#1
I'm about to go to college, and I can't afford the acoustic I want. So I want a little better sound out of mine until I can afford a new one. I know a lot about electric guitars, but next to nothing about acoustics.

I have an Alvarez, I think it's an RD-8. As far as I've experienced, it's a nice guitar for what I paid. A little quiet, a little muddy, and very little low end, but all around pretty nice.

A couple of people have told me to switch my saddle, nut, and bridge pins to bone, or graphite, or something else other than cheap plastic.

for 35$ish would this be a noticeable upgrade to my sustain and tone, or would it not be worth it?
Winner of the 2011 Virginia Guitar Festival

Protools HD
Lynx Aurora 16/HD192
Mojave, Sennheiser, AKG, EV etc mics
Focusrite ISA828 pres
Waves Mercury
Random Rack Gear

65 Deluxe Reverb
PRS CE 22
American Standard Strat
Taylor 712
#2
Yes it would be worth it. It will improve your tone.
It's Only Rock and Roll, But I like It
#3
The nut and saddle to bone would supply a better tone, I doubt you would notice much difference by changing the pins though [minuscule]. Changing the saddle to bone would not be hard because it's just a matter of correct shaping, however changing the nut to bone is no easy job and not cheap to have it done by a Pro. To do it right you wound need special nut slot files [$85] for starters and also the skill to do a good job of it. Your point though is to improve the sound for $35ish. Save your bucks on the pins and do the saddle for sure, but think twice about having a go at the nut yourself. A new plastic one for your guitar if available, might be the better option for the time being. Just my point of view though.
Last edited by Akabilk at Aug 20, 2008,
#4
Quote by Akabilk
The nut and saddle to bone would supply a better tone, I doubt you would notice much difference by changing the pins though. Changing the saddle to bone would not be hard because it's just a matter of correct shaping, however changing the nut to bone is no easy job and not cheap to have it done by a Pro. To do it right you wound need special nut slot files [$85] for starters and also the skill to do a good job of it. Your point though is to improve the sound for $35ish. Save your bucks on the pins and do the saddle for sure, but think twice about having a go at the nut yourself. A new plastic one for your guitar if available, might be the better option.



My teacher has one that fits my alvarez that he took off of one of his old guitars. He said he'd sell it to me.

Thanks for the advice on pins though
Winner of the 2011 Virginia Guitar Festival

Protools HD
Lynx Aurora 16/HD192
Mojave, Sennheiser, AKG, EV etc mics
Focusrite ISA828 pres
Waves Mercury
Random Rack Gear

65 Deluxe Reverb
PRS CE 22
American Standard Strat
Taylor 712
#6
The contact points of the strings are the nut and saddle, not the pins. Changing the pins for a better sound is a bit like saying changing the tuners will give a better sound :-)
#7
Quote by Artemis Entreri
Hmm. What about that....like synthetic ivory stuff?


That would be Tusq. Tusq is pretty good, but bone is better.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
#8
Honestly I dont think its worth it for a laminate top guitar.

That said though, I guess it depends. If this is your one and only guitar and you have no intention of getting a new one then I guess it may be worthwhile. If you plan on upgrading to a solid top guitar in the future then honestly, id just put the money towards that instead.
#9
Quote by Akabilk
The contact points of the strings are the nut and saddle, not the pins. Changing the pins for a better sound is a bit like saying changing the tuners will give a better sound :-)


But they do provide better tone via less mass. The more vibrating string energy that can be allowed to pass into the body of the guitar, the better the tone and sustain will be. Granted, these improvements are minimal, with the exception of the saddle and nut, but each and every little bit counts towards better tone.
TS, go for the saddle upgrade to bone. The stock Alvarez one is basically crap plastic. You can get a bone blank for about $10US. If you want to do the job yourself, go to Frets.com and read up on how to fashion one. It's not at all difficult, but it'll be like lifting a blanket off of the sound of your guitar.
Better bridge pins are recommended over stock as they will last longer. Again, they are cheapo plastic out of the box, and get beat up pretty quickly. Tone wise, you may or may not notice a difference. You most certainly will with a new saddle piece.