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View Full Version : Anyone like Ebony Saddles?



Paul December
04-27-2010, 09:20 AM
Just curios, it seems from posts that people always want to replace their ebony saddles with something more dense.
Presumably manufacturers use them to achieve a certain sound/tone...
...do they just get it wrong?

mailman
04-27-2010, 09:24 AM
I think it's a matter of old-school tradition vs high-tech performance....

thejumpingflea
04-27-2010, 10:00 AM
Ebony deadens the tone of the uke. Replacing the saddle on my Kala Acacia from ebony to tusq made a world of difference.

heyjude
04-27-2010, 10:39 AM
Perhaps ebony deadened the tone of your uke but my KoAloha soprano with its ebony nut and saddle sounds just as good as my other KoAlohas. One of my KoAlohas has a ebony nut and a bone bridge saddle. It sounds good too. I like ebony, never have had a problem with it.

Jude

GVlog
04-27-2010, 11:00 AM
I wonder about saddle materials and their true effects on tone. Even with a bone saddle, the tone needs to be transmitted into a wooden bridge which is often made of rosewood.

Lutes and some of the earliest classical guitars were built without saddles.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLpEHg1wShk

pulelehua
04-27-2010, 11:36 AM
Ebony deadens the tone of the uke. Replacing the saddle on my Kala Acacia from ebony to tusq made a world of difference.

Where did you get the saddle? Are they expensive? Installation looks simple. Is it? Is the benefit frequency response and/or sustain?

Thanks.

ashleychantel
04-27-2010, 12:08 PM
One of my friends has the exact same Koaloha soprano as me, but mine has a tusq saddle and nut and his are ebony. They both sound great, the only difference I noticed was that mine was a little louder and it had a bit longer sustain. The tone of the soprano with the ebony saddle still sounded great, and it was still pretty loud for a soprano.

ukecantdothat
04-27-2010, 12:31 PM
Interesting topic. I finally recycled the wreckage from my Lehua "mishap" utilizing the neck & bridge. The fingerboard and bridge are made of an African hardwood called wenge. It's a very coarse grained wood. I was thinking of changing it at some point and was considering ebony or rosewood, but I'm perfectly happy with it now. There's a ton of sustain on the wenge, or it could be the fact that I did a string-thru-body/tail block bit giving it that sustain. I'm no luthier, so I know not from whence I speak. The nut is bone, but it's still got some damage, so someday that will get replaced with a new one - probably when/if I put an under-saddle pickup in there.

Anybody ever hear of this wenge wood before?

Here's a vid of the CBU if anyone is interested:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sWxwGMpYRo

thejumpingflea
04-27-2010, 12:58 PM
It looks to me that the cigar box has a tusq, nubone or bone saddle. (The part the strings rest upon on the bridge)

ukecantdothat
04-27-2010, 01:27 PM
It looks to me that the cigar box has a tusq, nubone or bone saddle. (The part the strings rest upon on the bridge)

Yes, Matt, that is indeed a bone nut. It got a bit chipped in places, but it's working well enough for now.

whatthekoon
04-27-2010, 02:17 PM
Anybody ever hear of this wenge wood before?


Yup, it's used in a number of mid to high-end electric bass guitars, especially for necks. It's supposed to give a tight punchier tone. Warwick was probably one of the first companies to routinely use Wenge in their basses.

Bradford
04-27-2010, 04:06 PM
I use ebony about half the time in the instruments I build. I pick it for a contrasting color when I have a rosewood fingerboard and bridge. When I have an ebony fingerboard and bridge, I use Tusq or hippo tooth for a contrasting appearance. There may be subtle differences in how they sound, but it is subjective as to whether one is better than the other. If you noticed a big difference in sound when switching saddles of different materials, I would tend to suspect that one saddle is seated better than the other.

Brad

clayton56
04-27-2010, 10:45 PM
If you noticed a big difference in sound when switching saddles of different materials, I would tend to suspect that one saddle is seated better than the other.

Brad

not too long ago I put a thin strip of adhesive paper on the bottom of a saddle to raise it; I took it off because it did not sound quite as good as before.

Chris Tarman
04-28-2010, 04:16 AM
Yup, it's used in a number of mid to high-end electric bass guitars, especially for necks. It's supposed to give a tight punchier tone. Warwick was probably one of the first companies to routinely use Wenge in their basses.

I've played a few Warwicks with wenge necks. It is a really different-feeling wood. I quite liked it, but totally different than I am used to. If I ever get a "woody" bass, I'll probably try for a Warwick.

ichadwick
04-28-2010, 06:48 AM
Ebony deadens the tone of the uke. Replacing the saddle on my Kala Acacia from ebony to tusq made a world of difference.
I like Tusq, too. Adds resonance and brightness. It really improved my Pono mango, and helped my cigar box as well. I would love to try some small samples of plate glass to see how they worked as saddles. I suspect they'd be awesome. Glass is a wonderful frequency transmitter. Brass might be a nice material to try, too.

phil_doleman
04-28-2010, 11:06 PM
I have all sorts of materials for nuts and saddles, and so far all work really well. My Stuart Longridge concert has a Holly nut and saddle which not only looks nice, it's rock hard and naturally slightly oily, which seems to lubricate the nut quite nicely. The uke is the loudest one I've ever owned.

fromthee2me
04-29-2010, 01:04 AM
As I did not have any bone material for the bridge, which I needed, to raise it a fraction higher, I used brass shimstock, which I cut and pressed over the existing bridge. It works fine.

MGM
04-29-2010, 01:56 AM
I really need to do a blind saddle test..... i know 90% will fail to hear a difference or be able to tell which on it is

luvdat
04-29-2010, 09:25 AM
And as stated previously it depends on which ukulele, the overall build, soundhole size, LOL OR if the saddle fits and ain't shaky...