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  #1  
Old 07-25-2003, 10:48 PM
Brian 710CE Brian 710CE is offline
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Default Bone vs. Tusq saddle

hey, i was just wondering which of these would be the best for a pure acoustic instrument. I had to sent my taylor in for repairs a couple of weeks ago, and i am fiddling around with my Washburn anniversary acoustic. I have a tusq saddle in there now, will bone be better? Thanks for the help!!
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Old 07-25-2003, 11:48 PM
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cpmusic cpmusic is offline
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Brian, that's a matter of personal choice, but unless the Tusq saddle is glued in, installing a bone saddle is cheap and easy, and if you don't like it you can put the Tusq saddle back in minutes.

In my experience, a bone saddle improves clarity and produces a somewhat rounder tone than Tusq. It's also harder, so it resists wear better, meaning it takes far longer for the strings to cut those little grooves into it. I've replaced Tusq saddles and nuts with bone in all of my Taylors, and I'm very happy with the results.
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Old 07-26-2003, 12:35 AM
acousticjunky acousticjunky is offline
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I vote for bone also, it will improve your over all sound.

Nick
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Old 07-26-2003, 04:57 AM
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Chris (cpmusic) has touted bone saddles since I can remember, and I took the plunge. Best $6 mod you will ever make on your acoustic guitar, period. Compensated blanks from FQMS.
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Old 07-26-2003, 05:31 AM
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definitly go w/ bone
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Old 07-26-2003, 05:33 AM
ricks ricks is offline
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I have not tried it YET, but I am definetly going to. In fact I am going to pick up a couple today. The 514ce will be the first along with a new set of strings. We'll see tomorrow. I hope it does what everyone says. The 514 could use a little "cleaning up"
If it goes good, then the others will ge the same treatment.

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Old 07-26-2003, 06:26 AM
Jeepster2 Jeepster2 is offline
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Is the FQMS part number for the saddle... GA3WPC?

Is the width the same as the Taylors and only the height needs to be adjusted?
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Old 07-26-2003, 09:10 AM
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Jeepster, that part number sounds right, but I don't have the catalog handy. If you don't have a catalog handy, you can download it in sections at fqms.com.

Their pre-compensated bone saddle matches the Taylor's saddle perfectly for shape, but it requires some sanding for height, and usually a little sanding for thickness on the front and.or back. It may also be necessary to sand a little for length. The thickness and length need to be measured by trial fitting in the bridge, so go slow and remove just a little at a time. Remember to clean off the dust before you try a fit, so it doesn't give you a false reading. You want the saddle to be snug in the slot -- not so tight that you need to press down hard or use pliers to get it out, and not so loose that it wobbles in the slot.

Once it fits, I recommend rounding the top edges just a little so that the strings aren't breaking over a "hard" edge, and polishing with 0000 steel wool for a nice, smooth sheen.
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Old 07-26-2003, 09:50 AM
Jeepster2 Jeepster2 is offline
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hmm.. sounds like I had better buy 2.

Thanks!
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Old 07-26-2003, 10:27 AM
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What grit sandpaper and/or steel wool will I need beside the 0000 steel wool? I'm putting in a couple bone saddles next week and want to know what to get at the store...Thanks!
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  #11  
Old 07-26-2003, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
It's also harder, so it resists wear better, meaning it takes far longer for the strings to cut those little grooves into it. I've replaced Tusq saddles and nuts with bone in all of my Taylors, and I'm very happy with the results.
Here's a little tip . When you change strings is when a lot of nut wear occurs from winding the strings across the nut.

Don't do that.....................

Wind the strings keeping the string of the nut until the last few turns. It's simple once you get used to it and saves the nut a lot of wear.

Just so you know.....................LOL
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  #12  
Old 07-26-2003, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ozrufus
What grit sandpaper and/or steel wool will I need beside the 0000 steel wool? I'm putting in a couple bone saddles next week and want to know what to get at the store...Thanks!
I use fine grit, but I'm not sure of the exact number, assuming there even is one. It's plain, everyday sandpaper, which I originally bought for wood sanding, and I've had some lying around for a long time.

A few tips: Fasten the sandpaper to a hard, flat surface and move the saddle over it. This helps ensure even sanding, which is important. If the saddle is hard to hold for sanding the front and back (I think so) get a small block of wood with a flat surface and use double-stick tape to hold the saddle. When you sand the bottom, be careful to hold it perfectly vertical to get a clean, right-angle cut relative to the sides.

Finally, go slow, and sand just a little at a time.
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Old 07-26-2003, 11:42 PM
Brian 710CE Brian 710CE is offline
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Hey, thanks everyone. I went to the local guitar store and got a couple of bone blanks and they were no problem to shape. I put one in my Washburn anniversary, and it made a HUGE difference over the Tusq. It is quite a bit brighter. I think it lost a little bass, but it is worth it for the clarity i gained(i didn't change the strings, so i know it made a difference.) It makes me want to do this on my taylor, also, but you aren't supposed to use bone with electronics, right? Anyone know where i can get a bone nut? Thanks for the help!!
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  #14  
Old 07-27-2003, 05:52 AM
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No bone with electronics.....first I've heard of it....put one in my 414RCE, with piezo under saddle.....once I got the bottom edge nice and flat, worked just fine.
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  #15  
Old 07-27-2003, 08:13 AM
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There's a line of thought, promoted mostly by the makers of Tusq, that Tusq is better for an undersaddle pickup because it's more consistent in density. There's probably some truth to that in the grand scheme, meaning that you can probably find some examples of bone saddle blanks that have "light" spots in them, but bone blanks aren't cut randomly, and it's my guess that the proportion of bad ones is extremely small. I've cut several over the past 10 years and never came across a bad one.

As Tom noted, the trick is to get the bottom edge absolutely straight and true, but you need to do that without a UST as well.
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