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The Brightest Nut & Saddle

Q:
I have a 1958 mahogany top Gibson in good shape. I'm debating between a bone nut and saddle or a real ivory nut and saddle. I want to get as bright of tone from her as possible. Which do you suggest?
Thanks!
Joseph, N.E. Ohio

A: The cruel truth is that the brightest nut and saddle are made out of Tusq.
It is a high tech plastic. It is much more “live” than either bone or Ivory. When you drop it on a hard surface it "rings." Taylor guitars come from the factory with Tusq. Needless to say, Tusq would not be original equipment on a 1958 Gibson.
Ivory is illegal. I have a lot of Ivory from elephants killed before 1975. This Ivory is technically legal but if you were stopped at an international border you would have to prove its age to cranky, unsympathetic customs agents. Fossil ivory comes from wooly mammoths. It’s voracity is easier to prove because it just looks old. Ivory "rings" like Tusq but it is much heavier.
        I use bone for almost everything. It works easy and sounds good. It's traditional, and cheap.
 
Steve Mason


 

 

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