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Guitar bridge-pins

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Deskjet 30 Aug 02 - 01:33 PM
Sibelius 30 Aug 02 - 02:14 PM
GUEST,Songster Bob 30 Aug 02 - 03:04 PM
Sibelius 30 Aug 02 - 04:00 PM
michaelr 30 Aug 02 - 07:06 PM
C-flat 30 Aug 02 - 07:43 PM
GUEST 31 Aug 02 - 01:52 AM
Sibelius 31 Aug 02 - 07:20 AM
Murray MacLeod 31 Aug 02 - 09:20 AM
GUEST,Andrew 31 Aug 02 - 09:30 AM
Willie-O 31 Aug 02 - 10:04 AM
Sibelius 31 Aug 02 - 11:07 AM
michaelr 31 Aug 02 - 12:53 PM
Murray MacLeod 31 Aug 02 - 01:01 PM
Willie-O 31 Aug 02 - 01:04 PM
Sibelius 31 Aug 02 - 01:39 PM
Venthony 01 Sep 02 - 12:25 AM
C-flat 01 Sep 02 - 04:53 AM
mooman 01 Sep 02 - 05:57 AM
Venthony 02 Sep 02 - 12:57 AM
GUEST,guitarfixer 02 Sep 02 - 07:41 PM
Richard Bridge 16 May 06 - 10:12 AM
Richard Bridge 16 May 06 - 10:21 AM
Richard Bridge 17 May 06 - 11:00 AM
GUEST,Jim 17 May 06 - 01:24 PM
Mooh 17 May 06 - 02:50 PM
webfolk 17 May 06 - 02:52 PM
GUEST,AR282 17 May 06 - 06:30 PM
GUEST,AR282 17 May 06 - 06:41 PM
HiHo_Silver 17 May 06 - 06:51 PM
Justa Picker 17 May 06 - 07:05 PM
DonMeixner 17 May 06 - 08:57 PM
Richard Bridge 18 May 06 - 03:26 AM
BTMP 18 May 06 - 01:38 PM
Richard Brandenburg 18 May 06 - 02:54 PM
Richard Bridge 18 May 06 - 05:54 PM
Richard Bridge 18 May 06 - 05:55 PM
GUEST,Guest 19 May 06 - 05:13 AM
redsnapper 19 May 06 - 05:26 AM
DoctorJug 16 Sep 06 - 02:54 AM
GUEST,built a few myself 25 Sep 06 - 01:01 AM
GUEST,282RA 25 Sep 06 - 06:07 PM
GUEST,HARLEYDAVE 13 Dec 14 - 07:47 PM
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Subject: Guitar bridge-pins
From: Deskjet
Date: 30 Aug 02 - 01:33 PM

Probably going over covered ground here, but anyway. I'm thinking of switching from plastic to wooden pins on my guitar. Can I expect to hear a difference?(Average level of sensitivity assumed!)


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: Sibelius
Date: 30 Aug 02 - 02:14 PM

I've always been doubtful of this idea. The vibrating part of the string isn't in contact with the pins, and the pin itself has no resonating qualities, so how much difference can the pin material make? I can imagine there might be just a slight influence from pins made of something much heavier and harder, such as brass, but I'm still sceptical. Martin Carthy certainly used to use brass pins on the wound strings, but I've a feeling even he's reverted to plastic or wood.

A zero fret will make more difference, as would a brass saddle if your guitar's bridge plate is sturdy enough to take the extra weight.


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: GUEST,Songster Bob
Date: 30 Aug 02 - 03:04 PM

Well, I once had a 1932 Martin 0-18 that had plastic pins, and I got a set of ebony ones. Went from fabulous-sounding to fabulous-sounding. Could have been the new strings, too.

Personally, I think there is a slight difference, if only because, with a dense material totally surrounding the string, you may get better coupling than if part of the string is touching a less-dense material like plastic. Yes, the main vibration starts at the saddle, and the part of the string down in that hole isn't actually giving you the note, but if that part of the string is "fighting" the vibration, you can get some effect on the whole of the sound. Sustain, for sure, will be affected. Try getting lots of sustain from a tailpiece-equipped guitar sometime.

