Acoustic Guitar Saddle Material: Bone vs. Tusq

If you don’t satisfied with the sound your acoustic guitar, what can you do to fix it? You can change the strings, saddle and nut. Among the three, string is the biggest contributor to guitar tonality improvement and saddle is the second, nut is the smallest. With new strings (change all six strings at one time), you will find significant improvement of your guitar tonality. But for saddle and nut, there are debates.

Saddle is commonly considered to transmit the string vibration to bridge. Some people think the different materials of saddle give guitars different tone. Most cheap classical and folk guitars have plastic saddles. Changing the plastic saddle to tusq or bone saddle will improve the guitar tonality. Both the tusq and bone will increase sustain of your guitar. Guitars with bone saddle make warm sound and guitars with tusq saddles make bright sound.

Bone saddle vs. tusq saddle

Tonality is a very subjective thing. Which is better for saddle material? It is hard to say. It depends on your personal preference. It also depends on the guitar. In my experience, bone saddles seem to provide more resonance than tusq. You can try on your guitar to find the best material for you and your guitar. Fortunately, bone and tusq are not expensive; you can find them online or in local guitar stores.