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Acoustic Guitar Saddle Material


Terrell

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I'm looking to brighten up an acoustic. What is going to be the brightest Bridge Saddle Material to use?

 

Is there anything super cool out there? Something with P/U built in?

 

I know a monk who has a Mala made from human bone that was cleaned by eagles on a sacred mountain and then bleached in the sun after daily fruit baths for 5 years. Nothing that extreme...

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Hmn; Wendler? Wendler? David Wendler? Anyone? Anyone?

 

Look up dave251 here on the forum- or Google up Wendler Guitars- and ask Dave. He'd be a really good person to field this question.

 

Also, don't overlook strings- check out all the types that GHS has, including their White Bronze, Bright Bronze and Contact Core Bright Bronze- the latter being VERY bright acoustic strings.

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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I didn't replace the chintzy plastic saddle of my Epiphone until it was over 30 years old. When I took it to a shop to reset the neck, I had them replace the pins with ebony, put on some Grover tuners, and asked what saddles were available. The man showed me a collection of plastic and a bone. Not real bone, he said, but a composite that resembled bone so close that one wasn't supposed to notice the difference. But he didn't offer any METAL saddles!

 

Those changes(I chose the bone)made a noticeable improvement in the tone and brightness in that old axe.

 

There was another forum member who called himself "Tusker" who always pushed his psuedo-ivory picks, pins and saddles, if any of you recall...

Whitefang PS. That metal idea IS intriguing....

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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Y' mean "Tuskbuffer", whitefang?

 

I wonder what happened to him... he just sort of seemed to have disappeared.

 

I used to have a fossil-ivory mammoth-tusk pick of his, that a friend gave me; after a long time, I gave it to someone else- being as I don't use picks, anyways...

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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I saw some sort of brass things that were supposed to enhance the sound of an acoustic, can't remember what they were called.

 

I did a little looking around to see if I could find brass saddles for acoustic, and didn't find any. But I think one could be made out of piece of brass bar stock with some files, etc.

 

I have heard that brass bridge pins brighten up a guitar.

Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

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Tusq is pretty awesome. Mammoth bone works quite well too. I think metal might be too tinny/bright for an already-generally-bright instrument.

My Gear:

 

82 Gibson Explorer

Ibanez 03 JEM7VWH

PRS McCarty Soapbar

Diezel Herbert 2007

 

Peters '11 Brahms Guitar

Byers '01 Classical

Hippner 8-Str Classical

Taylor 614ce

Framus Texan

 

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I've used buffalo horn for nut & bridge to good effect, although 'word on the street' says that the 'fossilised' bone you can pick up on the net is good too.

 

I have brass bridge pins & they definitely make a difference.

 

G.

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power the World will know Peace": Jimi Hendrix

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=738517&content=music

The Geoff - blame Caevan!!!

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It could be domestic grandfathered Ivory?!?!?

 

Might could be. But given that all ivory in that category is now very rare & basically antique, it's hard to see how repurposing it from, say, antique pistol grips, into guitar bridge saddles would make any kind of economic sense.

 

Scott Fraser

Scott Fraser
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People sometimes scavenge/recycle the outer covering of ivory found on many old, antique piano-keys...

 

That's a little too thin to make a saddle out of, unless it can be glued together without losing any tonal integrity. Plyivory might suffer as much as plywood in the tone realm.

 

Scott Fraser

Scott Fraser
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What about Micarta for saddle material? It's used by some manufacturers for a nut, and I sell a lot of knives that have Micarta handles. Plus, you can get Micarta in different colors, so if you wanted something besides white, you could get it. I think Dymondwood might work, too. It's a laminated wood made from thin layers of birch, and it comes in a huge assortment of colors and wood tones. A piece of machined 416 stainless steel would also work. Unlike brass or nickel silver, 416 won't tarnish, and it would certainly add some brightness to the guitar's tone.
I rock; therefore, I am.
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The site says it's all legally imported and documented!

 

Like from elephants who die of old age? I suppose that's possible, & probably close to impossible to verify.

 

Can't "no kill" Ivory be imported?

 

I don't think so. I read a story of someone who purchased a historical piano in Europe, to bring into the US. The instrument had belonged to Lizst IIRC. When it came out of US Customs all the ivory had been crudely stripped off the keys, essentially destroying the instrument as a cultural treasure. Customs said no ivory, no matter how long ago the elephant had died.

 

 

Scott Fraser
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I read a story of someone who purchased a historical piano in Europe, to bring into the US. The instrument had belonged to Lizst IIRC. When it came out of US Customs all the ivory had been crudely stripped off the keys, essentially destroying the instrument as a cultural treasure. Customs said no ivory, no matter how long ago the elephant had died.

