are the same thing I believe.

View Postduluthdan, on 30 October 2012 - 08:34 PM, said:

Those compliment that guitar very nicely ! Glad it had a good affect on the tone for you.

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#79 User is offline   duluthdan 

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 09:13 PM

Wickepedia would gree with you: "The shells of abalones have a low and open spiral structure, and are characterized by several open respiratory pores in a row near the shell's outer edge. The thick inner layer of the shell is composed of nacre or mother-of-pearl, which in many species is highly iridescent, giving rise to a range of strong and changeable colors, which make the shells attractive to humans as decorative objects, and as a source of colorful mother-of-pearl." It sure looks good on guitars!
Smile Fierce !!!
Gibson J-45 TV (Lyric)
Gibson J-45 Legend
Gibson J-50 (K&K)
Martin D-35 (Trance)
Martin 000-42
Gibson J-35 Vintage
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#80 User is offline   MarkR1 

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 09:27 PM

Yes you are right they sure look nice on guitars for sure.

View Postduluthdan, on 30 October 2012 - 09:13 PM, said:

Wickepedia would gree with you: "The shells of abalones have a low and open spiral structure, and are characterized by several open respiratory pores in a row near the shell's outer edge. The thick inner layer of the shell is composed of nacre or mother-of-pearl, which in many species is highly iridescent, giving rise to a range of strong and changeable colors, which make the shells attractive to humans as decorative objects, and as a source of colorful mother-of-pearl." It sure looks good on guitars!

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