Electric players know the difference between a hard-tail (non-tremelo-equipped) and regular Strat, and both of them sound different from a Les Paul, which features a solid bridge/tailpiece as well as a glued-in neck (unlike the bolt-on Strat neck). Everything that has an effect on vibration has an effect on the sound. Some effects are more obvious than others, though.

Songster Bob Clayton


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: Sibelius
Date: 30 Aug 02 - 04:00 PM

Willing to bow to your greater knowledge, Bob, although on the electric side of things, I'd have thought there were far more variables coming into play than the vibrational qualities (if that's the right phrase!) of the construction. Strats and Les Pauls are completely different species, even before you plug them in.


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: michaelr
Date: 30 Aug 02 - 07:06 PM

Wooden pins won't make a big difference from plastic. Try fossilized walrus ivory pins!

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: C-flat
Date: 30 Aug 02 - 07:43 PM

I think I would have to agree with Sibelius on this, the saddle and the nut being the critical elements in contact with the string.
However there are a good number of luthiers lurking here on Mudcat so maybe an expert opinion is forthcoming.


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Aug 02 - 01:52 AM

I'm told that it's important when stringing a guitar to have the pin pressing the ball of the string against the under part of the bridge (my termninology is woeful, I know) rather than burying that ball all the way beneath the pin. For that reason I assume that that part of the deal has more to do with vibration than one might assume, and therefore the pin material would make a significant difference. I too have heard good things about fossil but have yet to experience it. All the best, Andrew


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: Sibelius
Date: 31 Aug 02 - 07:20 AM

Guest/Andrew, you're right that the ball-end of the string should be pulled hard against the under-side of the bridge plate, but that has nothing to do with the sound of the string, it's to make sure the string doesn't slip. If you've got two inches of string-end dangling around in that sonorous void inside your guitar, the string will keep slipping out of tune until, through repeated re-tuning, the ball-end eventually comes up against the plate. That's why you should always give a new string a few pulls when you're first tuning it up, after you've put the pin in - partly to help it stretch - but mainly to make sure the ball-end comes up against the plate.

I do keep meaning to try brass pins though, just to see if they do make any difference. My current guitar (a Kinkade) has a lovely richness to it, but it's almost too rich, if that makes any sense. Very rounded and soft. It could do with a slightly sharper edge on the bass side, which I think I might just get with some metal in contact with the strings, although I do think the zero fret rather than metal pins is going to be the answer in the end.


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 31 Aug 02 - 09:20 AM

In a well set up guitar it should be impossible for the ball end of the string to remain two inches below the bridge plate while under tension.

All guitars with pin bridges should have a slot cut in the front of the pin hole so that the string is captive in the hole. In fact, it should be possible to string up to concert pitch without using bridge pins. The ball end should engage the underside of the bridge plate and remain there under tension.

By the same token, grooved bridge pins are a sure indication of short cuts in the manufacturer's set-up.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: GUEST,Andrew
Date: 31 Aug 02 - 09:30 AM

Pardon my ignorance, but what's a zero fret? Andrew


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: Willie-O
Date: 31 Aug 02 - 10:04 AM

Andrew, a zero fret is a fret right next to the nut. I guess the objective is to have the strings on a precise fret position when you play them open, instead of the string length being subject to exactly where it contacts the nut.

So ummm, not all bridge pins have grooves in them? I'll be durned.

W-O


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: Sibelius
Date: 31 Aug 02 - 11:07 AM

Interesting points, Murray. There have been a couple of occasions when I've been in too much of a hurry to get re-strung and have done the job carelessly - dropped the string end in the hole and jammed the pin in without making sure the ball-end was up under the plate. The pin holds the string in place for the time being but not, as you say, when you start putting it under tension.

I'm not sure I follow the reasoning that slotted pins = manufacturer's short cuts. I thought all plastic pins were made with slots (I know the wooden and brass ones aren't), so if that's what the maker chooses to use, you're going to have slots in your pins, regardless of the build quality.

Just spreading the discussion a little, if I may, I've always thought the pin bridge a bit primitive anyway. The Ovation style seems neater (no pins to lose, either), where the strings are fed through holes at the back of the bridge plate, parallel with the guitar top, then up out of the top of the plate and over the saddle. Do any other manufacturers use that style or is it an Ovation patent?

Presumably the zero fret stands prouder of the fingerboard than all the others? Otherwise you'd be restricted to having a very low action. Have I got that right?


