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EI Saddle from Bob


Buc McMaster

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Just spent a leisurely hour and a half fitting a new Colosi elephant ivory saddle in my Sj200, replacing a fossilized walrus ivory one that's been in the guitar from the first week I owned it (sometime in 06). I think Bob says EI has the best string to string balance of all the saddle materials he uses, and I have to agree. The new saddle has added some volume to the treble strings without making them zingy sounding. (Not sure why, but the word "chalky" comes to mind.....don't ask!) Nice, round highs with good sustain. My 200 is rosewood and it has bottom for days and now, having played the new EI saddle, that low end perhaps was overwhelming some of the highs. One's ear becomes quite accustomed to the tone of a guitar played everyday and from time to time I think it's good to make an effort to listen more critically to particular frequencies. A change in the saddle material makes such things jump out at you....at least in this case. I will say that often something new has a charm about it that makes it seem attractive at first blush. I will continue to listen with a critical ear to this EI saddle and plan to swap it back out for the FWI saddle at next string change to see if my early impressions are in fact true.

 

What I know is true is that Bob is a class act and makes great stuff. If you're thinking of a saddle/nut/pin change(s) I recommend Mr Colosi without hesitation.

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I and many others have purchased Bob's products. And , yes, he is a class act and a breathe of fresh air dedicated to the art of improving the sonic qualities of stringed instruments. He should be working for Gibson! (or vice-versa)!

=D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D>

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If you haven't done it, I recommend checking out Bob's bridge pins as well. I noticed the other day his double inlay bone pins are only $25.00 for a set for both size 1 (Taylor) and 2A (Gibson). I don't really know or care if it changed the tone for better, although in my opinion it did, but boy do they look sharp on my AJ!

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Yes, it's real elephant ivory! Received a set of Bob's EI, square head bridge pins as well but they are slightly undersized and we'll have to make another run at getting a good fit. And an EI strap button too! Gotta love those elephants!

 

Upon further playing with the new saddle I am quite impressed with string balance. Not only have the trebles been improved, the huge bottom end has been mellowed, more focused and "tamed" somewhat - the guitar has a new voice that is striking. And the EI pins are gorgeous, whether they make an impact on the guitar's tone or not.

 

Colosi-Set.jpg

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I hate to make every mention of elephant ivory a political rant, but I'm with the other guys. I could even accept the decision to abandon the moral concern and use a small amount for a precious thing like a guitar- but to throw it away afterwards because you didn't take the right measurements to make it fit correctly, or because you just don't like it, is sort of offensive. At least treat it like the precious thing that it is. =D>

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Are they real elephant ivory?;)

 

Direct from Bob's site: (I believe him when he say's this based on the guys reputation and honesty)

 

Elephant Ivory has traditionally been a highly sought after material for guitar saddles' date=' nuts and pins. It is actually less dense than bone, although far less porous which gives the feel that it is harder. Its consistency from piece to piece is spectacular. It maintains the ability to polish like glass and has a beautiful off-white/tan/cream appearance with an elegant grain structure. Elephant Ivory provides a more subtle high end than bone or walrus and does not give the same “aggressive” overtones, although the elephant still provides exceptional clarity and string responsiveness throughout the entire frequency range. Elephant offers the best string-to-string “balance” of all the materials. Elephant is by far the most popular choice for those with vintage instruments because of its ability to retain the warm characteristics of such instruments, as well as it's intrinsic "traditional" value. Elephant is also a very popular choice on 12-string guitars, where balance and the need to not over-brighten the guitar is critical. [b']ALL the elephant ivory I use is fully documented and legal to buy, sell and ship within the United States only.

Reminder.... I cannot legally ship Elephant Ivory outside of the United States![/b]

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Did I say I was "throwing away" the ill fitting bridge pins? These pins happen to fit another guitar I own perfectly, so they will not be "thrown away". Be as offend as you like, it's no skin off my nose. Perhaps you might consider the mahogany on your Les Paul Custom and J45 is also a vanishing breed........are you offended by that? Ditto the post of the text from Bob's site concerning EI. The stuff is regulated and controlled to the point it can be in this world. Quit yer whinin'.

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i believe Bob about it being legal. he runs a fairly good sized operation, and if he posted illegal ivory on his website then it would be suicidal.

that doesn't touch on the arguement against it. the problem is that even selling legal ivory, creates a market for the substance. this leads to illegal harvesting of ivory. THAT is the problem.

for example: there are a lot of people on this forum who aren't in the US. if they read enough posts like this, then they may decide they MUST have EI. so, if they can't find it locally then it encourages them to seek it internationally. this would be illegal. people are out there that know people want it, so they will sell it to them (no Bob). and once some guys start selling it illegally, it's a short step to start buying it illegally... which means harvesting it illegally. you see the issue? this is why the laws are so tough on ivory and why most people want them tougher. do a little research on the elephant poaching that still happens these days.

