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  • Graphtech vs. bone saddles?

    For the nut, I almost always prefer graphtech because of how smooth it stays for the strings (plus I like the smoother tone).

    What do you consider better to put on your guitars for the saddle and why?
    <div class="signaturecontainer">Guitars: Godin Session CB, Larrivee D-05, Ibanez RG, Hagstrom Swede<br />
    Amps/Cabs: Fargen Miniplex MKII, Egnater Tweaker, Fender Mustang III, Mills Afterburner 4x12<br />
    <br />
    Good deals: Dimebag11, guitarslinger, ThePunisherTF, Wayne87mott, Kev324, zack, alaskaehlers, c2ply, ak37, droptrd, dboy5150, dropthisd, rbasaria, Shooto, Jon Hiller, DoubleBarrel, BabyDaddy, Edge11, bdhn, the gunslinger<br />
    <br />
    &quot;Hi, I'm Yesterday...and today I am looking for Tomorrow&quot;- Maina</div>

  • #2
    For the nut, I almost always prefer graphtech because of how smooth it stays for the strings (plus I like the smoother tone).

    What do you consider better to put on your guitars for the saddle and why?


    In general I use bone, mainly just because it's traditional and seems to work well. My newest guitar has a GraphTech saddle, though, and I have no plans to change it. The guitar sounds great to me.
    <div class="signaturecontainer">I guess I kinda lost control, because in the middle of the play I ran up and lit the evil puppet villain on fire. No, I didn't. Just kidding. I just said that to help illustrate one of the human emotions, which is freaking out. Another emotion is greed, as when you kill someone for money, or something like that. Another emotion is generosity, as when you pay someone double what he paid for his stupid puppet.<br><br><br><br><br><br>I.K.F.C.<br><br>E.S .C.<br><br>Potato Society<br><br>SAWG</div>

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    • #3
      I believe good bone can be better than man-made materials, but bone is harder to work and has more potential defects, so "good" bone is definitively not the cooked cow bone from your last T-Bone Steak.
      Even though good bone can be better (and Camel bone is probably the best), I still don't like the potential issues that come with it (hidden/internal weak areas) and the smell and inconvenience of working with bone in general. TuSQ and Graphtec are very consistent, relatively easy to work and in the sound department asking for what is better, TuSQ, Graphtec or (cow) bone would be as useful as asking how many angels can dance on a needle's tip.
      .

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      • #4
        Expensive nut/saddle materials have one significant characteristic. They cost more.
        Proud reject from the HCAG Civil Posters Society, Martin snob, vitriolic sociopath, and tantrumist

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        • #5
          Tone is always subjective, you can only decide what sounds better to your ears. To mine, even plastic sounds better than tusq, and I prefer bone. When I swapped the stock plastic saddle for tusq it did gain some volume and harmonic content, but the tone became really thin and harsh. When I swapped the tusq for bone the harmonic content stayed about the same, but the volume increased more and the warmth and depth of tone returned.

          Two caveats are that bone and tusq can act differently on different guitars, and everyone has different ears and some have reported not hearing any difference. Like I said, only you can ultimately decide for yourself.

          Comment


          • #6
            For the nut, I almost always prefer graphtech because of how smooth it stays for the strings (plus I like the smoother tone).



            Define "smoother tone" Provide an example. Better yet, provide an A clip of your graphtech nut and a B clip of bone so we can all hear the difference (same guitar, same strings, you know the drill)

            I use exclusively cow bone for all saddles and nuts. Why, its inexpensive, easy to work, doesn't not involve ethical or CITES issues, works very well in the guitar. I once did an A/B test with bone vs "Tusq" on my Taylor 314 and could tell no difference so I stay with bone. I've never convinced myself that the material at the nut end made any difference at all, but maybe I'll change my mind when I hear your clips.

            btw - if you cut nut slots correctly the string won't bind regardless of the material.

            Comment


            • #7
              The material the nut is made out of has an effect on tone, but only on the open strings. If you play an open string and a fretted string and listen to the tonal difference you'll find the difference is small. And this is from vastly different materials. I'm sure there is a tonal difference (on the open strings) between a bone nut and a tusq nut, but I very much doubt anyone would be able to hear the difference.

              Comment


              • #8
                The material the nut is made out of has an effect on tone, but only on the open strings. If you play an open string and a fretted string and listen to the tonal difference you'll find the difference is small. And this is from vastly different materials. I'm sure there is a tonal difference (on the open strings) between a bone nut and a tusq nut, but I very much doubt anyone would be able to hear the difference.


                I agree - in theory there should be a small difference on the open strings but I happen to think it is so small that anyone can't really tell the difference. Obviously with a zero fret, there would be no difference. However the OP hears a difference that makes the more expensive material worth while to him - I challenge him to share that with us. Simple test - make two nuts, put one in a guitar, play and record it, loosen strings, put the other one in, ditto. Post clips, let us listen. If Gitnoob were still around he would run an FFT on it and show us the frequency spectrum. I did this some time ago with pins, strings and the bone/tusq saddle - results were interesting.

