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  #31  
Old 05-31-2019, 09:30 AM
dgt178 dgt178 is offline
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[QUOTE=martingitdave;6074530]
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Bleach?
....apparently, you don't understand my question.....he states there's a difference between bleached and unbleached, but doesn't explain what the difference is between the two, in terms of which he prefers and why.....no sarcasm needed....
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  #32  
Old 05-31-2019, 05:52 PM
seannx seannx is offline
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Are there any member who bought bone saddles and then returned to the original Micarta or TUSQ?
I had a bone saddle installed in my Taylor soon after buying it, thinking that bone would be better than Tusk. Well after many years with the bone saddle, and never being completely satisfied with the change in tone, I decided to go back to the original Tusk one. When I went to swap them, the bone saddle broke when I went to take it out. And I do like the sound better with the Tusk saddle. Why did I wait so long? Probably because I believed that bone would be an upgrade, more in keeping with having a nice, all solid wood guitar. As the bone saddle broke easily, and had been fitted very tightly, Iím suspicious that there may have been a problem with that specific piece of bone. In any event, Iím happy with the original Tusk saddle, and itís staying.
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  #33  
Old 06-17-2019, 08:20 AM
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Shades of Blue Shades of Blue is offline
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Well, I did get the bone saddle into my 717 yesterday, and I also did some back and forth tone comparisons with the stock saddle using same set of strings.

I can't tell a huge difference, other than the sound seems flatter with the stock saddle. I felt like the bone saddle yielded a fatter sound, but it could just be what I "wanted" to hear, you know?

I will say that the bone saddle fits cleanly into the bridge, and it isn't loose, but there isn't a friction fit by any means. The stock saddle only comes out with pliers. Is that good or bad? Should I be concerned with the loose fit of the bone saddle? It isn't rocking back and forth, but it definitely isn't a tight fit at all...
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  #34  
Old 06-17-2019, 02:11 PM
vindibona1 vindibona1 is offline
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Originally Posted by Shades of Blue View Post
Well, I did get the bone saddle into my 717 yesterday, and I also did some back and forth tone comparisons with the stock saddle using same set of strings.

I can't tell a huge difference, other than the sound seems flatter with the stock saddle. I felt like the bone saddle yielded a fatter sound, but it could just be what I "wanted" to hear, you know?

I will say that the bone saddle fits cleanly into the bridge, and it isn't loose, but there isn't a friction fit by any means. The stock saddle only comes out with pliers. Is that good or bad? Should I be concerned with the loose fit of the bone saddle? It isn't rocking back and forth, but it definitely isn't a tight fit at all...

I don't think you're hearing things. Bone saddles will make the sound a bit thicker and warmer than micarta and significantly warmer than Tusq.

As far as saddle thickness... What do you mean by "loose" (with bone saddle)? As far as fit goes, I think what I look for is "adequately secure". Remember your guitar's wood is going to swell and shrink. Before I changed to a bone saddle in my 814ceDLX the bridge developed a hairline crack only months after manufacture. I sent it to Taylor and they replaced the entire bridge. If a saddle is too fat for the slot and jammed in it is possible that swelling can crack the bridge, as unusual as that (probably) happens. But too loose isn't good either because you want good wood-to-wood contact.

But you caused me to think about unrelated thing that might or might not be an issue, positive or negative... As Taylor bolts the pickup sensor directly against the saddle, does the sensor contact dampen some of the string vibrations? Has anyone ever tried a sound comparison after removing the ES2 pickup?
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  #35  
Old 06-17-2019, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by vindibona1 View Post
I don't think you're hearing things. Bone saddles will make the sound a bit thicker and warmer than micarta and significantly warmer than Tusq.

As far as saddle thickness... What do you mean by "loose" (with bone saddle)? As far as fit goes, I think what I look for is "adequately secure". Remember your guitar's wood is going to swell and shrink. Before I changed to a bone saddle in my 814ceDLX the bridge developed a hairline crack only months after manufacture. I sent it to Taylor and they replaced the entire bridge. If a saddle is too fat for the slot and jammed in it is possible that swelling can crack the bridge, as unusual as that (probably) happens. But too loose isn't good either because you want good wood-to-wood contact.

But you caused me to think about unrelated thing that might or might not be an issue, positive or negative... As Taylor bolts the pickup sensor directly against the saddle, does the sensor contact dampen some of the string vibrations? Has anyone ever tried a sound comparison after removing the ES2 pickup?
My apologies, I actually posted a new thread because I got a little concerned. But, I'll try to follow both threads.

First, mine doesn't have the ES system, so I'm ok there. The fit is loose, and I feel like there is a hair of play, but you can't see the saddle visibly rock in the slot. I mean, it is TINY, if at all. I just am concerned because the micarta saddle was in there so tight.

If I had a means to measure, I would, but I'd say you'd have trouble getting a piece of paper in the gap. It looks and appears tight, but it comes out freely.
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  #36  
Old 06-17-2019, 02:38 PM
archerscreek archerscreek is offline
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I watched a video a few days ago Dan Erlewine did for Stew Mac. In it he cut a new saddle slot and fitted a new saddle for an old Gibson acoustic. When he was cutting the new slot he said one needs to be careful not to cut it too wide because you want a nice, tight, press fit with the saddle. I also read on Bryan Kimsey's site somewhere that he preferred glued in saddles because the locked in contact lead to better sound. Back to Erlewine, he said you want it tight but not so tight that it would crack the bridge if you had to pound it in.
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  #37  
Old 06-17-2019, 03:24 PM
vintageom vintageom is offline
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Every Taylor I have owned that came with a Tusq saddle sounds better to me with bone saddles. I swap them out every time and hear an improved tone.

My mahogany-topped GS Mini saddle change to bone was the most dramatic improvement in tone. Far more sustain, fatter trebles. The increased string vibration energy through the bridge into the body was obvious.

Some of my Taylors came with bone saddles and nuts - stock.
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  #38  
Old 06-17-2019, 03:31 PM
Johan Madsen Johan Madsen is offline
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My Furch OM 32 SM was delivered with TUSQ nut and saddle , when luthier replaced those with bone when he did a refret: I was really amazed in a negative way about how much brighter , even harsh the tone became. I know that bone provides that kind of tone as I’ve experienced the same with bone picks that just sound to harsh for my taste. That being said it’s not necessary a bad things, as all depends about the tone you’re looking for , personnaly I really felt like switching for bone was some kind of downgrade , as all the warmth and vintage woody kind of tone just passed away (I was very surprised with the drastic tonal change). That’s why I went back to Tusq for the saddle , but kept the bone nut as the luthier did glue it, and that provides a pretty balanced kind of tone , even if it’s unusual to mix both. But all I can say is that saddle/nut material can bring a HUGE change in terms of tone. None is Better or worth IMO , but in my experience:
Bone : brighter , more treble , presence for fleshed fingerstyle etc... but can sound harsh
Tusq : warmer sounding , more bass, dryer kind of tone , some may say it sounds muddier (as less brittle)

I think that bone works fine with Martin guitars as they do sound dark (I guess they must sound extra dark with Tusq ) , otherwise it do depends on the builder and the kind of tone you’re looking for .
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  #39  
Old 06-17-2019, 03:45 PM
colder colder is offline
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I hear many say that for guitars with electronics the tusq saddle is better because it gives a totally consistent material to transmit vibrations to the transducer, and that bone is less dense and less efficient, so youíre losing something. I donít know if that is true, but I have switched them out before and any improvement I heard could have just been attributable to new strings and a new setup.
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  #40  
Old 06-17-2019, 04:06 PM
Paddy1951 Paddy1951 is offline
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Originally Posted by colder View Post
I hear many say that for guitars with electronics the tusq saddle is better because it gives a totally consistent material to transmit vibrations to the transducer, and that bone is less dense and less efficient, so youíre losing something. I donít know if that is true, but I have switched them out before and any improvement I heard could have just been attributable to new strings and a new setup.
Taylor is moving away from bone saddles entirely. The reason is the same reason they switched from Tusq to Micarta. Micarta is denser and more uniform than Tusq and works better with their Expression 2 pickup system. This is what Taylor says- I spoke with a Customer Service person. From their point of view, the same holds true for bone.

I still think that in an unamplified situation it may come down to the players individual guitar and the tone being sought.

