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Thread: Are these upgrades worth it?

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by PittPastor View Post
    2 Questions:

    1) Do you play mostly pure acoustic, or do you play mostly plugged in?
    2) Did you personally notice any tone difference with the bone bridge pins? (Or were you going for an aesthetic improvement instead of tone?)
    1) I do a lot of both. If I only played plugged, I'd get a $200 Yamaha and be done with it.

    2) I went from old stings to new when I put in the pins, so of course it sounded better. Did the pins make any of the difference? I'd really have to play two identical guitars to know.

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by dreadnut View Post
    . . . Speaking of '76, here's my buddy's Tobacco 'burst D-35 next to my D-25M, we both bought them new in '76.
    Nice pix!

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Walter Broes View Post
    Saddle, absolutely. Replace the nut if/when it needs a new one. Leave the tuners alone if the original ones function well.
    That's pretty much what my guit fixer said.

    There's a chip out of the nut from a run-in with a sidewalk while busking. Hasn't affected the sound, but it might be a good excuse to replace it.

  4. #14
    Okay, I've nixed the tuner idea. I'll get a bone saddle and maybe a nut, too. Uh, probably a nut, too.

    Thanks for the suggestions, gang!

  5. #15
    Senior Member PittPastor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    1)

    2) I went from old stings to new when I put in the pins, so of course it sounded better. Did the pins make any of the difference? I'd really have to play two identical guitars to know.
    Thatís my issue. I had a bone saddle and bone nut put on my D40C. I honestly canít tell you what difference it makes. I guess I donít have the ear for it. Now changing strings? You bet. I can also hear the intonation... Iíll hear a note being sharp or flat moving up the frets. I can hear a string being flat or sharp in a strum... but the difference between a Tusq and bone saddle? Nope. I canít really hear it.

    Some guys say they can and I believe them. I just donít have the ear for it.

    Your question tho was ďIs it worth it?Ē

    How do you judge that? Itís only about $80 I think. Considering everything that isnít much. But you wonít get it back if you go to sell it. No oneís going to give you more for it because you list a bone nut. So if that is how you judge it... itís not worth it.

    But you said you love the guitar... so selling it isnít a consideration. You might always wonder ďwhat if?Ē If you donít. And itís reversible if you want to go back and forth...

    Like everyone says, itís kind of up to you and what youíre looking for.
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  6. #16
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    I put fresh strings and a new bone saddle on my Epiphone EJ-200 - sounded good.

    The very next day a set of bone pins that I'd ordered to replace the original plastic pins were delivered.

    So I took my time getting them to fit neatly and I think the guitar sounded even better - more sustain and a touch louder.

    1972 - Takamine D-70
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  7. #17
    Super Moderator fronobulax's Avatar
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    And now, another question from me that ultimately rests on ignorance and incorrect assumptions.

    I get that the saddle will have an effect on volume and probably tone. It is, after all, a direct physical connection to the top. I could argue either way for the nut but since the nut holds and constrains the vibrating string if someone else can hear a difference I won't argue with them. But bridge pins? What is the mechanism by which the material of a bridge pin effects tone and volume?

    I know that the pin effects the break angle over the saddle and that is important, but plastic and bone pins should give the same angle. If the string is vibrating between the saddle and the anchor point, is that enough to be heard? If we are going to worry about the pin material because of that should we also be concerned about the other end of the string - the distance between the nut and the tuners and the vibrational characteristics of the tuners? Perhaps because the bridge drives the top, it is the mass of the bridge pins and not the material that is making a difference?

    Basically, if a claim is made that bridge pins effect the sound and/or volume, how do they do that?
    Quote Originally Posted by mgod View Post
    What he said.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stuball48 View Post
    Frono: You are correct----again.

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  8. #18
    Super Moderator chazmo's Avatar
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    Fro, I don''t think that's ignorance or bad assumptions... But, keep in mind that the pins themselves do make direct contact with the string ends and the bridge/bridge-plate/soundboard. Theoretically, the shape and materials used for everything involved in that transfer of vibration/energy could have an effect on tone. Whether that effect is noticeable, or even "good" or "bad" is, of course, in the ears of the listener. :)
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  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by fronobulax View Post
    And now, another question from me that ultimately rests on ignorance and incorrect assumptions.

    I get that the saddle will have an effect on volume and probably tone. It is, after all, a direct physical connection to the top. I could argue either way for the nut but since the nut holds and constrains the vibrating string if someone else can hear a difference I won't argue with them. But bridge pins? What is the mechanism by which the material of a bridge pin effects tone and volume? . . .
    Dunno! Maybe it's because bone is harder than plastic. Maybe because it's more resonant. Different woods have different tones and loudness, so I imagine plastic, bone, brass, and torrefied Bazooka Joe all have different tones and loudness, too.

    Just guessing.

  10. #20
    Re: bridge pins
    I think it’s a matter of how solid they hold the strings terminal end at the soundboard. While plastic pins hold the pins in place, I think they don’t give as good a connection with the bridge, and, thus, the soundboard. While it may all be in the mind, I think there’s a direct correlation with mandolins. Many owners change out the original stamped steel tailpiece for a beefier solid cast bronze tailpiece, and claim a better sound.

    While the vibrations are focused at the saddle, I don’t think you can dismiss any part of the whole as not having some impact. Think about the difference between the sound of a slide on a guitar string, and a fretted note. They both provide a hard contact with the string to change its effective length, but there is a noticeable difference in the sound.


    And, Of course, guitars painted white sound better. Right Billy Corgan?
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