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: michaelr
Date: 31 Aug 02 - 12:53 PM

Sibelius -- I used brass pins for a while, and they, too, had slots.

My Lowden has a pinless bridge like the Ovation you described. But it sounds a lot better... ;-)

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 31 Aug 02 - 01:01 PM

Lowden guitars also use the pinless bridge, Sibelius. I don't like them personally, as I think it makes changing strings on stage a bit finicky, but that is purely personal prejudice from a traditionalist, and I can well understand that many people prefer them. You can't argue with the sound of a Lowden, after all.

The zero fret does NOT stand higher than the rest, btw. The main reason for having it is to avoid the tedious procedure of filing the nut slots to get the action right. Some luthiers will say that it makes the sound uniform so that every note is "fretted" even the open strings.

Personal prejudice again, I hate to see a guitar with a zero fret ...

Murray


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: Willie-O
Date: 31 Aug 02 - 01:04 PM

Yup, pinless bridge on my Japanese Lowden too. Sound and ease of restringing (and staying in tune after restringing) are excellent.

Biggest problem though is that the string tension pulls up on the bridge and they have a tendency to, um, come off. A pinned bridge will pull up too of course, but a lot of the string tension is absorbed by the bridge plate instead of the bridge.

W-O


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: Sibelius
Date: 31 Aug 02 - 01:39 PM

What's the objection to the zero fret? If it makes the sound uniform, well that confirms my desire for one! I've always thought my Kinkade sounds its best when capo'd at the 3rd or 4th fret. I'll use a capo even when playing an instrumental, where key and pitch aren't important.

Michael, did your brass pins make any difference?


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: Venthony
Date: 01 Sep 02 - 12:25 AM

I think wooden and brass pins do alter the acoustic characteristics slightly. So slightly, in fact, that the player hears it -- maybe -- but not anybody else more than a couple of feet away.

The real differnce, dammit, is you. If Tony Rice picks up a $200 Yamaha, and I pick up a 1940 D-28, the Yamaha will sound MUCH better.

T.


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: C-flat
Date: 01 Sep 02 - 04:53 AM

I think that's right Venthony, It's in the fingers.
As for other guitars that don't use bridge pins, there are plenty of others, many of them "top end" in terms of price range.I was just looking at a BreedloveC25/E which retails at £4779.
Also, spare a thought for those of us who regularly use classical or Spanish guitars. No such luxury as bridge pins and ball ends! Try knotting one of those on quickly between numbers during a set! :~)


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: mooman
Date: 01 Sep 02 - 05:57 AM

Having repaired a good few hundred guitars and other instruments, I believe the bridge pin material is of little acoustic importance but of considerable aesthetic value. I would never dream of putting cheapo plastic bridge pins on a good guitar. Aesthetically, I prefer wooden pins, which I have in many varieties - ebony, rosewood and others, with and without abalone or pearl inlay and always ask the customer what they would prefer. I find brass pins rather tacky looking anf fossilised ivory far too expensive. But, at the end of the day I think, as with anything else it's down to personal preference.

I owned a Japanese Lowden like Willie-O's for 14 years (have just sold it) without bridge pins. Excellent sound. My Lakewood has (wooden) bridge pins. Sound also excellent. As others have said the nut and saddle material is of more importance acoustically and I spend a lot of time on both when doing set ups. Personally I don't like zero frets either from an acoustic or aesthetic point of view and think it's just a cop out from preparing the nut properly. I hate to see a very expensive instrument with a zero fret. Again...just my personal point of view from 25 years of working with instruments!

Best regards and peace to all,

mooman


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: Venthony
Date: 02 Sep 02 - 12:57 AM

Dear C-Flat,

For years -- nearly 20 of them -- a Lowden bridge-pinless cutaway was my only guitar. It was a great workhorse and the foundation for whatever decent stuff I ever did on a more-or-less professional basis.

These days I play a Larravee -- kind of a round-shouldered cross between a D-18 and an old short-scale Gibson (though it has the full 14 frets).

Here's the deal. Though the pins themselves don't make a differnce, I think the fact that they go through the top and help vibrate it does.

The Lowden is silky and jazzman smoothe. The Larravee has a lot of good, old-fashioned bluegrass punch.

