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Gold Power Pins Nick Dow

GUEST,Nick Dow 15 Apr 15 - 12:54 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 15 Apr 15 - 01:13 PM
GUEST,# 15 Apr 15 - 02:55 PM
Backwoodsman 15 Apr 15 - 03:08 PM
Stanron 16 Apr 15 - 04:06 AM
GUEST,alex s no cookie 16 Apr 15 - 09:08 AM
GUEST,# 16 Apr 15 - 09:35 AM
Musket 16 Apr 15 - 09:46 AM
Backwoodsman 16 Apr 15 - 11:34 AM
Musket 16 Apr 15 - 12:07 PM
Backwoodsman 16 Apr 15 - 12:25 PM
Musket 16 Apr 15 - 12:37 PM
Backwoodsman 16 Apr 15 - 01:11 PM
Musket 16 Apr 15 - 01:49 PM
Backwoodsman 16 Apr 15 - 02:02 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 16 Apr 15 - 03:54 PM
The Sandman 17 Apr 15 - 02:41 AM
Backwoodsman 17 Apr 15 - 04:35 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 17 Apr 15 - 05:07 AM
Backwoodsman 17 Apr 15 - 06:23 AM
GUEST,guest, Brian 17 Apr 15 - 06:41 AM
Backwoodsman 17 Apr 15 - 06:47 AM
GUEST,# 17 Apr 15 - 08:55 AM
Musket 17 Apr 15 - 09:27 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 17 Apr 15 - 12:15 PM
Musket 18 Apr 15 - 02:09 AM
Backwoodsman 18 Apr 15 - 04:11 AM
Backwoodsman 18 Apr 15 - 04:12 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 18 Apr 15 - 09:33 AM
GUEST,# 18 Apr 15 - 09:44 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 18 Apr 15 - 10:10 AM
GUEST,# 18 Apr 15 - 11:01 AM
Backwoodsman 18 Apr 15 - 11:17 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 18 Apr 15 - 11:29 AM
GUEST,# 18 Apr 15 - 12:01 PM
Stanron 18 Apr 15 - 12:41 PM
GUEST 18 Apr 15 - 01:03 PM
GUEST,# 18 Apr 15 - 01:03 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 18 Apr 15 - 05:47 PM
GUEST,# 18 Apr 15 - 08:09 PM
Musket 19 Apr 15 - 03:13 AM
FreddyHeadey 19 Apr 15 - 06:54 AM
Backwoodsman 19 Apr 15 - 08:10 AM
GUEST,# 19 Apr 15 - 10:31 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 19 Apr 15 - 10:39 AM
GUEST,# 19 Apr 15 - 10:40 AM
Backwoodsman 19 Apr 15 - 10:51 AM
GUEST,# 19 Apr 15 - 11:38 AM
Musket 19 Apr 15 - 01:32 PM
GUEST,# 19 Apr 15 - 01:34 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 23 Apr 15 - 09:27 AM
Backwoodsman 23 Apr 15 - 10:25 AM
GUEST,# 23 Apr 15 - 10:28 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 23 Apr 15 - 11:57 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 23 Apr 15 - 12:43 PM
The Sandman 23 Apr 15 - 12:48 PM
Backwoodsman 08 Jun 15 - 02:59 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 08 Jun 15 - 08:36 AM
Backwoodsman 08 Jun 15 - 08:51 AM
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Subject: Review: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 15 Apr 15 - 12:54 PM

I am just about to try a set of Power Pins on the bridge of one of my acoustics. Has anybody tried them out yet?


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 15 Apr 15 - 01:13 PM

Check them out on Big Rock Engineering and You tube


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: GUEST,#
Date: 15 Apr 15 - 02:55 PM

Here's a link to YouTube BRE Power Pins.

Thank you for bringing this up, Nick. I'd never heard of them before now.


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 15 Apr 15 - 03:08 PM

One of the guitar forums I lurk around on had quite a bit to say about them. The general feeling seemed to be that they are the guitar equivalent of snake-oil, and an answer to a non-existent problem.

