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Help: Ebony vs. Brass Bridge Pins

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Steve in Idaho 16 May 02 - 10:46 AM
mooman 16 May 02 - 11:24 AM
catspaw49 16 May 02 - 11:51 AM
Steve in Idaho 16 May 02 - 12:37 PM
Mooh 16 May 02 - 12:40 PM
Steve in Idaho 16 May 02 - 12:45 PM
DADGBE 16 May 02 - 12:58 PM
Whistle Stop 16 May 02 - 01:32 PM
Steve in Idaho 16 May 02 - 03:05 PM
GUEST,jack 17 May 02 - 11:21 AM
Whistle Stop 17 May 02 - 11:28 AM
English Jon 17 May 02 - 11:37 AM
GUEST,TEd 23 Mar 11 - 02:20 AM
kendall 23 Mar 11 - 08:07 AM
alex s 23 Mar 11 - 08:29 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 23 Mar 11 - 08:56 AM
GUEST,Ray 23 Mar 11 - 11:20 AM
banjoman 23 Mar 11 - 11:28 AM
Silas 23 Mar 11 - 11:34 AM
Cool Beans 23 Mar 11 - 12:57 PM
alex s 23 Mar 11 - 01:31 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 23 Mar 11 - 06:11 PM
GUEST,jeff 23 Mar 11 - 07:48 PM
alex s 23 Mar 11 - 08:11 PM
Barbara 23 Mar 11 - 08:20 PM
Barbara 23 Mar 11 - 08:22 PM
GUEST,DonMeixner 23 Mar 11 - 10:06 PM
Smokey. 23 Mar 11 - 10:35 PM
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Subject: Ebony vs. Brass Bridge Pins
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 16 May 02 - 10:46 AM

How many of you have had an experience with both of these items? Since receiving my new guitar I'm a bit reluctant to put brass pins in as this instrument is so elegantly simple I'm a bit concerned with aesthetics.

I'm always looking to improve sound so am curious if the Ebony pins will assist transfer of the string vibrations to the top (plastic can't be better can it?) as well as, or close to, the Brass ones.

Thanks

Steve


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Subject: RE: Help: Ebony vs. Brass Bridge Pins
From: mooman
Date: 16 May 02 - 11:24 AM

I always use ebony or rosewood pins as I prefer them aesthetically. One way or another, there will not be a major difference in sound but the ebony will be easily equivalent to the brass and superior to plastic.

Best regards,

mooman


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Subject: RE: Help: Ebony vs. Brass Bridge Pins
From: catspaw49
Date: 16 May 02 - 11:51 AM

Hi Steve......Soundwise I'd go with Bone although Ebony is fine too and both beat the hell out of plastic! Bone costs a bit more of course.....Click for pricing.

Now if you seem to have some bucks lying around and doing nothing else, then the Ancient Walrus Snot is just the ticket!!! JP had guitars totally converted to snot and swears by it!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Help: Ebony vs. Brass Bridge Pins
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 16 May 02 - 12:37 PM

Walrus - and so cheap!! I think the bone or the Ebony could be the way to go. They would both look great and get rid of the plastic.

As usual "Thanks" for the direction :-)

Steve


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Subject: RE: Help: Ebony vs. Brass Bridge Pins
From: Mooh
Date: 16 May 02 - 12:40 PM

I like the ebony pins on two of my guitars, and I have compared them to plastic ones just out of curiosity and found the ebony is audibly better to my ears. I've had brass pins on a guitar I no longer own and liked them, though they, with a brass nut (now there's an invitation for off-colour remarks) made the instrument very bright sounding. I have a Simon & Patrick beater which will get ebony pins sometime, the plastic ones being, well...plastic. Instruments I've played with fancy fossilized what-have-yous were also fine high end guitars which would have sounded good with anything almost so it's hard to judge whether the pins were a huge factor in their sound. It is worth experimenting with various pins and various guitars...but live with them until the novelty wears off, you might find yourself returning to the original.

In the end it should come down to what pleases your ears.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Help: Ebony vs. Brass Bridge Pins
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 16 May 02 - 12:45 PM

Thanks Mooh. I think for pure aesthetics I am going to put Ebony in with a pearl dot. The bridge is a beautiful red color so they will compliment that quite well.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Help: Ebony vs. Brass Bridge Pins
From: DADGBE
Date: 16 May 02 - 12:58 PM

Ebony or ivory sounds best on my old guitar. The problem with brass is the added mass of it. Even plastic is better than brass because of its lower mass.