 

Jackasses. Criminals who should be punished.

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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I made a brass saddle once for a Gibson J45 deluxe it was the worst 10 minutes of my life. You can make a metal nut but not a acoustic saddle. Ivory will brighten up a acoustic guitar a little. D'Addario strings or Martin FX Flexible core strings help some too. I started a company in Austin Texas to deal with this problem. We make saddles and other products out of the Diamond like carbon from the medical field. The saddles will make a Martin Dreadnought balanced (not bass heavy) much clearer

and louder, more sustain. You can even play through a tube type amp without distortion at any volume and no string gouging ever. The guitar will be brighter we also make picks out of the material and they also do the same things to acoustics and electrics. www.obbligatoinc.com

Jim

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If you are going to get Ivory Bob Colosi is the best I have ever seen period for bone or Ivory saddles and nuts. Just remember bone and Ivory nuts and saddles wear out fast (string gouging)

and distort plugged in Bone is horrible plugged in. Bob has the

best bone and Ivory I have every seen.

 

Jim

 

 

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If you are going to get Ivory Bob Colosi is the best I have ever seen period for bone or Ivory saddles and nuts. Just remember bone and Ivory nuts and saddles wear out fast (string gouging)

and distort plugged in Bone is horrible plugged in. Bob has the

best bone and Ivory I have every seen.

 

Jim

 

 

I`m looking at his site for some bridge pins.

I just spent $100 for a saddle that went missing,

then after I bought the new one I found the old one.

I don`t want to hear one more thing about saddles.

 

If I recall, Tuskbuffer, although he said he obtained his ivory

from legal/ethical sources, was nonetheless confronted/harrassed by some on

this site about his sources and decided it wasn`t worth the headaches.

I have a pick that he made from, and partly in return for, an example

I gave him. It`s pretty awesome but basically irreplaceable. It`s not going to

get thrown into any audiences, that`s for sure.

 

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

Skipsounds on Soundclick:

www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandid=602491

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Diamond is another Allotrope of carbon it is second best as a conductor. It turns some of the acoustic energy in to heat.Diamond also is to hard to work with. Yes if you try to cross a border with Ivory you will get harrassed period. Also all stiff pins make a flat top sound better but over time can crack the bridge along the pin center line. That is why new guitars come with soft plastic bridge pins.
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So, Terrell, how 'bout some of them strings I mentioned? Some of those would definitely brighten your guitar, for sure...

 

 

As for the ivory offered by Bob Colosi:

 

WEST AFRICAN HARD IVORY

 

HISTORY and COOL INFORMATION: Hard Ivory came from smaller animals that lived in Western Africa and are referred to as Forest Elephants. The tusks are smaller, lighter in color and are measurably more dense than standard elephant tusks. The forest elephants of Congo and Liberia had very strict harvesting controls imposed by their respective governments, eliminating nearly all of the poaching. This is one reason for the extreme rarity of this ivory. Unlike other areas of Africa, they were overlooked by hunters as potential trophy elephants because of the diminutive size of their tusks. Additionally, if these elephants were legally hunted for any purpose, one tusk was allowed to be retained by the permit holder, the other was required to be turned into the government. For this reason it is nearly impossible to find these tusks in pairs, which adds to its rarity. Much of this material I currently have came from tusks which were exchanged as gifts (legally) between U.S. and African dignitaries in the early 20th century, and eventually sold at estate sales.

 

As with the soft elephant ivory, ALL the material I purchase is legally obtained through licensed ivory dealers and in keeping with all standing laws.

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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Diamond is another Allotrope of carbon it is second best as a conductor. It turns some of the acoustic energy in to heat.Diamond also is to hard to work with. Yes if you try to cross a border with Ivory you will get harrassed period. Also all stiff pins make a flat top sound better but over time can crack the bridge along the pin center line. That is why new guitars come with soft plastic bridge pins.

 

I wonder if it would help in that case, to slightly detune the strings if one is not playing the guitar.

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

Skipsounds on Soundclick:

www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandid=602491

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It would not hurt to take some of the tension off.Not letting the

wood get to wet or to dry or have a big temperature change is good too. We are going to make the carbon pins with the substrate (much softer carbon) exposed to the string and string end so it can take some of the torque off the bridge. You can do that with other pins that are stiff by adding a soft material in the string slot of the bridge pins. So you can have the tone shift and maybe not get the cracks. The cracks take time but most Luthiers that I have talked to think stiff pins are the main reason for bridge cracks.

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Isn't most of this cracking problem caused by the wood expanding and contracting against the harder bridge pins that are so snugly inserted, regardless of the tension loaded by the strings? That would seem to be the case, if softer plastic pins are less likely to cause this...

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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