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Boned!


j45nick

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Replaced the tacky plastic pins on my "new" Fuller's 1943 SJ tonight with just-arrived Colosi vintage bone, with pretty stunning results. Normally, I change strings at the same time I change the pins, so before and after comparisons are less meaningful. Since I'm headed to the left coast early Saturday, I decided not to waste a new set of strings on a guitar that wasn't going to get played for a couple of weeks. So I slacked off the strings one at a time, swapped out the pins, tuned her up, and let'er rip.

 

With the only variable being the pins, the guitar was noticeably brighter and more articulate across the board, with the B and high E harmonics picking up significantly. Note separation was also quite pronounced.

 

This guitar (adi top) is noticeably brighter than than my old J-45, in sort of a brash modern way. The old J-45 is more somber and smooth. Sort of like the difference between a 12 year old single malt and a 20 year old. Age has mellowed the old girl, but in a good way. She's not old and cranky: sounds more old and wise, like she's been around the block a few times, and lived to tell the tale..

 

 

Unfortunately, the guitars have different string types of different ages on them, so the comparison is tainted. When I come back from this trip, I'll change strings on both at the same time for a more realistic comparison. I will say I like both of them, and the "young" SJ is a really pleasant surprise for a five-year-old guitar.

 

And for those who question whether pins make a difference, I can say with confidence that they do on these two similar (but almost 60 years apart in age) 'hog slopes.

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Thanks Nick! Been wondering about the effect of pins and have heard various results. I respect your opinion, having read your posts for a while now, so I am now believer. I will pull the trigger and order a set for my 45 Custom.

 

Safe travels and hope you enjoy the time on the "left coast".

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I also recieved a set of new pins today for the D42 Custom Shoppe Martin that I ordered in 2004..it came with plastic pins but with a compensated bone saddle,so that stays.

I have not tried setting them in yet..Always thought those plastic things were too obviously cheap on there..so even pins make a difference.

Thats good news.

I also got a saddle for my J200 cause under the saddle is a wood shim but that will need shaping.

I really hope this is where improvement shows as that guitar is a really special one.

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Nothing wrong with a good boning !

 

I always found an improvement in tone with bone pins, just that touch more clarity. However the one, big exception was the HB TV where bone pins made the guitar sound too clear and bright and lost that glazy tone, so the plastic pins went back in and stayed there.

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I've discovered that changing the plastic pins to ebony pins ruined the sound of my Rosewood, making it too loud and altering the balance of it. I replaced the plastic pins, which restored the balance. Pins can make a major difference to a guitars sound...and its NOT always good. Putting Ebony pins in my Rosewood caused it to resonate so loudly that singing with it became virtually impossible as it upstaged the human voice with every string struck...now I know why guitars are built with plastic pins..not just because they are cheaper...but because plastic can tame the vibrating beast into submission so it does not over play, and wash out the human voice. Many singer song writers are aware of this issue, and leave the pins alone. So if you sing while playing, the choice of pins can make a major difference to the matching of your guitar to your voice. When singing, a guitar must ALWAYS remain one level BELOW the human voice. Altered pins can destroy this delicate balance.

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while i'm not going to argue with any findings here..... do you honestly think that gibson tested ivory , bone , tusq and whatever else only to decide that plastic was the best substance ?

:-s

 

I'm just guessing here, but.........probably not.

 

Let's see here....... plastic pins at 25 cents per guitar, or bone pins at $25 per guitar.....? [rolleyes]

 

There are so many variables in how each guitar interacts with its "accessories", including strings, picks, and pins. Guitar too bright with bone pins? Try tempering that with a tortoise-style pick, such as a Red Bear or Blue Chip. Those bring a mellowness to even the brightest guitar, while maintaining volume.

 

This is all about experimenting to find the combination that works best for you. If you are primarily a singer rather than a player, or primarily a strummer rather than a flat/finger picker, the brightness that denser pins may introduce may not be desirable for you.

 

If you're like me now--just a player, since my voice it totally gone--that same brightness brings a totally different dimension to the sound of my guitars, and adds a variable nuance I didn't have before. I like that degree of control.

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while i'm not going to argue with any findings here..... do you honestly think that gibson tested ivory , bone , tusq and whatever else only to decide that plastic was the best substance ?

:-s

 

plastic is the most consistent unfortunately. Bone is extremely inconsistent...but bob colosi seems to constantly turn out really good saddles. I've used them on several guitars and have always been happy with the results.

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plastic is the most consistent unfortunately. Bone is extremely inconsistent...but bob colosi seems to constantly turn out really good saddles. I've used them on several guitars and have always been happy with the results.

 

? i'm sorry, but that makes no sense to me. are you and bob just extremely lucky people to have avoided all the inconsistencies in any of the bone you got ?

:-s

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.

 

No pics?!? . . B)

 

 

.

 

 

I'm working in San Francisco, and that guitar is back home in Florida. I'm sure you don't want pics of the carbon fiber guitar with the plastic pins that I have with me. By the way, these dyed pins are almost impossible to photograph. They come out looking yellow, when in fact they are brown.

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