Martin just announced this policy change today.
We have long been aware of the dissatisfaction among our customers regarding the bridgepin issues with Martin guitars. We have been inundated with complaints from buyers complaining about the fact that Martin does not ream the bridgepin holes to suit the pin taper, resulting in the pins not seating properly, and also causing undue wear on the bridgeplate. This dissatisfaction has been in large part fomented by discussions on the internet in such locations as the Acoustic Guitar Forum.
We have also been made aware of the ecological issues of using endangered species of tropical hardwoods (such as ebony) for bridegpins, and also of the ethical considerations involved in using animal products such as so-called "fossil ivory". Even the use of plastic, which hitherto we have used on many models in our range, has been deemed ecologically unsound, as the plastic is an oil based material , and manufacture of these plastic pins contributes significantly to our carbon footprint.
It is with great pride, therefore, that I am privileged to announce our new policy of phasing out the use of conventional bridgepins, whether wood, ivory, bone or plastic, and replacing them with drywall screws. We have modified our PLEK machine to drill a straight hole through the bridge, and also to cut a slot in the front of the hole for the string to sit in. This will ensure that the string is well anchored against the bridgeplate, and the drywall screw will act as a super-efficient bridgepin.
Users may use either a cordless screwdriver or a manual screwdriver when changing strings, and I am sure that the vast majority of our customers will already own one or both of these tools.
There will, of course, be some initial opposition to the new policy from some of our more conservative customers, but I am quite certain that once our customer base becomes fully aware of the ecological benefits to be gained, they will welcome this innovation with open arms.
Martin supplied a press release pic of the new bridge configuration as shown below: