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  #16  
Old 05-26-2019, 04:49 AM
zeeway zeeway is offline
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Okay, I’m in....bone saddle ordered. I previously removed an element pickup from under the saddle, and left my X20 with lower action that may be too low, in that I think I can hear an occasional buzz. So maybe, this will help in two ways...
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Last edited by zeeway; 05-26-2019 at 05:15 AM.
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  #17  
Old 05-26-2019, 07:54 AM
GuitarLuva GuitarLuva is offline
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Originally Posted by zeeway View Post
Okay, Iím in....bone saddle ordered. I previously removed an element pickup from under the saddle, and left my X20 with lower action that may be too low, in that I think I can hear an occasional buzz. So maybe, this will help in two ways...
Welcome to the bone club! Yes absolutely if you had a UST your action might be too low. For what it's worth I've used MacNichol bone saddles with UST's with no issues so that's always an option. Figured I should mention that as it's another myth that's out there where people think you can't use a bone saddle with a UST. You just need a good consistent piece.
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  #18  
Old 05-26-2019, 01:59 PM
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raysachs raysachs is online now
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Amazon delivered it first thing this morning (it's kind of amazing living around a big city with a lot of same day and weekend deliveries. I think I ordered it Friday night sometime. By the time my wife opened the door to go water the plants, it was sitting there.

Took a fair amount of sanding, including a bit off of each end but I finally got it as identical to the original as I'd ever be able to see. And I A-B'd the two saddles a few times as I fine tuned the sanding on the new saddle. There's not a huge difference, but I believe the bone saddle does add a bit of volume and clarity. Not enough that I'd miss it if it was gone (I was more than satisfied with the tusq saddle), but probably enough to keep it on there. The intonation is about a cent off on one string, but otherwise is pretty much identical to the tusq saddle, so that's not an issue.

After I'd gone back and forth a few times I put a new set of strings on and I'm gonna just live with the bone saddle and probably switch back again when I next change strings. And I'll probably know for sure at that point. But I think it's gonna stay on there. And, I can basically guarantee I'll never bother to try to dye this saddle. If it had come like this from Emerald, I'd have never given it a second thought and probably won't even see it within a few days. Kind of goes with the light arrow-stripe in the top of my cocobolo veneer which passes through it.

Anyway, thanks for the suggestion and help...

-Ray
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  #19  
Old 05-26-2019, 03:40 PM
GuitarLuva GuitarLuva is offline
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Originally Posted by raysachs View Post
Amazon delivered it first thing this morning (it's kind of amazing living around a big city with a lot of same day and weekend deliveries. I think I ordered it Friday night sometime. By the time my wife opened the door to go water the plants, it was sitting there.

Took a fair amount of sanding, including a bit off of each end but I finally got it as identical to the original as I'd ever be able to see. And I A-B'd the two saddles a few times as I fine tuned the sanding on the new saddle. There's not a huge difference, but I believe the bone saddle does add a bit of volume and clarity. Not enough that I'd miss it if it was gone (I was more than satisfied with the tusq saddle), but probably enough to keep it on there. The intonation is about a cent off on one string, but otherwise is pretty much identical to the tusq saddle, so that's not an issue.

After I'd gone back and forth a few times I put a new set of strings on and I'm gonna just live with the bone saddle and probably switch back again when I next change strings. And I'll probably know for sure at that point. But I think it's gonna stay on there. And, I can basically guarantee I'll never bother to try to dye this saddle. If it had come like this from Emerald, I'd have never given it a second thought and probably won't even see it within a few days. Kind of goes with the light arrow-stripe in the top of my cocobolo veneer which passes through it.

Anyway, thanks for the suggestion and help...

-Ray
Gotta love Amazon! I'm surprised you never noticed a big difference. I noticed a big difference on the X30 cause I removed the element UST at the same time I changed the saddle. On the X20 though it was just a saddle swap. Maybe the X7 really is a different beast.
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Old 05-27-2019, 05:37 AM
Strumalot Strumalot is offline
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I love all the guitar tweaks, hope the bone experiments work out.