My concern would be the mass they add to the bridge.

But, each to his own - give them a try and report back, please - enquiring minds need to know!


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: Stanron
Date: 16 Apr 15 - 04:06 AM

Big Rock Power Pins appear to like to use forums like this to get free advertising. It won't be so obvious here because people can post as GUEST but as the thread slows down it will get revived again by the same interested parties.


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: GUEST,alex s no cookie
Date: 16 Apr 15 - 09:08 AM

Stanron, are you suggesting that Nick's name has been hijacked?


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: GUEST,#
Date: 16 Apr 15 - 09:35 AM

From a Gibson chat site.


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: Musket
Date: 16 Apr 15 - 09:46 AM

A lot of snake oil indeed concerning pins.

However, Backwoodsman mentions adding mass to the bridge. There can be occasions when this helps. I have a guitar (Backwoodsman has heard me play it coincidentally) made by a local luthier that has a small light bridge made of lacewood to match the back and sides.

I had an annoying buzz which tightening the machine heads, dressing the zero fret, graphite in the nut channels etc just didn't cure. Last week I bought some brass pins as a bit of a last resort. I don't pretend to be an expert on guitars as such but my PhD in mechanical vibration does help the old thought process at times.

I seemed to be correct. The buzz on the top two strings has disappeared and recording a tune before and after and analysing the wave form afterwards (sad old Musket) I can say with confidence that the seeming increase in richness of tone as a bonus seems to be borne out.

Chuffed to bits!

The bridge pins are Pinz by name, bought from Strings Direct, about £24.

(I first bought some brass ones from Amazon for £2.95. Took three weeks from China and once I got them decided to buff off the awful gold paint. I felt and looked a right prat when it revealed monkey metal cheap steel!!!)


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 16 Apr 15 - 11:34 AM

Are you sure the buzz wasn't a ball-end rattling because it wasn't seated properly up to the bridge-plate? That's one of the most common causes of rattles and buzzes from the bridge-area. Removing the pins and re-seating the ball ends ( as you did by changing the pins) will cure it.


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: Musket
Date: 16 Apr 15 - 12:07 PM

Been there.. It wasn't a buzz in the traditional sense as more of a dullness at some frequencies followed by interference buzz at others. The brass ones are thinner than the wooden ones Albert made for it. They drop in and the string tension holds them there, so quite the opposite in fact.

Clockwise moments equalling anti Clockwise moments and all that, the relatively large amount of mass added close to the fulcrum point (saddle) on the other side as it were does alter the string characteristic as the m x d on the other side alters.

For most guitars, this would indeed be snake oil, as the relative change in mass of the bridge and the rigidity of different bracing styles more than makes the small extra mass irrelevant. I proved this by taking out the tusq pins in my Rainsong and trying the same experiment. No difference... Remember the Rainsong has no bracing and the rigidity of the carbon fibre does the work so brass pins shouldn't make a bit of difference and indeed they don't.

I don't buy into different tones from different material of pins but laws of physics dictate differences between certain variables and the extra mass from brass on very lightly braced guitars with small light bridges should have an effect of the decay of the string force and in this case did, enough to overcome a small but annoying problem. (Putting 012s on helped too but not enough, and I want 011s on this anyway.

Incidentally, I sprayed the cheap Chinese steel ones to match that old Jim Harley I have. They look good but make bugger all difference to the sound.....


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 16 Apr 15 - 12:25 PM

Yeah, it was just a thought...

I do believe that different pin materials **can** make **some** difference in tone, but I suspect that, often, it's so little that you'd need an oscilloscope to see it, and I don't believe that the human ear could detect it..

I also believe that properly-reamed pin-holes and properly-fitted pins has more effect on tone than pin-material alone.

I have heard a difference - when I changed the plastic pins to ebony on my D-18 - but it wasn't a huge difference, and I'm sure that pick-technique has considerably more effect than pin-material.


