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Question re: Colosi bone saddles


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So I'm making plans for our trip back to the U.S. this summer (St. Paul in particular) and I'll be taking my J-35 along. Aside from playing some gigs, one of the things I'm contemplating doing while back home is ordering a bone saddle from Bob Colosi and having it installed. Who here has done this, and was there much of an impact on the unplugged and plugged sound?

 

I'd have it installed by the folks who have worked on my guitars for the past couple of decades, so I know it will be fitted and intonated correctly, but I'm wondering if the players here who have done it considered it a worthwhile upgrade.

 

Thanks.

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Well it's not a 35 but a 45 but mine recently went to a nice new bone saddle and there was a change but it's fairly small change. For the better I feel , not just an overall volume increase but slightly better response

 

I may be dreaming all this due to the guitar being away from me for a few days.

I just needed a new saddle and liked the idea of natural ingredients

If the guy had said 'oh no don't put bone into that guitar ' I would've happily followed his advice. But he said ' cool , I'll put bone in there'

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I had the original plastic Tusq replaced with bone on my J45. Now understand what was replaced was the original and it was not the best fit(loose saddle with the slightest forward list). This fact alone could have made the difference in sound when I did replace it with bone. To answer the question though, yes, it did make a difference IMO. Not trying to get all wordy here, it just sounded better. Did it myself, just some fine sandpaper, hard surface and patience.

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Bob has made me a coupla bone saddles. One was for a J-100 Xtra 12 string (no pickup). The saddle that came on the guitar was too short and had been shimmed - I sent it too him for the radius and the bone saddle he sent back workout great.

 

The other was for my J-200 which originally came with a UST and Tusq saddle (the nut was bone). I was happy with the amplified sound, but I thought the unamplifed acoustic sound/tone was a bit off - slightly muffled and/or muddy. The low end was too tight and the high end seemed to be missing some ring. With the new Colosi bone saddle I thought the acoustic sound was noticeably better - clearer, looser low end and more ring in the high end. The amplified sound seemed the same to me. Sure glad I did it.

 

 

.

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Bone can be a good upgrade but as you know, every guitar is an individual and some fare better than others with such a swap. Gibson uses Tusq for guitars with UST pickups because it is more consistently dense than bone and the thinking is that it's better at transferring energy to the pickup strip. Might be true, might not. That said, you may find that a replacement bone saddle works every bit as good for energy transfer and might sound different acoustically. No way to know how it would turn out with your particular guitar.......give it go and see what you think. It's easily reversed.

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I had Bob make saddles and pins for both my Songwriter and my J200 Standard. Both guitars had their clarity and resonance improved by the saddles. I don't personally believe any sound difference can be perceived by the material of pins. But I love the look and feel of Colosi pins.

 

I'm bummed that we can't get them in Canada anymore or I would have ordered some for my SJ200 Golden Age and my Martin 000-28vs.

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I had Bob make saddles and pins for both my Songwriter and my J200 Standard. Both guitars had their clarity and resonance improved by the saddles. I don't personally believe any sound difference can be perceived by the material of pins. But I love the look and feel of Colosi pins.

 

I'm bummed that we can't get them in Canada anymore or I would have ordered some for my SJ200 Golden Age and my Martin 000-28vs.

 

 

I know he can't ship ivory components to Canada, but can't he ship you bone ones?

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I can just add this: after years of procrastination (and abject fear that I'd somehow ruin my guitar) I recently ordered up a bone saddle from Bob for my J-100 Extra. I provided accurate measurements of the saddle that was on it and in short order I had a near perfect replacement that only needed some brief, careful sanding along the bottom and one end to get a perfect fit. This was far easier to do myself than I feared following Bob's simple instructions. The results are a slight improvement in sparkle and volume and a reduction in unwanted overtones I was getting from string wear along the top of my old saddle over the years. No knock on luthiers and repair shops, but you may not really need a luthier for this job to get great sounding and handsome results in my experience.

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I know he can't ship ivory components to Canada, but can't he ship you bone ones?

 

Sorry, my bad. Bob CAN ship bone and even bone with abalone shell, but no ivory (as expected).

 

I was thinking of StewMac, which has now changed its shipping policy to exclude Canada for bone. I thought CITES had banned bone and shell as well.

 

I think I will pull the trigger on some bone pins for the Martin now. :)

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I can't imagine banning bone - I think they just use cow bones. Cows are not on the endangered species list last time I looked. Ivory and walrus tusks are probably banned.

I put a Colosi fossilized walrus tusk saddle and pins on my guitar many years ago. I'm happy with the sound but I don't know if its much different than the tusq it came with. If there was a difference it was small.

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I put a Colosi fossilized walrus tusk saddle and pins on my guitar many years ago. I'm happy with the sound but I don't know if its much different than the tusq it came with. If there was a difference it was small.

 

The tonal difference may be small, but the cool factor is HUGE (as someone might say).

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I would put bone in an overly warm/muddy guitar as it sharpens the top end and hardens the upper mids a little to give better cut.

 

I'd go the other way and fit a Tusq saddle to a guitar that was a bit sharp and zingy and needed calming down.

 

Bone is harder wearing for sure. Not necessarily an upgrade as such but a useful tone tuning tool for those of us who are a bit screwdrivery and perfectionist over setup and tone ☺️

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Screwdrivery

 

Jinder I must borrow your dictionary. Your vocabulary is mental

 

Thanks BBG! That's a nicer way of putting it than "you're mental" which is what I usually get 😂

 

I'm a total self-confessed word nerd, which is what attracted me to songwriting in the first place-poets and authors get pens and word processors, but we get delicious guitars that look, sound and smell sensational!

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