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Thread: James or Allen tailpieces-anyone use these?

  1. #26
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    Default Re: James or Allen tailpieces-anyone use these?

    James
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

  2. #27
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    Default Re: James or Allen tailpieces-anyone use these?

    Ivan, I have some hand problems so the Weber tailpiece did not work out for me. I sent an email to Bill James and as luck would have it he had about 3 unfinished units with the Weber pattern!! Best thing I ever did. Now changing string just takes a few minutes. And you don't need to do any tricks. Just open the door, put on a string and close the door! One of the greatest string instrument inventions in the last 100 years. IMHO.
    ntriesch

  3. #28
    Registered User Justus True Waldron's Avatar
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    Default Re: James or Allen tailpieces-anyone use these?

    I have an Allen on mine, and I really like it for that mandolin - very solid and seems to match the almost art-deco styling elements on my A style. The first time or two it did take me a a little longer to string over my old axe with a stamped tailpiece, but now that I'm used to it I don't think it takes any longer to string at all.

    I've seen and admired the James tailpiece for a while now - seems like a really nice design, although I've never re-strung an instrument with one. If I was to ever have an F style built I would go with the James, as much for complete-ism as for the classic look. Very cool design and nicely made, seems like with the moving parts there is more that could potentially go wrong. I don't think there is anything that could possibly break an Allen short of a stick of dynamite.

    In the end I think it pretty much comes down to looks... both are very high quality pieces.
    - 2004 Macica A
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  4. #29
    Registered User doc holiday's Avatar
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    Default Re: James or Allen tailpieces-anyone use these?

    I've had & used both. The Allen is finicky to restring with & the James is a breeze. The Weber is a proprietary shape.....it would just look wrong on a Pava. Me, I've got James on both my Heiden & Ellis.....but I'd leave the Pava be. The tuners & tailpiece work & they match the pricepoint & aesthetic of the instrument. I've been guilty of the 'upgrade' syndrome too...but really... it's a great mandolin at a great price that has the sound....i'd entertain the 'leave it as it is' notion.....
    If the upgrades have you in their clutches Tom S has an Ellis A for sale for 4k on the Collings Forum... just saying

  5. #30
    Registered User Mark Marino's Avatar
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    Default Re: James or Allen tailpieces-anyone use these?

    James. I have changed out various other tailpieces on my top 4 mandolins to the James tailpiece. You can get them engraved as well. The silver plated version looks great on older mandolins as it will tarnish a bit and doesnt look like cheap chrome. Everyone's comments on ease of use and just the feel are aligned with my opinion as well.

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    "If you hit a wrong note, then make it right by what you play afterwards." - Joe Pass

  6. #31
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    Default Re: James or Allen tailpieces-anyone use these?

    A "snap top tailpiece." Ouch! Glad you were finally filled in on the operation of a stamped tailpiece.

    I can't weigh in on the Allen vs. James debate. Only change my strings a few times a year so the stamped tailpiece works great for me. The price was right too because it came with my mandolin.
    -Robert T. -

  7. #32
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: James or Allen tailpieces-anyone use these?

    2 James and a Blank Gilchrist tailpiece. here ..

    But I leave the stamped steel ones that Gibson Fit on their A4 in 1922, in place ..
    writing about music
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    Registered User Bill Baldridge's Avatar
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    Default Re: James or Allen tailpieces-anyone use these?

    James

  9. #34
    Registered User Steve Sorensen's Avatar
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    Default Re: James or Allen tailpieces-anyone use these?

    James always . . . unless Allen is requested.

    Steve

  10. #35
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: James or Allen tailpieces-anyone use these?

    From Ron Mc - "..they are the deal breaker that prevents me even considering owning a Weber - and I suspect I am not alone."
    Absolutely Ron,a point i made in the thread i referred to. I thought (& still do), that it's very short sighted of Weber to not even consider 'other makes' of tailpiece as an option on their otherwise superb instruments. There are many folks on here who want the 'trad.style' tailpiece look,so why not offer the best one on the market - a James ??. Not many folk are going to buy a 'new' Weber,even if they think it sounds good,& then have to pay extra for a plug & re-drill job on it to fit a different style t/piece on it.
    I remember back in '92 after attending the IBMA bash in Owensboro,just prior to journeying to Washington DC,i stayed overnight in a Motel just outside Luray,Va. Having had a nice steak,fries etc. for my evening meal,i had my first ever piece of Pecan pie - WOW !. I asked the waitress if i could have that for my breakfast the next morning,she replied - "Sir,you can have anything you like" . I wish Weber would adopt that moto re. their mandolin t/pieces !,
    Ivan
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  12. #36
    Registered User David Rambo's Avatar
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    Default Re: James or Allen tailpieces-anyone use these?

    I didn't try the James tailpieces, but I do have Allen TR-1's on two of my mandolins. Yes, I occasionally have to elongate a loop or two, but I don't see that as a problem. String changes are a breeze compared to the one(s) that were on the instruments when I first got them. It is very possible that I would like the James as much, or even better, I don't know. I do think that they are the best ones on the market today, so it would be hard to go wrong with either of them.
    "Put your hands to the wood
    Touch the music put there by the summer sun and wind
    The rhythms of the rain, locked within the rings
    And let your fingers find The Music in the Wood."
    Joe Grant and Al Parrish (chorus from The Music in the Wood)

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    Default Re: James or Allen tailpieces-anyone use these?

    I had ordered a batch of items from TMS when I first posted this thread. Included in that batch was a James silver tailpiece.
    It has arrived(as has the totally awesome Dudette strap for my Pava A), and it looks like a very high quality piece of metal. I like the satin finish of this silver a lot. It looks really nice laid on top of the Pava.

