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Old 11-04-2010, 06:29 PM
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Default Bone vs. Elephant Ivory Saddle

So I got my Martin OM-1 guitar and love it, but just as with every guitar I get, I'm looking to upgrade the saddle.

Someone mentioned in the last thread that bone really brightened their Martin a lot. I don't really want to brighten the sound, and I was looking at Bob's website and he said elephant ivory gives a warmer tone than bone.

For this reason, I was leaning toward elephant ivory because it sounds more like how I want to enhance the sound.

Does anyone have any experience with both of these materials and can give me a comparison? Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-04-2010, 06:33 PM
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Tim McKnight Tim McKnight is offline
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Many of the "fossilized" materials can have a shrill and bright sound. Next is bone which can impart a sense of brightness but with exceptional clarity. Ivory offers a smoothness and takes any brash, sharp edge off the tone.
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Old 11-04-2010, 06:33 PM
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I hate to preach but I would not be buying anything made of elephant ivory...no matter the method of obtaining it.
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Old 11-04-2010, 06:36 PM
mutantrock mutantrock is offline
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I put elephant ivory on my Taylor 210e and it warmed it up nicely.
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Old 11-04-2010, 07:29 PM
OPATRIOT OPATRIOT is offline
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I have been thinking and wondering the same thing ... I have tryed bone on a martin D1 and it made it tinny ...
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Old 11-04-2010, 07:47 PM
LoMa LoMa is offline
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I also have a relatively new Martin OM1, and I also love it. I even love the flat profile of the stratabond neck...

I wouldn't be inclined to put on a bone saddle at this time - it is a bright guitar (especially with the stock Martin SP light strings which are very bright strings anyway) and I'd be afraid the bone would make it shrill. I think I want to break it in more before deciding whether to go that route gto see what direction is gonna go with the tusq. I guess I just want to get to know this guitar before trying out new stuff on her.

If you do try the ivory, let us know how it goes!
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Old 11-04-2010, 08:18 PM
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I might if bone doesn't work out the way I want to.

I actually gave Bob a call and told him exactly what I wanted to do with the sound and he actually recommended the bone as a first choice. Since it's less expensive I'll probably try that first. If that's not what I want, then I'll try the elephant ivory.

That said, bone took a bit of the edge off of my Taylor guitar (which is a bright guitar, go figure) and gave it a bit of a bass boost, so we'll see. By the way, as far as strings, you mentioned the stock strings? I got home and replaced them with the Elixir PB custom lights I've been running on my Taylor. Much better and warmer (to my ears anyway).
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Old 11-05-2010, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kazzelectro View Post
I hate to preach but I would not be buying anything made of elephant ivory...no matter the method of obtaining it.
I'm with you 1000% on that, kazzelectro .
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Old 11-05-2010, 02:34 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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I'm not a big fan of ivory in musical instruments, either. Living in Alaska as I do, what I've seen is that the surge of interest in legal fossilized ivory has also had the side effect of creating greater interest in illegal "white" ivory, as well. As a result, there's been an increase in illegal poaching of walrus, with the animals being killed strictly for their tusks and the meat left to rot.

However we might want to disassociate our musical instruments from developments out in the "real world," when you choose to equip a guitar with ivory you're making a decision that has its effect on living creatures, many of which are increasingly endangered. It's not a values-neutral decision like choosing to use bone from a cow or a synthetic material like Tusq.


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Last edited by Fliss; 11-06-2010 at 01:38 AM. Reason: took out quote
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Old 11-05-2010, 03:26 PM
stinger23 stinger23 is offline
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meh i like elephant ivory , beautiful piano keys on my baby grand ,and a great saddle on my gibson songwriter deluxe, I say if you can get it, go for it,if not someone eles will anyway
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Old 11-05-2010, 03:31 PM
Misty44 Misty44 is offline
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Thank you Wade for explaining the reason others say they won't buy or use ivory regardless of the source.

It's not about achieving a warmer tone, but about protecting the animals that wear it.

Quote:
...when you choose to equip a guitar with ivory you're making a decision that has its effect on living creatures...
A statement worth repeating and worth respecting.
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:00 PM
Misifus Misifus is offline
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For me the choice is less about environmentalism than the simple fact that having certain materials in your instrument means you can never cross many borders with it. I've already got one I can't take out of the country, I'm not looking to create more.

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Old 11-05-2010, 04:49 PM
rlouie rlouie is offline
 
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alright folks, lets cool it please.......
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:52 PM
johnnylighton johnnylighton is offline
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I don't think anyone intended to accuse you of being immoral or unethical. Rather, these responses are a suggestion that you reconsider your own beliefs based on the response of the group mind. Sometimes what was considered legitimate in the past no longer has the same legitimacy based on, in this case, greater knowledge of the effect using ivory has on the animals.
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Old 11-05-2010, 05:03 PM
Tony Burns Tony Burns is offline
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Many years ago I found a deserted piano in a dump with Ivory keys on it, many of which were falling off of the piano- i collected about half of them ( early 1970's) and laminated a few of them and made a saddle or two -they did sound nice- laminating them probably didnt give them the same effect as a solid piece of Ivory - but al least they were free and put to a good use -Im a bigger fan thou of Bone .

I believe alot of people just want something on their guitars that they cant have , thats either illegal, rare etc. Im not a believer that Brazilian Rosewood makes the best sounding guitar - nor does the tusk of any particular animal - I have 4 BR guitars plus one in parts , so i can say this first hand ,Any guitar not skillfully made wastes exspensive rare materials that dont make a guitar better .
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