Any thoughts on bridge pins?

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I bought a Martin SWOM many moons ago and wondered if changing the bridge pins would make any difference to the sound? There's nothing wrong with the sound currently and the plastic pins work fine. Just curious?
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 55379
    I carefully compared bone and plastic pins by swapping different ones on the same guitar and comparing the sound of each string to the next, in various patterns - eg BPBPBP, PBPBPB, BBBPPP, PPPBBB. There was no detectable difference.

    I do think brass ones sound different though - I haven't done that level of analysis because I didn't think there was any point, the difference was clear and obvious. I'm not a fan, personally - although some people swear by them.

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • sev112sev112 Frets: 1139
    I bought a set of PowerrPins a few years back and put them on my very old cheapie fender dreadnought and it has been fabulous improvement in sound.  Beautiful for delicate finger licking and light strumming with 11s on. 
    Don’t know whether that is because of the very low angle at the bridge, or because they are metal, but I have been very pleased with them.
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  • WhitecatWhitecat Frets: 4034
    Agree with @ICBM - brass will make a noticeable difference (different, not necessarily better) - most other things won’t have much of an effect if at all. 
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  • TheMadMickTheMadMick Frets: 33
    I have tried most types of pin and agree with what has been said. However, the effect does seem to vary with different guitars. Personally I prefer ebony or rosewood but wouldn't die in the ditch over it.
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  • TanninTannin Frets: 370
    Logically, the stiffness and texture of the material the bridge pins are made from should make no difference worth mentioning, and practical reports mostly bear that out. The primary mechanical contacts are between string and nut and saddle, bridge less so, bridge pins less so again. Brass, however, or anything else of similar weight, significantly changes the stiffness-to-weight ratio of the soundboard, and can be expected to have a noticeable effect - probably not for the better.
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  • DavidRDavidR Frets: 123
    Bit weird but I use brass bridge pins to brighten up the Monel strings I prefer on my Yamaha dreadnought (FG5) and that gives me exactly the tone I'm looking for.

    The only appreciable difference I've ever really found between bone, ebony, tusq and brass have been with brass. More metallic and sharp. Otherwise, on acoustics, the tonal effect of altering bridge pins is discernible, but much less than that from altering strings IMHO. 

    Massive disclaimer - tonal appreciation is subjective, individual, and depends on the fact that we all have different ears!

     =) 


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