Is A Tusq Saddle Better Than Bone?
You may be wondering whether a Tusq saddle is better than bone saddles. Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer as it depends on the particular guitar and guitarists tastes. Generally speaking, though, Tusq will produce an overall brighter tone, whereas bone will produce a warmer and richer tone. There are other differences, too, as detailed in this article.
Tusq saddles are made from a high-quality polymer, formed by high levels of heat and pressure. Every single Tusq saddle will be exactly the same, which provides benefits for guitar manufacturers, particularly those producing a large number of instruments.
Conversely, bone is an organic material and, just like the tonewoods on your guitar, each bone saddle will be subtly different, although with quality bone saddles, that variance will be lessened from piece to piece. Inexpensive bone saddles will see a greater variance between piece to piece because the selection of bone and quality control processes are less demanding.
As mentioned earlier, Tusq produces an overall brighter tone, whereas bone saddles will produce a warmer and richer tone. Which is better? This depends on the specific guitar and individual preferences. In our experience, many owners of Taylor guitars like their Taylor models because of the clean, bright tone associated with Taylor guitars, and a Tusq saddle accentuates that tone. Indeed, on rare occasions we’ve even talked a few people out of buying one of our bone saddles and going with Tusq instead because Tusq would provide the tonal properties they’ve described. However, we have found that some Taylor owners want to warm up their guitars a touch, and a bone saddles does well for this. On the other hand, with Martin guitars, people almost always prefer bone to Tusq, as bone saddles will emphasize the warmer, richer tone that Martin Guitars are known for.
Tusq saddles and quality bone saddles are roughly the same price, although Tusq tends to be a bit less expensive. Tusq saddles typically cost about $10 to $15 per saddle, whereas quality bone saddles typically cost anywhere from $10 to $30 per saddle.
Do you have questions about which saddle would work best for your guitar? Please contact us via our online contact form, or call us at 435-647-6327.