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How To: Determine quality of bone (for saddle/nut)   You are logged in as Guest
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jalalkun

Posts: 276
Joined: May 3 2017
From: Iraq, living in Cologne, Germany

How To: Determine quality of bone (f... 

Hi folks,

Disclaimer: I am no luthier or guitar maker by any means, but I'm curious as hell, so I just thought I'd jump in and ask away.

The bone saddle of my guitar had been corrected in December last year, which means that all the edges were flush and smooth at that point. A couple of months later - now - I see that the saddle is dented where the wound strings sit. Consequence is that my 4th string wears down extremely fast because the friction at the dented edge slowly cuts into the string and it gets visible very fast. It even spontaneously snapped during a gig. My question now is: How can a luthier determine the quality of the bone (s)he is working? Of course, my current guitar isn't luthier made, so this shouldn't apply on my guitar, but I'm still curious.

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My name is Jalal.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 5 2017 15:19:11
 
Njål Bendixen

 

Posts: 65
Joined: Aug. 25 2016
 

RE: How To: Determine quality of bon... (in reply to jalalkun

Jalakun

Are you sure that it is bone? On factory instruments this is often imitation bone (plastic). Real bone saddles do wear down as you describe, but it takes years.

I purchase my bone pieces from respectable luthier's suppliers, and I have never had a bad one.

Njål
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 5 2017 15:46:04
 
jalalkun

Posts: 276
Joined: May 3 2017
From: Iraq, living in Cologne, Germany

RE: How To: Determine quality of bon... (in reply to jalalkun

I'm not sure about it Njal, I don't even know how to determine it. My guitar is said to have a bone saddle, though I don't know how credible their information is. My guitar is made by quite a renowned German manufacturer (Höfner), but it's still a low price segmented guitar (~320€).

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My name is Jalal.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 5 2017 22:31:46
 
gerundino63

Posts: 1569
Joined: Jul. 11 2003
From: The Netherlands

RE: How To: Determine quality of bon... (in reply to jalalkun

A hot needle will melt plastic, not bone or ivory.
Also you can hear a different in sound when you tap it on your teeth.
Plastic is half as heavy than bone.
Plastic have mosly a seem one way or the other.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 6 2017 7:22:47
 
jalalkun

Posts: 276
Joined: May 3 2017
From: Iraq, living in Cologne, Germany

RE: How To: Determine quality of bon... (in reply to gerundino63

Haven't thought about the temperature, I might try it out.
What about 12-hole bridges? My bridge has been modified since December and now it has 12 holes. this kind of setup does increase the tension/break angle at the saddle, but does it increase it so much so that the wear increases this much more?

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My name is Jalal.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 6 2017 10:57:22
 
Njål Bendixen

 

Posts: 65
Joined: Aug. 25 2016
 

RE: How To: Determine quality of bon... (in reply to jalalkun

Hi Jalal


A 12 hole bridge should not be a problem. Regardless of the material that the saddle is made of you obviously have a problem. Go to a local guitar maker and have a new saddle made. Cheaper than buying a new guitar.


Njål
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 6 2017 16:04:41
 
jalalkun

Posts: 276
Joined: May 3 2017
From: Iraq, living in Cologne, Germany

RE: How To: Determine quality of bon... (in reply to jalalkun

Well. Since I've asked my trusted luthier to build me a guitar (for a better setup, better ergonomics and of course better sound) I won't be bothering about my current guitar anymore. I was just being curious, that's all. I might even have a new saddle made in the future, who knows. Maybe it would still bother me some years later. Thank you for you knowledgeable advice Njål !

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My name is Jalal.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 6 2017 16:31:03
 
PeterScott01

 

Posts: 1
Joined: Jul. 3 2020
 

RE: How To: Determine quality of bon... (in reply to jalalkun

Hello Jalal, I am pretty surprised because the bone saddle doesn't break like this.. yes they have some wear and tear as they grow old. but they dont break that easily. I have the martin guitar and its pre fitted plastic saddle use to break a lot and sometimes while I am playing(I play to earn) which causes a huge embarrassment as nobody carries spare saddle.

My friend suggested me to try bone saddle, first I was skeptic but it showed best results and I am using one from last 6 years almost. It has faded but its not broken yet. Moreover I can feel more warmth in my tunes.

Shoutout to guys at macnichol who helped me with setting up the bone saddle.Bone Saddles
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 3 2020 12:19:36
 
etta

 

Posts: 297
Joined: Jan. 20 2010
 

RE: How To: Determine quality of bon... (in reply to jalalkun

Saddle testing; drop a bone saddle lightly on a hardwood surface and listen to the sound. A higher pitch will usually indicate a greater bone density. This test is an indicator also for violin and banjo bridges. Want a warmer tone, get softer bone or wood.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 15 2020 16:29:05
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