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: Musket
Date: 16 Apr 15 - 12:37 PM

True. The waveform I looked at on screen was to all intent and purpose an oscilloscope reading...

A good interference fit of any type will top trump a loose fit of another.   The string coming up and tensioning it versus getting stuck lower down... You mention reaming. In an engineering sense, a round but rough hole should bed a pin better than a smooth as the tapered pin is in a straight hole, unless you have a female hole at the same taper as the pin, but I wouldn't recommend trying to get the bugger out!

There is something in tolerances though. Playing with a Collings D2H I borrowed right now. Absolute bloody perfection! (Don't tell Mr Windle I said that. He might think I will buy it! Bad enough having just bought a bouzouki and some more pa gear.)


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 16 Apr 15 - 01:11 PM

The pin-holes in my Martins are reamed to a 5-deg taper, sized to the pins, and slotted. The pins are solid - no slots - and the string ball-ends hook firmly under the bridge-plate. They don't push and 'lock' the pins, and they don't try to creep back up the hole. The pins are properly fitted to the holes to stay in place without string pressure, and are **just tight enough** that they don't fall out if the guitar is held top-down. I can get them out by finger pressure only, but if one is a bit reluctant to come out a little push with a finger on the bottom end will release it.

That's the traditional method for Martins, which was sadly dispensed with in the interests of cost-saving back in the '70s, I believe.

That collings should be good - four grand says so! 😃👍


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: Musket
Date: 16 Apr 15 - 01:49 PM

You live and learn. Never knew they did tapered holes. A true interference fit would need a side drift to get the buggers out! (I remember the radial arm drills we had in the fitting shop at Manton Pit. Once had to warm one up to get the bugger out as I got the drift stuck too). 😳

Yeah The Collings is good. Trying not to decide how good.....


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 16 Apr 15 - 02:02 PM

Yep, it's amazing how much trivia someone can pack into the grey matter over a 68-year period!


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 16 Apr 15 - 03:54 PM

Yes it really is me not the company. I intend to test the pins live on BBC Radio Lancashire. I have got a practice/session guitar that is a 10 year old Yamaha DW10 Solid top but laminate Rosewood sides and back. If these pins brighten up the sound as I hope. I may fit a Fishman and use it on stage as a second guitar. I feel that these pins have not had a fair hearing, and I'll be doing a telephone interview with the company, playing the guitar before and after the pin change and allowing the listeners to make up their own minds. I think it's a worthwhile experiment. The company are all for it.


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Apr 15 - 02:41 AM

best of luck with it, of course its a worthwhile experiment. it is a good idea that someone like yourself [who can play well] [unlike so many people who post on the net and pretend to be experts], tries it out.


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 17 Apr 15 - 04:35 AM

Nick, is the programme streamed or on 'Play It Again'? It would be very interesting to hear the results, although I'm very happy with the way my Martins sound already, and changing strings the traditional way is not a problem for me. And, of course, my Lowden doesn't have pins!


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 17 Apr 15 - 05:07 AM

Yes there is a listen again facility. Thanks for asking. I've just got to wait for the pins arriving from America then all systems go. It was the Lowden system that inspired the pins as I understand.


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 17 Apr 15 - 06:23 AM

Thanks Nick. Will you post on here when it's available please?

I just watched the installation video, and I'm bemused by their claim that the power-pins 'improve intonation'. I realise that, in some people's view, I'm not an expert, just 'someone who posts on the net pretending to be an expert' (although God alone knows why, I've certainly never made that claim. Unlike some people who post on the net, I make a point of never boasting about my skills and talents), but I really don't understand how a bridge-pin, which is outside the scale-length of the string between the two break-points, can affect intonation. I'm acquainted with a number of respected luthiers, unarguably experts, and I've never heard any of them claim that bridge-pins have an effect on intonation - tone certainly, but not intonation.

Perhaps someone around here who is, or claims to be, an expert can educate me?

