View Full Version : Tailpiece on laminate mandolin

Mar-30-2004, 1:55pm
Looking for opinions on tailpieces. Bought a Kentucky mandolin, late 80's, early 90's, laminated back and sides(just starting out and didn't want to spend wads of cash). Question, is it worth the bucks to install heavy metal tailpiece to improve tone? At this point I feel it would help with a slight buzz from the tailpiece cover, but will it improve the tone $80.00 worth? Jake

Jim M.
Mar-30-2004, 2:09pm
No, it won't improve the tone $80. I started with a similar Kentucky and it was a fine starter instrument, but not worth making modifications to except for a decent set-up. Just put a little piece of felt or rubber under the tailpiece cover to make it tighter.

Daniel Nestlerode
Mar-30-2004, 2:23pm
I installed Allen tailpieces on two of the three mandolins I have owned, the third one came with a monteleone style (non-Allen) already installed.

The first was a '92 Epi MM-30, and the tp made a huge difference in the tone. It made more of a difference than a new ebony bridge and new Schaller tuners. But that was a crummy mandolin: very thick top, no bracing, VERY cheap hardware.

The second was a late 90s Kentucky KM630 (solid top lam back & rim), and I don't recall a lot of tone change, though I think the trebles lost some harshness. Still, I was happy to do the upgrade, the look of the mandolin improved and I didn't have to worry about metal fatigue from string changes on the mediocre stamped tailpiece or losing the tp cover. Peace of mind is worth $80.00. ( I had owned the mandolin about a year before upgrading to an Allen tp)

FWIW, I think the Weber tp's are cheaper than the Allens, but don't forget Gary Price's tp's. I'm sure there are more, but I can't think of their names at the moment.
Weber: http://soundtoearth.com
Price: http://www.telepath.com/~ghprice/
Allen: http://www.allenguitar.com/


Mar-30-2004, 4:22pm
Often a cast tailpiece cost more than a laminated mandolin. There is nothing wrong in taking of the cover when you play.