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  #1  
Old 02-18-2006, 08:28 PM
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Default What is Tusq?

Dumb question night, but I have no idea what type of material this is and how does it differ from bone. I have a feeling it is man made, am I right?
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Old 02-18-2006, 08:33 PM
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According to Taylor: TUSQ: a synthetic simulation of "bone" or "ivory" used on all Taylor nuts and saddles; Taylor started using Tusq on all but the 400 models in September, 1993, and switched to Tusq on the 400s in January, 1995; previously, our nuts and saddles were made of "micarta," which is a fancy name for an ivory-colored synthetic material called "phenolic".

http://www.taylorguitars.com/guitars.../glossary.html
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Old 02-18-2006, 08:40 PM
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Thanks Jim.
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Old 02-18-2006, 08:43 PM
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My pleasure. It's interesting to search Google for Tusq and see what the manufacturer testimonials say. It runs in direct conflict with what most of us say about Tusq vs Bone. In fact, there is even a contest running now, a sound test between the two.

Check it out here:
Tusq vs Bone
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Old 02-22-2006, 09:42 PM
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Thanks for the link. Interesting... Sample "A" seemed a little more balanced, but somewhat less articulate. Sample "B" seemed more articulate, but seemed to accentuate the upper partials a little too much. Didn't fill out all the info, but my guess is that A is bone and B is tusq, but I don't claim much knowledge in the realm of material characteristics. Chances are that if I was looking for an expensive guitar, both sounds would go back on the rack
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Old 02-22-2006, 10:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac LeGrande
My pleasure. It's interesting to search Google for Tusq and see what the manufacturer testimonials say. It runs in direct conflict with what most of us say about Tusq vs Bone. In fact, there is even a contest running now, a sound test between the two.
Hi...
I was accidentally involved in a contest between Tusq and bone. One of my students has a 712 that is 1989 vintage, a beautiful little Taylor.

He played it here and weekly at his church as worship leader for about 5 years. It sounded really nice. One day the saddle developed a problem, and he remembered there was a disolored one in the pick drawer, so he pulled it out at lessons and put it in the saddle and strung it up.

Wow, it was a born again instrument! We started looking more closely and somebody had replaced a bone saddle (the old discolored one) with a stock Taylor Tusq saddle.

Needless to say the bone saddle still resides in the instrument.

I've actually had two other personal comparisons. My Kronbauer has the Tusq replaced with bone...it's better to my ear. No comparison really. Like going from Vinyl to Leather.

And my 714CE didn't leave the store with Tusq in the bridge. I played it, chose it, bought it, and told the tech to change the saddle. He wanted to discuss the virtues of Tusq and I told him it was my $35 please do it. He emerged from the shop about 10 minutes later, struck one chord and said...''Hey! That's better.'' I thanked him and took my new guitar home.
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Old 02-22-2006, 11:05 PM
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All these long responses and the answer is so simple!

Q: What is Tusq?

A: Plastic

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Old 02-22-2006, 11:14 PM
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I thought Tusq was the name for bone from a synthetic cow.
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Old 02-22-2006, 11:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guyute
All these long responses and the answer is so simple!

Q: What is Tusq?

A: Plastic

Precisely. Regardless of the name they give it, it is plastic.

Last edited by Thumbwrapper; 02-24-2006 at 04:44 AM. Reason: spelling
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  #10  
Old 02-23-2006, 07:16 AM
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Default Saddles

I've been replacing tusq and Micarta saddles for 17 years in my shop, and 99 out of 100 players go nuts when they hear how amazing their guitars sound
with a good dense bone saddle. There is no contest to dispute years of personal results with hundreds of artists. Unless it is crappy bone, the plastic saddles can't come close to the richness and fuller tone, stronger bottom, uncluttereds mids and sparkling highs bone gives! The factories use these synthetics mainly because they don't have to work with bone and the dust it produces, the possible health risks to breathing in the dust, the drop in ease of a molded saddle that only needs to be trimmed on the bottom for a good fit, and the animal rights people who have problems with an animal product in a guitar.

-Scott
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Old 02-23-2006, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobalouie3
I thought Tusq was the name for bone from a synthetic cow.
Ummm cows don't have Tusqs... I think you mean synthetic elephants.
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Old 02-23-2006, 02:22 PM
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Question

a few months ago i changed my saddle from bone to tusq and to be quite honest i could'nt really tell the difference, however after reading the above i've just changed it back to bone and WOW it sounds much better with the bone saddle, i just can't work out how i could'nt tell the difference before.
so thanks tbman for raising the issue, now i think i'll just go an hit some chords.

Last edited by chazrok; 02-23-2006 at 02:30 PM.
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Old 02-23-2006, 02:31 PM
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I think it's notable that Taylor puts bone saddles on the Presentation series guitars, and now Martin is using it standard on all their high end guitars (they started this right after I bought my D-41, of course). It also seems that about all of the high end handmades have bone or ivory.
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  #14  
Old 02-23-2006, 03:16 PM
MarinerCross MarinerCross is offline
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And I always thought that Tusq was a Fleetwood Mac album.
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  #15  
Old 02-23-2006, 03:21 PM
whamonkey whamonkey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guyute
All these long responses and the answer is so simple!

Q: What is Tusq?

A: Plastic

Oh....I'm sorry...the correct response is "Plastiq".
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