In our recent “Guitar on a Budget” feature (June 2018), we asked readers to share one gear purchase that felt like a great buy. One reader singled out Bigrock Innovations’ Power Pins 2.0 ($49.95), a set of replacement bridge pins that promises to make stringing your guitar easier, protect the guitar’s bridge plate, and deliver new clarity to the tone. Intrigued by the claims, and the reader’s praise for a humble set of bridge pins, I requested a set for review.
To try them out, I installed the Power Pins on a Seagull S6, a trusty office guitar with a very familiar tone. Each tear-shaped metal pin fits to the top of the bridge much like a traditional bridge pin, but they are fastened to the bridge by a bolt that comes up through the inside, through a small metal plate (the Power Plate), and screws into the pin using an Allen wrench. Installation was simple and took only a few minutes of working by feel in the cramped interior. Strings feed into the top and hold steady as you tune up to pitch.
For an objective take with this setup, I recorded the guitar before and after installing the Power Pins, using the same set of fresh D’Addario EJ16 phosphor-bronze strings and the same mic positioning. Looking at the recorded results onscreen, I could see that my ears weren’t trying to deceive me—the frequency analyzer showed that the guitar was indeed a few decibels louder, and its entire frequency spectrum seemed to have been goosed, with the low-end showing the largest increase and a smoothed-out response. As a player, it just sounded like there was more guitar there—more volume, more tone, and more of the string’s energy turned into that guitar-body shaking effect that can be so satisfying.
Some people won’t like their non-traditional appearance, and I doubt that Power Pins could turn a crummy guitar into a good one, but my experience is that I was able to get more sustain, tone, and volume out of an already good guitar that I like to play.
Bigrock Innovations Power Pins 2.0 are available in gold, chrome, or black chrome, and 6- and 12-string versions, plus 4-string acoustic bass guitar. powerpins.net
This article originally appeared in the October 2018 issue of Acoustic Guitar magazine.