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FDP Forum / FDP Unplugged - Acoustic Instruments / In your opinion, bone saddle+nut+end pins...

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littleuch
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Florida

May 7th, 2019 08:30 AM   Edit   Profile  

...make a difference over "urea" or any other plastic material? I'm pondering my new Yamaha parlor which is a dandy as is for its purpose, but the tinkerer in me is already getting notions. I know strings and time to open the guitar up will make their own significant contributions, just curious what YOUR opinions are.

Chris Greene
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Idaho, USA

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May 7th, 2019 09:26 AM   Edit   Profile  

Everything can make subtle differences. I tend to leave guitars stocks as the subtle differences are usually too subtle to matter. My Martin guitars use bone saddles and nuts as stock but plastic end pins. I doubt I would hear a difference if I changed the end pins to bone or whatever else.

Peegoo
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Planet Peegoo

Rhythm & Lewd Guitarist
May 7th, 2019 09:43 AM   Edit   Profile  

Bone (in general) is no guarantee of improved tone because the density of bone swings wildly.

You can take 20 bone nut blanks and drop them on a table top...perhaps three or four will ring like little xylophone plates. That is the kind of bone you want.

All the others will go 'thud'. Same for bridge saddles.

Modern plastics used for nuts and saddles (Nylon, Melamine, Corian, graphite-impregnated Nylon polymer, etc.) are dense and very consistent across the board. The best material I've used is a purpose-made polymer material called Tusq.

Many players replace their plastic end pins with bone, brass, unobtanium...etc., and report an immediate improvement in tone. The thing they forget is they also replaced the strings, and that's what really made the leap in tonal bliss.

Most guitars these days (even the cheap no-name imports) are using adequately hard plastic nuts and saddles. Unless you have a nut or saddle that's broken, needs adjustment, or was improperly installed at the factory, the best thing you can do to improve your guitar's tone is to practice.

But if you want to tinker--have at it. I totally get that, and I fall victim to these impulses myself.

jefe46
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State of Jefferson

May 7th, 2019 11:19 AM   Edit   Profile  

I buy cow shin bones from my butcher. Boil them down. de-bug them and let cure for a year or so. I cut them to largest size blanks possible and cure them for about a year. Then drop test them for "tone".

Always bone for nut and saddles; end pins from fossilized narwhal penis. Nothing better.

Peegoo
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Planet Peegoo

Rhythm & Lewd Guitarist
May 7th, 2019 01:29 PM   Edit   Profile  

I like hard bone for nut blanks too because 20w oil impregnates the bone material after the blank is glued in, shaped, and slots cut. It is quite slick and I've never had friction issues with it.

A great way to get aged, dry bone is to go pick through the large cow leg bones at your local big-box pet store (PetSmart, etc.). They're cheap.

Take a drumstick and hold the bone 2/3 up from the bottom (dangle it lightly between thumb and forefinger), and give it a rap with the drumstick. Some will ring out, and those are the keepers.

Most, however, will make a THUCK sound. Those are the rejects.

hushnel
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North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
May 7th, 2019 02:34 PM   Edit   Profile  

I’ve got a lot of bone and a box full of various color/pattern micarta.

I did swap out the saddle on my Yamaha parlor, mostly because the plastic one was just a bit too loose.

jvstratman

USA

May 7th, 2019 03:26 PM   Edit   Profile  

"Always bone for nut and saddles; end pins from fossilized narwhal penis. Nothing better."

Paging Peegoo to the band naming post...

Peegoo
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Planet Peegoo

Rhythm & Lewd Guitarist
May 8th, 2019 07:22 AM   Edit   Profile  

jvstratman, I'm positive you have a handle on the narwhal penis thing.

...so to speak :o)



jvstratman

USA

May 8th, 2019 09:11 AM   Edit   Profile  

Lol

I wonder if it's available thru martin custom shop. Maybe you can order a matching narwhal penis nut.

jefe46
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State of Jefferson

May 8th, 2019 09:26 AM   Edit   Profile  

Not likely...
Must consider their political bent..
Save the baby narwhals etc.

I would suggest they have richlite narwhal end pins. Part of the "re imagined" series.

littleuch
Contributing Member
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Florida

May 8th, 2019 09:50 AM   Edit   Profile  

Well I ordered a set of John Pearse 80/20's, a set of Snakewood bridge pins, a bone saddle and nut. I'm sure it'll sound....different. :-]


hushnel
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North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
May 8th, 2019 10:05 AM   Edit   Profile  

Unicorn Tusk nut and saddle rule. Fossilized Tyrannosaurus Rex is best for more aggressive playing styles. Giraffe shin bone is rather dense and would be popular here, with all the references to the critter.

jvstratman

USA

May 8th, 2019 10:43 AM   Edit   Profile  

I made a few ebony nuts from blanks purchased from Bob Colosi. Ebony is really hard to file slots. Ironically, I find it more dificult to work with than bone. So far, I have ebony nuts on an OM28v, 000-28vs, and 64 lgo. All have bone saddles and ebony pins. The tone is deep and rich even though the ebony nut is only in play on open strings. Ymmv

littleuch
Contributing Member
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Florida

May 8th, 2019 10:51 AM   Edit   Profile  

Interesting...I never heard of using ebony for nut material.

I still don't know whether to file jefe's "fossilized narwhal penis" comment along with hushnel's Unicorn/Tyrannosaurus suggestion.

jvstratman

USA

May 8th, 2019 10:57 AM   Edit   Profile  

The Martin OM-18 authentic 1933 comes with an ebony nut and they sound amazing. Not sure how many models or years martin used ebony nuts but it was a thing.

reverend mikey
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N of I-90, E of I-29

You're old. Then vintage. Then good!
May 8th, 2019 11:01 AM   Edit   Profile  

"I never heard of using ebony for nut material."

Martin used it on their "budget" 17 series all mahogany guitars before WW II. They also use it (therefore) on their reissue 00-17 Authentic 1931.

hushnel
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North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
May 8th, 2019 11:02 AM   Edit   Profile  

I have a nice piece of fossilized Manatee that came out of the Suwannee River that polished up like stone. It’s color pattern is similar to Tortoise Shell.

I’ve used fossilized mammoth tusk but wasn’t happy with the results.

littleuch
Contributing Member
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Florida

May 8th, 2019 11:02 AM   Edit   Profile  

My knowledge on acoustics is pretty limited.

jvstratman

USA

May 8th, 2019 11:07 AM   Edit   Profile  

Nice video of ebony nut Martin

OM-18 Authentic 1933

littleuch
Contributing Member
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Florida

May 8th, 2019 11:41 AM   Edit   Profile  

Yeowza, that OM is a beauty, love that body shape. The top is not unlike the color of my D17M.

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FDP Forum / FDP Unplugged - Acoustic Instruments / In your opinion, bone saddle+nut+end pins...




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