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Old 09-11-2009, 07:06 AM
Troisnoir Troisnoir is offline
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Default bone vs rosewood bridge pins?

I've posted this on another forum, then realized I should probably post it here...

I have a Taylor GS8 that I've changed the Tusq nut and saddle on to bone. Great improvement!

Is it worth going to bone bridge pins? I can see the saddle and nut, that was just Tusq, but my guitar has quality rosewood pins already, not plastic. Other than personal preferences of course, would bone be substantially better than the rosewood?

In case it's a matter of preference, what would the tonal change be?
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Old 09-11-2009, 07:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troisnoir View Post
I've posted this on another forum, then realized I should probably post it here...

I have a Taylor GS8 that I've changed the Tusq nut and saddle on to bone. Great improvement!

Is it worth going to bone bridge pins? I can see the saddle and nut, that was just Tusq, but my guitar has quality rosewood pins already, not plastic. Other than personal preferences of course, would bone be substantially better than the rosewood?

In case it's a matter of preference, what would the tonal change be?
I have bone pin on mine. When i swap between the bone and original saddle and compare the tone. There's no difference. At least to my ear.
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Old 09-11-2009, 07:47 AM
LP26 LP26 is offline
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Bridge pins make the least, if any difference in tone. Folks who sell them will tell you otherwise, but the fact is that a bridge pin change is largely cosmetic.

The saddle makes the biggest difference, a significant one. The nut only provides a tonal change to open strings.

“You pays your money and you takes your chances.”

There are a lot of snake oil salesmen out there.
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Old 09-11-2009, 08:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LP26 View Post
Bridge pins make the least, if any difference in tone. Folks who sell them will tell you otherwise, but the fact is that a bridge pin change is largely cosmetic.

The saddle makes the biggest difference, a significant one. The nut only provides a tonal change to open strings.

“You pays your money and you takes your chances.”

There are a lot of snake oil salesmen out there.
+1 on that. There's not a whole lot of vibration going on between the saddle and the pins to make any difference. Depending on the type of bone pins, the only advantage over wood I can possible see is durrability.
And to extend the thought a bit, I would say brass pins have a better chance of having an audible difference than bone, since the mass is much greater.

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Old 09-11-2009, 08:27 AM
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I just put a bone saddle on my GC3...BIG difference in clarity and sustain!
Then I swapped out the ebony pins I had with a set of bone. No noticeable difference at all to my ears.

The bone pins sure look pretty, though.
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Old 09-11-2009, 08:39 AM
Troisnoir Troisnoir is offline
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Sounds like crappy or ill-fitting pins might negatively affect the tone, but high quality pins won't improve things much. Good to know!
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Old 09-11-2009, 10:09 AM
Strumming Fool Strumming Fool is offline
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Just thought you'd like to know that there is another side to this discussion. The main point here is that it is mostly subjective. While the accepted theory is that bridge pins cannot make as much of difference in tone as the saddle, I have found that they can, based upon their composition, the saddle used and the guitar itself. Some of my guitars have bone saddles and some have Tusq saddles, because one sounds better than the other on each guitar. In a couple of past instances, the installation of a bone saddle made absolutely no difference. However, ALL my guitars now have buffalo horn bridge pins, because I've found that these particular pins (yes, I've tried the others) have added an audible presence and brilliance to each of my guitars. YMMV....
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Old 09-11-2009, 02:13 PM
M.D.Smith M.D.Smith is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troisnoir View Post
I've posted this on another forum, then realized I should probably post it here...

I have a Taylor GS8 that I've changed the Tusq nut and saddle on to bone. Great improvement!

Is it worth going to bone bridge pins? I can see the saddle and nut, that was just Tusq, but my guitar has quality rosewood pins already, not plastic. Other than personal preferences of course, would bone be substantially better than the rosewood?

In case it's a matter of preference, what would the tonal change be?

Plastic is just yuck!
I've changed out all three of my Taylors from the ebony (wood) pins to:
1. Buffalo horn
2. Brass
3. Follisized Walrus tusk.

Haven't noticed a sound difference. I believe the brass has added a wee bit more sustain, not scientific though but it seems that way.

Major difference for me is looks.

The walrus pins, I believe look very nice on my new Jumbo.



Here's a couple of picks of the brass pins.




And the buffalo pins are black with MOP dots and look very much like the ebony pins from Taylor.
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Old 12-08-2009, 11:40 PM
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[QUOTE=M.D.Smith;1955681]Plastic is just yuck!
I've changed out all three of my Taylors from the ebony (wood) pins to:
1. Buffalo horn
2. Brass
3. Follisized Walrus tusk.

Haven't noticed a sound difference. I believe the brass has added a wee bit more sustain, not scientific though but it seems that way.

Major difference for me is looks.

--
Do you still have the brass pins in your Taylor? I have that same set but they are on my Fender acoustic. I was wondering if you still like them in the Taylor and if they fit OK or if they are loose and a pain to keep them in.
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Old 12-08-2009, 11:44 PM
petelor petelor is offline
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It's fun to experiment but I certainly can't hear any difference...
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Old 12-09-2009, 05:52 AM
dgrolem dgrolem is offline
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Just changed a set from plastic to ivory. The only reason for the ivory (and their large $$$ investment) was that it was the only thing the dealer had that was low profile. Original pins were very tall. A/B them and there is no sound difference. Pretty though.
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Old 12-09-2009, 08:03 AM
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I think it's personal taste. I have a Martin that I tried various pins in, from the original plastic to bone, to ebony to Tusq. I decided I liked the Tusq better. The difference between one pin to the other was small, but certain things about the treble notes just seemed better to me with the Tusq. Maybe they just fit better.

No, I didn't change strings each time, but loosened the strings enough to refit different pins. I did this over 2 days. Yes, I played the guitar in the same room every time to hear it as closely as possible to being under certain conditions.

That's about as scientific as I get, shy of asking for the salt and pepper at the table.

The biggest difference I think I ever heard from a set of bridge pins has to be with my Taylor Baby. I had a set of basswood pins and stuck them in it. I swear, that guitar seemed to mellow out and sound more like a full size guitar with those pins in it.
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:25 AM
bbshriver bbshriver is offline
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Sorry to dredge up an old thread but what brass pins are those? They look good. My brother put brass pins in his Fender but the diameter is too large and they stick out a lot. Yours seem to fit well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by M.D.Smith View Post
Plastic is just yuck!
I've changed out all three of my Taylors from the ebony (wood) pins to:
1. Buffalo horn
2. Brass
3. Follisized Walrus tusk.

Haven't noticed a sound difference. I believe the brass has added a wee bit more sustain, not scientific though but it seems that way.

Major difference for me is looks.

The walrus pins, I believe look very nice on my new Jumbo.



Here's a couple of picks of the brass pins.




And the buffalo pins are black with MOP dots and look very much like the ebony pins from Taylor.
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