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Author Topic: I've been playing my new OM-O3r for 2 months  (Read 787 times)
markhauer
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« on: February 01, 2009, 05:39:12 PM »

and I'm really loving the way it sounds. Could anyone give me some definite info on how upgrading nut and saddle to bone or hardened ivory will improve the sound or response? Any adventures in the upgrade department you care to share? Cost?
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jeremy3220
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« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2009, 05:57:15 PM »

Could anyone give me some definite info on how upgrading nut and saddle to bone or hardened ivory will improve the sound or response?

No they can't. I'm being serious, no matter how well anyone describes the sound it won't be the same as experiencing it yourself. With that said I think the bone saddle most notably adds to the sustain and fullness of the sound. I don't like to use the term bright especially in this application but the bone seems to add to the midrange(why it sounds fuller) and the Tusq seems to sound thinner especially on the unwound strings. I wouldn't replace the nut unless the slots were too low and it needed replacing anyway.

Also because the bone is harder it won't groove as bad from the strings.
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tuffythepug
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« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2009, 06:25:29 PM »

I agree pretty much with jeremy3220.    You will notice a marked increase in sustain and the tone will be different but it's hard, if not, impossible to describe.   I thought my OM-03R just "rang out" with a fuller sound with increased sustain and an almost organ like quality.  But I'm not good at describing these things.   This much I can say for sure:   I like it much better with the bone saddle.  I don't think a bone nut is going to make a lot of difference in the sound.  Installing a bone saddle is an really easy, in-expensive way to improve the tone of an already wonderful OM-03R.  Go for it.

Tuffythepug
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AtlasHeating
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« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2009, 03:07:07 AM »

I upgraded my OM- 03R with bone pins and a bone saddle.
Then I upgraded the saddle again to a Fossilized Walrus Ivory that I bought while in Alaska.
I love the tone and playability of the guitar.
While I can notice some difference in the sound, I like to personalize the guitar and make it more my own.
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hadden
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« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2009, 02:23:44 PM »

I'm not sure what the point is in stating language is an approximation. The differences are not that abstract if there really is a difference. More midrange or more sustain seems plain as day to me -- add some more adjectives if you want and you get closer to close enough. Saying you can't define sound adequately is just being poetically obscure and adding difficulty where there isn't any.
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Stephen Basil
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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2009, 02:47:02 PM »

I'll add that having synthetic parts detracts from the experience and for that reason alone, it's worth it for me to replace the stock bits.  It's already been stated that adding a personal touch enhances the playability of the instrument and I'm fully in that camp.
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OM-03R 2008 Twelfth Fret SE 5/12
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jeremy3220
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« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2009, 06:20:08 PM »

I'm not sure what the point is in stating language is an approximation. The differences are not that abstract if there really is a difference. More midrange or more sustain seems plain as day to me -- add some more adjectives if you want and you get closer to close enough. Saying you can't define sound adequately is just being poetically obscure and adding difficulty where there isn't any.

"Trying to describe tone is like trying to dance architecture."

Midrange is a frequency range and adding the bone saddle is not as simple as turning up the mids on an equalizer. It's the same thing with sustain- what part of the sound is sustaining more. Then if we add some adjectives like warm, shimmery, and sparkle we can really confuse them.

The point is the OP asked "Could anyone give me some definite info on how upgrading nut and saddle to bone or hardened ivory will improve the sound or response?" and the answer truly is no.
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Safricanplayer
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« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2009, 03:57:30 AM »

The point is the OP asked "Could anyone give me some definite info on how upgrading nut and saddle to bone or hardened ivory will improve the sound or response?" and the answer truly is no.

 +1  Having said that, there are some relatively inexpensive options that you can attempt to make the guitar sound the way you want it to sound. A bone saddle and bridge pins would be a great place to start. IMHO a bone nut will typically have less of an impact. Strings are another variable that can make a significant impact on the tonal qualities of the guitar. Phosphor Bronze will tend to warm up the guitar, while 80/20's will often work well when you're looking for a brighter sound from your guitar. Picks (or plectrums as we say in the "old country" ) can also really affect the sound of the guitar, with a lighter gauge typically producing a brighter sound then a heavier gauge. Playing around with these variables can be fun and rewarding once you find the combinations that work for each particular guitar you're working with.

You can probably experiment with all the components I've listed (including 2 or 3 sets of strings) for less than $75. If you've tried all these things and are still unhappy, ebay will be your friend .  Believe me I know!!

Good luck to ya.

  ~ Ray ~
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Mcknight Slope Dred ~ '59 bearclaw Sitka / Wavy African Mahogany
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limnephilidae
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« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2009, 05:02:55 AM »

+1  Having said that, there are some relatively inexpensive options that you can attempt to make the guitar sound the way you want it to sound. A bone saddle and bridge pins would be a great place to start. IMHO a bone nut will typically have less of an impact. Strings are another variable that can make a significant impact on the tonal qualities of the guitar. Phosphor Bronze will tend to warm up the guitar, while 80/20's will often work well when you're looking for a brighter sound from your guitar. Picks (or plectrums as we say in the "old country" ) can also really affect the sound of the guitar, with a lighter gauge typically producing a brighter sound then a heavier gauge. Playing around with these variables can be fun and rewarding once you find the combinations that work for each particular guitar you're working with.

You can probably experiment with all the components I've listed (including 2 or 3 sets of strings) for less than $75. If you've tried all these things and are still unhappy, ebay will be your friend .  Believe me I know!!

Good luck to ya.

  ~ Ray ~
+1 on the plectrum comment. I've been comparing picks lately and I've found a VERY noticeable difference using John Dunlop ultex. I usually use a heavy but the snap on the ultex mediums is great. Huge difference!

Oh yeah, get bone on your OM-03R...it's a night and day difference.
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ffinke
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« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2009, 05:41:19 PM »

OK. While we're talking about saddles I want to pose a question: I've got and L-03 with Tusq and Mangan Lts on it. The sustain is incredible (best I've ever had) and the tone and volume is "giant". Depending on the day and humidity the 9th fret harmonics are even impressive. Does bone do anything for a guitar that, to me, is shoulder to shoulder with my Collings OM2H or do I leave well enough alone.

 
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jeremy3220
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« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2009, 07:10:00 PM »

OK. While we're talking about saddles I want to pose a question: I've got and L-03 with Tusq and Mangan Lts on it. The sustain is incredible (best I've ever had) and the tone and volume is "giant". Depending on the day and humidity the 9th fret harmonics are even impressive. Does bone do anything for a guitar that, to me, is shoulder to shoulder with my Collings OM2H or do I leave well enough alone.


It will probably be even louder and have more sustain with the bone. If not just put the Tusq back in and all you're out is a few dollars.
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Safricanplayer
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« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2009, 05:05:39 AM »

It will probably be even louder and have more sustain with the bone. If not just put the Tusq back in and all you're out is a few dollars.

It's a relatively small price to pay to put your mind at rest. 

 ~ Ray ~
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Mcknight Slope Dred ~ '59 bearclaw Sitka / Wavy African Mahogany
Eichelbaum OM ~ Euro Spruce / Brazilian Rosewood
Martin 000-18 Norman Blake
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