    Appears I will have to take some time soon and install this James on the Pava. Yep, I think its a mission.

    Will report back when completed, will probably take me a few days to get the necessary time. Hope to do a photo review with thoughts upon completion.

    thanks to all for the replies and thoughts
    d

  14. #38
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    Default Re: James or Allen tailpieces-anyone use these?

    I use the Allen on one as the cheap pressed steel original on the Kentucky was rubbish.
    It's been excellent and sorted out the problem caused by the soft steel one.
    Sorry to report I've had no problems or difficulties with string changes yet & must be missing something there.
    Eoin



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  15. #39
    Registered User Doug Edwards's Avatar
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    Default Re: James or Allen tailpieces-anyone use these?

    I like the Allen and James very much. I had an engraved Allen on my SA and I have a James on my #4 two point I play. I use a piece a blue tape to hold the strings in place while changing. The James does not require this as much, but I have had some strings back off the hook from time to time. The tape works on a variety of instruments with hook type tailpieces.

  16. #40
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    Default Re: James or Allen tailpieces-anyone use these?

    How about a Hamlett?

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  17. #41
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    Default Re: James or Allen tailpieces-anyone use these?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tommcgtx View Post
    How about a Hamlett?

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    that's really interesting looking, any pictures of one attached in use on a mandolin?

    thanks
    d

  18. #42
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    Default Re: James or Allen tailpieces-anyone use these?

    Quote Originally Posted by darylcrisp View Post
    that's really interesting looking, any pictures of one attached in use on a mandolin?

    thanks
    d
    Cafe member John Hamlett's site is here:
    http://hamlettinstruments.com/

    There are some pictures of them there. I don't have one, but was looking for tailpiece alternatives recently, and am considering one.

  19. #43
    Registered User Nick Gellie's Avatar
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    Default Re: James or Allen tailpieces-anyone use these?

    Quote Originally Posted by ellisppi View Post
    not to continue the diversion, but I want to confirm that all Pava's (except those w/ Waverly's) have Gotoh MA 40 shaft over tuners that are made in Japan. These tuners are not available in the US that I know of. The Gotoh's from LMI are shaft under and are made in Taiwan. I have tried many sets of all the brands and these Japanese Gotoh's are quite decent though sometimes a little tight. I think the Gibson style tailpiece sounds the best.
    You heard it from the man himself the reason why Pavas had a traditional Gibson style tailpiece sounds the best on a mandolin. My Pava has one.
    Nic Gellie

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  20. #44
    Registered User Nick Gellie's Avatar
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    Default Re: James or Allen tailpieces-anyone use these?

    Quote Originally Posted by darylcrisp View Post
    I had ordered a batch of items from TMS when I first posted this thread. Included in that batch was a James silver tailpiece.
    It has arrived(as has the totally awesome Dudette strap for my Pava A), and it looks like a very high quality piece of metal. I like the satin finish of this silver a lot. It looks really nice laid on top of the Pava.

    Appears I will have to take some time soon and install this James on the Pava. Yep, I think its a mission.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobar View Post
    The earlier Pavas had one piece backs, and came in one "flavor", lacquer finish. These were much more like Collings MT2s, with adirondack tops. To my eyes and ears, they were more similar to an Ellis than the few I have played recently.
    I agree with your assessment. Mine has a one piece back. Where did yours sit? I think it was on consignment with the Music Emporium not long back.


    Will report back when completed, will probably take me a few days to get the necessary time. Hope to do a photo review with thoughts upon completion.

    thanks to all for the replies and thoughts
    d
    So whatever happened to your Pava Daryl?
    Nic Gellie

    Collings MT 2012 mandolin signed by Bill Collings
    Collings MT-O 2019 mandolin
    Ruben Bada 2019 Irish Bouzouki

  21. #45
    Registered User Nick Gellie's Avatar
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    Default Re: James or Allen tailpieces-anyone use these?

    One other point string changing on an Allen TR-2 is a lot easier than on a TR-1
    Nic Gellie

    Collings MT 2012 mandolin signed by Bill Collings
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  22. #46
    Registered User Nick Gellie's Avatar
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    Default Re: James or Allen tailpieces-anyone use these?

    And the Jspanese Gotoh tuners are not a problem either.
    Nic Gellie

    Collings MT 2012 mandolin signed by Bill Collings
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  23. #47
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    Default Re: James or Allen tailpieces-anyone use these?

    I've had the Allen before on a mando and hated it, mainly because I'm used to the old traditional Gibson style, I found it difficult to change strings with the Allen? Also had the Collings type on a MT2-V and didn't like. Guess I'm old and in the way.
    I'd like the James-thats like the old school style.

  24. #48

    Default Re: James or Allen tailpieces-anyone use these?

    Is there any reason a company like James couldn't offer custom drilling of mounting holes? They could have a few templates around, or have a customer send them their tailpiece, and also drill for jack clearance if necessary.

  25. #49
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: James or Allen tailpieces-anyone use these?

    My .. 2 James; 1 stock on A5 Mix, 2nd I replaced the stock Lebeda, another Cast bronze tailpiece..

    gained: simple string change, Used the cover to make an ebony armrest face.




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  26. #50
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: James or Allen tailpieces-anyone use these?

    I'm an Allen fan; I've got them on my three Cricketfiddle instruments. They are great in that they take loop or ball strings, though I've only used ball end on mine. I like to use octave pairs, and two of these instruments are 10 stringers. So I make up my own custom string sets out of single guitar strings I pick up at my local shop. My Morris has a no-name slide-on cover tailpiece that works just fine.

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