Finally, the bridge plays a big part in holding the strings of the guitar in place. As mentioned above the bridge transfers the vibrations of the strings into the soundboard.
For this reason hard dense woods are needed for the bridge. With softer more flexible woods too much energy is lost in transmission.
Acoustic bridges also shouldn’t be too heavy and these woods seem to fit the right balance of being hard but also being light enough. This not only makes for better energy transfer to the soundboard but is also more durable and since the bridge is up against highly tensioned strings (particularly with a steel stringed guitar) it needs to be tough.
For this reason density/hardness is also very important for the saddle so that minimal energy transmission is lost. The material of choice for bridge saddles seems to be bone because of its tonal qualities, sustain and its hardness.
They are soft (compared to other saddle materials) and with time will wear away affecting your action. The softness of plastic will also absorb a lot of the energy transfer, meaning less loudness and clarity of sound making it to the soundboard.
Fossilized ivory is sourced from animals that died millions of years ago from natural causes. Non fossilized ivory is often the result of poaching and the killing of endangered species.
Now hopefully you have a good deal more knowledge about the best materials for all the components of the bridge. Thanks for reading and I hope this has helped you in your research and made your choice a little easier.
What’s your opinion on the best materials for the different components of the acoustic guitar bridge? Hi, I have a Taylor 110 with a saddle I believe is made out of Tusk.
Reply by Andrew on March 30, 2014, at 12:57pm Reply by Ian Gender on March 30, 2014, at 2:22pm Reply by Paul Verticchio on March 30, 2014, at 2:36pm Reply by Paul Young on March 30, 2014, at 4:41pm Reply by Hash Break stone on March 31, 2014, at 5:19am Reply by Ned Knapp on March 31, 2014, at 9:16am Reply by Steve Williams on March 31, 2014, at 9:41am Reply by Hash Break stone on April 1, 2014, at 4:38am Reply by Peter Poser on April 1, 2014, at 6:30am Reply by Arthur Sweeney on April 1, 2014, at 4:01pm Reply by Paul Verticchio on April 1, 2014, at 9:58pm Reply by Paul Verticchio on April 1, 2014, at 10:52pm As such, it plays a significant role in the action, intonation, and even tone of your guitar.
When it comes to acoustic guitars, there are two main types used: a straight (or ‘uncompensated’) saddle and what’s known as a compensated guitar saddle. It comes into direct contact with your strings, and as we’ll see in this article, affects action, intonation, and even the tone of your acoustic guitar.
Electric guitar saddles are a bit different from their acoustic counterparts. They are mostly integrated into a metal bridge with dedicated (per string) height and length adjustment controls.
Having a unique control for each string gives you far greater control, so you can easily make front and back position tweaks (to help with intonation) as well as up and down alterations (to help with action) for each string independently. As the freeboard is slightly bowed (depending on how the guitar is set up), the distance of the strings from the fingerboard will vary.
High string height isn’t necessarily a bad thing (gypsy jazz guitarists intentionally keep their action high, for example) but most players prefer to keep the action low as it makes it easier to play the guitar as you don’t need to apply so much pressure to fret notes (which makes lead work a lot easier). By removing a bit of material from the underside of the saddle, you can drastically change the action, and consequently the playability of the guitar.
In fact, as Andy Powers from Taylor guitars explains below, the material used in the saddle has a far greater effect than the nut. Found on acoustic guitars, drop-in saddles sit in a routed slot in the bridge.
A variation on the drop-in is the long set saddle that is, in contrast, glued into place and extend into the wings of the bridge to avoid movement. If you need to remove one of these saddles for adjustment, you have to heat up the glue attaching it to the bridge (using a hairdryer or similar device), paying careful attention not to heat up the guitar ’s finish or you’ll damage it.
A compensated saddle with an elevation for high E and B strings helps normalize the effective string length and helps the guitar sound in tune with notes played higher up the freeboard. As we already mentioned, the type of saddle you find on electric guitars differs quite a bit.