Power-Pins Installation Video


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: GUEST,guest, Brian
Date: 17 Apr 15 - 06:41 AM

I've had the opportunity to try power pins. I have studied the website info. but kept quiet until I could try them out and offer first hand information as well as opinion.

I think they do alter the sound, and on the instruments I was using (Bown JJ, Sigma 00028V) all went quite well. They are both, however, terrific instruments with "normal" pins. Sustain and brightness were enhanced - to my tin ears anyway.

However, both instruments (once set up to play properly with a comfortable action right up the neck) have only about 2.4mm saddle showing above the bridge. The take off point in the power pins through which the string passes is approx. 1 - 1.5mm (depending on string thickness) above the bottom surface of the pin which rests on the bridge top. The break angle over the saddle is thus reduced and is inadequate (on these instruments, and most that I encounter on a daily basis) for:-

a] a balanced acoustic sound (top e and b sound weedy, may even buzz on the saddle)

and

b] a balanced electric response using an under-saddle transducer (insufficient pressure on bug to get a decent signal)

Possible solutions to restore break angle identified so far are: -

1 - Use normal pins on strings 1 and 2 to recover break angle - Worked well (but strings 1 and 2 therefore lack the magical benefits of the power pins - hardly noticed the difference)

2 - Plane down the bridge to allow more saddle to show, thus allowing the break angle to be maintained in spite of the raised string take-off point. Not done - not my guitars.

3 - Machine/file off the base of the power pins so the take-off point of the string is ON the bridge top, not 1mm above it. Not done - not my pins.

4- Reset the neck - a bit much to accommodate a set of fancy bridge pins don't you think?

5] Re-design the lower face of the power pins to achieve number 3. Could/should have been picked up at the initial design stage - not my remit.

A note from the manufacturer on the website/in their promotional material that on some (most?) instruments some modification of the bridge may be necessary to accommodate the new pin design might be appropriate (honest?).

Also the critical dimension (string to bridge top) could/should be included in the "engineering drawing" on the website (dimensions shown are edited highlights). That would at least allow potential purchasers to make an informed choice about whether the things will work on their own instrument without having to pay a tech. to modify either the pins or the bridge (or buy the pins only to find they don't suit without modification).

Mr Lowden does indeed use a system utilising these principles for string attachment, as do several other makers, but the strings emerge almost at the level of the instrument top (not bridge top) before passing over the saddle at the appropriate break angle.

Sorry to go on a bit, but my findings are based on first hand experience and I hope my observations/suggestions identify product design issues and potential solutions. I hope my findings are of some use to potential purchasers.

Back to the bench!

Brian


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 17 Apr 15 - 06:47 AM

Thanks Brian, good stuff and well-explained.


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: GUEST,#
Date: 17 Apr 15 - 08:55 AM

One question: is the sound quality improvement worth the cost/time of fooling around with a good instrument? In other words, is the game worth the candle?


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: Musket
Date: 17 Apr 15 - 09:27 AM

Interesting comment from Brian regarding some strings having different arrangement to others. Someone said the other day that Martin have a Martin Carthy custom with brass pins on two strings.

Like I said before, not being an expert on guitars but having interfered with mechanical vibration most of my working life, the effective mass in close proximity to the saddle in its job as the fulcrum point will produce a slightly different effect on the resultant wave(s) on the string, and whist small, becomes the fundamental that is amplified. A simple consideration of moments of forces tells you that your rest state is different with a change in effective mass within the system. (I say "effective" as it is not a system in isolation. The guitar body is part of the mass but the closer to the fulcrum the more it affects the "other side" where the strings are being plucked.)

The break angle as a variable will make a difference too of course, especially on the wound strings as will lots of other things. Having looked at a few websites out of curiosity and playing around with some of my cheaper guitars, it is difficult to state categorically that you have only changed one variable at a time. For instance, fully loosening and retightening the strings alters the tensility of them...... How flat is your saddle bottom? Is it sat on timber or a soft piezo strip?