I don't think this is just my imagination. And I think it's because of the pins.

Tony


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: GUEST,guitarfixer
Date: 02 Sep 02 - 07:41 PM

I remember about 20 years ago, we were selling Guild's import line, Madeira Guitars. We received 2 models in one shipment. The cheaper one had wood pins and sounded better than the more expensive model. We swapped pins in the 2 guitars. What do you think happened? The sound went with the wood pins to the higher priced ax. Ever since that day we stick wood pins into factory guitars like Martins and Guilds with pleasing results in the resonance and sustain. We like to take a Martin sold by another dealer and get the owner to try a set of ebony or rosewood pins. After the player hears the improvement they will generally ask our advice on other upgrades that can be made to their instrument. Plastic is useful stuff because it absorbs energy. Not too useful in the "engine" area of your guitar where you want as much organic vibration as you can get. Think of plastic pins, bridge saddles and nuts as shock absorbers. Good results come with cow bone, walrus ivory and "fossilized" ivory. Brass sounds pretty metallic for my taste. We just tried some new samples from Tusq. They have improved, but their main advantage seems to be predictable factory shape, the one-size-fits-all concept.


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 16 May 06 - 10:12 AM

I've been told by a guitar tech that I need to go to EZ-pins (they have a hole through them diagonally from the front to the back and the string then goes down a groove at the back, so the ball end locates between the inner bridge plate and the bridge pin behind, not in front of the pin.    Views?

While I was rummaging on the internet to see the manufacturer's website (which is full of nonsense, go check for yourself) it seems there is another gadget like a brass inner bridge plate that (presumably) the ball ends hold onto the inner bridge plate. Views?

Finally that started me thinking: Inner bridge plates are often no harder than the top of the guitar and so the ball ends tend to bed into them and splinter them up (I have seen this several times) so why don't all guitars have an ultra-hard inner bridge late or a brass one?


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 16 May 06 - 10:21 AM

Sorry - E-Z pegs



And the search for the brass bridge plate reveals an article metioning one allegedly from kalamazoo music but a google for kalamazoo music seems unproductive


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 17 May 06 - 11:00 AM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 17 May 06 - 01:24 PM

I feel that changing the material of the bridge pin will change the sound only if it is a greater/lesser mass. A similar sound could probably be achieved by bolting the bridge onto the soundboard. I once had a 1958 J-50 with an adjustable bridge with metal bolts. When I had the adjustable saddle replaced with a bone saddle, the tone was much more to my liking. Somehow I feel this was due to reducing the mass of the bridge. I think putting clamps on the headstock (tuners and capos) could also change the sound of the guitar. If not, it certainly looks junky.


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: Mooh
Date: 17 May 06 - 02:50 PM

Sometimes I think I can hear a difference from the pins, other times not. I DO believe that very good pins could make a difference over very bad pins in the right guitar, with optimum strings, set-up, and listening conditions. But most of the time most folks wouldn't notice or care.

But why have a good guitar (I've several) only to equip it with plastic crap? Plastic is so...well, plastic...undistinguished. I keep dozens around for cheaper repairs/replacements, but my own guitars have ebony pins and one has high-tech Tusq or something.

Some of those fancy boxwood, rosewood, and fossil pins sure have an appeal, but whether it's audible or not is unclear.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: webfolk
Date: 17 May 06 - 02:52 PM

I have 'tusq' pins and I like them

Geoff Rodgers - webfolk


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: GUEST,AR282
Date: 17 May 06 - 06:30 PM

There is not likely to be any appreciable difference. Somebody got it right saying the barrel of the string needs to be pressed against the bridge. I think it's the pressure that matters which is what we see with a tailpiece--no pin but the tailpiece holds the end of the string and the string passes over the bridge with a good deal of stress between tailpiece and bridge with as much string as possible making contact with the bridge to transfer the maximum volume via the lower angle of the tailpiece. I doubt the pins have anything more to do with the sound than a tailpiece does. It just holds the string while optimum pressure is applied to the bridge by a optimum length of string.


