Go Back   Christian Guitar Forum > Musicians > Guitar
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Arcade Mark Forums Read

Reply
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Unread 05-27-2018, 08:40 AM   #1
Registered User
 
earlessdog's Avatar
 

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 5,791
Bone/Tusq Saddles, Pins and Nuts - Tonal Difference

I recently sold a few guitars and bought a Yamaha LL16 brand new. I really loved the sound in the shop, besides the brutally high stock action. I had the saddle shaved and the nut filed. Action is perfect now except at the nut it's still a little high for my liking, but its manageable for now, although I'm looking for affordable slot files that will work good enough to lower them a hair, any recommendations by experience with cheaper files?

Now, I am waiting on a response from Yamaha to confirm, but I'm quite certain that the nut and saddle are plastic, which drives me a little crazy as this is one of Yamaha's better guitars, I paid $900 CAD for it, and it does have a good sound, solid wood all around.
Now, I don't have the stock Elixirs on it, I will on my next change right now theres just phosphor bronze Martins, I don't actually like phosphor bronze, too treble-ie and bright, the 80/20 was smoother and more rounded on this guitar.

I did some reading and discovered that the material of the saddle and pins especially can change your tone rather significantly. As the guitar sounds nice as it is it's not a huge deal, but I'd really like to if anything let the guitar a little more rounded tonally if that makes sense. I've heard bone saddle and pins can make it brighter, though I'm not sure if thats what I want or not. I don't really know what tonal difference Tusq makes.

Does anyone have any experience with swapping out saddles and pins and even nuts to either bone, tusq or ebony and what the tonal differences were? Do you have any recommendations?

__________________
And in despair I bowed my head:
"There is no peace on earth," I said,
"For hate is strong, and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men."

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor does He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
earlessdog is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Unread 05-27-2018, 12:20 PM   #2
I am real super sand
 
Toast's Avatar
 

Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Flavortown
Posts: 5,621
I swapped the Tusq pins on my Seagull for Ebony, mostly for aesthetics, but didn't notice a big change in tone except that it was a tad warmer. I'm still using the stock Tusq nut and saddle, though.
__________________
Journal // I have a business! // What's a genre anyway?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillSPrestonEsq View Post
...wives are expensive upkeep...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwight Schrute View Post
Ben Toast, I have been sanctioned by the official CGRARC (Christian Guitar Resources Awesome-ness Recognition Committee) to declare that henceforth and hitherto, you are awesome.
Toast is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-27-2018, 01:04 PM   #3
Registered User
 
earlessdog's Avatar
 

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 5,791
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Toast View Post
I swapped the Tusq pins on my Seagull for Ebony, mostly for aesthetics, but didn't notice a big change in tone except that it was a tad warmer. I'm still using the stock Tusq nut and saddle, though.
That's awesome it came stock with tusq, I think I'd notice a bigger difference moving up from plastic to something like tusq.
__________________
And in despair I bowed my head:
"There is no peace on earth," I said,
"For hate is strong, and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men."

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor does He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
earlessdog is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-28-2018, 11:14 AM   #4
Registered User
 
mikesr1963's Avatar
 

Joined: Aug 2006
Location: East Coast of Virginia
Posts: 140
I recently replaced the nut and saddle on my beater guitar with a Tusq nut and saddle. The difference in tone, sustain, and volume was significant. As opposed to most reported tonal difference some report with their guitar upgrades this upgrade is an actual improvement over that plastic nut and saddle that will immediately impress you.
__________________
"These riffs were built to last a lifetime". Keith Richards.
BDR-529

Member:
Squier Army
Schecter Society
mikesr1963 is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-28-2018, 04:22 PM   #5
Registered User
 
earlessdog's Avatar
 

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 5,791
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikesr1963 View Post
I recently replaced the nut and saddle on my beater guitar with a Tusq nut and saddle. The difference in tone, sustain, and volume was significant. As opposed to most reported tonal difference some report with their guitar upgrades this upgrade is an actual improvement over that plastic nut and saddle that will immediately impress you.
What kind of tone difference did it make?
__________________
And in despair I bowed my head:
"There is no peace on earth," I said,
"For hate is strong, and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men."

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor does He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
earlessdog is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-28-2018, 04:40 PM   #6
Registered User
 
mikesr1963's Avatar
 

Joined: Aug 2006
Location: East Coast of Virginia
Posts: 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by earlessdog View Post
What kind of tone difference did it make?
The plastic nut and saddle gave my beater a muffled effect more noticeable on the big E and A strings. Tusq removed that. The same week I replaced the nut and saddle I went to GC and played some Taylor guitars. The tone improvements were in that direction. A lot in that direction.
__________________
"These riffs were built to last a lifetime". Keith Richards.
BDR-529

Member:
Squier Army
Schecter Society
mikesr1963 is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-30-2018, 08:54 PM   #7
Registered User
 
darfaz's Avatar
 

Joined: Dec 2004
Location: Coal City, IL
Posts: 581
I replaced a Tusq saddle with bone from Bob Colosi (guitarsaddles.com) on my Taylor 414. I did notice a tone difference. Not necessarily better or worse, just different. I would say it had more string separation and articulation with the bone saddle.

I had a Yamaha Dred once. It was a FG-04LTD and was a really nice guitar. I always wanted to replace the saddle because I didn't think the plastic stock saddle was bringing out the best in the guitar. I would at least try a bone or tusq saddle.
darfaz is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 06-01-2018, 02:36 PM   #8
Registered User
 
mikesr1963's Avatar
 

Joined: Aug 2006
Location: East Coast of Virginia
Posts: 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by darfaz View Post
I replaced a Tusq saddle with bone from Bob Colosi (guitarsaddles.com) on my Taylor 414. I did notice a tone difference. Not necessarily better or worse, just different. I would say it had more string separation and articulation with the bone saddle.

I had a Yamaha Dred once. It was a FG-04LTD and was a really nice guitar. I always wanted to replace the saddle because I didn't think the plastic stock saddle was bringing out the best in the guitar. I would at least try a bone or tusq saddle.
Taylor guitars usually come with Tusq nuts and saddles.
__________________
"These riffs were built to last a lifetime". Keith Richards.
BDR-529

Member:
Squier Army
Schecter Society
mikesr1963 is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 06-04-2018, 09:17 PM   #9
Registered User
 
earlessdog's Avatar
 

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 5,791
Well I ordered a bone saddle from Bob Colosi, down the road I might order some bone bridge pins from him too, but that's not a very big deal, I'll try the saddle first, hopefully I don't botch it as I sand the bottom lower. I don't have the bridge yet, hopefully next week.

I've used Elixir Nanowebs for 10 years, never tried Poly, I ordered a pack. So I'll try the bone saddle for the 6 months using a pack of Poly custom lights and then my trusty Nano custom lights. I love the sound of regular lights, but I'm so used to playing custom lights that I'm going back to them.

I shouldn't look at other guitars especially after buying a new one, but I'm interested in comparing sounds to the Yamaha AC3R, that's a nice looking guitar and probably has a nice low end.

Anyway, I'm loving my LL16, I love the simple classic look with the cream colour binding and edges of the neck and headstock, it's very pleasing to my eyes, and as I don't perform I love that the pickup is simple and doesn't need batteries and doesn't have a tacky preamp control.

If I eventually start volunteering to play in Church and keep at it, I might start wishing I had preamp controls on the guitar, but I'll cross that bridge when I get there.

It just feels like a solid and well built guitar, I'm so impressed and reassured after seeing it was made in China. It's made in China, but by luthiers in a Yamaha plant or something like that. Holding it it just feels more like a guitar than my friends lower end Martin ($1100 Martin).
__________________
And in despair I bowed my head:
"There is no peace on earth," I said,
"For hate is strong, and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men."

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor does He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
earlessdog is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 06-07-2018, 05:51 PM   #10
Registered User
 
darfaz's Avatar
 

Joined: Dec 2004
Location: Coal City, IL
Posts: 581
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikesr1963 View Post
Taylor guitars usually come with Tusq nuts and saddles.
That's why I replaced my Tusq saddle with a bone one in my Taylor. I just wanted to see what the difference was. From my understanding, Taylor uses Tusq because they claim it is more consistent in it's density as compared to bone, which has density variance due to its natural origin.

@earlessdog, enjoy dropping the new saddle in. I'm mechanically backwards and even I was able to get the bone saddle to fit.

