Experience with Tone Tips

Nail care, nail problems, and the use of nails in playing the classical guitar.
davekear
Posts: 225
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2016 1:12 am
Location: California

Re: Experience with Tone Tips

Post by davekear » Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:43 am

Eberhard Mueller wrote:
Thu Sep 21, 2017 3:53 am
davekear wrote:
Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:47 am
Absolutely. Good idea to have a fix before you need it. Not good to wait for a nail emergency to then learn how to do this.
Find a method you think will work best, and get it down. Best to practice on your "a" finger or little finger.
Yes, that's a good idea.

Until a few months ago, I still had a small white boxed kit of "Guitar Player Nails" for emergency use. It was a hold over from the early 1980's. These were pre-cut crescents of plastic that were designed to be glued underneath the damaged nail. I didn't have any nail pieces left that fit me, but, there always was the option of cutting up ping pong balls. For some reason I did keep the box and odds and sots therein for over 30 years.

Did you own this company (but different method) at that time?
No, we didn't own that company, but I know what you're referring to. Those were called "Players nails". I also used to apply them under my nails. Came to realize after a while that it's much better to apply nails on top of your natural nail rather than under it. There's actually a number of reasons why this is a better method of application. Not the least of which is the fact that if you have little or no nail, which is the case a lot of the time, then there is no nail left to adhere it to. Also the gap between the pad of your finger and the nail is such that it inhibits your feel and tone. Not so much with the thumb, but for sure with the fingers. There are other reasons why applying a nail on top of the nail plate is much more effective than under the nail. But some folks got used to it that way, and since there are no nail police........ well there you are. :D

dtoh
Posts: 217
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2016 12:54 pm

Re: Experience with Tone Tips

Post by dtoh » Thu Sep 21, 2017 7:32 am

guit-box wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 2:12 pm
dtoh wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:03 pm
FWIW - Here is my experience.

Natural Nails - Always worried about my nails. Constantly breaking and cracking. Many weeks practicing i and a while I waited for m to regrow, etc. Had to limit non-guitar activities using my hands. Many hours spent with glue, silk, etc. trying to repair or prevent damage. Permanent vertical crack in p, which always impacted playing and couldn't be fixed. Complete and constant headache, which almost made me quit CG.

Acryllics - Totally indestructible. Could use my nails to extract screws. Hard as rock. No feel whatsoever. Poor tone and little control of tone.

Soft UV Gel - Almost indestructible. Extremely flexible and natural feel. Good tone and control. Need to spend $30 every 3 weeks which entails drinking a cappucino, reading emails or chatting with my nailist while she does my nails. Matte finish so except for the length you can hardly tell the difference in appearance between LH and RH. I never even think about my nails anymore. Total life changer.
I have yet to try the gels but I'm planning to do that next. I'm getting good reports about them from several professional level guitarists. One who has used acrylics for years said he likes the gel better too so I'm excited to give them a try.
Hope it works out for you. Just a couple of things I discovered (none of which are critical)

1. Be a little careful of nail salons that just apply acrylic when you've asked for soft gel. (It's happened to me.)

2. For the first year, I did my whole nail. Now I only do the top half of each nail. Gel or any coating reduces the amount hydration the nail can absorb (just like your guitar.) When I was doing the whole nail, I was getting a little drying. Letting the nail grow uncovered for half it's life seems to help. My nails feel super healthy now.

3. I think most people have some variability of rigidity between their individual nails because of nail thickness or curvature. With a good nailist (and it sounds like you have already figured this out), you can adjust the thickness of the gel coating so you get very uniform flexibility and feel between your nails. For example, my m nail is naturally is a little thinner than my other nails so the nailist does a slightly thicker coat. My a nail has a fair amount of curvature giving it more structural rigidity so I get a slightly thinner coat.

4. Gel has quite a sheen, so I have the nailist buff the surface with a file to give it a matte finish. Looks just like my natural nails.

celestemcc
Posts: 695
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 5:43 pm

Re: Experience with Tone Tips

Post by celestemcc » Fri Sep 22, 2017 9:11 pm

I got my Tiptonic Nail tips yesterday.

Jury's still out because I have to change the length that I ordered...as such I can't play in them... too long, and that was my mistake. But the customer service is *wonderful*. I chose carefully but misjudged the length and called them today. Britt was very helpful.