If it sounds better you have done well, as I somehow managed with a guitar the other day and brass pins. If it makes bugger all difference, you have other things to try.

You know, a bit like with HiFi, it can make bugger all difference but you can convince yourself it does.


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 17 Apr 15 - 12:15 PM

Do they do matching cufflinks, tie pins, and golf tees...

Presentation gift boxes for that old uncle you hope'll remember you in his will...???😜


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: Musket
Date: 18 Apr 15 - 02:09 AM

Every view is valid when the discussion is around how something sounds. I went from .012 to.011 strings on a guitar over the course of a festival, having played in a band on the Friday night and again Sunday afternoon. I thought the sound improved but Dick Gaughan, who let's admit, has an ear for such things, said my guitar didn't sound as nice as the other night. Flattered that he noticed to be honest.

Same with this. We can discuss the technical ins and outs all day. Some of us can input the physics, some can talk intonation and playability.

But beauty remains in the ear of the beholder.


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 18 Apr 15 - 04:11 AM

It doesn't really take an expert to determine whether the tone of your instrument changes under certain circumstances though, does it?

I can hear differences in tone in my guitars when I change bridge-pins, for instance from bone to ebony. I can hear differences in times of high or low RH. It doesn't need an expert, it just needs a half-decent ear.

The biggest tone-changers to an instrument are strings, picks, saddle-materials and, of course, the player's technique. Bridge-pins can affect tone (although that's not necessarily a certainty), but changes in tone resulting from changing pins tend to be fairly minor.

IMHO, not as any kind of self-professed 'expert', just someone who has played the guitar as a semi-pro for fifty-four years, and who has done a fair amount of maintenance and modification work on his many guitars during that time.

And I'm still bemused by the claim by Power Pins' web video that the pins influence intonation.


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 18 Apr 15 - 04:12 AM

That should have been "as an amateur and semi-pro".


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 18 Apr 15 - 09:33 AM

I'm by no means a tech expert.
I just plug the bloody things into a fuzz box...

Having said that...

"And I'm still bemused by the claim by Power Pins' web video that the pins influence intonation."

.. unless maybe.. these fancy pins affect string tension..???
Can a slight slacking in tension make any perceivable positive difference by a few cents
to reducing how sharp a fretted note will intonate...????

or if the pins increase tension..????


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: GUEST,#
Date: 18 Apr 15 - 09:44 AM

I fail to understand how a string that's 'tensioned' between the nut and the bridge can change intonation. Tighten the tension and the note will rise or fall; that is, the string will vibrate faster thus raising the pitch or vibrate slower thus lowering the pitch. What am I missing here?


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 18 Apr 15 - 10:10 AM

I'm not too clear in my own mind to be honest...


But one key factor should be the different dimensions of fret wire
ie.. thin, fat, high, low...???

Some guitarists play with a light touch, others dig in
pushing the string right down deep into the wood of the fretboard.

I've got guitars with dodgy intonation where I've got to be careful
not to fret too tight and noticeably sharpen the notes
around the regions of the bridge or the 12th fret..


[btw.. something in the back of my mind, but probably not that relevant to this discussion.. ???

Newtone Strings :

"With the popularity of dropped and altered tunings we often talk to players who assume that they will achieve a lower pitch simply by buying a thicker string. Often this does not solve the problem because the core wire in the thicker string is the same diameter as the core in the standard string, and therefore will feel too slack if a considerably lower tuning than standard is desired. So we make a string with a larger diameter core which will tune to the desired pitch and still have the tension of a standard tuning string."]


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: GUEST,#
Date: 18 Apr 15 - 11:01 AM

pfr, thank you. However, the string tension you speak of changes as you press harder or softer on the string. What do the pins have to do with that given they are not on the playing field? (That's not addressed to you specifically.)

There seems to be some confusion in my mind as to what intonation means. I'm hoping someone can inform me in a simple manner--mostly because I have a simple brain.