                In the mean time, I buy bone blanks in bulk and will continue to us it at both ends of everything I make or work on. Your milage will (and should) vary.

                ps - the big reason that Taylor uses Tusq is that, first, they can mold it to shape and second, they can cnc mill the slots (and the compensation). They are even doing individual compensation on each string of each course on their 12 string - that is a PITA with bone. A second reason, of course, is that Tusq is more consistant in density than bone, but for the small builder like me, I don't think that matters.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I agree - in theory there should be a small difference on the open strings but I happen to think it is so small that anyone can't really tell the difference. Obviously with a zero fret, there would be no difference. However the OP hears a difference that makes the more expensive material worth while to him - I challenge him to share that with us. Simple test - make two nuts, put one in a guitar, play and record it, loosen strings, put the other one in, ditto. Post clips, let us listen. If Gitnoob were still around he would run an FFT on it and show us the frequency spectrum. I did this some time ago with pins, strings and the bone/tusq saddle - results were interesting.

                  In the mean time, I buy bone blanks in bulk and will continue to us it at both ends of everything I make or work on. Your milage will (and should) vary.

                  ps - the big reason that Taylor uses Tusq is that, first, they can mold it to shape and second, they can cnc mill the slots (and the compensation). They are even doing individual compensation on each string of each course on their 12 string - that is a PITA with bone. A second reason, of course, is that Tusq is more consistant in density than bone, but for the small builder like me, I don't think that matters.


                  I was posting to essentially refute the OP's assertion.

                  In another thread where the bone vs. tusq debate showed its head I mentioned the largest reason some manufacturers (namely Taylor) use tusq is because of its consistency and lower cost (less time and effort), with tonal considerations coming after. But like you said for anyone small scale, or simply swapping parts, it is not a real consideration.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I agree - in theory there should be a small difference on the open strings but I happen to think it is so small that anyone can't really tell the difference. Obviously with a zero fret, there would be no difference. However the OP hears a difference that makes the more expensive material worth while to him - I challenge him to share that with us. Simple test - make two nuts, put one in a guitar, play and record it, loosen strings, put the other one in, ditto. Post clips, let us listen. If Gitnoob were still around he would run an FFT on it and show us the frequency spectrum. I did this some time ago with pins, strings and the bone/tusq saddle - results were interesting.

                    In the mean time, I buy bone blanks in bulk and will continue to us it at both ends of everything I make or work on. Your milage will (and should) vary.

                    ps - the big reason that Taylor uses Tusq is that, first, they can mold it to shape and second, they can cnc mill the slots (and the compensation). They are even doing individual compensation on each string of each course on their 12 string - that is a PITA with bone. A second reason, of course, is that Tusq is more consistant in density than bone, but for the small builder like me, I don't think that matters.


                    lol calm down FK. It is just what I have noticed personally from my experience with the 2 materials on electrics. I don't think one is really that tonally different than the other, I'm actually surprised by the responses in this thread. I had thought that generally any other material was looked down upon besides bone in terms of tone.

                    Like it has been stated, for the nut it only matters on the open notes so it isn't nearly as important as the saddle (even though I do use a lot of open notes in my playing).

                    All I was posting for this thread was to see whether I should go for bone or graphtech saddles for my acoustics.

                    I didn't realize this issue got you guys fired up so quick .
                    <div class="signaturecontainer">Guitars: Godin Session CB, Larrivee D-05, Ibanez RG, Hagstrom Swede<br />
                    Amps/Cabs: Fargen Miniplex MKII, Egnater Tweaker, Fender Mustang III, Mills Afterburner 4x12<br />
                    <br />
                    Good deals: Dimebag11, guitarslinger, ThePunisherTF, Wayne87mott, Kev324, zack, alaskaehlers, c2ply, ak37, droptrd, dboy5150, dropthisd, rbasaria, Shooto, Jon Hiller, DoubleBarrel, BabyDaddy, Edge11, bdhn, the gunslinger<br />
                    <br />
                    &quot;Hi, I'm Yesterday...and today I am looking for Tomorrow&quot;- Maina</div>

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I got something to throw into the mix here....Theres this really funny little fella who reviews guitars that get brought to him to set up, he's from Singapore I believe. He repeatedly states that he has 'upgraded' the nut and saddle to F.M.I which, I believe stands for fossil mammoth Ivory. I've often wondered about this. I think there's a hell of a lot of hype surrounding materials and I believe the builder of the guitar, its structure and the top are the main factors contributing to any noticeable tonal differences and stuff like bone vs tusq or fossilized whatever (with a liberal sprinkling of fairy dust for a sparkly treble) are...well...I'll be nice and say 'hype'....and I dont believe most people could tell the difference.
                      <div class="signaturecontainer">&quot;If you walk through the streets of life looking behind you, you're gonna bump into ****************&quot;</div>

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I got something to throw into the mix here....Theres this really funny little fella who reviews guitars that get brought to him to set up, he's from Singapore I believe. He repeatedly states that he has 'upgraded' the nut and saddle to F.M.I which, I believe stands for fossil mammoth Ivory. I've often wondered about this. I think there's a hell of a lot of hype surrounding materials and I believe the builder of the guitar, its structure and the top are the main factors contributing to any noticeable tonal differences and stuff like bone vs tusq or fossilized whatever (with a liberal sprinkling of fairy dust for a sparkly treble) are...well...I'll be nice and say 'hype'....and I dont believe most people could tell the difference.


