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  #1  
Old 10-21-2009, 01:42 PM
HD18JBGuy HD18JBGuy is offline
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Default Buffalo Horn Bridge Pins

Has anyone tinkered around with buffalo horn bridge pins? I have switched the plastic bridge pins from Martin out with ebony pins and heard a very, very slight difference in tone (maybe it was a mental thing), but don't know what to expect from buffalo horn. I ordered a set of John Pearse horn pins and am interested what difference they will make.

Anyone have any experience with them, good or bad?
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Old 10-21-2009, 01:46 PM
wonderfulremark wonderfulremark is offline
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I've got a set.. But I prefer plastic pins in my J45.
When it comes to pins, I think the fit is more important than the material itself.. but that's just me
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Old 10-21-2009, 02:04 PM
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I use Buffalo horn on my OMC-Aura and D-18GE, but honestly mostly because they have black pins. To me pins are like ties for a good suit, dress up but not much more. My white pins are all ivory or bone.
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Old 10-21-2009, 02:06 PM
SlopeD SlopeD is offline
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As long as the pins fit and match, I'll use whatever.

I have never been able to tell the difference between materials.
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Old 10-21-2009, 02:39 PM
66strummer 66strummer is offline
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I use Ebony MOP and Buffalo Horn MOP. If there is a difference with the BH, I'd say they sound a bit brighter. YMMV of course.
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Old 10-21-2009, 02:44 PM
HD18JBGuy HD18JBGuy is offline
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Thanks for the valued input from all. I doubt to hear anything drastic out of it in terms of tone, but wanted to pick brains of those that have made the change.
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Old 10-21-2009, 03:01 PM
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Hi ''guy''...
Yeah - they look great on my guitars...can't say they made any difference in tone. Can't say I've heard or noticed any change in the tone of any of my guitars I've changed the pins on (which would be all of them except for the Bashkin).

They are semi-transparent and have darkened with age.






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Old 10-21-2009, 03:01 PM
Misty44 Misty44 is offline
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I have buffalo horn on my old D-18, I think I can hear a difference, I doubt anyone else does. And I have ebony on several other guitars.

Beyond what I can and can't hear, I like the idea of natural ingredients on my guitars when I have a choice (bone, ivory, wood, horn, etc.).

But this is one of those instances where half the room will say they do hear a difference in pin material, the other half will say they're nuts, there just isn't any. So, if you hear a difference, then there is one.

Different strings and picks, however, do make a substantial difference.
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Old 10-22-2009, 12:59 PM
T-Bone028 T-Bone028 is offline
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I have buffalo on my 3 high strings, and ebony on my 3 low strings. Prior to that, I had bone in all 6. Tone wise, there isnt much of a difference between bone and buffalo horn. The ebony gave it a little more shading and toned down the brightness a tad bit over bone. But then again it could just be my ears playing tricks, or me just hoping it sounded that way.
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Old 10-22-2009, 04:35 PM
Me&MyGuitar Me&MyGuitar is offline
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Here it is what Martin Customer Service sent me about changing pins:


Method:
Each material was tested on the same HD-28V (Mule C). The guitar was recorded and evaluated by using Spectrafoo completed spectrum analyzer software and by listening to each recording back to back. The pins were rated on three characteristics: brilliance, sustain, and definition of notes.

Brilliance: This refers to the brightness of the overall sound. Each material is given 1 – 5 star rating. 5 stars indicate the brightest materials. The scale range is based on the materials in this test only. The rating was based on objective results observed on a spectragraph and subjective listening.

Sustain: The sustain of each individual string was measured. The total time is took to record all six strings is the time that is indicated in the sustain block for each material.

Definition: A G Major chord was strummed consistently for 60 seconds. Each material was rated on how easy or difficult it was to detect the separation of each note and its corresponding harmonic overtones. Each material is given 1 – 5 star rating. 5 stars indicate the best distinction among notes. The scale range is based on the materials in this test only. The rating was based on observations from a spectragram and subjective listening.
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Old 10-22-2009, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Me&MyGuitar View Post
Here it is what Martin Customer Service sent me about changing pins:


Method:
Each material was tested on the same HD-28V (Mule C). The guitar was recorded and evaluated by using Spectrafoo completed spectrum analyzer software and by listening to each recording back to back. The pins were rated on three characteristics: brilliance, sustain, and definition of notes.

Brilliance: This refers to the brightness of the overall sound. Each material is given 1 – 5 star rating. 5 stars indicate the brightest materials. The scale range is based on the materials in this test only. The rating was based on objective results observed on a spectragraph and subjective listening.

Sustain: The sustain of each individual string was measured. The total time is took to record all six strings is the time that is indicated in the sustain block for each material.

Definition: A G Major chord was strummed consistently for 60 seconds. Each material was rated on how easy or difficult it was to detect the separation of each note and its corresponding harmonic overtones. Each material is given 1 – 5 star rating. 5 stars indicate the best distinction among notes. The scale range is based on the materials in this test only. The rating was based on observations from a spectragram and subjective listening.
The above quote speaks of testing the sound of bridge pins, but what were the results?
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Old 10-22-2009, 09:10 PM
Jeff M Jeff M is offline
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You'll get different opinions on how much different pin material affects how a guitar sounds.
I'm in the camp of.......basically, material makes no difference.

If you like the looks of buffalo horn, go for it.

FWIW, those vintage Martin's with the tone that people pay tens of thousands of dollars for used........plastic. (Bakelite).
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