Generally speaking, there are two different camps when it comes to instrument modification: those who wish to remain true to time honored traditions and the way things were done in years past, and those who seek new ways of improving upon what has become the industry standard. I tend to fall somewhere on the fence between innovation and tradition, while acknowledging that without innovation, the traditional stuff wouldn’t exist in the first place. Most of the time I’m highly skeptical about new products that promise to make your instrument sound or play better, but the new Power Pins 2.0 is pretty dang cool.
The industry standard for most dreadnought acoustic guitars dictates that bridge pins are made of bone or ivory, ebony, or plastic material in the shape of a tapered dowel that acts as a plug so that the string may be inserted into the bridge slot and held firmly in place. The folks at Bigrock Innovations, the creators of Power Pins, have a vastly different approach- but that’s not a bad thing!
Their new product replaces what musicians would consider traditional bridge pins altogether. Substituting the existing pins with metal pieces that strings simply slide into, Power Pins are made in such a way that they could largely be considered a part replacement instead of a modification. That’s a really good thing for the guy with the already nice guitar, because modifications usually make people nervous.
The pins cost an average of $50, which, while a bit high, isn’t bad considering the cost of bone and ivory products. It’s not necessarily an easy system to install because it’s not as simple as just jerking out the standard bridge pins with a peg puller and slamming Power Pins in place behind a new set of strings. A novice should still be able to complete the task, though. Directions and diagrams are included in the product packaging, and the company has created several YouTube videos that provide assistance, as well.
My advice is just take the time to do it properly, as it does take some time to install and literally affix the new “pins” to the guitar’s bridge. After that, changing strings can be considerably easier because of the following:
A. There’s no more hunting that pesky peg puller you left in your other guitar case.
B. You don’t actually have to take out the pins to put new strings on the instrument.
Simply slide the strings in the slots in the new “pins” and voila, all that’s left is winding them up.
In my first trial run of this new product, I installed the pins in an already nice guitar, a Martin. It seemed to brighten up the guitar a good bit, perhaps adding a little more sustain as well. I feel like the Power Pins’ best application would be in bringing new life to the more inexpensive guitars – the ones that really need the help. It could also be considerably easier for a child to change strings with this product.
For more information about Power Pins 2.0, visit Bigrock Innovations online at www.f1pick.com. Power Pins are available directly from the company, and can also be purchased from Amazon and music supply companies.