When I had a Taylor 710 a luthier put in a fossilize Mammoth Tusk saddle.

I don't think it made a difference, but it was a nice conversation piece.

More relevant to this discussion here...

My GX came with a custom MacNichols bone saddle that was dyed black.

Here is how it looked after 17 months (sorry I don't have a sharper image)...



Dyes tend to fade. I play outside a lot, so that probably added to the fading problem.

Pigmented ink would have been a longer-lasting choice (I've used pens with black pigmented ink to make some mods on my Strat. Worked OK, might work on the bone saddles, and if some of it comes off, touch ups would be easy), however, the bone saddle was also worn out, so I replaced it with an Obliggato Black Diamond saddle.

Eventually I put the factory saddle back in ~ and as things turned out ~ I like it best.

It has held up well.
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  #21  
Old 05-27-2019, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by GuitarLuva View Post
Gotta love Amazon! I'm surprised you never noticed a big difference. I noticed a big difference on the X30 cause I removed the element UST at the same time I changed the saddle. On the X20 though it was just a saddle swap. Maybe the X7 really is a different beast.
Very possible I'll notice more of a difference when I next change strings and do a quick A-B again. Whenever I get something new that requires some tweaking to get it right, I tend to get overwhelmed by variables and hopes/expectations and my ability to objectively judge goes out the window. Now that I have the bone saddle in and fully adjusted and I can just play with THAT for a while, I'm sure when I switch back (without having to do anything other than loosen the strings and swap saddles, I'll be able to gauge the differences and my reaction to them much more easily.

Also, there's something about moving in a presumably negative direction rather than a positive one that tends to focus my mind a bit better. I started meditating a couple of years ago and didn't really feel a difference from it until I'd been doing it for several months and then stopped for the better part of a week (travel, general crazy schedule). And then I felt a HUGE difference from NOT doing it. And was tremendously happy to be able to get back to it. I've had that happen a few other times now and I've had the same reaction each time. That's just how my mind tends to work. We'll see...

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Originally Posted by Strumalot View Post

My GX came with a custom MacNichols bone saddle that was dyed black.

Here is how it looked after 17 months (sorry I don't have a sharper image)...



Dyes tend to fade. I play outside a lot, so that probably added to the fading problem.

Pigmented ink would have been a longer-lasting choice (I've used pens with black pigmented ink to make some mods on my Strat. Worked OK, might work on the bone saddles, and if some of it comes off, touch ups would be easy), however, the bone saddle was also worn out, so I replaced it with an Obliggato Black Diamond saddle.

Eventually I put the factory saddle back in ~ and as things turned out ~ I like it best.

It has held up well.
Interesting all around. I'm perfectly happy with the look of the white bone saddle, but in the process of sanding and putting it in and taking it out and getting everything tweaked, I marked one end of the saddle with a black sharpie just as a shortcut to knowing which way to orient it when I put it back in place. And that lower edge of the saddle immediately looked black as night. I'll have to look at that spot in a few weeks and see if it's faded or not, but if not, and if I ever have a desire for the saddle to be black, could it be that simple?

-Ray
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  #22  
Old 05-27-2019, 07:41 AM
GuitarLuva GuitarLuva is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strumalot View Post
I love all the guitar tweaks, hope the bone experiments work out.

When I had a Taylor 710 a luthier put in a fossilize Mammoth Tusk saddle.

I don't think it made a difference, but it was a nice conversation piece.

More relevant to this discussion here...

My GX came with a custom MacNichols bone saddle that was dyed black.

Here is how it looked after 17 months (sorry I don't have a sharper image)...



Dyes tend to fade. I play outside a lot, so that probably added to the fading problem.

Pigmented ink would have been a longer-lasting choice (I've used pens with black pigmented ink to make some mods on my Strat. Worked OK, might work on the bone saddles, and if some of it comes off, touch ups would be easy), however, the bone saddle was also worn out, so I replaced it with an Obliggato Black Diamond saddle.

Eventually I put the factory saddle back in ~ and as things turned out ~ I like it best.