There are people who adore Yamaha's of all types (surprised Mathminnick hasn't chimed in yet). I have played some nice yamaha L series, so your impression with this guitar is certainly understood.
darfaz is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 06-09-2018, 04:24 PM   #11
...
Administrator
 
thesteve's Avatar
 

Joined: Apr 2001
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 30,142
Send a message via AIM to thesteve
I think the saddle on my cheap Mitchell is bone. Since I got that swapped from plastic, the guitar is a little louder and sounds more musical vs the plastic. Tonally...eh, I don't know know if it sounds more rich because of the saddle or just because it's louder (which, granted, is because of the saddle).
__________________
We've all got ideas. We are the music makers. We make money to buy things, and write down words.

I'm a podcaster
thesteve is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-17-2018, 07:45 AM   #12
Registered User
 
earlessdog's Avatar
 

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 5,791
Having had the bone in for a while now, I'll give my thoughts.
Definitely sounds different, I could tell right away. Some of these differences could be linked to the guitar 'opening' over time so far, at any rate I love this guitar and it sounds fantastic.
After putting in the bone saddle, the first thing I thought I noticed was a taming down of some of the high end sharpness. It didn't sound bad before, just a little too much, I thought.
It also somehow seemed to define the each string moreso in a strum than before, I don't know if thats in my head or what, but I thought I noticed that as well.
One thing I was told and read everywhere is that bone increases sustain quite substantially, oddly enough I haven't noticed that at all, in fact at times I almost thought there is less sustain than before. At any rate, I wouldn't say it improved the sustain, not that the sustain needed improving in the first place, thats never been a complaint but it would have been nice.

Overall, I like it, I wouldn't necessarily say it's 'better' than the synthetic Urea that was in there, that would depend on the players preferences, but it definitely is different and so far I like it. I might put the Urea one back in next time I change strings just to compare again.
Was it worth the $50 CAD it took to buy it and have it shipped? Maybe, after I compare if it was as sharp sounding as I thought it was with the Urea I'll know better, but I won't do that until another couple months at least as I use Elixirs.

I would also like to experiment with bone bridge pins next, which will also cost me a fortune at about $50 CAD shipped. So that will be down the road.
__________________
And in despair I bowed my head:
"There is no peace on earth," I said,
"For hate is strong, and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men."

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor does He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
earlessdog is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-18-2018, 06:56 PM   #13
Registered User
 
mikesr1963's Avatar
 

Joined: Aug 2006
Location: East Coast of Virginia
Posts: 140
You won't notice any difference with bone bridge pins. Before I put that kind of cash in pins I would buy a set of Power Pins 2.0.



Quote:
Originally Posted by earlessdog View Post
Having had the bone in for a while now, I'll give my thoughts.
Definitely sounds different, I could tell right away. Some of these differences could be linked to the guitar 'opening' over time so far, at any rate I love this guitar and it sounds fantastic.
After putting in the bone saddle, the first thing I thought I noticed was a taming down of some of the high end sharpness. It didn't sound bad before, just a little too much, I thought.
It also somehow seemed to define the each string moreso in a strum than before, I don't know if thats in my head or what, but I thought I noticed that as well.
One thing I was told and read everywhere is that bone increases sustain quite substantially, oddly enough I haven't noticed that at all, in fact at times I almost thought there is less sustain than before. At any rate, I wouldn't say it improved the sustain, not that the sustain needed improving in the first place, thats never been a complaint but it would have been nice.

Overall, I like it, I wouldn't necessarily say it's 'better' than the synthetic Urea that was in there, that would depend on the players preferences, but it definitely is different and so far I like it. I might put the Urea one back in next time I change strings just to compare again.
Was it worth the $50 CAD it took to buy it and have it shipped? Maybe, after I compare if it was as sharp sounding as I thought it was with the Urea I'll know better, but I won't do that until another couple months at least as I use Elixirs.

I would also like to experiment with bone bridge pins next, which will also cost me a fortune at about $50 CAD shipped. So that will be down the road.
__________________
"These riffs were built to last a lifetime". Keith Richards.
BDR-529

Member:
Squier Army
Schecter Society
mikesr1963 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:07 AM.


Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2