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About GreyGrayDays

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  1. I recently bought a 2019 J-45 Standard. I read mixed reviews about nut, saddle, & bridge pin replacements and their affect on tone. My guitar came from the factory with a tusq nut and saddle and tusq bridge pins (I've read tusq compliments the factory LR Baggs Element UST best). However, I'm replacing the Element with a K&K Pure Mini and ordered a Bob Colosi bone saddle to not only replace the tusq one, but also compensate for the loss of slight height from the UST. In addition, I just swapped out the tusq bridge pins for Waverly ebony pins. I haven't even had the bone saddle installed yet, and the tone is so much warmer and more natural. I liked the sound of the guitar before, but the ebony pins have really scaled back the brightness of the 'off the rack' tone. I know people argue against pins making much of a difference either way, and I know it can vary from guitar to guitar, but in my case the difference I've noticed is way more than subtle.
  2. Thanks everyone for the warm welcome and wonderful feedback. It sounds like the K&K is definitely a safe and smart switch from the Element. I understand that every guitar is different, and every player is different on even the same guitar. There's so much subjectivity out there in terms of preference and theory. However, I do think patterns exist (even if some are more of a placebo effect). I've read more often than not that changing saddles, nuts, and pins can have very little affect on tone, while others swear by the improvement. In particular, bone saddles seem to satisfy a vast amount of players. I'm by no means implying there's a right or wrong way to go about customizing a guitar, but it's fun to share experiences, and I like to take those that shed light on what I'm at least attempting to accomplish with my guitar in to consideration.
  3. Hi, I recently sold my Taylor 410 and Gibson Working Man to pick up a brand new J-45 Standard. I love the guitar, but it came from the factory with a tusq saddle, nut, and bridge pins. I've read that tusq is a better material for the LR Baggs Element UST it comes installed with. I'd like to have a custom bone saddle made by a local luthier, but am considering uninstalling the UST as well not only because it won't react as well to the bone saddle, but because (from what I gather) direct contact with the saddle and bridge is ideal. To replace the Element I'm looking at having a K&K Pure Mini put in. I know the K&K is technically a cheaper system, but it comes highly recommended for it's tone, simplicity, & unobtrusive installation, and bridge plate transducers and/or on-board mics are widely preferred to USTs. Furthermore, my 90's J-50 has a passive pickup in it and it sounds fantastic (not sure exactly what's in it though as I bought it used). After reading a few forums, it's been recommended to leave the tusq nut alone as it only affects open string tone, they're more consistent than bone nuts, and the installation process is a lot more extensive/expensive. I'm on the fence as whether to invest in ebony, rosewood, or bone bridge pins. Bone seems to be the traditional pairing with a bone saddle. Ebony has been recommended for mellowing out the bright, shrill nature of the guitar. Others have insisted the pins should match the material of the bridge itself - in this case, rosewood. Any thoughts, advice, or warnings against any of the above choices are very welcomed and much appreciated. Cheers!
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