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Thread: A question about guitar bridge pins

  1. #1

    Default A question about guitar bridge pins

    Normally, I'd ask this at Harmony Central's guitar tech forum, because the luthier who moderates it gives good advice. But I haven't been able to log in there lately - probably thanks to some "upgrades" they've done to the site.

    I recently switched to bone bridge pins. They're a big improvement for the wound strings - more clarity, volume, and sustain - but the B and high E sound shrill and zithery.

    So I'd like to find different pins for those two strings and am leaning toward a pair of wood pins. I've seen boxwood, ebony, rosewood, and snakewood (whatever that is) for sale online.

    How do they compare? What's your advice?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: A question about guitar bridge pins

    I don't see how bridge pins could make your unwound strings "zithery". If it's a constant buzzing no matter where you fret, you should check how the strings go over the saddle. If the sound goes away when you fret them, I'd suspect the nut.

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: A question about guitar bridge pins

    I agree with Dale. Bridge pin material has at most a negligible impact on sound. Proper fit of the pins and string installation is much more likely to remedy your problem.

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  6. #4

    Default Re: A question about guitar bridge pins

    I found the bone bridge pins helped the sound on my Martin HD-28. It made the bass a lot more clear and defined and not as muddy. Like the others say, if you are getting a twanging I would look at other causes. If there is a problem with the slot in the bridge pins so the ball does not seat well it can cause that also.

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  8. #5

    Default Re: A question about guitar bridge pins

    Yup to all the above. There's no buzzing. It's just shrill. To me, zithers are shrill, but maybe my experience with them isn't as comprehensive as it could be. I doubt I'm alone.

    And yeah, the bone pins made the wound strings much more articulate. But as I said, the two high strings are just WAY too bright for my purposes. I love twangy, I hate ice-picky.

    I'll probably experiment with rosewood and ebony. And in separate test, try heavier strings.

  9. #6
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: A question about guitar bridge pins

    Have you tried wrapping the bridge pin where it enters the body with a bit of paper just to see if it dampens that bite a bit? Maybe two wraps of paper or a light piece of cloth.
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  11. #7
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Re: A question about guitar bridge pins

    How strange, I haven't detected any change in sound from changing bridge pins (other than the brass ones - but that's just dumping a ton of weight on the guitar top).

    I do like both bone and ebony pins though for their durability/usability.

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  13. #8
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    Default Re: A question about guitar bridge pins

    Are the bone pins the same diameter and fit the same as your old pins. I am with the camp of not making a significant change in sound. I have been turning the pins around, or fitting solid pins, and slotting the hole for the string to move ahead. I have heard a nice change after the string balls are not sinking into the bridge plate.
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  15. #9

    Default Re: A question about guitar bridge pins

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    Are the bone pins the same diameter and fit the same as your old pins. . . .
    Yes.

  16. #10
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: A question about guitar bridge pins

    FWIW , I put wooden bridge pins in my guitar, seeming to be same wood as the bridge itself..

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