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  #16  
Old 07-07-2016, 02:04 PM
PTC Bernie PTC Bernie is offline
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Default Bone vs Tusq

What I had always heard was that tusq is more consistent then bone and transfers sound better which may be an issue if you're using a UST.
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  #17  
Old 07-07-2016, 02:24 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is online now
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Originally Posted by PTC Bernie View Post
What I had always heard was that tusq is more consistent then bone and transfers sound better which may be an issue if you're using a UST.
Well, there's certainly less guesswork involved!

Seriously, I do have some guitars with undersaddle pickups that have bone saddles, and they work just fine that way. But you do need to "candle" any potential bone saddle by holding it up to a strong light. When you do that the bone piece becomes translucent, and if there are any irregularities in the bone the backlighting will make them visible.

In other words, if you see any noticeably dark or light spots when holding the bone saddle to the light, you should reject that one and find a bone saddle that's consistent throughout.

But as you and others have noted, Bernie, it's certainly a lot easier in a high volume production setting just to use a consistent manmade material like Tusq or micarta for this.

Seamus wrote:

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Originally Posted by seamusknives View Post
The consensus seems to be that Taylor uses the micarta saddle mostly to benefit their electronics due to it's consistency and density properties. Since I purposely went against the more common trend and have no electronics, would a bone saddle be an improvement?
It might be. Then again, it might not be. You might find you prefer the acoustic tone with the Tusq, not bone. Putting in a bone saddle is not an automatic improvement, it's just an option that you have.

In your position I would definitely give bone a try, and see what you think. But hang onto the original saddle, just in case you don't care for the tonal effect that bone has.

Hope that makes sense.


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  #18  
Old 07-07-2016, 03:36 PM
sbeirnes sbeirnes is offline
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I have a Taylor GS 8 that I much prefer the Tusq over bone. The bone saddle was much brighter while the Tusq is nice and warm.

The GS8 does not have any electronics, so a UST is not an issue.

My DN3 and 414 also sound better with Tusq over bone.
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  #19  
Old 07-07-2016, 03:53 PM
redeyedjim redeyedjim is offline
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Interesting reading. I just ordered a bone saddle for my new-to-me 314ce from Bob C., which should be here in a few days. Very curious to see if I like the bone saddle with this guitar.

Let me toss out a bonus question - any opinions on upgrading a Taylor to bone pins? I have a set of pins coming along with the saddle, but I'd also like to hear about other Taylor owners experiences with them.
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  #20  
Old 07-07-2016, 04:17 PM
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I've had my Taylor 812ce 12 Fret for several weeks now. I put a Colossi Bone Saddle in it the first week I had it. Since it's been in for that long now, after reading this thread I decided to loosen the strings and ES2 screws and put the original Micarta saddle back in. It's not a night and day difference for sure, but to my ear the bone just sounded better. With the Micarta strummed chords are kind of "blurrier" for lack of a better word. The notes just kind of seemed more blurred together and less distinct. There seemed to be slightly less sustain also. Fingerstyle, the notes with Micarta did seem a bit "duller", which I guess some could interpret as "warmer". Plugged in, I did not notice much of a difference between saddles.

I put the bone back in and definitely prefer it. For plugged in sound I know Taylor uses a special torque wrench to balance out the ES2 pickup screws, but it really is not rocket science to get a balanced sound, even with bone. I just use a .050" driver and tighten each of the screws by feel until I just feel some very slight resistance as the sensors come against the saddle. They can then be fine tuned for string to string balance either by ear or with a DB Meter app if you are OCD like me. For me, bone it is. YMMV.

Last edited by Joe F; 07-07-2016 at 04:22 PM.
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  #21  
Old 04-06-2018, 03:11 PM
JackB1 JackB1 is offline
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Thread bump.....

Any more opinions on this?

Is Micarta the best choice for Taylors? Also how does Micarta differ from Tusc?
Is Bone too bright for Taylors?

Also.....when changing saddles on a Taylor with the ES2 under saddle pickup, do you need to loosen those 3 little screws or just leave them alone? Do I ever need to adjust those screws?
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  #22  
Old 04-06-2018, 03:19 PM
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I have a Custom GA (cedar/EIR) with the original Tusq saddle. I love the sound 'as is' so I've never thought about changing to bone. I guess if it ain't broke......