First impressions, pre playing:
1) they are very thick. This may or may not be an issue.
2) the array of sizes is very impressive. You choose them based on various measurements including the curvature of your nail bed. There's something to fit nearly everyone. All clearly explained, measuring charts provided.
3) They'll send you not only the sizes you choose but a few alternatives as well. In my case, two of the alternatives fit better than my choices.

Britt is sending me a shorter nails in slightly in revised sizes.

These may work for CG players, may not... but for me they're worth a try for when I break a nail. Should know soon.
2015 Connor spruce/Indian rosewood
1978 Ramirez 1a cedar

Dofpic
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Location: Whitefish, Montana

Re: Experience with Tone Tips

Post by Dofpic » Sat Sep 23, 2017 4:11 pm

keep us posted.
Spruce,2011Fritz Ober(maple), 2015 Eric Sahlin, 2006 Greg Byers(fan not lattice)2009 Eric Monrad(maple/Brazilian/spruce)
2012 Martin Blackwell(for sale), 2001 Dominique Field(for sale)
Cedar, 2014 Joshua DeJonge( for sale)

celestemcc
Posts: 695
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 5:43 pm

Re: Experience with Tone Tips

Post by celestemcc » Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:03 pm

keep us posted.
The Jury is In on the Tiptonics nails!

Alas: they don't work for me, not at all. Don't know if they'll work for most classical guitarists, but I'll speak only for me. Please note I've written to Britt West, who makes these nails, and he's been an absolutely tremendous help in getting me the right sizes and lengths: terrific customer service!

The nails themselves are a thicker plastic with a flange that your natural nail (you only need a little) fits into. You put the nails into a special heater which activates the adhesive on them. See below for more details.

The good:
1) Incredible array of sizes, to fit any and all fingers. As stated before, you measure your nails across several different dimensions to determine the curvature across the nail bed as well as along the length, then measure the depth of your nailbed and the playing length desired. Very, very impressive. And Britt will work with you to help you achieve the best fit possible.
2) in spite of the thickness at the tip, when the nail fits right and you put it on with the properly heated adhesive, it feels surprisingly comfortable and natural, though they look weird (but who cares!). This is because the cuticle end of each nail is beautifully tapered to fit nicely against the natural nail bed. And the nails can be worn all day, -- unlike with Ricoh adhesive, you can get them wet -- and are very easy to remove with no damage at all.
3) Customer service is outstanding.

The not so good: and remember please that this is my own experience.

1) for me, much too thick. They're much thicker at the playing edge than GPN pre-formed nails and the press-on drugstore nails I typically use with superglue. They're hard to file to shape (more below).
2) The shape (I chose medium length) of the nail is too pointed for me, too much like a standard flatpick. Not wide enough to file to a ramped shape, for example (which I prefer). The material is a bit soft, and hard to file even with the enclosed file -- one that would cut through more traditional fake nails like butter. The flange described above poses a problem in that if I could file enough, the remaining edge would catch on the string.
3) The tone is, for me, much too bright and nail-y. I get a much better tone with natural nails or traditional glue-on nails. This is particularly noticeable on the basses: way too much noise on the windings.

These seem to really have been developed for steel-string players mostly, and perhaps for guitarists who occasionally switch to playing either classical music on steel strings.

So there you have it... I'd had high hopes. Ironically my beleaguered p nail is finally coming back to health, and with any luck, I'll have a good natural one in about a month...!
2015 Connor spruce/Indian rosewood
1978 Ramirez 1a cedar

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Eberhard Mueller
Posts: 109
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2016 3:58 pm
Location: British Columbia, Canada

Re: Experience with Tone Tips

Post by Eberhard Mueller » Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:51 pm

celestemcc wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:03 pm
...
So there you have it... I'd had high hopes. ...
So did I. Sigh! Thanks for placing these on the "test bed" for us readers. Now, you have saved us $ and troubles! For all it is worth, I will put up with the hassles of gluing on fake nails. This, in my opinion is the simplest, most economical DIY option and the tone can be very good.
Neil Douglas 2001 (German Spruce / German Maple)
Neil Douglas 1992 (Engelmann Spruce / Brazilian Rosewood)
La Patrie Motif
Cordoba Mini M

celestemcc
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Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 5:43 pm