Bone is usually the standard in high-end guitars, as it’s hard, dense, and transfers sound to the soundboard rather efficiently. For obvious reasons, they’re far more expensive than the other options as they’re harder to source, but they do produce a more mellow sound than bone.
As we’ve seen, the saddle plays a significant role in setting up the action and intonation of a guitar, as well as contributes to the tone. This quick and simple upgrade will have an amazing effect on your instruments tone, harmonic content, and playability.
Compensated saddles improve the playability by correctly setting each strings intonation to help produce the best tone and performance possible. Tusk nuts, saddles and bridge pins have harmonically rich tone, without the inconsistency found in ivory, bone or other natural materials.
Bone and Ivory have hard and soft spots (grain) throughout each piece, hampering consistent transfer of vibrations to the guitar top. Tusk XL boosts harmonic content, increases tuning stability for big string bends, aggressive playing and/or heavy tremolo use all while keeping the vintage look of a white nut.
Black Tusk XL is permanently lubricated for improved tuning performance and boost guitar tone. This precision engineered nuts are made with a specially formulated material which couples the strings' vibration to the neck and brings out the hidden harmonics and richness in every note.
When you’re looking for maximum comfort, the best thin body acoustic guitar comes like the perfect instrument. A thin-body guitar is probably the best option for people who want extra portability, ease of use, and an ultra-comfy experience while playing the instrument.
And with the Th inline Full-Size model, this brand delivers the best thin body acoustic guitar in the entire list. You’ll feel utterly comfortable when playing even the trickiest of songs.
The Spruce top makes it durable, especially with the gloss finish that adds up to its already gorgeous wood. And in the neck, you will find Maple wood, adding the lightness and resilience for the freeboard to work wonders.
Let’s not forget this guitar also comes in 6 different colors and in multi-hand designs for right-handed and left-handed people. If you’re looking for a cheap yet highly practical guitar, then you will love the Th inline Cutaway model from Armthorpe.
It all starts with a high-quality tone wood, including Spruce wood on the top and Basswood on the back and sides. This makes it possible for the thin design at 3 inches to deliver exceptional sound quality.
At 41-inch of total length and with a marine-grade Some neck material, it also becomes a pretty easy-to-use guitar. You get a soft case for bringing it around, a shoulder strap for comfy carrying, 3 picks for playing, a guitar cable, and even a set of extra strings.
Considering its body construction, exceptional sound, and unique design, the APX600 is the best slim acoustic guitar you’ll find. The construction, for example, boasts a Spruce top for the extra resonance that adds clarity and depth.
It delivers a loud sound, making sure you get no less than exceptional delivery every time. You can amplify the tone of the guitar exponentially, so you can enjoy a wider array of sounds depending on what you’re looking for.
It captures the sound from the guitar amazingly well, ensuring top-notch delivery when paired with an amplifier and speakers. And lastly, you can enjoy its 4 gorgeous colors, including Vintage White and Old Violin Sunbursts, and an Abalone Rosette.
Coming at a pretty decent cost, the ADM Premium Cutaway AcousticGuitar from All Days Music will surely become a go-to choice for quality seekers on a budget. You won’t have any problem fitting this guitar to your body and enjoy a more comfortable playing experience.
It boasts a Spruce top and a Sapele back and sides, plus a light Rosewood fingerboard. Together, these woods ensure maximum durability and sound richness, so you get nothing to complain about its build.
Fishman Monotone pickup Grover Automatic tuners Mahogany and Spruce build When it comes to ensuring maximum sound quality, few brands do their job like iPhone.
For a very reasonable price, the Hummingbird PRO ensures a quality build with a combination of Mahogany neck & body with a Solid Spruce top. Together, you can be sure the guitar will last a long time while providing a uniquely attractive design.
Along with a Slimmer D Profile Neck and Gibson Phosphor Bronze strings, it will quickly surpass your expectations. Thanks to the addition of Grover Automatic 18:1 ratio tuners plus a Fishman Monotone pickup, it will make your guitar sound exactly how you need.
