Ivory vs. Bone vs. Ebony Nut/Saddle/Pins
I spent this afternoon at the Martin Factory and had the pleasure of chatting with Lon Werner (Manager of Repair Dept.). We were discussing my custom order and he suggested I switch my order of a Fossilized Ivory Nut & Saddle to Bone as "Bone sound better." I asked why ivory is always viewed as the highest power, if you will, in terms of nut and saddle (even pin) material, other than the fact that it is obviously the most expensive due to its rarity. He explained that much like the controversy of the power and prestige of using the infamous hide glue on guitars (which now fetches nearly $1500 for a custom build with entirely hide), ivory was used frequently in the Pre-war Martins as it was more readily available at that time, as well as a good product. On the other hand, peoples misconceptions today of what truly makes the vintage Martins sound the incredible way it does, may not technically be contributed to the ivory products or hide glue as much as people believe (especially considering the prices they charge). Again, the head of the Repair Dept. said that Bone nut & saddle sounds better. I trust his opinion and expertise even more to that fact that he discouraged me from upgrading on my custom. It's a tough one.
Now I have never played a brand new, ivory nut/saddle guitar before...especially on a Martin. So I am in now means contesting the true sound quality exhibited through the use of ivory, or hide glue for that fact. I am just that much farther from being positive about my custom design now after hearing what he told me. After all, it means a lot more money in my pocket if I don't go with both ivory and hide, or one for that matter.
As a side note, I want BLACK bridge pins with pearl inlay dots. So, what should it be, ebony or that synthetic plastic material?
- - - - - - - - -1999 & 2011 Martin D-35s, 1972 Martin D-12-28, 1989 Martin J-40, 2006 Martin 000-15M, Recording King ROS-16, Bedell OH-12G, Alhambra 7FS, 2000 Fender American Strat, Washburn Cumberland J28SCEDL,