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DarkHorseJ27

Got some ebony bridge pins for my Alvarez

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The bridge pins in there were plastic. I loosened all the strings and put in the ebony ones and tuned to pitch. The tone sounded thinner and more "quacky", and not as warm. I checked and both the plastic pins and the ebony have the same taper. The only difference I could see (besides material obviously) was the slots in the ebony pins are a good bit shallower. Would that have an effect on the sound? If not, then it is the material that made the difference in tone. I put the plastic pins back in and it got the same tone it had before it took them out.

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Hmmm. I would think that the shape of the pin might have more effect than the material...but I had the opposite result. I took out the plastic pins on my H-bird and replaced them with ebony--and the sound was better. Not hugely different, but a "fuller" sound especially in the mids.

 

I put brass pins on my old Yammie jumbo, just as an experiment. Really like what that did for its upper end. You could really notice the difference playing fingerstyle.

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Just listened to the bridge pin test at the Annex, and the difference in tone between the plastic and the ebony is the same as what I heard in my guitar.

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You are both wrong. Bridge pins make no difference in the sound.

 

I suggest you listen to that bridge pin test then.

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OK......I'm open minded about all of this. I can certainly understand why a different saddle material would make a difference in tone......and, I can understand why a different nut material would make a difference in tone on any string played "open".....however, I can't understand why changing the bridge pin material would ever make a difference in tone.

 

Can someone (someone who really knows) please explain this?

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You are both wrong. Bridge pins make no difference in the sound.

 

I agree. Usually the tester is hearing the new strings or a different brand. It's cork-sniffery at best. But I guess opinions are like assholes, everybody has one.

 

I do have a cool test for you all: Go get a lead weight like people use to fish with and tape it to the bridge. See if you can hear a difference in tone when you play. If things like changing the bridge pins from plastic to wood make all that tone delicious goodness, a lead weight on the bridge should do SOMETHING, right?

I'm not saying better or worse....just different. It should effect things. Anyway, what's neat about the test is that it can be done quickly and easily and it negates all that string change business.

Heck, if you actually hear an improvement maybe you can fine tune it by placing the lead weight in that strategic location on the bridge that maximizes tone. Maybe tape a bunch of them on there in different places. How about taping coins to the soundboard? Experiment. Start a trend.

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You are both wrong. Bridge pins make no difference in the sound.

 

You must have a shitty ear, and even shittier understanding of physics.

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I use to play standing up but I found that my tummy pressing up the back of my acoustic made it hard to hear the Brazilian rosewood...it started sounding like an Indian rosewood guitar. What's the point of spending thousands more for a guitar when you can't hear that species of wood you paid all that money for? Now I play sitting down or use a guitar stand when I play standing up. I try as best I can to not touch the back and sides in order not to dampen the sacred Brazilian rosewood vibrations. My playing has suffered a little bit. There are certain songs that it's hard to play now but the tone is worth it. Ah. Brazilian rosewood. Accept no substitutions.

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I suggest you listen to that bridge pin test then.

 

+1

 

But perhaps he (TelesRock) will be one who perceives no difference.

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I agree. Usually the tester is hearing the new strings or a different brand. It's cork-sniffery at best. But I guess opinions are like assholes, everybody has one.


I do have a cool test for you all: Go get a lead weight like people use to fish with and tape it to the bridge. See if you can hear a difference in tone when you play. If things like changing the bridge pins from plastic to wood make all that tone delicious goodness, a lead weight on the bridge should do SOMETHING, right?

 

Actually, yesterday I did a different experiment, but in the same kind of fashion: I clamped a small vice on my headstock, to see if that would increase sustain and improve tone.

Actually, it DEcreased sustain and made the tone thinner. So that does have an influence.

 

But why do you ignore Freeman Keller's bridge pin test? That really does demonstrate audible differences between different bridge pins.

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I agree. Usually the tester is hearing the new strings or a different brand. It's cork-sniffery at best. But I guess opinions are like assholes, everybody has one.

 

In my original post I say I loosened the strings. They are the same strings that were on there before. There is a lot of life left in them so it makes no sense to throw away.

 

And I can't say that bridge pins will make a difference in every guitar. All I know is switching from plastic to ebony pins in my Alvarez had a negative effect on tone, and unless you have played or heard my guitar no one has any room to say otherwise.

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The bridge pins in there were plastic. I loosened all the strings and put in the ebony ones and tuned to pitch. The tone sounded thinner and more "quacky", and not as warm. I checked and both the plastic pins and the ebony have the same taper. The only difference I could see (besides material obviously) was the slots in the ebony pins are a good bit shallower. Would that have an effect on the sound? If not, then it is the material that made the difference in tone. I put the plastic pins back in and it got the same tone it had before it took them out.

 

I would suggest it's possible the shallower slots in the ebony bridge pins have something to do with the thinness post install. What I think may be occurring is the shallow slots allow the bottom of the slot to contact the sting and push it down into the hole, away from the bridge plate.

Try deepening the slot and try it again. Or, you could cut a slot in the guitar. :eek:

 

I can say without doubt bridge pins have made a difference in the sound/tone of the guitars I've changed them on.

My FG150 gained sustain and clarity with the installation of brass pins. I did that nearly 30 years ago and yes, same strings and even when the strings were changed the "new" string tone was better than with the old pins, ie better sustain and clarity. I also found a longer time before the sustain started dying.

I placed ebony strings in the Guild I had and that kind of muddied up the low end and became a bit quacky so I put the plastic back in. Those pins went into my FG411S and I found a lot more sustain and an overall sweeter tone with a bit less stridence on the upper end.

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Just listened to the bridge pin test at the Annex, and the difference in tone between the plastic and the ebony is the same as what I heard in my guitar.

 

Ok so I'm not so clever, how do I find the annex and all these cool old storehouses of knowledge?

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Another effect that might be going on is the "ideomotor effect"

 

Basically a person unconsciously plays different (digs in more or brushes against the strings slightly, picks slightly on a different spot on the string's length subconsciously)in order to get a desired result.

Ouija boards work on the same basis.

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I suggest you listen to that bridge pin test then.

 

+1

 

They won't make a huge difference in sound, but they will affect it a little bit. If you like the sound of the plastic bridge pins better, just stick with the plastic ones and save the ebony pins for another guitar. Or return 'em, or sell 'em on eBay or Craig's List or something.

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Another effect that might be going on is the
"ideomotor effect"


Basically a person unconsciously plays different (digs in more or brushes against the strings slightly, picks slightly on a different spot on the string's length subconsciously)in order to get a desired result.

Ouija boards work on the same basis.

 

 

Like you so succinctly stated earlier.

Opinions are like ass holes everyone has one.

You neglected to add they all stink, including yours. :poke:

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Another effect that might be going on is the
"ideomotor effect"


Basically a person unconsciously plays different (digs in more or brushes against the strings slightly, picks slightly on a different spot on the string's length subconsciously)in order to get a desired result.

Ouija boards work on the same basis.

 

I am aware of that effect. To see if this was the case, I tried everything I could playing wise to get the tone the ebony pins had with the plastic pins. I could not. The ideomotor effect does not explain that.

 

And my desired result was to have a better tone. I got a worse tone. Further proof that this is not the ideometer effect.

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In my original post I say I loosened the strings. They are the same strings that were on there before. There is a lot of life left in them so it makes no sense to throw away.


And I can't say that bridge pins will make a difference in every guitar. All I know is switching from plastic to ebony pins in my Alvarez had a negative effect on tone, and unless you have played or heard my guitar no one has any room to say otherwise.

 

You are wrong and a liar.

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