do these parts do for the sound of my guitar?
Being a more dense material than factory-installed components, they serve as a much more efficient transmitter of the energy of the string to the top of the guitar, causing increased sustain and clarity, overtones, better separation and definition of the individual strings during strummed chords, and in many cases, increased projection. The saddle plays the biggest part, followed by the bridge pins. The nut "can" play a role in this regard, but only in specific circumstances, i.e. lots of open tunings, etc....so all in all, for the average player, the nut is not a huge sonic factor, if at all.
2. Are saddles easy to install?
YES! They take more patience than they do mechanical aptitude. If you can use a sheet of sandpaper, you can install a saddle. There are certain things that I would highly recommend the skilled hands of a luthier for. However, installing a saddle is a very “do-able” do-it-yourself job.
do I know what to do after I receive my saddle?
I know I cannot do this myself. Can you make one that is a perfect
“drop-in” fit for my guitar?
One other option is to send me your original! Copying your original will allow me to get it MUCH closer and minimize the amount of work it takes to fit.
My guitar is not listed on your website. Can I still get a saddle?
What is your return policy?
I've heard that natural material saddles such as bone and ivory can be inconsistent
and have dead spots. Is this true?
I've heard that unbleached bone is better sounding than bleached
bone. What gives?
If you whiten your bone with the proper solvents, as we do, it does absolutely ZERO harm to the piece and it will sound identical. The only difference is the color. I do keep a small amount of unbleached bone laying around, simply because some people like the aged, natural look.
What's up with the claims the "TUSQ is better than bone" as far as saddle
materials go. The people who make it seem to be pretty convinced,
and even have sound files and graphs to prove it! Plus, some large manufacturers
use it for their standard material.
2. Here's a good test. Check around with the most elite luthiers you can find... the ones that make 8, 10, 12, 15 thousand dollar (or more) hand-built instruments. You'll be hard pressed to find even one that does not use bone as the standard material for their nuts and saddles. Why? Because it's the best overall material and has been THE industry standard on stringed instruments for over a century. It's also no surprise that most of these builders also offer ivory components as optional upgrades. I love their parts on my PRS electric, but I'm just not a fan of plastic on any acoustic guitar.
What difference will bone or ivory bridge pins make on my guitar?
The bottom line: If you are going to hear a difference with a pin swap, it will be with a harder material pin and typically in the sustain department. ...and the results will absolutely vary from instrument to instrument. There are some guitars that show absolutely NO difference with one pin or the next. Some will show subtle differences and occasionally we'll find one that shows a significant, unarguable sonic difference.
Harmonics, overtones, brightness, more bass??? Yeah, maybe... some folks do find this to be true ...but not enough for me to even mention or create a false expectation of what the pins do. I always tell people if I had a definitive formula to determine what "your" results will be, I'd be a millionaire by now.
Non-sonic differences: Regardless of the above info, adding bone or ivory pins gives you a longer lasting component that in nearly every case, is of far better quality than factory-installed plastic or wood pins. Bone and ivory pins are generally considered to be a nicer esthetic appointment as well. I have a large number of customers and a few well known luthiers who simply use them because they look good and last a long time.
Do you make guitar nuts as well?
Do you sell saddle and nut blanks?
I got my saddle and it already fits in the bridge slot with a lot of play.
It’s too small! What’s up?
Do you offer discounts on large orders?
Bob, a guy in an online guitar forum told me.....
Sadly, many of them have turned into overpopulated playgrounds filled with bad information, childish commentary and anonymous expertise from people who have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. There are still a few good places left that are well-moderated, but they are few and far between. As a result, I rarely, if ever involve myself with them anymore.
Having 10,000 posts on a guitar forum or owning a dozen guitars does NOT directly equate to someone's level of technical expertise.....so if you have a question about something you read, feel free to ask and I'll give you the right answer. ...and not necessarily the one that ensures you buy something from me. Giving it to you straight is the best thing for both of us.
I sincerely don't mean for FAQ #15 to sound like a smartass diatribe. Ironically, my products are frequently discussed with rave reviews in every forum out there. ...talk about biting the hand that feeds you. But the reality is a majority of the tech information related to what I do that can be found in online forums is utter bullshit. Yeah, I said it. ...and I continue to get many questions on a weekly basis that start with the title of this FAQ, so I wanted to address it. Getting good online (accurate) technical guitar info is tough sometimes ....and I'm always very happy for the opportunity to give you the facts.