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  #16  
Old 08-24-2019, 06:10 PM
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DenverSteve DenverSteve is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankmcr View Post
This may be crazy talk, but maybe Martin & Gibson use plastic pins because they think plastic pins sound just fine, ....
They obviously do sound great with plastic as evidenced by the thousands of guitars out here that sound great and have plastic pins.
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  #17  
Old 08-24-2019, 06:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoopeda View Post
The heavier the pins, the more vibration dampening you get. Deader tone. More sustain, but less volume, resonance, and clarity. Think of brass as the extreme. Bone is almost that way. Ebony less so.
I'm sorry, but that isn't altogether (at least not always) true. You may find that some pins with heavier mass deaden tone, but not always. I did a study awhile back where I measured all my pins on a jewlers scale to get an accurate reading and while sometimes finding that heavier pins were less vibrant- but not always. It's complicated and I'm not sure why there isn't always a direct correlation, but there isn't. I think it's better to understand the properties of the pins you're using so you can select them judiciously. I'll respond further below.

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Originally Posted by brencat View Post
Some of you here know that I picked up a beauty of a 2005 Martin D-28 Marquis... I had the bridge slotted by Brothers Music in Wind Gap, PA, and they installed unslotted bone pins at my request and their suggestion....So I took the old plastic pins, turned them around so the slot was facing rearward and reinstalled them with the solid side facing the string....Boom!... Looks like my Marquis prefers the plastic!

Then I did the same test on my Gibson J-45 which also had its bridge slotted this year, but the new bone pins work better there.

Wow...I learned something today. Anyone else here have a similar revelation ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tnfiddler View Post
I just tried the plastic to bone swap on my 2018 Reimagined D-41 and it was a major fail. The bone pins Killed that brilliant and amazing tone I bought the guitar for. Put the plastic back in and my tone was back.
It is entirely possible that you prefer plastic to bone pins. Bone pins tend to reduce the sustain of the overtones and harmonics. They seem to "dry up" the sound. Just two days ago I got a Taylor 910 (Engleman over rosewood) the other day with ebony pins where the overtones and harmonics were out of control, making the instrument sound far too bright. My solution was to try bone pins... and they did exactly what I expected. It made the guitar less brash and more balanced, while still retaining its articulation and general brightness. It may be important to note that this guitar has a TUSQ saddle. And it may just be that were I to change the saddle to bone I might prefer the ebony pins. I would only know by trying. And strings are critical and PART OF THE ENTIRE VIBRATION PACKAGE along with saddle and pins. They are integrals and work with (or against) each other. The trick is to find the combination that compliments and gives you the sound you prefer...

... So if bone didn't do it for you over plastic, I suggest ebony. Ebony will warm up the sound and create more overtones and resultant harmonics. Continuing in that direction would be buffalo horn pins. Very articulate and lively. I'll sometimes use a buffalo horn pin in the low E slot with the rest Ebony. I may have tried the single buffalo pin with 5 other bone pins, but I probably didn't like that combination as I don't remember even doing that.

If I were going to recommend a "kit" of pins for players to own and experiment with it would be: Ebony, Bone, Blackhorn buffalo and African Blackwood (not always available)... and perhaps a set of plastic pins. With those four sets you can pretty much accomodate any situation with complete sets or singles or pairs targeted for effect.
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Last edited by vindibona1; 08-24-2019 at 07:05 PM.
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  #18  
Old 08-24-2019, 08:51 PM
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Ive always thought that plastic pins were more transparent the the other typical materials of bone and wood.
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  #19  
Old 08-24-2019, 09:09 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Which is why I prefer them. I've bought or traded for the guitars I own because I like the way they sound already, not the sound I might get from tinkering around with the appointments.


whm
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  #20  
Old 08-24-2019, 10:34 PM
frankmcr frankmcr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade Hampton View Post
. I've bought or traded for the guitars I own because I like the way they sound already, not the sound I might get from tinkering around with the appointments.
whm
Yes!

Leave that to the banjo players.
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  #21  
Old 08-24-2019, 11:11 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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My 1967 Martin D-35 works best with the original plastic pins in it. They wore out so I bought a set of close duplicates and they work well, too. I've tried other pin materials and I have found that the original plastic has at least what I consider the best sound.

Many of my guitars don't respond to changing bridge pins in any noticeable way, but the old D-35 seems to be sensitive to it.

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