#1
so, i've got a yamaha acoustic, and yes it's an entry model. call me crazy, but it's a wonderful instrument.. sounds beautiful and lovely action, quality construction, nice wood in the fret board.

all in all, just lovely. but it's got a plastic nut and saddle.

looks like i could get a graphtech nut and saddle on ebay for somewhere around 20 to 30 bucks. or if went with bone, this looks like a cheap but considerable upgrade.

(i dont know anything about graphtech, is it better than bone?)

whatever material, that's worth it, i'd say. agree/disagree? i'd replace them myself so my only cost is parts. i play the guitar often enough and don't plan on retiring it. it's a great backup. sounds as good as some triple the price.

i think i got lucky and got perfection embodied for this model guitar. ive played others of the same model at guitar center, no comparison. i almost think they just mislabeled mine.

so, i'm thinking of upgrading the nut and saddle to either bone or graphtech. anyone else done this to their acoustic? how much of a difference do bridge pins make? should i stay with graphtech for pins if the nut and saddle are too?

anyway, thanks for your thoughts.
#2
I'm going to be doing this to a 1990s Sigma.

Not sure if I would otherwise, but my plastic(?) saddle has a couple chips in it now. No idea if it will make a lot of difference. It has very nice sound to it already. We'll see.

If yours sounds as good as you say, maybe you ought to leave well enough alone.

"Better is the enemy of good."
#3
Quote by gr7070
. . . . . . If yours sounds as good as you say, maybe you ought to leave well enough alone. . . . . . .


Precisely. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Anyway, I'm one of those people that believe that the only reason bone was traditionally used for saddles and nuts is because plastic wasn't invented back then
#4
Quote by Garthman
...[ ]....Anyway, I'm one of those people that believe that the only reason bone was traditionally used for saddles and nuts is because plastic wasn't invented back then
Plus, they used cat gut for strings. Those were barbarous times my friend, barbarous times indeed.

Quote by daniel.morgan.l
so, i've got a yamaha acoustic, and yes it's an entry model. call me crazy, but it's a wonderful instrument.. sounds beautiful and lovely action, quality construction, nice wood in the fret board.

@TS, the bridge pin don't really contact the strings very much, since they have grooves running the length of them to prevent that.

The saddle is a drop in, so no problem there. Ah, but then there's the nut. Unless you have a set of nut files, (which I'm pretty sure you don't) I'd avoid dealing with that like the plague.

Anyway, some bone sounds better than others, (or so I've heard), and "Tusq", (Graphtech's trade name for their material), could be slightly better or worse, depending on the bone sample involved.

You can also buy these parts made of petrified mastodon ass bone or similar, for a couple hundred bucks. Personally, that's way too much of an elitist waste of my money Basically I've just snickered at the ads, and moved on with my life, OEM saddles and top nuts still firmly in place.

In any event, since you're waxing so poetically about the guitar as it is, I fear changing those 2 parts might be the death of you. Your head or your heart might explode from acute joy overdose. I think it would be embarrassing to be caught dead, cranium blowed up, with an erection lasting far longer than 4 hours, brought on by the love you felt for this guitar.....

So no, I don't think it's a good idea to change these parts. A "sound" alternative, would be to do as I do, buy the parts, and then procrastinate about putting them on until...., like about forever.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Dec 15, 2014,
#5
Cheap? Yes. Considerable? Doubtful. Like crank said, changing the nut is no small chore either. If I was to choose though I'd go with the graphtech because you know it's gonna be consistent and the size is gonna be exact. I bought a couple cheap bone saddles off ebay and the sizes were off a little, a little too much in fact.
Last edited by rohash at Dec 15, 2014,
#6
I would try changing the saddle first, as that is the most likely to affect tone, and I'm very skeptical about the effect of pins, except via their mass. I'm old-fashioned and would (have, in fact) go with bone. Bob Colosi is apparently the man for this kind of thing. I tried Graphtech black on a couple of guitars because it had a good tap tone and I thought it looked cool. It turned out to be a tone killer. FWIW, I have aluminium saddles an a couple of guitars and it seems pretty good.
#7
I'm an old fan of bone.

I think my bone saddle cost around 5 bucks, took me maybe 15 minutes to sand it into shape, never looked back.

Didn't fool with the nut till it broke changing strings one day. I wasn't happy with Takamine for putting a plastic nut on my $800 guitar...replaced it myself with a bone one, again about 5 bucks and an hour or so to shape it. A friend at a vintage guitar store loaned me the nut files and it's still working fine 10 years later.

In your case I'd replace the saddle, you can easily swap it back to the plastic one if you want to, but don't mess with the nut until it has a problem. Nuts aren't easy to deal with, especially if you don't have access to some nut flies and the know how to use them...

Check at local music stores before you order one online, the blank material for a saddle will probably cost less than the shipping...unless they've gone waaayyy up in the past couple of years...takes 20-30 minutes with some sandpaper to shape it, be very careful to not take off too much height though...That may take putting it in and tweaking it a few times to get the action just right. That's why I wish they all would make an adjustable saddle like my old Epiphone had...drop it in and turn the thumbwheels...
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#8
Quote by Paleo Pete
I'm an old fan of bone.

I think my bone saddle cost around 5 bucks, took me maybe 15 minutes to sand it into shape, never looked back.

Didn't fool with the nut till it broke changing strings one day. I wasn't happy with Takamine for putting a plastic nut on my $800 guitar...replaced it myself with a bone one, again about 5 bucks and an hour or so to shape it. A friend at a vintage guitar store loaned me the nut files and it's still working fine 10 years later.

In your case I'd replace the saddle, you can easily swap it back to the plastic one if you want to, but don't mess with the nut until it has a problem. Nuts aren't easy to deal with, especially if you don't have access to some nut flies and the know how to use them...

Check at local music stores before you order one online, the blank material for a saddle will probably cost less than the shipping...unless they've gone waaayyy up in the past couple of years...takes 20-30 minutes with some sandpaper to shape it, be very careful to not take off too much height though...That may take putting it in and tweaking it a few times to get the action just right. That's why I wish they all would make an adjustable saddle like my old Epiphone had...drop it in and turn the thumbwheels...


I buy always buy locally, but many of them are bent, so they are a tight fit in the slot and won't work well with a UST, and some have soft patches in them. No real problem if you are careful, but buyer beware.