I would put it the other way around JM_1
Tusq is indeed very consistent but it
is no better than a good piece of bone from a reputable supplier. It is a lot more
expensive, and it is not so easy to work as bone.
Of course, bones can be
inconsistent with softer areas, but the cut bone blanks you buy are selected from material
of the right grade and quality. And while Tusq(TM) has a massive marketing budget (funded
by the high price - which extends to doing deals with guitar manufacturers to offer Tusq
nuts and saddles to add to the perceived value of both brands), good old fashioned bone
isn't a business's propriety solution so doesn't get nice large adverts in the guitar
Where Tusq has an advantage is not as an alternative to bone but as an
alternative to ivory, which as the name suggests is what it was designed to be. Real ivory
is illegal unless you have legitimate old stocks, and even then it can make it technically
illegal to carry the guitar across international borders. The legal alternative is fossil
ivory which is more expensive than Tusq.
And the difference between bone and
ivory is very subtle, on a par with the difference due to a rosewood or ebony
Bone, ivory, mother or pearl, abalone, carbon fibre, Tusq, fossil
ivory and other materials are all perfectly acceptable for nuts and saddles. What matters
most (and makes the largest material difference) is how well they made and fitted.
Largely, but not entirely, dysfunctional.