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Saddles for Epi Masterbilt AJ-500M


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I like low-action and light strings for ease of play. So I had the stock saddle lowered by a luthier in austin, tx.


Been using D'Addario Phosphor Bronze 10s (EJ15---0.10-.047)


I love the sound of my guitar, and have recieved lots of compliments on the sound.


Amazing bass and complex top end and detail, great volume and dynamic range.


Also loving Dunlop Ultex .60 picks.

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they only have one saddle.

but you want to dump the plastic.. and go for tusq or bone..

and be sure it's compensated.. so it will intonate well.


string choices are pretty much personal to you and the guitar..

I'd recommend at least trying a coated string once.

I wouldn't go over medium guage, for sure.


If it already has bone.. and a masterbuilt should.. then I dont see why you'd swap it out.



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Yup, pretty sure the Masterbuilts already come with a bone saddle, so there's really no reason to change yours out. I know some people will tell you that fossilized this and petrified that will sound better, but that stuff is going to be really expensive, and unless you've got the ear of a bat, you're not going to hear enough difference to justify the price.


As far as strings go, try D'Addario's, Elixir's, etc., and decide what you like best. Part of the fun of playing is experimenting! :)

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Hi -


I believe "old scratch" is correct - MB's come with a bone saddle. A "Search" in the "Acoustic Forum" will yield lots of info. related to previous discussions about MB's and saddles. Some owners have replaced their saddles, nuts, and pins with products from Graphtech and/or Bob Cosi.


I've been trying different strings on my DR500-M, more out of curiosity than for any other reason. Here's my conclusions, so far:


John Pearse 80/20 Bronze, Light - mellow and (too) quiet, "stiff", harder to play than the original factory strings. James Taylor may have used these a long time ago.


D'Addario Phos. Brnz., Light - bright, but "too stiff"" and harder to play than the original factory strings.


D'Addario Nickel Wound XL - very different sound, was hoping for that "early Beatle-acoustic sound", comes close , IMO. Easy to play, but hard to stay in tune as you move up the neck and/or press hard on the strings.


D'Addario Chrome Flat Wound XL - mellow (too), but very easy to play; I truly believe I play better with this string than I ever have due to that flat surface. My wife concurs.


I intend to also try D'Addario Half Rounds XL and Tomastik-Infeld Flat Wounds strings before I return to the original Gibson Masterbuilt brand. But I do like nickel string sound for many of the songs I play - maybe I just need another 6-string acoustic!!



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  • 2 weeks later...

I play a AJ500RE and am always blown away by the volume, sustain and complex sound. Currently I use D'Addario phosphor bronze mediums EJ17. Had to build up the fingers but the beautiful sound that results is worth it. These strings are a little different then most other mediums in that the second string is smaller and gives the upper end a slightly bell like quality.

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