What Impact on Acoustic Guitar Tone Do Bridge Pins, Nut, and Saddle Have?
A common question is what, if any, impact do bridge pins, nut, and saddle have on an acoustic guitar’s tone. Below is an overview of each.
The nut material will have a minimal impact on tone unless you shift to a metallic material such as brass, or installed a zero fret, such as with the ZeroGlide system. You can view our video comparing a factory composite nut with the ZeroGlide at this link. This is quite a difficult installation, though, and so we don’t advise it unless you have experience installing guitar nuts.
Guitar Bridge Pins
Bridge pins are simple to install, but have a minimal impact on tone, unless you shift to metal pins, which produce a clean, but somewhat sharp tone that many acoustic guitarists do not like, particularly with the unwound strings. We have heard of guitarists using one or two metallic bridge pins on the bass A and E strings, though, to produce better clarity with those particular strings. Shifting from plastic to bone bridge pins, you will notice a subtle sustain increase, but it will be minimal, similar to adding a pinch of salt to a large bowl of soup.
Shifting from a plastic to a bone saddle will typically produce a fuller tone that many acoustic guitarists prefer, but it depends on individual tastes and specific guitars. You can read more about how bone saddles differ at our article at the following link: Does a Bone Saddle Make a Difference?