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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,guest, Brian Gold Power Pins Nick Dow (59* d) RE: Gold Power Pins Nick Dow 17 Apr 15

I've had the opportunity to try power pins. I have studied the website info. but kept quiet until I could try them out and offer first hand information as well as opinion.

I think they do alter the sound, and on the instruments I was using (Bown JJ, Sigma 00028V) all went quite well. They are both, however, terrific instruments with "normal" pins. Sustain and brightness were enhanced - to my tin ears anyway.

However, both instruments (once set up to play properly with a comfortable action right up the neck) have only about 2.4mm saddle showing above the bridge. The take off point in the power pins through which the string passes is approx. 1 - 1.5mm (depending on string thickness) above the bottom surface of the pin which rests on the bridge top. The break angle over the saddle is thus reduced and is inadequate (on these instruments, and most that I encounter on a daily basis) for:-

a] a balanced acoustic sound (top e and b sound weedy, may even buzz on the saddle)


b] a balanced electric response using an under-saddle transducer (insufficient pressure on bug to get a decent signal)

Possible solutions to restore break angle identified so far are: -

1 - Use normal pins on strings 1 and 2 to recover break angle - Worked well (but strings 1 and 2 therefore lack the magical benefits of the power pins - hardly noticed the difference)

2 - Plane down the bridge to allow more saddle to show, thus allowing the break angle to be maintained in spite of the raised string take-off point. Not done - not my guitars.

3 - Machine/file off the base of the power pins so the take-off point of the string is ON the bridge top, not 1mm above it. Not done - not my pins.

4- Reset the neck - a bit much to accommodate a set of fancy bridge pins don't you think?

5] Re-design the lower face of the power pins to achieve number 3. Could/should have been picked up at the initial design stage - not my remit.

A note from the manufacturer on the website/in their promotional material that on some (most?) instruments some modification of the bridge may be necessary to accommodate the new pin design might be appropriate (honest?).

Also the critical dimension (string to bridge top) could/should be included in the "engineering drawing" on the website (dimensions shown are edited highlights). That would at least allow potential purchasers to make an informed choice about whether the things will work on their own instrument without having to pay a tech. to modify either the pins or the bridge (or buy the pins only to find they don't suit without modification).

Mr Lowden does indeed use a system utilising these principles for string attachment, as do several other makers, but the strings emerge almost at the level of the instrument top (not bridge top) before passing over the saddle at the appropriate break angle.

Sorry to go on a bit, but my findings are based on first hand experience and I hope my observations/suggestions identify product design issues and potential solutions. I hope my findings are of some use to potential purchasers.

Back to the bench!


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