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Did I say I was "throwing away" the ill fitting bridge pins? These pins happen to fit another guitar I own perfectly' date=' so they will not be "thrown away". Be as offend as you like, it's no skin off my nose. Perhaps you might consider the mahogany on your Les Paul Custom and J45 is also a vanishing breed........are you offended by that? Ditto the post of the text from Bob's site concerning EI. The stuff is regulated and controlled to the point it can be in this world. Quit yer whinin'.[/quote']

 

Look dude- you had to expect this kind of response when you posted about it. I understand that the ivory is legal, but that doesn't mean that it's ethical to use it. Frankly I wouldn't have any issue at all if you weren't out here on the internet posting about how wonderful it is. As modoc mentioned, if the current policies on elephant ivory were working so well then poaching wouldn't be a problem, would it? I'm obviously not going to change your mind but I feel better knowing that someone reading your posts might think twice about the consequences of their actions.

 

For what it's worth- I'm glad to hear that you will be using the bridge pins that didn't fit. And what of the bridge, if you decide that you don't like it as much as the walrus ivory?

 

And yes, your point about the mahogany is well taken. The Custom is actually african mahogany which is in plentiful supply. And the J-45 had a huge hole in the side that I repaired; otherwise it probably would have sat in the music store forever, or sent back to the Gibson factory to be destroyed.

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You can't compare the harvest of endangered woods to the harvest of intelligent animals.

 

If I said I was going to skin my neighbour's dog so I could cover my guitar stool, you would likely be outraged. As a person who has seen wild elephant herds only meters away from me, this feels just as bad.

 

Legal elephant ivory is ivory that was harvested before certain laws were put in place. Documented means it has a history and a paper trail - may have been a sculpture in the past, or a pill box or whatever. Still, it is easy enough to take more recently harvested elephant ivory and associate it with legitimate paperwork and this does make it possible for some illegal material to enter the legal trade.

 

The same problems that exist with antiquities in the hands of private collectors happen to be part of the ivory trade. Your purchase and use of elephant ivory products and subsequent promotion of the material helps create demand. There are other materials that do a great job of making a guitar sound good - something that can also be enhanced with good musicianship - so there is no reasonable place for elephant ivory on our guitars any more than there are reasonable grounds for me to have a dog covered stool.

 

I am not outraged when people use elephant ivory. I simply feel thankful that I am not ignorant enough to make the same choice.

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Not trying to stir the pot as I don't have a dog in this fight or as a guitar stool cover.... But what about Tortoise Shell picks? I don't have one of those either but many blue grass players swear by them. I have never heard or played with either EI parts or Tortoise Shell picks. But if I happend to have an old Tortoise Shell comb or something that would be large enough to make a pick, I probably would want to try it.

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In the interest of peace and harmony on the forum we'll have to agree to disagree on this one. You won't change my mind and I won't change yours. I do not and will not feel guilty about using ivory on my guitar, but at the same time you are entitled to think me ignorant and uncaring. We could argue this for a long time and get nothing for it but pissed off. I will not mention the subject here again for my part in the truce. Peace.

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Now I don't know this from experience....only through having read a lot of posts on many forums where it has been discussed - There is My Disclosure. :-k

 

 

Remember! when traveling there is the chance that taking your guitar with any of these "Controlled Materials" through Customs......the burden of proof is on you that the EI or Tortoise Shell in your possession is legal. I think they can confiscate your guitar and picks until you bring them the supporting documentation. Just something to think about for when we all are invited over to GGirls place to Jam !! :D/

 

I saw a documentary not too long ago and will never forget the images of a pile of a half a dozen elephants killed with the front half of their faces chain sawed off by poachers.

 

My wife worked for a man who was a big game hunter and his home had a 5,000 SqFt "Trophy Room". I mean he had killed one of nearly every animal on the African Continent and had them mounted along with a full Lion mounted in an attack position. It was both fascinating and deeply disturbing. It was very difficult to keep from throwing up.....but he was my Wife's Boss...... He had a set of Elephant Tusks ....each was about 6 feet long and as thick as my leg. I bet one of those would Keep Bob C. in raw materials for years. I am sure Bob C. does things legally, as someone pointed out, he is much too high profile to do anything else.

 

 

The World is changing. The old thought patterns of our planet as an unlimited supplier of natural resources is gone. Whether we like it or not.....many old ways of life ...of doing things.......of traditions......will be changing very quickly in the coming years.

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Did I say I was "throwing away" the ill fitting bridge pins? These pins happen to fit another guitar I own perfectly' date=' so they will not be "thrown away". Be as offend as you like, it's no skin off my nose. Perhaps you might consider the mahogany on your Les Paul Custom and J45 is also a vanishing breed........are you offended by that? Ditto the post of the text from Bob's site concerning EI. The stuff is regulated and controlled to the point it can be in this world. Quit yer whinin'.[/quote']

 

 

 

Amen brother!! The Hog on our J-45's is just as endangered as your Ivory.

usually, people calling everyone else ignorant, are ignorant themselves.

