Topic: Materials for Bridge, Bridge Pins, and Nut

Since most moderately priced acoustics come with plastic nut, bridge, bridge pins, I've been considering upgrading to better materials. I'd be interested in opinions as to how much of a difference this makes, and people's opinions on the effect of different materials such as fossilized whatever, tusq, bone, etc.

Re: Materials for Bridge, Bridge Pins, and Nut

Welcome to chordie, cgtriplett. I have been giving a lotta thought into "BONING" my Takamime, lately. Only problem  I have is what material, when can I do this and where can I do this. The when and where is due to my living in a small town, wanting it done right and my work keeps me traveling all the time. I'm spending a lotta time in Houston, Tx., now, so I may find someone there to this for me. As to the materials I don't know what I want to use. I've heard good and bad from all different materials so I am confused, as well. From what I know "Tusq" is a manmade materials, readily available and provides an improved sound. Bone, I've heard of using horse, cow, etc. with gariffe being the hardest and best. Ivory, elephant or walrus, is harder to come by and not as hard as the fossilized materials. With the fossilized materials you can expect to pay "big bucks", get bragging rights because of the materials used, but may not get any better sound than some other materials. In all my research I now have the understanding to talk to as many people as you can who have had this done, pick a material and hope it does what you want it to. I've heard (read) varing reports ranging from little difference to a huge difference in sound from your guitar. I guess you gotta pay your money before you get on the ride. For me, I'm leaning toward a bone material - gariffe if I can find it at a price I can afford.


Re: Materials for Bridge, Bridge Pins, and Nut

Brass bridge pins are worth a try, I like them. by

Re: Materials for Bridge, Bridge Pins, and Nut

Fossilized Mammoth Ivory can add sustain, volume, and a transparent richness to your guitar, with an increase in harmonics & overtones!

Tusq can add a moderate amount of treble, sustain, clarity & volume to your guitar.

Bone offers everything Tusq provides, but in bigger doses.

Fossilized Walrus Ivory provides the greatest increase in volume, sustain & clarity among all the choices.

This was designed to show the diffrence in tone by changing bridge pin materials but the same rules should apply to saddle materials. Your biggest diffrence will come from the saddle. The bridge pins offer only a very slight change. The exception would be brass...Brass pins make a noticable diffrence in tone. A little too bright for my personal taste but others seem to like them. I usually favor either bone or ebony pins and a bone saddle. The ebony adds a bit of warmth and low end. Hope some of that was helpfull...Peace! -Pix

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Re: Materials for Bridge, Bridge Pins, and Nut

changing from plastic to just about any other nut material will usually make a nice, noticeable difference -but don't expect a radical change. I changed the plastic nut on a Sigma DR41 acoustic dreadnaught to bone -probably cow...  With the bone nut, this guitar sounded a little more refined, clearer, but only after I made my second nut. The first one got too low, with all my happy filing and sanding...

Now being encouraged, I replaced the plastic saddle with a bone saddle -even better. The final touch came from new brass pins. I believe these pins made the biggest difference. Of course, the guitar hasn't become a genuine Martin either, just a little better sounding, more fun to play. It was worth learning how to do it, and at least I didn't disfigure the guitar, or ruin it.

Play on!