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Subject: RE: Help: Ebony vs. Brass Bridge Pins
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 16 May 02 - 01:32 PM

I've been playing acoustic guitar for 33 years, semi-professionally for most of that time, and consider myself a pretty accomplished player. Never put brass pins in any of my guitars, nor felt a need to. Ebony works well, and generally looks better (in my opinion). I've played guitars with brass pins, some of which sounded good, some of which did not. Some components of a guitar will definitely enhance or impair the sound, but in general I am skeptical of people's claims about different bridge pin materials; if the pins fit well, they should do the trick, whatever they're made of. You may hear subtle differences after changing the pins -- perhaps for the better, perhaps not -- but you're just as likely to hear the same magnitude of difference when swapping one set of ebony pegs for another.

I'd say put in (or leave in) the ebony pins. If you have a good guitar, good quality hardware (tuners, nut, frets, bridge saddle, etc.) that fits well, good setup, fresh strings, and you still feel a need for sonic improvements, work on your technique.


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Subject: RE: Help: Ebony vs. Brass Bridge Pins
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 16 May 02 - 03:05 PM

I've been pickin for 30 years. My technique always needs help I think *BG*. My guitars are quality to the max, in my opinion anyway, but I have noticed a significant difference in sound when I changed the bridge pins on my Mossman to Brass (then again when I put a real Ebony bridge on it it sounded a hell of a lot better also). I don't particularly care for the look of brass - but it did add to the quality of the sound over the plastic - but then a stick off a tree might have achieved the same end! *G*

My biggest beef with plastic is just that - it's plastic. Setting down with $1000 + instruments with plastic pins just isn't right. And after a while they become a hassle to change the strings due to the pins getting misshaped. I'm also going to work on the intonation of the guitar at the same time as well as build a new saddle. This Gurian sounds lovely as it is so I am assuming, from past experience with my other guitar, that these changes will only enhance an already outstanding sound.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Help: Ebony vs. Brass Bridge Pins
From: GUEST,jack
Date: 17 May 02 - 11:21 AM

Plastic bridge pins usually have a groove for the string to pass though the bridge . The Bone and the ebony bridge pins I have used don't have that groove---The bridge itself will have to have a smaller pocket filed/cut into it for the string to pass through the bridge. Also, there are different degrees of taper to the pins( bone,ebony opposed to plastic) If a bridge has been fitted for plastic and you are converting to bone or ebony, it may be necessaty to take the guitar to a repairman and have the bridge pin holes re-reamed to the proper taper-- I would say never force the pin into the bridge-- it could result in splitting the bridge


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Subject: RE: Help: Ebony vs. Brass Bridge Pins
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 17 May 02 - 11:28 AM

Definitely agree about not forcing the pins; it should be unnecessary, and can definitely cause damage as jack suggests. However, most ebony pins that I'm aware of (including those on my own guitars) do have the groove for the string, so perhaps that will not be an issue for you.


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Subject: RE: Help: Ebony vs. Brass Bridge Pins
From: English Jon
Date: 17 May 02 - 11:37 AM

I notice Carthy usues 4 brass pins, and 2 ebony for the treble strings.

Anyone know why?

Barry Owen, the luthier told me that the greater the mass of the pegs, the louder the sound. Is this true?

EJ


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Subject: RE: Help: Ebony vs. Brass Bridge Pins
From: GUEST,TEd
Date: 23 Mar 11 - 02:20 AM

I just replaced the plastic pins with Ebony pins on a 20-year old Guild Jumbo and they did make a noticeable difference. Not a big difference, but noticeable - the guitar sounds just a little bit woodier and the notes have a little more punch. I like it! The ebony pins were just $10 so it was well worth it.


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Subject: RE: Help: Ebony vs. Brass Bridge Pins
From: kendall
Date: 23 Mar 11 - 08:07 AM

I replaced the plastic pins because they always break. Brass was on sale and much cheaper than bone, so I bought them.
Don't see a big difference because the Taylor was so responsive before.