Reluctantly, I swapped out a Tusq saddle for bone on a fairly bright guitar. I expected it could sound even brighter. What it did was smooth and round the overall tone. It sounded better.

Assumption is our worst enemy concerning guitar saddles.
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  #41  
Old 06-17-2019, 09:16 PM
gmel555 gmel555 is offline
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Originally Posted by vintageom View Post
Every Taylor I have owned that came with a Tusq saddle sounds better to me with bone saddles. I swap them out every time and hear an improved tone.
I agree! I've swapped out 3 Micarta saddles for bone (Taylor has used Micarata saddles for several years now). Preferred the tone of bone on all three.
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  #42  
Old 06-17-2019, 10:12 PM
guitarxan guitarxan is offline
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I recently put a Taylor 12 string bone saddle in my Taylor 150e along with ebony bridge pins. Opened up the sound a bit I think but not dramatically. It was worth the 25 bucks I spent all in.
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  #43  
Old 06-17-2019, 10:57 PM
vindibona1 vindibona1 is offline
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Originally Posted by archerscreek View Post
...Back to Erlewine, he said you want it tight but not so tight that it would crack the bridge if you had to pound it in.
What I said earlier. My bridge developed a hairline crack most likely from the same thing. After the bridge was replaced I fit it with a bone saddle and all well and sounding much better than stock.

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Originally Posted by Paddy1951 View Post
Taylor is moving away from bone saddles entirely. The reason is the same reason they switched from Tusq to Micarta. Micarta is denser and more uniform than Tusq and works better with their Expression 2 pickup system. This is what Taylor says- I spoke with a Customer Service person. From their point of view, the same holds true for bone.
Let's go backwards... "Works better with their Expression 2 pickup system". Think about that for a moment...Of course they would want something that could be mass produced to be relatively uniform, would best work with a system that was designed for quick cheap installation and produced far less inexpensively than bone saddles. As for working better with the ES2 system, hogwash! While due to individual bone structure, a few bone saddles here and there lack the desired density for a rich sound, relatively uniform with each ES2 sensor, you will hear any number of forum members who will all say that moving to a bone saddle was the best thing they ever did for their Taylor guitar. I'm one of them having replaced a Tusq in a ES1 Taylor and Micarta in one with ES2 and will never think about returning my Taylors to stock saddles.

It is important to remember that while Taylor loves to innovate, much of their innovation is to improve their bottom line, often hyping features, when the benefit is mostly to themselves. Once in awhile their innovations are spectacular, but I've witness too many "improvements" that they've marketed heavily only to be functional or aesthetic downgrades. That's not to say that Taylor doesn't build good guitars. I own two of their higher end models and am pretty happy with them. But Taylor is a marketing genius and juggernaut and sometimes they're just selling the Emperor's new clothes. In the case of this discussion micarta saddles are in fact consistent and "pretty good"... but it just isn't bone. To paraphrase the famous line in _Risky Buisness_ "Bone. There is no substitute".
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  #44  
Old 06-18-2019, 12:32 AM
Paddy1951 Paddy1951 is offline
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I am not saying that I necessarily agree with Taylor's motivations for using micarta. But it is what I was told by Taylor.
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  #45  
Old 06-18-2019, 12:42 AM
BluesKing777 BluesKing777 is offline
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My dog comes for a look in round about going out time and if I am packing up - wipe guitar, put it in case and rack it - she likes to have a long deep sniff of the bone saddled guitars. The synthetic saddled guitars don't get even get a look!

I have mentioned this here a number of times now, so I am relating it in a different way because I am getting a bit bone weary and bone tired telling the story....

When at my luthier/guitar tech for a new saddle, he does a 'high density bone saddle' to ensure undersaddle pickups work, and he hand checks it acoustically and in an amp, and I get to do the same when taking possession of the new saddled guitar. That is what he said. I have to believe him because I have never had a problem. And also glad to get out of his shop because the bone saddle filing and cutting smells like the Dentist's....

And I have read that the guitar 'manufacturers' prefer Tusq, Micarta for the consistency AND they don't need to thoroughly check and play every guitar with a pickup - the robot just keeps spitting them out, I suppose. But a bone saddle with pickup would need to be played a bit and checked a bit to see/hear all strings are working.


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