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: GUEST,AR282
Date: 17 May 06 - 06:41 PM

It is also unlikely that clip-on tuners affect the sound much. There is a device called a fatfinger that you clip on the headboard and it supposedly eliminates deadspots in the neck. By changing the mass of the headstock, goes the theory, we change how much energy is transferred into the headstock which then changes how the sound is transfered through the neck and thus eliminates the deadspot. I have never used a fatfinger but those who have say at best it merely changes the location of the deadspot and moves it up or down a fret but most people it had no effect at all. I also only know of them being used for bass, I don't know if they have them for guitars. Regardless, they don't really work and they change the mass of the headstock or neck way more than a clip-on tuner or a capo. That's why I have yet to see a professional musician use or endorse a fatfinger and why I do see professionals use clip-ons and capos without reservation, I'll bet.

To me, I think what really changes the sound of an acoustic is the cutaway design as opposed to the full-bodied guitar. I think that affects the sound a great deal.


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: HiHo_Silver
Date: 17 May 06 - 06:51 PM

My Opinion: I have set up a goodly number of acoustic guitars using materials ranging from ebony, bone, brass etc. Some slight sound change disernable when installing top nut, bridge saddle and pins all of the same material, such as brass or Ebony. Installing pins only, to my ear, never caused any discernable change. Would suggest that sound differences heard from this minor change pretty much lies in the imagination.


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: Justa Picker
Date: 17 May 06 - 07:05 PM

Bridge pins are largely a cosmetic/aethestic enhancement.
Don't get sucked into all the hype you read on guitar forums about bridge pins and the so-called "dramatic" effects they have on tone.

If you have a normal bridge plate and a non ramped/slotted bridge or bridge plate, they will have a subtle difference in tonal characteristics from one material to another. Ebony pins for instance MAY (depending how acute your hearing is) yield a "warmer" tone by softening the highs and warming the bass end response. Bone pins may be identical in what they offer tone-wise to ebony ones.

Then again whatever you THINK you're hearing as a result of swapping pins, may very well be totally psychological "because you've made a swap and therefore EXPECT to hear a difference."

If your bridge or bridge plate is ramped/slotted - meaning once the guitar is strung and tuned up to pitch you could theoretically remove the pins and it will still remain strung and playable because the ball ends of the strings will be safely 'tucked into the ramp slots - the type of bridge pin material is completely irrelevant as far as affecting any tone. In THIS respect, ivory bridge pins (regardless of the type of ivory) are entirely cosmetic. But sure, they DO look nice.

The one area that CAN offer a discernable difference in tone, is the saddle material. Bone is the swiss army knife and always gets the job done perfectly. Ivory will give you more clarity, a little less "warmth" than bone" but more harmonic spectrum and "shimmer" to the overall tone. Your mistakes will also be more noticable. :-) And of course what type and material composites of the strings you use.

The MOST IMPORTANT element concerning tone - that many seem to overlook - are your fingers and what you can "pull" out of the guitar. Don't expect the guitar to play itself nor the choice of nut, saddle, or bridge pin material to ever compensate for the person playing the instrument.


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: DonMeixner
Date: 17 May 06 - 08:57 PM

I have swapped out plastic for ivory for brass in the same guitar,

My 1963 Guild F-30, My 2002 Martin JC 16, and My 1971 Martin 0-16 NY

The differences in sound were non existant to marginal. I hold with the notion that they are cosmetic at best on these three instruments. Others may be different.

Don


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 18 May 06 - 03:26 AM

I have swapped plastic pins for ebony and then brass on the same guitar and the difference in sound was very noticeable - there was an increase in brightness and shimmer on each swap but the ebony was distinctly more brittle - a bit like the click of fossilised wood on the Rolf Harris recording of "Sun Arise". My quarrel with the E-Z peg is the assertion that the direction the string travels is beneficial. It seems to me that it reduces the moment of the string tension about the top, so reducing the complexity of the vibrations of hte top, the main reason for the superiority of sound of pegbrige flattops ofer tailpiece flattops. There is also a lot of twaddle on the website about how strings are held by being wedged in the hole by the peg whichis not what happens. What I was hoping for was the benefit of practical experinece of the E-Z peg.

As to the inner bridge plate, I have found a similar product to the one I could not find at Kalamazoo music.