Re: Experience with Tone Tips

Post by celestemcc » Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:17 am

Thanks for placing these on the "test bed" for us readers
I still think there's a lot of merit in the adhesive; secure but no damage, unlike glue dots (the kind I've used which aren't like Ricoh nails' adhesive dots) or cyanoacrylic. And the range of sizes and attention to details in sizing is beyond anything I could have hoped for. Britt kindly accepted my feedback and asked a few more questions. The company may still pursue the CG market, and more power to them if they do! -- but it's not the right solution for now.
2015 Connor spruce/Indian rosewood
1978 Ramirez 1a cedar

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Eberhard Mueller
Posts: 109
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2016 3:58 pm
Location: British Columbia, Canada

Re: Experience with Tone Tips

Post by Eberhard Mueller » Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:35 am

celestemcc wrote:
Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:17 am
Thanks for placing these on the "test bed" for us readers
I still think there's a lot of merit in the adhesive; secure but no damage, unlike glue dots (the kind I've used which aren't like Ricoh nails' adhesive dots) or cyanoacrylic. And the range of sizes and attention to details in sizing is beyond anything I could have hoped for. Britt kindly accepted my feedback and asked a few more questions. The company may still pursue the CG market, and more power to them if they do! -- but it's not the right solution for now.
If they pursue the classical market with a good adhesive, then I would hope for their success.
Neil Douglas 2001 (German Spruce / German Maple)
Neil Douglas 1992 (Engelmann Spruce / Brazilian Rosewood)
La Patrie Motif
Cordoba Mini M

guit-box
Posts: 1097
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:57 am

Re: Experience with Tone Tips

Post by guit-box » Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:56 pm

celestemcc wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:03 pm
keep us posted.
The Jury is In on the Tiptonics nails!

Alas: they don't work for me, not at all. Don't know if they'll work for most classical guitarists, but I'll speak only for me. Please note I've written to Britt West, who makes these nails, and he's been an absolutely tremendous help in getting me the right sizes and lengths: terrific customer service!

The nails themselves are a thicker plastic with a flange that your natural nail (you only need a little) fits into. You put the nails into a special heater which activates the adhesive on them. See below for more details.

The good:
1) Incredible array of sizes, to fit any and all fingers. As stated before, you measure your nails across several different dimensions to determine the curvature across the nail bed as well as along the length, then measure the depth of your nailbed and the playing length desired. Very, very impressive. And Britt will work with you to help you achieve the best fit possible.
2) in spite of the thickness at the tip, when the nail fits right and you put it on with the properly heated adhesive, it feels surprisingly comfortable and natural, though they look weird (but who cares!). This is because the cuticle end of each nail is beautifully tapered to fit nicely against the natural nail bed. And the nails can be worn all day, -- unlike with Ricoh adhesive, you can get them wet -- and are very easy to remove with no damage at all.
3) Customer service is outstanding.

The not so good: and remember please that this is my own experience.

1) for me, much too thick. They're much thicker at the playing edge than GPN pre-formed nails and the press-on drugstore nails I typically use with superglue. They're hard to file to shape (more below).
2) The shape (I chose medium length) of the nail is too pointed for me, too much like a standard flatpick. Not wide enough to file to a ramped shape, for example (which I prefer). The material is a bit soft, and hard to file even with the enclosed file -- one that would cut through more traditional fake nails like butter. The flange described above poses a problem in that if I could file enough, the remaining edge would catch on the string.
3) The tone is, for me, much too bright and nail-y. I get a much better tone with natural nails or traditional glue-on nails. This is particularly noticeable on the basses: way too much noise on the windings.

These seem to really have been developed for steel-string players mostly, and perhaps for guitarists who occasionally switch to playing either classical music on steel strings.

So there you have it... I'd had high hopes. Ironically my beleaguered p nail is finally coming back to health, and with any luck, I'll have a good natural one in about a month...!
Thanks for the review, that's what I figured. Can you tell us the cost?
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

celestemcc
Posts: 695
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 5:43 pm

Re: Experience with Tone Tips

Post by celestemcc » Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:50 pm

Thanks for the review, that's what I figured. Can you tell us the cost?
With shipping they were $100 (I got a discount for ordering early). First you get the sizing charts, which are very precise, then you order the nails. You get four sets of nails (the sizes you chose plus some alternates they determine), a durable box for them, and the special heating element. (You put the nails in those for a few minutes to activate the adhesive). The nails are each made by hand, which explains some of the expense.

I'm returning everything for a refund, they're very good about this.
2015 Connor spruce/Indian rosewood
1978 Ramirez 1a cedar

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