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  #1  
Old 04-23-2005, 12:33 PM
Montreal 007 Montreal 007 is offline
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Default Help Bone vs Tusq ?

I have a Taylor 410 (2004 model)....The saddle & Nut are made of Tusq....Some people have suggested i replace this with Bone....I want to know two things. 1- Is Tusq considered good quality material for Saddle & Nut ?...2- If i do switch to bone, will it make a significant difference (upgrade) in the sound of my guitar ? Or is just for looks.....Sorry if my question makes me soud like an amateur...It's because i am...Been only playing guitar for 3 years...
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Old 04-23-2005, 12:39 PM
Choirboy Choirboy is offline
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Try Bob Colosi's website: http://www.guitarsaddles.com/
A lot of information on there. Nice to see another Canuck on the forum.
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Old 04-23-2005, 12:42 PM
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Default I vote for bone...

Hi...
I'm no scientist, and I love guitars. Let me tell you a story...

When I bought my 714CE, I asked the in shop setup guy to cut me a new bone saddle before walking out, and he gave me the sales pitch on Tusq. Being understanding I listened to the pitch, and then asked him to do bone anyway.

He still wanted to argue, so I gently reminded him it was my $35. He headed off to the setup room and cut a new saddle, and brought the guitar back. He strummed a chord and exclaimed...''Hey, that's better!'' I said, ''I know.''

Some advantages of bone I've been told...
  • Density...it's harder than plastic, other manmade synthetics used for blanks, or ivory.
  • Harder to cut grooves or develop burrs in which add to string breakage.
  • It's nice looking.
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Old 04-23-2005, 01:07 PM
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I have a 2003 410ce and upgrading the saddle alone to bone made a tonal difference. I'd recommend it highly. In fact, it made enough of a difference that I'm going to upgrade the nut to bone in the near future.

I'm not saying you MUST do it. But I don't think there's a chance you'll say "Man, I sure did waste that money."
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Old 04-23-2005, 01:28 PM
fsusubdad fsusubdad is offline
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I agree with you guys. I recently "boned" by '04 710 (just the saddle) and I think it sounds better. Tough to put my finger on just why or how, but definitely better. When I eventually have to get the frets worked I'll get a bone nut put on too.
The other thing I did was put a "Platemate" in it. This is a little brass plate that goes inside the guitar where the strings go through to protect the bridge plate from long-term wear from the ball-end of the strings. Got it from Little Mountain Music (no financial affiliation etc etc). I think this added to the improved sound, of course YMMV (always wanted to put that in a post!!)
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Old 04-23-2005, 02:25 PM
strat-master strat-master is offline
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So is tusq not a natural material? How does tusq fair then? Is it that bad?
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Old 04-23-2005, 02:46 PM
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Default Art-i-ficial

Quote:
Originally Posted by strat-master
So is tusq not a natural material? How does tusq fair then? Is it that bad?
Hi S-M...
Tusq is used by Taylor and made by pressure and heat, Micarta is a resin compund and has been around longer is Martin's material of choice. Micarta is harder.

They are ok, and quick, cheap and easy to fashion (mold and trim) into nuts and saddles. The older Micarta from Westinghouse (late 80s) was harder than the current product used in Bagg's LB-6 saddle pickups according to a conversation I had with James Olson about the pickups last year (had a bridge reset & complete action rework).

Both Tusq and Micarta are better than the plain ole plastic some low end companies mold into saddles and nuts.
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Old 04-24-2005, 02:52 AM
nakedstu nakedstu is offline
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I put a Colosi bone saddle in my 414. Immediately noticed the difference, and (to me), it seems to have opened the sound out - less of a 'compressed' effect.

After a while, I decided that I wanted to raise the action a bit, so I bought another from Bob, and took a bit more time over it. The sound is GREAT. I can hear every string when I strum, and it's suddenly come alive for fingerpicking.

Just thought I'd say that the height of the action REALLY made a difference in how my guitar sounded - more volume and better tone with the slightly higher (a little bit higher than factory specs) action vs a pretty low action. I didn't realise this when I installed it, but I think that's pretty common - something to do with the 'break angle.'

I'd really recommend the bone saddle upgrade in your 410, especially since it doesn't cost too much, so if you don't like it, you haven't lost a heap.

Take care
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Old 04-24-2005, 10:32 AM
surfoxy surfoxy is offline
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I had an 810 which changed when I put bone in it. Not a dramatic change, but an effective one.The sound was instantly more the wood than the strings, and this was exactly what I was looking for. Same guitar, just a noticably more mature tone to it. Very nice change.

Can't say enough good things about Dr. Colosi. Great products, great prices, great guy to work with.
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Old 04-24-2005, 12:23 PM
kbmitch kbmitch is offline
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I recently had some warranty service done on my 110. At the same time I had the luthier install a bone saddle. WOW, what a difference! The guitar has better tone and much better projection. Now, I'll have to get one for my 814CE as well. I can't wait to hear the difference on a nicer guitar. I will probably order one from Bob Colosi since his saddles are highly recommended by others in the forum.
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Old 04-24-2005, 08:43 PM
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I replaced the saddle on my 810 with bone and it was a good improvement. Makes be wonder why Taylor just doesn't put bone on their guitars as standard equipment. In the scheme of things, it wouldn't have a big impact on sales prices, but would make a better sounding guitar.
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Old 04-24-2005, 09:14 PM
DM3MD DM3MD is offline
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I've had saddles from Bob in all my guitars, past and present. They are simply the best out there. Everything about this guy, his technical knowledge, his business, his musical ability, is among the best you're going to find in the business.

Bob can probably add more on this, but as it was explained to me, the cost effectiveness of the larger manufacturers adding bone saddles to their line is not too good. Martin and Larrivee are doing it on their high end guitars, but to manage the cost, the saddles they are installing are poor quality. Side by side, the difference is obvious.
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Old 04-25-2005, 05:02 AM
whamonkey whamonkey is offline
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Yet another glowing review for Bob Colosi...I bought Elephant Ivory saddles for both my gals and noticed a dramatic improvement. Worth every penny and Bob is excellent to deal with. Tusq=plastic.
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  #14  
Old 01-22-2011, 10:03 PM
metameme metameme is offline
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Thumbs down Come on now..

Elephant ivory? Gross..
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  #15  
Old 01-22-2011, 10:16 PM
chitarra chitarra is offline
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Tusq by any other name is plastic. I don't care what kind of fancy name they have for it now.

The tusq nut and saddle on my DN4 looked ratty after just a few months.

My dealer installed a Colosi bone nut and saddle.

Sounds a bit better and looks a LOT better.

Stock bridge and pins next to the installed Colosi bridge and pins.



Stock nut next to the installed Colosi nut.



Taylor puts bone nuts and saddles on the 9 series.
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