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 18 Apr 15 - 11:17 AM

Explanation of Intonation

I believe that the Power-Pins video conflates intonation with tuning stability.
Badly-seated ball-ends and bridge-pins do not affect intonation, but they can and do affect tuning stability. Intonation and tuning stability are not the same thing.


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 18 Apr 15 - 11:29 AM

Actually.. why in the 21st century do acoustic guitars still rely on non adjustable bridge saddles, and pins;
even those compensated saddles...???

Hasn't anyone patented a reliable, economical alternative that provides adjustment for each individual string,
whilst preserving tone and sustain...???

I've got cheap archtops with tune-o-matic style floating bridges
which arguably, aren't a much better solution.

But surely...?????😕


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: GUEST,#
Date: 18 Apr 15 - 12:01 PM

Backwoodsman: you have just cleared up a long-standing puzzle for me. Thank you. Incidentally, I'm not a guitar novice. I have about 25 years experience--not your depth of experience, but substantial nevertheless.

pfr: The problem with saddles that don't adjust is that when ya change strings from say medium lights to mediums, you're stuck with what the guitar was set up for because there's no way to allow for different diameter strings. Saddles that allow individual-string adjustment would be a boon if there were any good/effective ones out there.

I would willingly be instructed/corrected on anything I've said :-)


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: Stanron
Date: 18 Apr 15 - 12:41 PM

PFR The standard acoustic bridge is adjustable. But usually only by a guitar tech or luthier. The point is that once the guitar is stable and properly set up there is no need for adjustment unless the string gauge is changed. Ideally then a new saddle is fashioned and if it is decided to go back to the original gauge the original saddle is put back. I long ago found my ideal string set and also learned to make my own saddles.

All the famous name flat top adjustable bridges have proved to be unpopular, heavy tone suckers and discontinued.


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Apr 15 - 01:03 PM

Stanron, that's brilliant.


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: GUEST,#
Date: 18 Apr 15 - 01:03 PM

That was me.


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 18 Apr 15 - 05:47 PM

Judging by all the interest it was a good idea of mine. At the moment I am in the minefield of what I can or cant say or do on air without breaking the BBC code of conduct, so its higher up the food chain. Meanwhile I am going to try and get a bigger name than me to test the guitar before and after. This involves management companies, and a budget. I am heavily involved as a presenter with a six hour broadcast from the Great British RnB festival in Colne in August, so I might call in a couple of favours. I will get back to the company about the bridge insert. No good having a great tone if the action is impossible after. I'll keep you posted.


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: GUEST,#
Date: 18 Apr 15 - 08:09 PM

Thank you, Nick. I'm looking forward to your take on it.


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: Musket
Date: 19 Apr 15 - 03:13 AM

I suppose if intonation COULD be altered by such things, we wouldn't be getting so hot under the collar over sawing up endangered hardwoods....

😎

Sadly though, and my interpretation of intonation is similar to everyone else's here, it can't really. However, if certain harmonics that were damped at saddle / bridge level are now passed into the guitar top, then their ference / interference with other harmonics and indeed fundamental waves may well colour the resultant sound differently. If you want to call that intonation, I'll not put my tanks on your lawn.


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 19 Apr 15 - 06:54 AM

GUEST,# - PM 
Date: 18 Apr 15 - 11:01 AM 
,...
There seems to be some confusion in my mind as to what intonation means. I'm hoping someone can inform me in a simple manner--mostly because I have a simple brain.


I'm not a guitarist and I think I've always though 'intonation' referred to how bright or dull/boring something sounded. So I'm glad you prompted me to look at what Wikipedia had to say.

wikipedia.org/wiki/Intonation_(music)
"... also causes a slight secondary raise in pitch because pushing the string increases its tension. If the instrument doesn't compensate for this with a slight increase in the distance from the bridge saddle to the fret, the note sounds sharp."

wikipedia.org/wiki/Intonation_(linguistics)
the bit " ...concomitant variation in other prosodic features. " lost me but I do feel better educated now!