That's not to say that a bone saddle might be an improvement. I'll never know though.
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  #23  
Old 04-06-2018, 03:52 PM
dgt178 dgt178 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steelerboy329 View Post
Both my 616ce and GS8e-12 were upgraded to a bone but/saddle after I received them. To me, it was an upgrade to both. My 562 will be upgraded to a west African hard ivory nut and an elephant ivory saddle before it even ships to me. That's what Bob Colosi recommended to me for a 12 string and if it works out well, I'll do the same for my other 12 string.
.....please don't tell me that is actually from an elephant tusk.
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  #24  
Old 04-06-2018, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by dgt178 View Post
.....please don't tell me that is actually from an elephant tusk.
It is, but not how you think. Bob C. has a very large collection of very old ivory in the form of ceremonial carved native African tribal items. He repurposes them into saddles, nuts, and bridge pins. Due to a cites change in late 2016 he can no longer sell them outside of Georgia.
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  #25  
Old 04-06-2018, 06:53 PM
ii Cybershot ii ii Cybershot ii is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackB1 View Post
Thread bump.....

Any more opinions on this?

Is Micarta the best choice for Taylors? Also how does Micarta differ from Tusc?
Is Bone too bright for Taylors?

Also.....when changing saddles on a Taylor with the ES2 under saddle pickup, do you need to loosen those 3 little screws or just leave them alone? Do I ever need to adjust those screws?
In terms of brightness from most bright to least it goes

Tusq > Bone > Micarta

So if your Taylor came with a Tusq saddle (pre-2015) and you want to lower the brightness, bone or micarta are a good choice.

And yes, you MUST loosen the screws on the ES2 when changing the saddle. You can adjust those screws all you like, they simply push a pressure plate against the saddle which transfers vibrations to the electronics. The more you tighten them, the stronger the contact between the plate and the saddle which means more output volume for the corresponding 2 strings through the ES2. You can play with the tone this way.
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  #26  
Old 04-06-2018, 07:23 PM
JackB1 JackB1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ii Cybershot ii View Post
In terms of brightness from most bright to least it goes

Tusq > Bone > Micarta

So if your Taylor came with a Tusq saddle (pre-2015) and you want to lower the brightness, bone or micarta are a good choice.

And yes, you MUST loosen the screws on the ES2 when changing the saddle. You can adjust those screws all you like, they simply push a pressure plate against the saddle which transfers vibrations to the electronics. The more you tighten them, the stronger the contact between the plate and the saddle which means more output volume for the corresponding 2 strings through the ES2. You can play with the tone this way.
I was able to pull the saddle out without touching the screws, so I sanded it down a bit and put it back. Did I do something wrong? I donít understand why itís necessary to loosen the screws to put the saddle in and out.
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  #27  
Old 04-06-2018, 07:30 PM
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I have put either WAHI or now bone nut and saddle on every guitar I have owned. Even if it came with bone the material was replaced with Bob C. material, itís that good.

In regards to Taylor and micarta or tusq, I prefer bone.
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  #28  
Old 04-06-2018, 07:41 PM
dgt178 dgt178 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wooglins View Post
It is, but not how you think. Bob C. has a very large collection of very old ivory in the form of ceremonial carved native African tribal items. He repurposes them into saddles, nuts, and bridge pins. Due to a cites change in late 2016 he can no longer sell them outside of Georgia.
....interesting.
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  #29  
Old 04-06-2018, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by dgt178 View Post
....interesting.
It is. More interesting was the WAHI (west African Hard Ivoryj which came from a species of elephant that has small tusks. Because the tusks were so small this species was not particularly targeted by poachers. More interesting is the material is the most dense and durable material available. It was my favorite. Fortunately and unfortunately cites rules had to be increased and it is no longer available if you do not live in Georigia as no ivory may cross state lines.
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  #30  
Old 04-06-2018, 10:15 PM
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All I can add was that I went through a phase of trying to get the setup perfect on my LKSM-12 and LKSM-6. Part of that was making new bone saddles for both. The 12 needed nut work after a change in string guages, and the 6 needed a minor neck reset. So I put the original saddles back when they went off to the luthier. Can't say I noticed any difference at all before or after, so I'm sticking with the factory material.
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