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Hummingbird-tusq or bone?


Salfromchatham

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howdy,

I read two threads, with different viewpoints on which is better....

with NO UST, do you modern Bird owners prefer the tusq or bone and why? I have read where the tusq is preferable with the UST pickup, but I'm not going to have one.

Thanks, and sorry if it's a dead horse. It is a horse I care about this week though.

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In general, TUSQ is preferred for UST systems because of it's uniform density........a more consistent connection between string and pickup. Bone is a traditional material for saddles and, if for no other reason than that, it is very popular with non-UST instruments. That said, as we all know every guitar is an individual and as such will respond differently to either material. Sounds like you're removing the UST from the new Hummingbird........yes? I'd certainly recommend stuffing the TUSQ saddle right back in there and giving it a go..........I bet it'll sound fine. You might get a bone blank from Colosi and, after shaping it to fit, find that you actually prefer the TUSQ. Cheap experiment anyway.

 

I did swap the factory plastic pins to bone in the Hummingbird Vintage I had and disliked them right away. I know some insist that nothing behind the saddle makes a difference but bone pins decidedly darkened the tone of the Hummingbird I had. Every guitar is different, just like us people.

 

(I took the UST out of the new 12 fret 45 and left the TUSQ saddle in........sounds fine to these old ears.)

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Not a H-bird, but I recently discovered that my J45 responds better with the original tusq saddle in the more-humid summer months. Gives it a bit more zing. I'm almost certain that I'll go back to the bone saddle in the drier months (I'm in Michigan). But the bone saddle in high humidity just lacks enough zip, and sounds muffled. You may find that you want to switch back and forth as well, Sal.

 

Roger

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Since bone is a natural substance, as opposed to Tusq, one bone saddle may differ a bit from the next. Sometimes the variation is too subtle for most of us to be worth consideration, and sometimes it isn't. Tusq won't vary much - kind of like a laminated guitar top. That said, I really don't care much for Tusq - so ignore this post if you're a believer😁

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