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Subject: RE: Help: Ebony vs. Brass Bridge Pins
From: alex s
Date: 23 Mar 11 - 08:29 AM

I tried alternating brass and ebony on my Guild in order to compare sounds i.e. 6th Eb, 5th Br, 4th Eb etc - the ebony gave the best sound as the brass was loud but a bit harsh. All ebony now.
Also tried stainless steel - pretty but VERY hard sound


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Subject: RE: Help: Ebony vs. Brass Bridge Pins
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 23 Mar 11 - 08:56 AM

Can anybody advise where Ebony bridge pins are available. Seems to me that mostly it's plastic or brass in the shops I visit.

Hoot


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Subject: RE: Help: Ebony vs. Brass Bridge Pins
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 23 Mar 11 - 11:20 AM

Depends on the sound you want. Alan Marshall (Northworthy Guitars) always supplies his guitars with brass pins - they're built with that in mind. They add weight to the bridge which this can be useful if the action has been lowered by reducing the height of the bridge instead of having a full neck reset.

You can get 'em from strings direct - http://www.stringsdirect.co.uk/products/417-planet_waves_ebony_bridge_pins_set - who stock loads of alternatives.
Ray


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Subject: RE: Help: Ebony vs. Brass Bridge Pins
From: banjoman
Date: 23 Mar 11 - 11:28 AM

I changed the pins on my Lakewood fron ivory to Brass. Initially it did seem to make a difference in the tone but now I am not so sure and am about to go back to the originals. I have noticed that there have been a lot more string breaks, especially the lighter strings, since fitting brass pins but that may be coincidental


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Subject: RE: Help: Ebony vs. Brass Bridge Pins
From: Silas
Date: 23 Mar 11 - 11:34 AM

Tusq are pretty good.


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Subject: RE: Help: Ebony vs. Brass Bridge Pins
From: Cool Beans
Date: 23 Mar 11 - 12:57 PM

I discern no aural difference between ebony pins and plastic pins. But don't get me started on strings--there's a world of differences there.


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Subject: RE: Help: Ebony vs. Brass Bridge Pins
From: alex s
Date: 23 Mar 11 - 01:31 PM

I got my ebony pins from Hobgoblin, UK


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Subject: RE: Help: Ebony vs. Brass Bridge Pins
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 23 Mar 11 - 06:11 PM

Thanks Alex their London shop is quite close .I'll give them a try.

Hoot


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Subject: RE: Help: Ebony vs. Brass Bridge Pins
From: GUEST,jeff
Date: 23 Mar 11 - 07:48 PM

A few years ago brass bridges and pins were all the rage. The difference I noticed was a 'crisper/punchier' sound. This was needed at the time as I was playing alot of loud pubs. When one is playing a listening room a bone bridge and ebony pins give a softer edge. I've used brass, plastic, tusc and have ebony in my guitar, presently. They're my preference and recommendation.


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Subject: RE: Help: Ebony vs. Brass Bridge Pins
From: alex s
Date: 23 Mar 11 - 08:11 PM

Ebony pins: £6.95 plain or £9.95 with a dot - Hobgoblin UK


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Subject: RE: Help: Ebony vs. Brass Bridge Pins
From: Barbara
Date: 23 Mar 11 - 08:20 PM

You can buy a range of bridge pins from
Luthiers Mercantile International [LMI] or StewMac. You can buy a set of bridge pins from either of these guitar maker supply places and spend less than $10, though postage may make it more.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Help: Ebony vs. Brass Bridge Pins
From: Barbara
Date: 23 Mar 11 - 08:22 PM

Looks like I punted the StewMac link. Here's their homepage, and you can just put "bridge pins"in the search engine to pull up what they have. http://www.stewmac.com/
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Help: Ebony vs. Brass Bridge Pins
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 23 Mar 11 - 10:06 PM

I have both ebony and brass pins that fit my Guild F-30. I swapped them back and forth each time I changed strings for several cycles one year. That last time this debate came up in fact. I found not difference in the the sound from each change. Once I played them with the pins alternated and found no difference in the tone.

There is a perceptible difference between plastic pins and pins of a denser mass. But on that guitar with my ears there is no difference in the brass and ebony pins.

D


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Subject: RE: Help: Ebony vs. Brass Bridge Pins
From: Smokey.
Date: 23 Mar 11 - 10:35 PM

I get a distinctly brighter tone with John Pearse bell-metal pins than with ebony. That's with medium gauge (.13's) phosphor bronze strings on small warm sounding rosewood/spruce guitars. I put new strings on with the ebony pins and change them for the metal when they start sounding a bit dull - it saves me money on strings. It works for me, but I expect it varies on different guitars.


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