Anyone replace the Collings tailpiece?

  1. DesertDawg
    Hello everyone,

    This is my first Cafe post after about 10 years of lurking.

    I have an MT that I purchased at Gruhn's about 10 years ago, and absolutely love it. The only real change I've made from the instrument was to have Austin Clark remove the finish from the back of the neck and apply a little french polish to make it slicker.

    Just curious to know if anyone out there has replaced the Collings tailpiece. While it is better than some I've had in the past, I've been thinking about changing it to a James to make changing strings a little simpler. Any feedback is appreciated.
  2. Mike Bunting
    I put a James on mine. I hate those tail pieces where you have to poke the string through those holes, I'd rather have the old hook t-p's.
  3. DesertDawg
    Thanks for the reply, Mike. I dislike the tailpiece for the same reason. Sometimes when I'm really focused on getting the strings to wind on the post properly or in a rush to change my strings, the string loop will come off of the post and will pull into the hole. It is almost impossible to push the string back through the hole from the loop end without starting all over. Doesn't happen all of the time, but when it does it's enough to make me want to change the TP.
  4. Mike Bunting
    I think that the James is the best tailpiece out there. and is the way to go.
  5. Paul Statman
    Paul Statman
    i concur with Mike. James is boss in my book. "My Other Mandolin Has A James Tailpiece" would be the sticker on my Collings' case, though..
  6. Steve Ostrander
    Steve Ostrander
    When I change strings I put a piece of tape over the loop to hold it in place. Seems to help keep the loop from slipping off the peg when winding.
  7. Paul Statman
    Paul Statman
    I too prefer the James tailpiece on my other mando, but this one is workable:
    If you put a 'downward' bend (as it appears in place on the pin) in the loop just behind the twist, this will prevent any slippage/jumpage/pullage through the hole/aging/genital warts, etc., etc..
  8. adlerburg
    Is the James a direct replacement for the Collings on an MF5? All holes line up etc?
  9. Mike Bunting
    I think the holes line up but I didn't do the work myself. When I get hold of my repairman who did the job I'll ask him and report back (though it was 7 years ago when I changed it out).
  10. citycountryguy
    I called Collings and they told me it isn't an exact match. I'm sending my MF5 to them (ordered a James with Collings engraved on it) after the holidays to get the James put on and a pickguard as well.
  11. acatasus
    I like the original equipment tailpiece. I don't seem to have the problems detailed here. Maybe I'm just resigned to the idea that changing strings on a mandolin is a kind of penance.
  12. SWS

    How did the James replacement work out? Did Collings have a quick turn-around time? Also, who did the engraving in the tailpiece?


  13. Paul Statman
    Paul Statman
    @ Mike Bunting~ Was the James TP a simple switch, or did the endpin hole have to be filled and re-drilled/reamed? I have one en route to me now. Cheers!
  14. nickster
    I'm curious if the James tailpiece is a simple swap out with the original Collings on my 2011 MF5 without redrilling holes? I have done some research and some say it is and some say it isn't. It would be nice to hear from someone who has done it. Also did it change tone for the better or worse? Thanks!
  15. Ray(T)
    It's not threading the strings through the tailpiece which annoys me it's taking the darned things off again. Unfortunately mine's a mandola so I have to use brute force to pull the bent string ends back through the holes. Not the ideal tailpiece; I have James on two of my mandolins.
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