Mitchel's Platemate


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: BTMP
Date: 18 May 06 - 01:38 PM

I agree with Justa-Picker. The most dramatic (and positive) tonal changes usually result from saddle and nut replacement. I put bone saddles and nuts on my 2 Martins, and it has made a wonderful improvement. I later added ebony pins as well. -btmp


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: Richard Brandenburg
Date: 18 May 06 - 02:54 PM

No doubt it depends on the responsiveness of the guitar. While the charges intone are subtle, and can't be quantified, the aesthetic improvement of wood over plastic is reason enough. Ebony pins improved my Martin. Don't ask me why.

I do know that my car runs better when it's clean, though.


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 18 May 06 - 05:54 PM

If you want to try out the EZ pegs, google Steve's music and buy from there. Very helpful and below the manufacturer's retail price.


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 18 May 06 - 05:55 PM

Oops, blue linkus interruptus

Steve's Music


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 19 May 06 - 05:13 AM

This dialogue never ends.
Here is a link a little sensible ( at least to me since I wrote it) but I would love an opportunity to describe exactly how I percieve pins affect ton. Thanks John
http://www.13thfret.com/bridge-pins.html


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: redsnapper
Date: 19 May 06 - 05:26 AM

There will be a discernible difference to the trained ear with a denser material like ebony or fossilised large mammal tusk bridge pins.

Both my guitars and all my other stinged instruments have tailpieces however, so I avoid the issue!

RS (ex-luthier/repairman)


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: DoctorJug
Date: 16 Sep 06 - 02:54 AM

Tried it. It makes absolutely no difference to the honest ear. Just use the ones which work nicely and look good.
Remember: you're better off with a banjo anyway, if your songs are worth hearing.


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: GUEST,built a few myself
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 01:01 AM

ok, so ive enjoyed the thread... my two cents is that unless you try all types on the same guitar you'll never know.... but in my experience sometimes the construction of a particular instrument can call into play certain qualities that will be more emphasized by a certain amount of pressure placed on it. ive had much greater experience with altering the neck angle in order to put a taller bridge...thus putting a bit more pressure on the soundboard...
ya know after having played a lowden... made for and owned by alex degrassi... how can you argue with that tone... by far they are the most projecting guitars i have ever experienced... but im sure lowden would attribute this more to their bracing and also the use of more dense neck materials... if you havent played an acoustic with a rock maple neck, please do. sorry if i got a bit off topic.
c


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: GUEST,282RA
Date: 25 Sep 06 - 06:07 PM

Shoot a male elephant and cut off his tucks and make the pins from that. You won't believe the difference!!


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: GUEST,HARLEYDAVE
Date: 13 Dec 14 - 07:47 PM

CAN I CHANGE MY OVATION BRIDGE TO A PIN BRIDGE


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: Stanron
Date: 13 Dec 14 - 10:29 PM

Yes, if you are a luthier who can be bothered.

Can you remove the bridge you have?
Can you make a pin bridge?
Can you position a pin bridge so that the guitar will play In tune?

I don't know.

Do you?


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: Musket
Date: 14 Dec 14 - 04:16 AM

I went through a phase of trying different bridge pins, but just as with not eating brussel sprouts and being led by your teenage hormones, it's something you grow out of when your balls drop.

In theory, brass should allow a different sound to tusq or other plastics because the saddle is a fulcrum point and you want everything that side to be solid with little or no give, or it takes energy from the other side.

I used to design vibrating structures (screens, feeders, tables etc) and out of curiosity, using available data for forces, masses etc involved, looked at it. All things equal, despite a brass pin weighing over four times that of tusq, the energy taken from the sound side with tusq is less than 0.003% different to brass and in real life is less than the bridge timber soaks up anyway. I doubt it makes a real life difference based purely on choice of material.

How snug it fits, how much the string ball tension relies on the pin? That's another matter and can explain why you sometimes see differences. If a replacement pin of the exact same dimensions but a different material were used, I would predict no difference. But as someone pointed out, to experiment you are changing many other variables by using new strings.

Just to the zero fret side discussion. I love them and when a guitar was made for me, specified it. The pros outweigh the cons. Go on the Fylde website and hear why they go on every guitar they make.


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: bubblyrat
Date: 14 Dec 14 - 06:09 AM

I have used both solid and decorated hollow brass pins on my dreadnought guitars for many years now , but when I fitted solid brass pins to my Taylor GS Mini it sounded WORSE !! (KInd of "tinny" )---Always hankered after a Fylde but have not won the lottery (yet !).


