Suggestions for mellower bridge pins?

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by Charlie Bernstein, Jul 28, 2019.

  1. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    I changed from plastic to bone bridge pins. They make the wound strings sound great, but now the B and high E strings are too shrill.

    So I'd like to put a different kind of pin just on those two strings. What material will warm them up? Rosewood? Boxwood? Brass? Tusq? My old plastic pins?

    Thanks!
     
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  2. lineboat

    lineboat Friend of Leo's

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    I put a set of Tusq pins in one guitar and it tamed it down a lot.
     
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  3. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Tusq pins fan too. It could be the combination of the type of strings and pins though.
     
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  4. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

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    Sounds like I need to try some bone pins on my J45. The B and E practically vanish sometimes.
     
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  5. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    I would use Tusq or Brass.
     
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  6. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've gotten a lot of suggestions. Thanks, gang! I'll be trying rosewood first, then ebony.
     
  7. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Tele-Afflicted

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    Correct - wood will reduce some ping, and may release more low end as well. After trying everything, I ended up right back where I started with factory plastic pins as the best balance on my main flattop. It defies senses, but plastic more often than not, just seems to have the best response and balance to me, exceptions granted of course.
     
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  8. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    I still have the plastic pins, so that'll be my last resort. Thanks!
     
  9. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I would swap the bright strings back to the plastic pins you already have.
     
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  10. TwangerWannabe

    TwangerWannabe Tele-Meister

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    Bridge pins will not "mellow out" a guitar. Dare I say, they MIGHT make a slight change, and that's a big MIGHT, but if you're looking for a big, noticeable change in sound, you might want to try a different type string, different pick thickness and/or different pick material, etc. Bridge pins are the last thing that would give you a dramatic change that you'll hear.

    Also, if you really are not happy with the tone of the guitar, you might be chasing your tail spending money on things to try and turn the guitar into something it's not. It may just not be the right guitar for you.

    Replacing bridge pins and expecting to hear a dramatic change is like replacing your windshield wipers and swearing your car drives better.

    However, there is an exception to what I've said above...the more you spend on a set of replacement bridge pins, the more of a tonal change you'll (think) you'll hear. More expensive = greater tonal change.
     
  11. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yup. So I'm going to try it. (And, probably, heavier strings.) My question wasn't whether to do it, it was what material to try. The best suggestions I've found are ebony, rosewood, and the original plastic.

    I love how the guitar sounds and plays. (And, because I'm shallow and superficial, how it looks.) It's my desert island instrument. But speaking of "slight change," those two strings did increase their treble a lot when I put on the bone pins.

    I could just put the plastic pins back on those two, but as you wisely point out, the more I spend, the better it'll sound. So I'll probably sink a paycheck into some rosewood pins.
     
  12. Jim622

    Jim622 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I got wood pins. I forget what type. Looks like rosewood
     
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  13. Jim622

    Jim622 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Double post
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2019
  14. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    That's where I'm going.
     
  15. craigs63

    craigs63 Tele-Holic

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    How does the speaking length of the string know what's happening to it on the other side of the bridge (saddle) or nut?
     
  16. Jim622

    Jim622 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    They are very intelligent?
     
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  17. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm not a luthier. I know that the bridge and bridge plate affect the sound, and the pins are what connect the strings to them.

    And I know that the two high strings weren't as shrill with the original plastic bridge pins. As for the hows and whys, I have ANFI.
     
  18. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    Some folks have smart phones. I have smart strings.
     
  19. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    The OP has stated what course of action he is going to take next, after considering the input he asked for. Hope it all works out to his satisfaction.

    In the broader scope of discussion which he has started, I am inclined to agree with the comments of others saying that other variables should be considered. The string gauge and material (brass, monel, phosphor bronze) are both factors. Also, the guitar itself, particularly the top. And closely relate to that would be the bridge pins. Then the pick (plectrum) used is a factor, both in material and gauge.

    I have tried strings made of the different metal alloys mentioned in the parenthetical statement above, and phosphor bronze to me has what I'm looking for in terms of warmth of tone across the spectrum. I use D'Addario EJ16s. And the bracing and tops of guitars plays (pun intended) a role. I have two older Breedloves, and the tops are carved thinner and supported by a truss system, the theory being that they vibrate more freely, I think. At any rate, they are clear and bell-like without being to bright or shrill. So the species and thickness of the top wood are considerations for me.

    Then I'd look at the bridge pins. I have 7 acoustics all told (I'm including my acoustic/electrics in that grouping), and 4 of them have bridge pins, both wood and plastic/tusq. One has ebony pins, another may be rosewood (I don't know for sure, right offhand), and a couple have plastic/tusq. Honestly, I never notice how much this variable impacts the tone. I'm sure some, but it's not enough to get my attention. I've never thought "Wow, those plastic/tusq pins make the strings sound harsh," or "Those wooden pins make the strings sound dull."

    Truth be told, I find more noticeable tone differences with different guitar picks than I do bridge pins. For those times I want to approximate the sweet, warm "thunk" of nylon strings from a steel string, I use a nylon pick, heavy gauge, as in the D'Addario Planet Waves Duragrip pick, heavy, 1.2mm.
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    For almost everything else, I use homemade picks, made out of high pressure laminate material used for countertops. It's almost 1mm thick, and very stiff, so the attack is crisp and bright, yet the tone has a girth, a fullness to it.
    Picks personally punched from laminate.jpg
     

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  20. Frontier9

    Frontier9 Friend of Leo's

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    I have some bridge pins marinating in a jar of the finest, refined snake oil. I put them in there on the seventh day of the seventh month of the seventh year of this century. In the light of a full buck moon. I'd be happy to send them on your way... for the paltry sum of one hunnerd American dollars.

    Seriously, I think messing with different types of bridge material would yield more significant results.
     
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