In the words of Kris Kristofferson "Don't let the bastards get ya down"

 

:-k

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Seems very primative that we'd have to resort to using elephant ivory on a guitar. While it's a shame that we are depletely trees (not limited to mahogany) it's a disgrace that anyone could accept the slaughter of such a magnificent endangered creature for a few pins. Perhaps it's grounds for us guitar folk to boycott Colosi products... until he stops selling EI. Ouch

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Seems very primative that we'd have to resort to using elephant ivory on a guitar. While it's a shame that we are depletely trees (not limited to mahogany) it's a disgrace that anyone could accept the slaughter of such a magnificent endangered creature for a few pins. Perhaps it's grounds for us guitar folk to boycott Colosi products... until he stops selling EI. Ouch

 

The majority of EI being used today that is LEGAL comes from old items (Figurines, tables, carvings, jewelery boxes etc. etc.) that were made out of EI being recycled into other things. Perhaps Bob C. (who pops in here once in a while) will verify his source. Again ....I very, very, very seriously doubt he uses EI from the black market for his products !! And the documentation rules are very stringent and I am sure Bob could give us an earful on the hoops he jumps through to offer legal EI as a product.

 

I personally do not want the Karma of using any EI....but that is a personal choice. I can certainly understand someone else feeling that it is better to have legal EI used to make music than to decorate a mantle or jewelery cabinet. I don't think the solution to the world issue of Elephant extinction would be helped one iota by boycotting Bob's business.

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The majority of EI being used today that is LEGAL comes from old items (Figurines' date=' tables, carvings, jewelery boxes etc. etc.) that were made out of EI being recycled into other things. Perhaps Bob C. (who pops in here once in a while) will verify his source. Again ....I very, very, very seriously doubt he uses EI from the black market for his products !! And the documentation rules are very stringent and I am sure Bob could give us an earful on the hoops he jumps through to offer legal EI as a product.

 

I personally do not want the Karma of using any EI....but that is a personal choice. I can certainly understand someone else feeling that it is better to have legal EI used to make music than to decorate a mantle or jewelery cabinet. I don't think the solution to the world issue of Elephant extinction would be helped one iota by boycotting Bob's business.

 

[/quote']

 

+1000 on that... Bob Colosi is a class act and has proven that over and over. He get's the EI legally and recycles it into product's that can be useful instead of decoritive or thrown out because it's original use has passed. Boycotting his company would be like boycotting anyone who still uses Braz or Mahogany on their guitars... just a plain DUMB idea and it would never work. If you don't like his product, simply don't buy it yourself. Calling for a boycott is just childish and ignorant. I personally don't feel the need to use EI on my guitars but I am not going to condem anyone who has it on theirs. Should we boycott all the musicians who have EI, Braz or Hog on their instruments. Hmmmm maybe anyone who has an old piano with EI keys should throw it out. Kind of like throwing blood on someone wearing fur... just another liberal way of saying "if you don't agree with MY way of thinking, your a bad person". O:)

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Seems very primative that we'd have to resort to using elephant ivory on a guitar. While it's a shame that we are depletely trees (not limited to mahogany) it's a disgrace that anyone could accept the slaughter of such a magnificent endangered creature for a few pins. Perhaps it's grounds for us guitar folk to boycott Colosi products... until he stops selling EI. Ouch

 

This is a guitar forum!! Maybe a good idea to take this political correct nonsense, to the lounge.

I for 1 am not here to be preached to, on the virtues, of living my life the way you see fit.

I doubt that "Buc McMaster", slaughtered an elephant!

 

:-k

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"Dude" You are truly a Saint among us heathen no conscience guitar players! :-k We here at forum are all no counts who dont give a damn about no Elephants and such! We wish you could use Black Rhino horn for bridge pins but Government wont let us! :) Darn Government anyhow! :(

suburude

 

 

 

 

Look dude- you had to expect this kind of response when you posted about it. I understand that the ivory is legal' date=' but that doesn't mean that it's ethical to use it. Frankly I wouldn't have any issue at all if you weren't out here on the internet posting about how wonderful it is. As modoc mentioned, if the current policies on elephant ivory were working so well then poaching wouldn't be a problem, would it? I'm obviously not going to change your mind but I feel better knowing that someone reading your posts might think twice about the consequences of their actions.

 

For what it's worth- I'm glad to hear that you will be using the bridge pins that didn't fit. And what of the bridge, if you decide that you don't like it as much as the walrus ivory?

 

And yes, your point about the mahogany is well taken. The Custom is actually african mahogany which is in plentiful supply. And the J-45 had a huge hole in the side that I repaired; otherwise it probably would have sat in the music store forever, or sent back to the Gibson factory to be destroyed.[/quote']

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Amen brother!! The Hog on our J-45's is just as endangered as your Ivory.

usually' date=' people calling everyone else ignorant, are ignorant themselves.

In the words of Kris Kristofferson "Don't let the bastards get ya down"

 

:) [/quote']

 

Two wrongs don't make a right.

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In the interest of peace and harmony on the forum we'll have to agree to disagree on this one. You won't change my mind and I won't change yours. I do not and will not feel guilty about using ivory on my guitar' date=' but at the same time you are entitled to think me ignorant and uncaring. We could argue this for a long time and get nothing for it but pissed off. I will not mention the subject here again for my part in the truce. Peace.[/quote']

 

Thank you for being civil- truce accepted. I'm really not trying to be a jerk, but I think it's reasonable to present a counterpoint when points are made, especially on issues like this.

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