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 14 Dec 14 - 10:58 AM

The myth of using brass nuts (much the same as zero frets) was settled back in the 70's by an article in the late lamented "Frets" magazine which concluded that adding weight to the end of the neck increased a guitar's sustain. Stick a G clamp on and try it for yourself they suggested.

A guitar builder friend of mine, who has, in the past, built instruments for the likes of Gordon Giltrap, John Renbourne and someone called George Harrison, contends that brass bridge pins will increase the trebble response of a guitar. It's all down to mass. Shaving the bridge to lower the action, rather than a full neck reset, will reduce the mass of a bridge and the weight, and a guitar's tonal characteristics, can be restored by using heavier pins.

Stick 'em on a Taylor as Bublyrat has and it'll sound even worse!


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: GUEST,gillymor
Date: 14 Dec 14 - 11:37 AM

Harley Dave, why do you want to change to a pin bridge, I love the one on my old Lowden? Just curious.
I tried brass pins as a last result on an OM-21 Martin to try to get some better tone and projection from it but it just sounded thinner and brighter which I didn't really care for so I traded it off.


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: Musket
Date: 14 Dec 14 - 11:42 AM

Yeah, it is mass but as I said above, work out the moment of the force over the two fulcrum points (saddle and nut) on the "clockwise moments = anti-clockwise moments and my (average) difference of 0.003% plastic to brass applies.

The lack of give in brass as opposed to plastic is just transferred to squashing the bridge wood that bit more. Damping is damping is damping. The exceedingly short length to saddle leads you to one conclusion; you can make far more difference at the headstock end if looking to changes in tone is your aim. Far more to go at, especially lateral movement through the length of the nut.

Brass pins can look good, especially with bronzed strings.

Whatever floats your boat. Changing from one to another includes altering more than just the density of the pin to make those differences. I am no expert on guitars per se, but on things I do know, mainly vibration and propagation of waves, I remain fascinated by the pseudo science in guitar magazines, forums etc.


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Dec 14 - 12:06 PM

Yeah, it is mass but as I said above, work out the moment of the force over the two fulcrum points (saddle and nut) on the "clockwise moments = anti-clockwise moments and my (average) difference of 0.003% plastic to brass applies.

The lack of give in brass as opposed to plastic is just transferred to squashing the bridge wood that bit more. Damping is damping is damping. The exceedingly short length to saddle leads you to one conclusion; you can make far more difference at the headstock end if looking to changes in tone is your aim. Far more to go at, especially lateral movement through the length of the nut.

Brass pins can look good, especially with bronzed strings.

Whatever floats your boat. Changing from one to another includes altering more than just the density of the pin to make those differences. I am no expert on guitars per se, but on things I do know, mainly vibration and propagation of waves, I remain fascinated by the pseudo science in guitar magazines, forums etc.
Designer Handbag!


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: GUEST,ploppo
Date: 14 Dec 14 - 01:23 PM

I put brass pins on a Taylor 214 and everyone at the club said it sounded a lot better, tho I couldn't tell any difference. So maybe it depends on where you sit...


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: olddude
Date: 14 Dec 14 - 01:53 PM

Nope buffalo horn the best


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: GUEST,Guest Gibson 2015
Date: 04 Dec 15 - 07:17 AM

Well I have been curious about this subject for a long time and finally last week went to my guitar shop and we changed my tusq saddle to bone and I could tell a big difference in the sound we changed back and forth several times and the bone has more sustain and richness and I can feel the vibration through the body is stronger. Then we swapped the bridge pins from plastic to walrus jawbone and I could tell a slight difference . So for my Gibson songwriter deluxe the saddle made the biggest impact I love the sound!


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: kendall
Date: 04 Dec 15 - 08:29 PM

Plastic pins suck. they also break. about 7, 8 years ago I went to brass pins, and I will never go back to plastic. My Taylor 810 has a brass nut between the end of the finger board and the regular plastic nut. This box has more guts that a fiddle factory.


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Subject: RE: Guitar bridge-pins
From: GUEST,Wacky Jacky
Date: 23 Oct 16 - 04:48 AM

I am a glassblower and make my own pins out of glass but with a special solution and temperature that I won't disclose at this time since it will be patented soon. Believe me it's the best sounding pin I ever used.


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