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AndyMcDandy
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« on: October 05, 2010, 01:12:51 PM »

When I was changing my strings last night, the pins were not really staying in the saddle very well.  They kept sliding up, or even popping out as I tightened the strings.  I had to apply a good amount of force to keep them down while I tightened the strings. 

Should I think about replacing them?  If so, to what?
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« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2010, 03:06:36 PM »

You could but it's not unusual for pins to behave that way. Sometimes, there are one or two you have to repeatedly push down. However, once the string is properly seated, it doesn't matter much, if any, if the pins were loose to start with.      
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Dr. LJ
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« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2010, 04:23:35 PM »

You might also start by putting a slight bend in the string just above the ball end before you put the string in the slot.  This will put the ball out of the path of the pin end and may allow you to tune up without the pin pulling up from the movement of the string and ball.  Putting a slight bend in the string allows the ball to pull up to the bridgeplate without hitting the end of the pin.

http://www.frets.com/FRETSPages/Musician/Guitar/Setup/SteelStrings/Stringing/ststringing1.html

LJ
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OutWithTheBlue
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« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2010, 04:24:31 PM »

Take the ball end out and reposition it into the saddle, the pin should slide right in...there may be a little slipping while tightening but if you hold the pin down while tightening everything should be fine. are the pins cracked or chipped at all? Good point LJ
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« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2010, 05:40:30 PM »

I agree with everything said already, but in some cases, after decades of use, it's not uncommon for the bridge pin holes to have become a little wider. Oversized pins are available from places like Stew Mac, Bob Colosi and other fine establishments.

Upgrading your pins, regardless of size, from plastic to something like Ebony or Bone is a great inexpensive upgrade in tone. Bob Colosi also has a nice little explanation on how to get an accurate measurement of your existing bridge pins on his site. (About 3/4 of the way down on the Products page.)

I recently encountered the opposite where a guitar's bridge pin holes were too small. The original plastic pins were really jammed in there and without excessive force they would only seat about halfway.

After further examination, I suspect that the factory skipped a step, straight drilled the holes, but didn't taper them. By the time they got to the setup stage, they didn't want to go back and fix. But it's fine now. Easy fix. 

Cheers.
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« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2010, 07:16:02 PM »

All end pins are designed to do, besides look nice, is to hold the string while it is being tuned to pitch. After that, they're not really holding the string in the hole anymore or doing much of anything. There is often a little dance to get everything shipshape but it's fairly normal. They tend to pop up when the string is being pulled out of the hole by the action of the tuner, exerting pressure upwards but not after the string is tuned to pitch.
Count me as one who doesn't believe that end pins have any discernable affect on the sound of a guitar (unless negatively by putting in something too heavy and sound deadening). I'm always open to be proven wrong, however. Blind tests?  whistling 
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Michael T
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« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2010, 04:11:36 PM »

Before I bought the high dollar Colosi FWI I tried ebony, bone, tusq, plastic, and brass on both my Larrivees and my good ole Granada. The brass definitely made a difference, and for me it wasn't a good one on any of the guitars, and they were the "Bell Brass" also (supposed to be top of the line). They were horrible , not just bad. No offence tothose who like that kind of thing.

The bone seemed to have some impact but if they did it was very slight, but they had the same effect on all 3 guitars. Could have been wishfull thinking on my part too, very minor evening out type of thing across the fret board. So I ordered the big buck boys from Bob, gorgeous material, but alas, kind of like the bone, it might have given them a little tone evening, & glassier ring, but I wouldn't swear to it. You know you drop over certain amount of money the expectation effect takes over but I've had bone on 2 of the guitars and FWI on 1 for a couple years now. I sure would not recommend buying pins for any tonal enhancement, but they sure do look good. 
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« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2010, 04:50:01 PM »

Before I bought the high dollar Colosi FWI I tried ebony, bone, tusq, plastic, and brass on both my Larrivees and my good ole Granada. The brass definitely made a difference, and for me it wasn't a good one on any of the guitars, and they were the "Bell Brass" also (supposed to be top of the line). They were horrible , not just bad. No offence tothose who like that kind of thing.

The bone seemed to have some impact but if they did it was very slight, but they had the same effect on all 3 guitars. Could have been wishfull thinking on my part too, very minor evening out type of thing across the fret board. So I ordered the big buck boys from Bob, gorgeous material, but alas, kind of like the bone, it might have given them a little tone evening, & glassier ring, but I wouldn't swear to it. You know you drop over certain amount of money the expectation effect takes over but I've had bone on 2 of the guitars and FWI on 1 for a couple years now. I sure would not recommend buying pins for any tonal enhancement, but they sure do look good. 

Yes, they look neat. recently just purchased some pearl ones for my L-03R and they look spectacular. I'm one of the firm believers that pins do nothing for the sound..it simply holds the string in place. the sound stops at the saddle.
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hellostarling
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« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2010, 08:18:16 PM »

Tone, of course, it always subjective. But I think whenever you change something that comes in direct contact with the strings (nut, frets, saddle, bridge, pins), you're changing the tone. Change one, the change is small. Change all, the change is more noticeable. How much, is up to the listener.

Of course, the greater indicator of tone is going to be in the box construction. Top graduation, bracing patterns, wood selection/density, dimensions, sound hole diameter, etc., etc.

But in the end, really, the best guitar is the one you're playing.

Cheers.
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Dr. LJ
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« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2010, 03:24:31 PM »

Many years ago, a guy I knew had a problem with his pins popping up and, being a deep thinker, he decided the best thing to do was put a little model airplane glue on each pin as it put it in the slot.  Never occurred to him that he might actually need to change strings again and take the pins out. 

About 4 weeks after he did it, his guitar was in the shop having the pins drilled out.  I think he learned a valuable lesson, but with him, we were never quite sure.

LJ
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OutWithTheBlue
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« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2010, 03:26:11 PM »

Many years ago, a guy I knew had a problem with his pins popping up and, being a deep thinker, he decided the best thing to do was put a little model airplane glue on each pin as it put it in the slot.  Never occurred to him that he might actually need to change strings again and take the pins out. 

About 4 weeks after he did it, his guitar was in the shop having the pins drilled out.  I think he learned a valuable lesson, but with him, we were never quite sure.

LJ

lol oh wow, if only there were never aging strings!
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OutWithTheBlue
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« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2010, 03:49:57 PM »

what about the fun in changing strings? 
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04' Larrivee OM-03MT Forum I #9 of 17
08' Larrivee L-03R(E; Baggs)
09' Larrivee OO-03 Special Edition
00' Larrivee D-02
09' Baden A-Style Hog/Cedar
07' Breedlove Concert Maple
LTD ESP F-250
Ibanez S7420
Quote
Anyone's Everything.
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