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View Full Version : bone nut and saddle on cheap guitar.


sorryma
01-07-2009, 07:09 AM
Anyone ever put a bone nut and saddle on a cheap guitar? I have a Alvarez Regent that sounds pretty good and was thinking of changing the nut and saddle to bone to see how it would sound. Any opinions?

Herringbone
01-07-2009, 07:30 AM
If you like the way it's sounds now, I would say... why bother?1st I don't think the nut will make a difference at all. And I'm not sure the bone saddle I put on an old guitar made a noticeable difference to me. I'd invest the money into another guitar or strings. But that's me. :)

Tim

ljguitar
01-07-2009, 07:42 AM
Anyone ever put a bone nut and saddle on a cheap guitar? I have a Alvarez Regent that sounds pretty good and was thinking of changing the nut and saddle to bone to see how it would sound. Any opinions?
Hi SM...
The Regent name is applied to Alvarez guitars - some with solid tops and some with plywood. Which model is it?

If it's a solid top, and you are going to have it setup properly, then I'd spend the $25 and have a bone saddle put into it (or do it yourself). Bob Colosi at guitarsaddles.com sells bone saddles with good instructions as to how to sand it down.

The nut won't make enough improvement in the sound to warrant the expense. Changing saddles makes more difference than almost anything else you can do to improve a guitar's sound.

Reckless78
01-07-2009, 07:46 AM
So, you say he gives you instructions on how to sand it down properly? Are there different sizes to order? Do you give them your make and model like ordering a car part?:D

ljguitar
01-07-2009, 07:59 AM
So, you say he gives you instructions on how to sand it down properly? Are there different sizes to order? Do you give them your make and model like ordering a car part?:D
Hi Reckless...
Yes, he has lots of sizes and materials available...

May I suggest you go to Bob's site and check out his selection (plus he will make them custom for the same price)...

Bob answers his phone (or returns his calls) promptly, and I have several saddles which were made by him. He's great to work with and has a great reputation among the forum members here.

Bob's site - click (http://www.guitarsaddles.com/)

PWoolson
01-07-2009, 08:52 AM
I had an Alverez Regent (I didn't realize, as Larry pointed out, that the name was given to many different models), when I was in High School. Mine was a plywood top. I made a new nut and saddle from bone and it made a nice improvement in tone. I did it mostly for the experience in working on guitars. That guitar was my first real setup job.
As said, the nut won't make much difference in tone. But the plastic they use is so soft that the strings will carve the slots deeper, and make the action too low.

sorryma
01-07-2009, 09:46 AM
It's a regent deluxe with a spruce(not laminate) top, probaly 1990's got for $50 needs a nut so I thought I'd replace with bone and do the saddle while I'm at it. The neck needs to be set so I'll do that at the same time. I was surprised at how good it sounds even with the problems it has. Bought it for camping and stuff. Gonna do the bridge pins too. Probably have $80 into it by the time all is done. Not bad far as I can see.
Thanx.

Five and Dime
01-07-2009, 09:53 AM
So, you say he gives you instructions on how to sand it down properly? Are there different sizes to order? Do you give them your make and model like ordering a car part?:D

Yes, Bob Colosi gives complete, easy to follow instructions on how to fit-up and install one of his saddles. I recently installed one of his WAH Ivory saddles on my Larrivee. Prior to doing my installation, I spent some time researching how to do a guitar set-up, what to measure, what the measurements be, etc. I did a complete set-up including installing the new saddle in about 2 hours. It's not too hard to do, you can handle it.

riorider
01-07-2009, 10:26 AM
Hi Sorry -- no changes to what everyone else has said. But coincidentally, I just bought (new) an Alvarez Regent Folk (RF20SM) with the solid mahogany top for a camping guitar.

I asked Bob about a bone saddle and pins, and he needed mine to measure. Didn't take 10 days, that was over the Christmas holiday time period. The pins were probably not needed, but I do like how they turned out. I'd like to have replaced the nut only because it's such an obvious cheap plastic, but didn't want to add cost of a luthier to set it up. The setup is great just as it came (from MF, online, btw).

The saddle, however, made a big difference. The tone is "rounder" - more full, and the sustain improvement is noticeable.

I plan on posting some pics on a short review of the RF20SM soon, but thought I'd pipe up and let you know that the saddle is a definite "yes". Bob's instructions are very clear, and if you follow them and take your time you'll be well pleased with the result.

Good luck!

rr

Reckless78
01-07-2009, 12:39 PM
Hi Reckless...
Yes, he has lots of sizes and materials available...

May I suggest you go to Bob's site and check out his selection (plus he will make them custom for the same price)...

Bob answers his phone (or returns his calls) promptly, and I have several saddles which were made by him. He's great to work with and has a great reputation among the forum members here.

Bob's site - click (http://www.guitarsaddles.com/)

Thank you sir. I'm glad this topic was posted. I know my Yamie Lamie probably sounds about as good as it's going to, but I thought that I might give this a try. Thanks again.

markm2553
01-07-2009, 01:03 PM
If you are going to do the pins take a look at "hot Rods" bythe people that make jellyfish pics.

I got my first set to dress up my giging guitar, didn't really think it would make any difference in sound, but it did. I now have them in three of my guitars.

Jim_O'F
01-07-2009, 01:46 PM
Anyone ever put a bone nut and saddle on a cheap guitar? I have a Alvarez Regent that sounds pretty good and was thinking of changing the nut and saddle to bone to see how it would sound. Any opinions?

I did years ago with the old Samick I still own, and while the guy also set it up properly so that would have made a difference, it was like a different sounding guitar worth several hundred dollars more.

It cost me $60 about 12 years ago and I'd do it again.

sharkydude50
01-07-2009, 02:09 PM
If you play mostly open cords I say do the nut (in bone) too. If you barre mostly, then skip it.

TBman
01-07-2009, 06:04 PM
I put a bone saddle in my Washburn D-10S. It helped the tone alot.

guitar_stringer
01-07-2009, 06:07 PM
In a word, yes. It will make a difference.

Ken C
01-07-2009, 06:25 PM
If you like the way it's sounds now, I would say... why bother?1st I don't think the nut will make a difference at all. And I'm not sure the bone saddle I put on an old guitar made a noticeable difference to me. I'd invest the money into another guitar or strings. But that's me. :)

Tim

Tim, this is pretty much my idea, too. If I need to change them, I use bone (though I hate the smell)...otherwise, I leave them alone.

Ken C.

Guitar Hack
01-07-2009, 07:31 PM
A nut won't affect the sound much but a bone saddle will improve the sound fairly dramatically. Your notes will be clearer and the tone will be better. Instead of changing the nut put in some bone bridge pins. You can buy them on ebay for not a lot of money.

I first noticed the difference by putting on bone bridge pins and thought if it makes that much difference with bridge pins what will it do with the saddle. I did and the improvement was pretty dramatic.

kwakatak
01-07-2009, 08:44 PM
I said yes to a bone saddle: they're cheap and a novice can install one with good instructions. Hey, I did it.

As for a bone nut, that takes a pro to properly install and I'd have it done only if you had a problem with the way the open strings sound.

BTW - I put a bone saddle on my lam-top "lawsuit" Tak to replace a plastic saddle that I had installed a few years ago to replace the original non-compensated one. I'm told that the stock nut on it actually is bone to begin with so it's possible that the saddle was too.