                        You mean Jarvis?
                        <div class="signaturecontainer">Guitars: Godin Session CB, Larrivee D-05, Ibanez RG, Hagstrom Swede<br />
                        Amps/Cabs: Fargen Miniplex MKII, Egnater Tweaker, Fender Mustang III, Mills Afterburner 4x12<br />
                        <br />
                        Good deals: Dimebag11, guitarslinger, ThePunisherTF, Wayne87mott, Kev324, zack, alaskaehlers, c2ply, ak37, droptrd, dboy5150, dropthisd, rbasaria, Shooto, Jon Hiller, DoubleBarrel, BabyDaddy, Edge11, bdhn, the gunslinger<br />
                        <br />
                        &quot;Hi, I'm Yesterday...and today I am looking for Tomorrow&quot;- Maina</div>

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I got something to throw into the mix here....Theres this really funny little fella who reviews guitars that get brought to him to set up, he's from Singapore I believe. He repeatedly states that he has 'upgraded' the nut and saddle to F.M.I which, I believe stands for fossil mammoth Ivory. I've often wondered about this. I think there's a hell of a lot of hype surrounding materials and I believe the builder of the guitar, its structure and the top are the main factors contributing to any noticeable tonal differences and stuff like bone vs tusq or fossilized whatever (with a liberal sprinkling of fairy dust for a sparkly treble) are...well...I'll be nice and say 'hype'....and I dont believe most people could tell the difference.


                          During the 30's ivory was used for saddles and nuts, and hawksbill tortis shell was used for trim and picks. There is a mystic about them and today some people feel that they the best sounding materials. Unfortunately, elephants and tortises have been "harvested" to near extinction and there is still a booming market in poached ivory.

                          Someone has decided that "fossilized" ivory is just as good, and since it involves already dead elephants or walruses or whatever, it is OK, so there is a pretty large market in "FWI". Bob Colosi, sells the stuff, charges 24 for a bone saddle, 45-50 for ivory.

                          It not only runs foul to what I believe in as an enhabitant of this small earth, I also don't believe the hype. Plane old cow bone works just fine, cows aren't extint yet or on the CITES list, I want nothing to do with any ivory - legal or not - in any of my guitars. End of rant

                          Grunge, as far as your reply, I'm simply asking you to back up your first post. What is "smoother tone", show us some examples. Anyone who has been around this forum long enough knows that I have posted some A/B/C clips of strings and bridge pins with some very interesting discussions following. Once a long time ago I was going to do it for saddles - bone vs soft plastic vs tusq vs (not ivory) - but as you know it is a hell of a lot of work.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            During the 30's ivory was used for saddles and nuts, and hawksbill tortis shell was used for trim and picks. There is a mystic about them and today some people feel that they the best sounding materials. Unfortunately, elephants and tortises have been "harvested" to near extinction and there is still a booming market in poached ivory.

                            Someone has decided that "fossilized" ivory is just as good, and since it involves already dead elephants or walruses or whatever, it is OK, so there is a pretty large market in "FWI". Bob Colosi, sells the stuff, charges 24 for a bone saddle, 45-50 for ivory.

                            It not only runs foul to what I believe in as an enhabitant of this small earth, I also don't believe the hype. Plane old cow bone works just fine, cows aren't extint yet or on the CITES list, I want nothing to do with any ivory - legal or not - in any of my guitars. End of rant

                            Grunge, as far as your reply, I'm simply asking you to back up your first post. What is "smoother tone", show us some examples. Anyone who has been around this forum long enough knows that I have posted some A/B/C clips of strings and bridge pins with some very interesting discussions following. Once a long time ago I was going to do it for saddles - bone vs soft plastic vs tusq vs (not ivory) - but as you know it is a hell of a lot of work.


                            Great post, FK
                            .

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I still hold that the only scientifically credible way to test things like this is a midget joust.

                              Two midgets, each mounted on a Standard Poodle. One has a guitar with a GraphTech saddle, and the other has a guitar with a bone saddle. They joust, and the last midget mounted has the better material.



                              <div class="signaturecontainer">I guess I kinda lost control, because in the middle of the play I ran up and lit the evil puppet villain on fire. No, I didn't. Just kidding. I just said that to help illustrate one of the human emotions, which is freaking out. Another emotion is greed, as when you kill someone for money, or something like that. Another emotion is generosity, as when you pay someone double what he paid for his stupid puppet.<br><br><br><br><br><br>I.K.F.C.<br><br>E.S .C.<br><br>Potato Society<br><br>SAWG</div>

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