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 19 Apr 15 - 08:10 AM

It's all explained in the article I linked to in my post of 18 APR 15 - 11:17 AM. Here it is again...

Explanation of intonation, and what factors affect it on an acoustic guitar

NB - Whilst a number of factors are listed in the article which affect a guitar's intonation, bridge pins aren't amongst them.


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: GUEST,#
Date: 19 Apr 15 - 10:31 AM

Thank you very much for the Wiki article, Freddy Headey. It seems that tension is being used interchangeably with pitch or tuning. I see that now.

I think the article would be improved were it to address frequency and vibration because it make the understanding of why fretted instruments have various difficulties so much easier to get a grip on.

Let's take a string and tension (tune) it to A 440. That string will vibrate at 440 times per second thus producing an A note. The same thing will happen with anything that vibrates at 440 times per second. A column of air in a slide trombone, a drum head, a piece of metal, a violin string, a guitar string--virtually anything.

Suppose the guitar string in question is 24" in length from the nut to the top point of the saddle and is tensioned (tuned) so that it vibrates at 440 times a second. The note that sounds will be an A, no ifs, buts or maybes.

http://onlinetonegenerator.com/

That link is easy to use for this. When the frequency is 440/sec, an A note will be the result. If we half the string length which is what we do by playing the string at fret 12, we will get a frequency of 880/sec, and if we half it again (with say a steel knife), we will get a frequency of 1760/sec. They are all A notes. In theory we could do this to infinity, but because strings have a diameter, in real life we can't. Besides, we couldn't hear the results anyway. Now, set the frequency to 220/sec (that is, double the length of the string that produced an A 440) and it vibrates at half the rate but it still produces an A note. Keep in mind that calling a string that vibrates at 440/sec an A was a matter of choice. It's simply a convention used by musicians around the world. A at one time not so long ago was the note produced by a string that vibrated at 432/sec and that was accepted by many musicians around the world. Things have changed. Clear so far I hope. There are things that can alter the notes we hear: things that slow or speed up the sound wave--listen to a passing train when the whistle is blowing. The note it generates will drop as it speeds away from us. That's called the Doppler effect. Intrinsically, we know the train is making the same note, but because the sound waves that reach us take longer to reach us as the train moves on down the line, the note drops in frequency to our ear.

Frets simply make hitting notes easier. (It's hard to slip into a D13 b5 b9 on a fretless guitar.) Measure from the nut of your guitar to the saddle (that's the white piece of plastic, ivory or steel that sits on the bridge). Make note of the distance--lets say it's 24" (makes the math easier). Next, measure from the nut to the 12th fret. You should get a measure of 12". If the 24 inch string give an A note, so will the 12" string, but it will be an octave higher. (We accept that we haven't changed string tension/tuning in the interim.) Frets are placed where they are based on math.

The string tensioning when the fingers get into it is another potential problem source. Pressing a string harder results in increased note frequency—because the rate of vibration per second increases, thus making the note sound higher/sharper. A vibrato arm does exactly that by increasing or decreasing string tension. The neatest sound (it's so rare to encounter) is the sound generated by a high tension wire in 40 below zero. Make that wire vibrate and it will generate a frequency and we'll hear some sort of note. If the wire is vibrating at 440 time a second, we meet our old friend A again.

Anyway, I'll shut up now. Sorry to rattle on :-)


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 19 Apr 15 - 10:39 AM

It's not entirely relevant here... but who remembers that daft fad for scalloped fretboards...???

... or was it daft..????😕


I do remember some 20 years ago seeing a fair few bodged & ruined DIY scalloped strat copies
hanging on guitar shop walls...


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: GUEST,#
Date: 19 Apr 15 - 10:40 AM

That's a really good article, Backwoodsman. (read it first time, too :-)) Good read for musicians.


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 19 Apr 15 - 10:51 AM

👍😄


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: GUEST,#
Date: 19 Apr 15 - 11:38 AM

pfr: I've never seen one in person, but there is a good article at this blog with a picture that shows what it means.

Actually, I saw a few spots on Lonnie Johnson's guitar where string bending had scalloped the fingerboard in a few spots. I think Mr Johnson had done it over a number of years and just adapted as the wear took place. He never seemed to hit any note he didn't want to.


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: Musket
Date: 19 Apr 15 - 01:32 PM

Excellent post, sets out many of the basics. Mind you, try not to get too much into frets in this.... Tempering compromises start another discussion entirely!

My research in vibrating structures allowed any hypothesis or conclusion to be most accurate when there was a single source at a continuous force and frequency working on a structure of tesselate dimensions with the vibratory source acting equally to the mirroring sides.

Or put another way. No guitar I have ever seen...

I never used guitars in my research despite temptation but an earlier doctoral thesis I cited (Good vibrations - Harold Wright) used a violin in example a number of times.

Fascinating stuff but I doubt an answer is fully forthcoming because as I said before, beauty is in the ear of the beholder.


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: GUEST,#
Date: 19 Apr 15 - 01:34 PM

". . . beauty is in the ear of the beholder."

Amen to that, Musket.


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 23 Apr 15 - 09:27 AM

I have just put a set of power pins on my Yamaha DW10. I have no axe to grind so believe me when I say they are excellent.
The guitar was bought as a second guitar for sessions, and accompanying fiddle/melodian players etc. It had been locked up in a case for ten years when I bought it {at a reasonable price}. It needed playing in. With laminate rosewood sides and a solid top a bit of walloping for a month or two I knew I would get that rosewood punch on the bass.
Admittedly I like Yamahas. IMHO they are the best mass produced guitars for regular tuning work, which is all I ever do nowdays. With a bit of work the mid range guitars can come to life [New bone bridge, grover machine heads, non plastic pins etc]
I was not prepared for the sound I got with the power pins. I was amazed, and that takes some doing. More resonance and sustain on everything, and the rosewood bass punch was like a hammer. Yes you might get a better sound for a couple of thousand quid, but not that much better. As I say I have no axe to grind, and I dont make a penny out of this. I'll keep you posted re the radio programme, and if there is a UK distributor.


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 23 Apr 15 - 10:25 AM

Very interesting. I don't have any low-end guitars nowadays (I've had Yamahas and they were excellent, BTW), otherwise I'd probably invest in a set of PowerPins and try them myself. But I'm not putting them on my Martins, those sound just fine as they are!

Looking forward to hearing the result on the radio prog. Thanks for the update, Nick.


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: GUEST,#
Date: 23 Apr 15 - 10:28 AM

Ditto Backwoodsman.


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 23 Apr 15 - 11:57 AM

My only traditional acoustic guitar is an entry level Art & Lutherie cedar top,
purchased about 16 years ago for approx 200 quid.

Strings changed probably once, and rarely taken out for a strum
until recently when I thought I ought to have another try on it...???

Now this sounds like it might be an ideal candidate for a free trial of power pins
as a further control test for Nick's experiment...

errrmm.. if the UK distributor is reading this.... 😜


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 23 Apr 15 - 12:43 PM

There isn't a UK Distributor, hence the radio programme.
Tell you what, I'm playing Bowes Park Folk Club on May 7th. Sod the election, I'll stick the DW10 guitar in the car, and anybody who's interested and within striking distance of the gig can have a look and a play.


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Apr 15 - 12:48 PM

have a good gig Nick, and ignore the begrudgers


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 08 Jun 15 - 02:59 AM

Any news on the radio programme yet, Nick?


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 08 Jun 15 - 08:36 AM

Just waiting for Jerry Donahue to get back off tour. I'll be ringing him this Sunday, then all systems go after I get back from Teignmouth festival. I did my first gig last week using the power pins and I'll be using them at Bideford and The Goose is out this week. Very impressed.


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Subject: RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 08 Jun 15 - 08:51 AM

Thanks Nick.


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