Considering the wood combination and the comfortable design, this guitar also manages to deliver a gorgeous vintage look that makes your eyes water. The Hummingbird graphics on the top, including the good-looking yet straightforward Rosette and excellent choice of colors, make this guitar amazingly beautiful.
Only a few brands in the guitar market can offer the quality that Fender is capable of. Considering the excellent body design it offers, you can also expect the guitar to be super-easy to play with.
Thanks to its Easy-to-Play neck, a tortoiseshell pick guard, and the rosewood head cap, playing this guitar is a total pleasure. This preamp matches with the Graph Tech Nut & Bridge Saddle, so you can achieve the sound you need while ensuring maximum tonal accuracy, every time.
The APXT2 3/4 is an excellent choice if you’re low on budget but still want to enjoy maximum quality. Paired up with the Meant back and sides, it adds an extra touch of resilience.
The APXT2 comes with an ART pickup that ensures smooth and effective tuning for any style you want to play. If you’re a busy musician who’s often tackling the road in search of new adventures, then you’ll love how compact and light it is.
Fishman GT1 pickup Spruce and Maple build PRS bird inlays If we had to pick the best thin body acoustic electric guitar, we wouldn’t hesitate to choose the Paul Reed Smith SE Angeles A50E.
Despite offering a seemingly regular design, this guitar actually comes with a gorgeous Spruce top. This matches well with the Maple sides and back, the ebony bridge and freeboard, and a bone-nut saddle.
But the real advantage of this guitar ’s body is the Angeles Cutaway shape. Whether it is finger style or picking, you’ll receive a highly versatile guitar overall.
With the quality Maple and Spruce construction, plus the addition of Fishman GT1 electronics, you can expect no less than exceptional sound. Pair this up with the under- saddle pickup, sound hole preamp, and easy-access controls so you can achieve exceptional sound at any time.
Rosewood and Spruce build Passive EQ pickup Glossy finish & Celtic Rosette This matches well with the comfy construction, so you can play it in different styles, as well as standing or sitting with little strain.
And sure enough, it boasts NATO back and sides, so you can receive an even more durable piece. On top of quality construction, it also comes with a glossy finish and Celtic Rosette, for a fantastic look.
The Redmond California Series is the best sounding thin body acoustic guitar in the entire list. If you feel more comfortable with an electric guitar but want to play an acoustic one, then you’ll love this slim and comfy model.
Then you’ll love the Spruce top, Mahogany neck, back, sides, and a Walnut bridge and fingerboard. This build increases the durability of the piece while ensuring a good-looking product, available in 4 uniquely gorgeous colors.
Cedar is also lighter than Spruce but compresses sound differently, which ensures a more profound resonance. Richness and punch, Maple makes it possible for thin guitars to sound more like standard models.
This means Maple bottoms and sides make the guitar sound super-clear and rich, but not as loud as you may expect. This is the perfect choice for people who want a wider sound delivery that tackles the whole range.
Once you have the body material figured out, then you can hop on to consider the length, build, and comfort of the guitar ’s neck. When you pick an acoustic guitar, you’ll have to consider the quality of the piece that connects it to amplifiers and other equipment.
For example, a pickup that lets you tweak the treble, mid-range notes, and the bass is an excellent addition. If you want an even better experience, then consider pickups with special effects and extra tuning controls.
While you can replace them at any time, getting a quality set directly from the factory is fantastic. These strings offer a broader sound capacity, meaning they can reach the lowest lows and higher highs, focusing on louder tones.
Steel is recommended for rock and pop music that relies on sound tweaking. Most singers and songwriters love a Dreadnought shape for their full sound delivery.
It offers a lighter and more comfortable experience while still providing a balanced sound quality. Now that you’ve learned how to pick the best thin body acoustic guitar, you’re probably left with a few doubts.
Brighter and more natural tone Light construction adds portability More playability and ease of use Ideal for finger picking and less common playing styles Tons of comfort that thick models don’t offer A thin-body acoustic guitar offers small-handed people and beginners to have an easier grab of the guitar.