I am passionate about getting the best tone out of acoustic guitars.
After years of installing under-saddle pickups, I was aware and concerned about the compromises that came with their use:
- The decoupling of the sound transmission chain (ie. saddle > bridge > soundboard).
- The barking, nasal and compressed sound they produced — especially if not pre-amped.
- Preamp installation often required a large hole to be cut in the side — not desirable on a $2000-$5000 guitar!
I found the ideal solution to all the problems above in the K&K pickup systems.
- No ‘decoupling’ as the K&K is mounted on the bridge-plate inside the guitar.
- A more natural, warm sound in both passive and active models.
- On-board preamps that require no serious modification.
- There are K&K pickups to suit steel or nylon string guitars, and a range of on-board and out-board preamps.
Nut and Saddle – Ivory
Ivory was the material of choice on all quality instruments before the trading bans were imposed. One listen to an ivory-equipped guitar and you will hear why. Sweet musical top end with no steel string harshness, smooth articulate mids, breathy bouncy lows, combined with incredible string to string balance and definition.
Note: The ivory I use is sourced from antiques.
Nut and Saddle – Bone
Bone has a far-superior tone compared to synthetic materials (eg. Graphtech) found on many of todays acoustics. Bone nut and saddle replacements are relatively inexpensive to fit.
- For tone, the saddle is more important than the nut, eg. you may choose to have an ivory saddle with bone nut.
- For the best result, nut and saddle replacements need to be coupled with a full setup.
PS. I don’t fit plastic nuts and saddles.