View Full Version : Bridge pins

13-04-2017, 03:17 AM
Hi all. Was reading a thread in a different forum where they were talking about putting bridge pins back in the exact same hole they came out of, when changing strings.
My question is, to all the luthiers out there. Is there a legitimate reason for placing the pins back in the same hole.
They said that some luthiers build guitars so that the pins have to go in the original holes. If so I can understand that. Just don't know of any other reason for it.

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13-04-2017, 09:31 AM
Have I asked a question so stupid that no one wants to answer or have I asked a question you don't know the answer to.

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13-04-2017, 09:48 AM
Hi Rick, sorry I didn't see your first post at 3:17am Perth time. Can you please tell us more is this an acoustic guitar with bridge pins ? Maybe a photo of your guitar bridge would help too. My guess is it's recommended to use the same bridge pins as each string gauge is different the same pin should fit best and secure the string better.

13-04-2017, 10:02 AM
I read a thread that was talking about it on acoustic guitars in general. I had not heard that before and wanted to know if it was true. I have never really paid any attention to where I placed the pins. All the pins I have seen had what appeared to be the same size grooves. I guess I am wondering if grooves sized to the strings would affect tone and maybe that's what they mean. I appreciate your answer.

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13-04-2017, 10:07 AM
Hi Rick, I appreciate your question it is a relevant one. I don't know enough about acoustic guitars and bridges so I'd wait for one of the guys who plays acoustics to reply or send a PM to Zandit75 has been playing acoustic guitars for a long time

13-04-2017, 10:09 AM

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13-04-2017, 10:59 AM
Hey Rickit, very interesting question.
I've heard that said before, and on some very high end custom builds, I've seen it mentioned about keeping the pins in the same holes.
Having said that, I recently replaced the pins in my Maton guitar, and there were no markings saying they belonged to a certain sized gauge string etc. The music shop I bought them from pulled 6 pins out of a container full of loose ones.
What guitar is this for anyway?
One thing to keep in mind about this place, while there are plenty of guys here building guitars from kits or even from scratch, they are primarily electric guitars being built. There's only a few of us who play acoustic guitars full time. That might explain why it was a while before someone answered the question!

13-04-2017, 11:46 AM
K. Meant no insult to anyone. I did not know this was primarily electric. Thank you.

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13-04-2017, 12:09 PM
Haha, don't worry about that bud, it's pretty laid back here. Hell, they've let me stick around, and I'm Tasmanian!!!!:p

Stick around, they might convert you too!!

13-04-2017, 12:12 PM
Hey Rick, as Zandit said all good, the only stupid question is the ones you don't ask. Maybe try asking an acoustic guitar luthier or an acoustic guitar forum.

13-04-2017, 12:29 PM
Have posted on a acoustic guitar forum.

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Simon Barden
13-04-2017, 05:01 PM
The bridge pin holes start out the same diameter as do all the bridge pins (at least if plastic or mass-produced bone or wooden ones). The strings all have the same sized ball-ends and the groove in the bridge pin is large enough to accommodate the wrapped wire of all the strings. So there shouldn't be anything to differentiate between the different pins.

Over a long time, the pins may get chewed up a bit in different ways, depending on the angle the ball-ends end up sitting with respect to the front edge of the bridge hole, but that still shouldn't affect anything if the pins end up re-arranged.

Maybe on fully hand-built guitars, each pin may be turned to a slightly different thickness by the luthier, as they're not using CNC machinery, but even so, the holes will be drilled to the same size so, that if the pins had different diameters, they wouldn't be sitting at an even height.

I've got a 52-year old Gibson acoustic and that came with the original plastic bridge pins. They were pretty chewed-up and the tips had bent over but they still worked fine for holding the strings in place after being put back in a random order. I have since replaced them with some nicer looking ones (though have kept the originals) and they work fine as well.

You could argue that as the stings all have slightly different tensions on then (especially in tunings) that the ball ends and the string itself will wear at the underside and front edge of the hole in different ways. But that still doesn't really affect the way the bridge pin works.

So I am currently very unconvinced that there is any real science behind this, though am always ready to listen to a reasoned argument.

18-04-2017, 05:36 PM
Yeah, have heard that too Rick.
Personally, I put that theory in the basket of Luthiery hocus pokus bull crap.
Pins are pins, they wear out and need replacing from time to time so that kind of shoots that theory down....
Unless, of course, they are custom made and differ in size......which would be crazy IMHO.