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question on original series saddle


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Hello forum !

I'm the happy possessor of a new Hummingbird original model (heritage cherry) and noticed that the saddle is bone. I've always heard and read that builders put tusq saddles on guitars with ust for consistency when plugged.
This hummingbird has an ust, yet Gibson put on it a bonne saddle. So what to think now ? What am I missing ?


Thanks for your clarification !

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I don' think so.  I think they have tusq to make them more "modern," hence the name (note that all the modern models have tusq, all the originals have bone, I think).  Tusq has a brighter, and I think more artificial sound.  Some folks here will disagree vehemently, but I think most agree that bone is the way to go, even if you have a UST pickup.  Just a more rounded, balanced sound.

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10 hours ago, egoidealmusic said:

note that all the modern models have tusq, all the originals have bone, I think

Not true, the 60's original J-50 and J-45 have tusq saddles (and adjustable bridges). These models don't have built-in pickups however. I have the J-50 version and it sounds great, but I have never wanted to be like "most people". 🙂




Edited by Boyd
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Bone is significantly superior to Tusq to my ears. It’s harder wearing and much nicer to work with too. It can cause imbalance from string to string with USTs, but only if there are density inconsistencies in the bone used. I’ve found most pieces to be absolutely fine, and more issues are likely to occur due to an uneven saddle slot floor than the bone density.

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