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Thread: Replacement Tailpiece question...

  1. #1
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    Default Replacement Tailpiece question...

    Hi all!

    So, I pulled a total bonehead move this weekend while changing strings and snapped one of the hooks off my stamped tailpiece on my KM-505 and am now hoping to get a new one on before I leave for a run of gigs next weekend.

    As much as I'd like to upgrade to a Weber, Allen, or James, it's not in the budget at the moment.

    My question is, is there any difference in quality between any of these sub-$20 stamped tailpieces that can be had at The Mandolin Store, Elderly, Stew-Mac, etc., or are they all pretty much the same?

    Thanks for any and all help and insight!

    Patrick...

  2. #2

    Default Re: Replacement Tailpiece question...

    Double up two strings on one hook while you save up for a James tailpiece. I have one on my Mix A4, and now I wouldn't buy another mandolin without a James.

  3. #3
    Kyle Dunn TheMandoShop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Replacement Tailpiece question...

    Quote Originally Posted by blueron View Post
    Double up two strings on one hook while you save up for a James tailpiece. I have one on my Mix A4, and now I wouldn't buy another mandolin without a James.
    Good advice! Allen tailpieces are really nice too.
    Kyle Dunn, Luthier
    The Mando Shop
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    kyle@themandoshop.com
    (850) 222-7467 (Shop)
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  4. #4
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Replacement Tailpiece question...

    If you have to double up strings to get by, go for it, but remember that the hooks broke with the tension of one string and you're putting twice that much tension on one hook by adding another string. If you have a jeweler's saw you can "fix" your tailpiece. I tried to find the instructions to link to, but couldn't. Enough diligent searching may turn up Paul Hostetter's method outlined in at least one thread here.
    I'm pretty sure some of the stamped tailpieces are made better and hold up better than others, but I don't know which ones are the relatively good ones. Hopefully someone will come along with some advice. I think a good traditional ($20 or so) replacement seems like a better choice for a KM-505 owner on a budget than a high-$ aftermarket piece.
    Last edited by sunburst; Apr-17-2012 at 10:42am.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Replacement Tailpiece question...

    I doubt that one string could break the hook unless it was weak to begin with or the string was installed wrong. The only time I have ever broken or bent one is when I carelessly did not make sure the string was secure against the base of the hook so the increased leverage against the hook broke it off. In other words I think cheap tailpieces work fine if the string is installed well.

    I often use cheap ones from Stumac and they work fine... They just don't look quite right as period tailpieces
    Bart McNeil

  6. #6
    Kyle Dunn TheMandoShop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Replacement Tailpiece question...

    A customer of mine just purchased a Gibson style tailpiece from Stewart-MacDonald (14.50 + 6.59 sh). It mounted on the instrument with a perfect match to the mounting screw holes and end pin replacing the standard sub $20 tailpiece that came with the mandolin. The tailpiece that he replaced had a cover that did not fit well and the tailpiece was touching the face of the mandolin. The replacement tailpiece solved both problems and he is quite happy.
    Kyle Dunn, Luthier
    The Mando Shop
    www.themandoshop.com
    kyle@themandoshop.com
    (850) 222-7467 (Shop)
    Weber, Collings, Northfield, Eastman, Breedlove and JBovier Mandolins

  7. #7
    Registered User Pete Braccio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Replacement Tailpiece question...

    Hey Patrick,

    Where are you located? I've got a couple of the stamped tailpieces laying around the house. If you're close enough, I could get one of them to you by this weekend.

    Pete
    Pete Braccio

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Replacement Tailpiece question...

    WOW! Thanks everyone!

    Pete... Super generous of you. Much appreciated. Unfortunately, I'm in the northeast, so shipping from the west coast is a bit of a hike for that little tailpiece in this circumstance.

    John... I'll look for Paul Hostetter's tutorial on that fix. I'm sure, no matter what, that it'll come in handy to know that in case of future "whoopses". (although I hope to never make the same mistake again)

    Bart... Yes, this was definitely a careless move on my part. Rushing through the string change and not paying enough attention in the moment. Torqued the sucker up way too fast and past proper tension with a string winder and "POP!" off that little hook went a-flyin' through the air. :-/

    Kyle... It sounds like the Stew-Mac scenario that worked for your customer will work for me, too, and it looks like my luthier can make it all happen for me in time, so I should be good to go.

    I really appreciate all your (super quick) replies.

    Many thanks!

    Peace.

    Patrick...

  9. #9
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Replacement Tailpiece question...

    If you have a Gig, and break a string on stage in the middle of the set,
    then the benefit of the James tailpiece makes its advantage known..
    as the act of closing the hinged cover keeps the spare string loop on the peg.

    That and a peg winder crank and You will be re tuned up within a couple minutes.
    Last edited by mandroid; Apr-17-2012 at 2:48pm.
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