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Paul December
01-18-2012, 10:15 AM
I'm thinking of changing the ebony saddle on my Kala Acacia to something harder. It is my understanding that ebony already is pretty hard...
...what material would definitely be a step harder?

Camsuke
01-18-2012, 10:17 AM
I'm thinking bone probably.

ukecantdothat
01-18-2012, 10:23 AM
Brass. Mind if I ask, "Why?" (guess I just did...)

Paul December
01-18-2012, 10:45 AM
Brass. Mind if I ask, "Why?" (guess I just did...)


I originally thought about writing, "what commonly used material would definitely be a step harder?" ... but then thought that would be silly ;)

Why? ... Experimentation.

PhilUSAFRet
01-18-2012, 10:45 AM
Posts Ive read suggested bone not all that much harder than ebony, but could produce a brighter tone. I have a Mele soprano, and I'm thinking of doing the same thing.....I want to "brighten" it.

Paul December
01-18-2012, 11:11 AM
Posts Ive read suggested bone not all that much harder than ebony, but could produce a brighter tone. I have a Mele soprano, and I'm thinking of doing the same thing.....I want to "brighten" it.

Same here. I do like its warm tone, but would like to hear what it would be like a little brighter.

Do you know a source for bone saddles?

Paul December
01-18-2012, 11:28 AM
http://www.maurysmusic.com/fossilized_mammoth_ivory_saddle___todd_s_review

A review of mammoth tusk saddles which includes other useful info.

:) Thanks!

gokidd
01-18-2012, 11:33 AM
Paul, if Maury Rutch doesn't happen to have the size you need, you can also trust Bob Colosi -- another fine gentleman.
http://www.guitarsaddles.com/

Paul December
01-18-2012, 11:49 AM
Paul, if Maury Rutch doesn't happen to have the size you need, you can also trust Bob Colosi -- another fine gentleman.
http://www.guitarsaddles.com/

Thanks! :)

PhilUSAFRet
01-18-2012, 01:20 PM
Lots of synthetic bone nuts, saddles, slotted & shaped or blanks on ebay

RyanMFT
01-18-2012, 02:15 PM
Mainland ukulele sells bone saddle blanks. I got one that I haven't yet installed.....very affordable!

garyg
01-19-2012, 03:36 AM
Having taught various aspect of animal ecology for many years I doubt that bone is harder than ebony, but it clearly would have different resonance properties. In fact I would think that you wouldn't want a super hard saddle but one that would help string resonance. But then again I'm an armchair expert at instruments, maybe one of the builders can help us here or you could ask your general question i.e., difference between saddle materials, in the builders lounge. cheers, g2

mik55
01-19-2012, 06:43 AM
Do you know a source for bone saddles?

You can get bone saddle blanks from every luthier. They're quite cheap and easy to work on. I changed the saddle inlay to bone on my Kala ASAC-T and used this as an oportunity to widen the string space by cutting small groves into the new saddle inlay.

http://i239.photobucket.com/albums/ff281/n6kvH938z67Rg/KA-ASAC-T-Saddle-Detail.jpg

tjomball
01-19-2012, 10:52 AM
I've looked at glass as a viable material.
Also a couple of metal alloys as well..
I come from a mechanical background so metalwork comes easy to me.
But the glass sadle will have to be custom made for my uke. Luckily my old colleague has become a highly proficient glass artist. So he'll hook me up..

ukecantdothat
01-19-2012, 06:38 PM
I originally thought about writing, "what commonly used material would definitely be a step harder?" ... but then thought that would be silly ;)

Why? ... Experimentation.

Yes, that would be silly! :nana:

I love experimentation, like the glass idea above. Very intriguing. Looking forward to what you come up with!

tjomball
01-19-2012, 10:22 PM
I love experimentation, like the glass idea above. Very intriguing. Looking forward to what you come up with!

I'll let you all know how it goes.
But another thought occured to me after a nights worth of sleep..
Stone. More specifically Grorud Granitt. Or Grorud Granite for you non Norwegians..
Granite as we all know is quite hard as a material. What might be a concern is the brittleness of the material.
So working with it might be a challenge. But a challenge is a challenge..
So I'll ponder my options thouroughly

But you're right. Experimentation is fun.. :D

Dougf
01-20-2012, 03:36 AM
What about carbon fiber?

ukecantdothat
01-20-2012, 07:16 AM
I'll let you all know how it goes.
But another thought occured to me after a nights worth of sleep..
Stone. More specifically Grorud Granitt. Or Grorud Granite for you non Norwegians..
Granite as we all know is quite hard as a material. What might be a concern is the brittleness of the material.
So working with it might be a challenge. But a challenge is a challenge..
So I'll ponder my options thouroughly

But you're right. Experimentation is fun.. :D

Stone is a good idea. Onyx would be a good choice, easy to work with. Most people are familiar with black onyx, which would be fine, but honey onyx has a more wood-like look which may go well with a lot of light colored grains.

mm stan
01-20-2012, 07:28 AM
Aloha Paul,
Not sure I'd want a harder saddle on a Kala...arn't they bright enough already.....however if you want extreme..I remember a post last year on glass saddles...don't know how that would work out
though....wood saddles provide a much warmer tone...to me ...

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
01-20-2012, 08:54 AM
One of the hardest saddle materials that's fairly easy to work with is pearl shell. I'm not sure why anyone would want to go much harder than bone though. I'm personally not fond on the "banjo" sound.

ukecantdothat
01-20-2012, 08:57 AM
What about the effect on under-saddle pickups, like the MiSi - how do these saddles differ in how they transfer vibrations, vis a vis volume / tone, etc. Does a bone saddle generate higher/lower output than say ebony, or one of these unconventional materials like stone, glass, or metal?

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
01-20-2012, 11:03 AM
What about the effect on under-saddle pickups, like the MiSi - how do these saddles differ in how they transfer vibrations, vis a vis volume / tone, etc. Does a bone saddle generate higher/lower output than say ebony, or one of these unconventional materials like stone, glass, or metal?

Manufactures of pickups will tell you not to use natural saddle materials with a UST because of the inconsistencies in it. I've never had any problem with bone though.

tjomball
01-20-2012, 03:43 PM
What about carbon fiber?

I'm not to sure about carbon fiber in this application.
Although it has many of the properties desired I can't vouch for the tone. And that's whatr we're all after..
But the main issue I can see with carbon fiber would be durability.
But even there I see advantages with carbon fiber compared to a lot of other materials.

But with all materials. It only takes a few attempts to figure out what works and what doesn't for you.
Trial and error. That's how we got our ukes in the first place.. ;)

Happy strummings to ya..

ukecantdothat
01-23-2012, 05:57 PM
Manufactures of pickups will tell you not to use natural saddle materials with a UST because of the inconsistencies in it. I've never had any problem with bone though.

Thanks Chuck! I have two ukes with MiSi p/u's under 2 different types of bone. Both are very even as far as volume and tone from string to string. From uke to uke, though, one is has much more output than the other. I don't know if that is due to the different bone used, or that the louder one is a wider saddle. Does a wider saddle mean more surface area going to the UST, hence greater output, or is it due to it being (I think) a more porous (less dense) material, hence more sound gets thru to the UST, or both?