do these parts do for the sound of my guitar?
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 also plays a role in this regard,
but only to a very minimal degree, if any.
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?
saddles and pins are complete with a detailed instruction sheet, which will
guide you through the entire process. I'll gladly offer any tech support,
and am always available by phone or email if you have any questions.
I know I cannot do this myself. Can you make one that is a perfect
“drop-in” fit for my guitar?
Unfortunately I do
not make “drop-in” perfect-fit saddles right out
of the package. Some people sell saddles that
are advertised to be a perfect fit right out of the box. I prefer
not to do business this way since all guitars are different, even within
the same model line, and I cannot guarantee that it will fit absolutely
perfect without having the guitar in hand for final fitting, plus I have
no way of knowing how well your original saddle fit. For this
reason I machine ALL my saddles SLIGHTLY larger and allow
the user to do the fitting to his/her guitar. If you are uncomfortable
doing it, check with your local guitar tech or luthier. They should
be able to do this for you for a nominal fee.
My guitar is not listed on your website. Can I still get a saddle?
Yes. If I do not have your particular template, I will need your old saddle
and I will construct a duplicate. I understand that this can
be extremely inconvenient, so your order will be given full priority, and
in almost every case, be shipped out to you the day after your old saddle
is received. Your old saddle will also be returned in the condition it was
received. If you send it in, PLEASE PUT IT IN A PADDED ENVELOPE and
include a note indicating what you want done as well as contact information.
Even on the copies, I still oversize them slightly
and it will still have to undergo final fitting, although I make
these a lot closer than my standard saddles, so the total amount of work
to fit it to your instrument will be quite a bit less!
What is your return policy?
Unfortunately I cannot accept
returns on any product that has undergone fitting, sanding, modification
or installation. If it appears that something was constructed improperly,
return the product, and I will offer a refund, or replacement. On
any custom ordered products where you provide dimensions the same applies
unless the dimensions end up being incorrect. "Measure twice, cut
once," says Home Depot.
I've heard that natural material saddles such as bone and ivory can be inconsistent
and have dead spots. Is this true?
if your saddle is constructed from inferior quality materials. All
the materials I use are the best available. Period. I do not
have consistency problems with any of the materials I use or products
I sell. Every blank that ends up as a completed saddle, nut or pin
is thoroughly inspected before it becomes your finished product.
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.
1. The big
manufacturers use it simply because it is the most cost effective solution
when you are making 50,000 + guitars per year. If I
owned a company that large I'd probably use it for my standard material
too. It's just smart business. On a side note,
it's not the material these manufacturers typically choose for
their ultra-high end models.
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
What difference will bone or ivory bridge pins make on my guitar?
Very good question... and one that elicits more anxiety, debate,
childish internet guitar forum arguments and marital problems than any
other question I get. At long last you've come to the place
for the correct answer.
Sonic differences: The name of the game
with harder pin material is sustain and the results will 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 (ask me about my Collings
and Goodall someday). All the guitars we've seen differences on
were in the sustain department. Harmonics, overtones,
brightness??? Yeah, maybe, 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. The bottom line:
Sonically speaking, they may add a bit of sustain to your instrument.
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 by most folks 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 so darn nice.
From day one, one of my major goals was to only
provide QUALITY parts for your guitar. My bridge pins are no
Do you make guitar nuts as well?
Yes I do. I strongly
recommend that if you want to simply order one from me, that you have a
qualified technician or luthier install it! Why? It is a much more
complicated job requiring stricter tolerances and MUCH less room for error
than a saddle installation. (See the general information section) Plus,
the string slots need to be cut and the slot on the headstock needs to be
groomed, all requiring a specialized set of tools to accomplish. Having
said this, I will be glad to make a nut for your instrument, but please
understand that there will be a bit more work in finishing and dressing
the nut for your particular guitar. For nut installation I strongly
suggest having your local luthier do the installation.
Do you sell saddle and nut blanks?
And unlike some other large-volume guitar part dealers, each piece is
hand selected to make sure it is perfect and will result in a
high-quality component for your guitar.
I got my saddle and it already fits in the bridge slot with a lot of play.
It’s too small! What’s up?
All bridge slots are different.
I machine my saddles as close as possible on the “larger” side to minimize
the amount of work you have to do. Lets say for example, your bridge slot
is machined larger than normal, or is slightly worn or expanded from age.
There exists a remote possibility your saddle will be too small. If this
is the case, return the unmodified saddle and I will be happy to replace
it with one that will work with your instrument!
Bob, A guy in a guitar forum told me.....
The online forums can be VERY helpful places. There's a wealth of
info to be found and often times these forums have some well known,
heavy-hitters of the guitar building and repairing world as well as
representatives from many of the larger manufacturers. An
enormous benefit to any guitar player/enthusiast indeed! Not to
mention, quick answers to guitar malfunctions, thoughtful product
reviews, where's the best deal on my favorite strings, where is a good
repair shop...as well as a mountain of other info. No complaints
from me! Having said that...... With the growth
of these venues, so too has the drastic amount of misinformation that
can be found in many online guitar forums as well as some
occasional, unfortunate childish behavior when discussing it. I'm mentioning this only because I end up
selling a lot of "repair" parts to people who took some online advice and
ended up damaging their guitar or received technical info that in no way
resembled reality, making their issue at hand even all the more
frustrating. The number of posts someone has on a guitar
forum or how many guitars they own, does NOT directly equate their level
of technical expertise. Bottom
line: If in doubt, contact me any time and I will either tell you, or
find a place for you to get the correct information. Believe
me, I'm always very happy to try and save you time and money by getting
you the right answer the first time!
Do you sell to New York Yankees fans?
- As long as you
don't admit to it. In the event you do, a 375% surcharge will apply.
- N.Y. Jets or Giants fan pricing?? Sky's the limit, brother....however,
admitting the Patriots are the greatest NFL dynasty will absolutely get
you on my good side.