It has held up well.
Well thanks for sharing. I hope mine doesn't end up like that. I don't know what they did to dye that particular one in the pic but it doesn't look like their dye penetrated very far. The method I used seems to have penetrated very deep. For curiosity sake I might do the same thing with and old bone saddle that I don't care about and see. Anyway again thanks for sharing.
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  #23  
Old 05-27-2019, 07:56 AM
jwellsy jwellsy is offline
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FWIW I'll throw this out there. When I ordered my X30 I asked for an extra nut & saddle, they were happy to oblige. I can experiment cutting a nut for different strings or change saddle compensation and not worry about messing up the OEM ones.
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  #24  
Old 05-27-2019, 08:45 AM
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raysachs raysachs is online now
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OK, I have to revise my opinion. I picked up the guitar this morning to play, after not thinking about it for a while and not thinking about the saddle at all and was immediately struck by how loud it sounded and how well it sustained. It only took me strumming a few chords to think of the saddle, but it honestly wasn't on my mind when I picked it up, and then it was immediately apparent. So, yeah, REALLY happy with this change now. Very notable difference. For some reason, harder to tell when I was going back and forth and really TRYING to pick out the differences, but when I just picked it up without having that on my mind, in my FACE!

Sometimes I just have to let my head clear before I can see or hear things that are quite obvious when I'm not looking for them. Used to happen to me with photography all the time too - I'd work on processing a whole bunch of images and would either think very highly of myself of very poorly of myself, depending on my mood. But then I'd come back and look the next day and it was immediately apparent which ones were keepers and which were for the scrap heap.
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  #25  
Old 05-27-2019, 11:34 AM
GuitarLuva GuitarLuva is offline
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That's more like it Ray! Many things can impact what we hear in the moment. The mood we're in, the room yadda yadda yadda glad you hear a big difference now.
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  #26  
Old 05-27-2019, 07:14 PM
zeeway zeeway is offline
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Okay, received the bone saddle this afternoon...did the requisite sanding...used with the same strings to eliminate the new string super sound...and I do think it is louder a bit. Of course, I also made my saddle a touch taller to account for the under saddle transducer wire that I removed when I installed the K&K...which would also affect the sound volume. Anyway, so far, so good. And yes, my saddle is staying the white-bone color.

Macnichol Guitar must be wondering why the uptick in orders on this item.
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  #27  
Old 05-27-2019, 09:09 PM
GuitarLuva GuitarLuva is offline
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Macnichol Guitar must be wondering why the uptick in orders on this item.
Haha that made me laugh. I added a before and after pics in the original post.
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  #28  
Old 05-30-2019, 07:14 AM
zeeway zeeway is offline
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Well, I may be chasing my tail, but the intonation on the lowest three strings is off at the twelfth fret about 20 cents to the sharp side. I can notice it in a barre F-form most of the way up the fretboard. I only checked it because my ear was not happy, and now I am getting a little OCD about it. So now I am researching intonation correction...
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  #29  
Old 05-30-2019, 08:13 AM
jdinco jdinco is offline
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Originally Posted by zeeway View Post
Well, I may be chasing my tail, but the intonation on the lowest three strings is off at the twelfth fret about 20 cents to the sharp side. I can notice it in a barre F-form most of the way up the fretboard. I only checked it because my ear was not happy, and now I am getting a little OCD about it. So now I am researching intonation correction...
I've had that same issue when the saddle was too tall. Is the string height at the 12th fret in spec? Can it be lowered?
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  #30  
Old 05-30-2019, 08:16 AM
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raysachs raysachs is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeeway View Post
Well, I may be chasing my tail, but the intonation on the lowest three strings is off at the twelfth fret about 20 cents to the sharp side. I can notice it in a barre F-form most of the way up the fretboard. I only checked it because my ear was not happy, and now I am getting a little OCD about it. So now I am researching intonation correction...
Let us know what you come up with. Mine is slightly off, but more on the high three. But it's very slight, and well within my tolerances. My ears have been fine with it and I only checked it out of curiosity. But I tend to get the intonation pretty precise on my electrics because it's easy to do and it's not TOO tough to manipulate these saddles to do it, I might play around with it a bit.
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