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Thread: Eastman MD515 tailpiece replacement

  1. #1
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    Default Eastman MD515 tailpiece replacement

    Two of the string holders on my Eastman MD515 tailpiece broke about 6 months ago and I've been looking for a replacement.

    md515

    I contacted Eastman who directed me to speak to their Australian distributor. After multiple emails back and forth I finally gave up on them and wrote again to Eastman USA. No response.

    I purchased a third party tailpiece that looked like it might fit, but the holes don't quite line up and I'm reluctant to try and jimmy it in alongside the existing holes.

    Does anyone know where I could source a replacement tailpiece - either an Eastman one or other one that might align with the existing holes?

    I was looking at buying an Eastman guitar, but after encountering their customer service I think I'll look at a Cole Clark instead.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Eastman MD515 tailpiece replacement

    I've got one. contact me via pm if you like.

  3. #3
    Registered User Greg Mirken's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman MD515 tailpiece replacement

    Get a better tailpiece, plug the holes and redrill.
    Shade Tree Fretted Instrument Repair
    Now located in Nevada City, California
    http://www.shadetreeguitars.com

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    Default Re: Eastman MD515 tailpiece replacement

    Thanks Greg. I think you're right. I will look at plugging the holes as suggested in this thread.

  5. #5
    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman MD515 tailpiece replacement

    If you're going to fill, the toothpick method is time proven...

    However, typically old tailpiece holes will be hidden under the new tailpiece. If it does work out that way for you, and if the old and new holes are far enough apart to be sound, leaving the old holes un-filled and open means if you do find an original tailpiece, you can put it on without having to re-drill -- and then you can instead fill the new 3rd party tailpiece holes if desired.

    If you're trying to choose a 3rd party tailpiece, I have nothing but the highest praise for the James tailpiece. It's so good, I wish I had gotten mine about 10 years ago -- oh wait, I didn't even have a mandolin for it then. Oh well, I do consider it worth every penny. (NFI)
    -- Don

    "It is a lot more fun to make music than it is to argue about it."

    2002 Gibson F-9
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    1975 Suzuki taterbug
    (plus a large assortment of banjos, dobros, guitars, basses and other noisemakers)
    [About how I tune my mandolins]
    [7/29/2019 -- New Arrival!!!]

  6. #6

    Default Re: Eastman MD515 tailpiece replacement

    I've never been very fond of the Eastman cast tailpiece. I think they're a pain in the ass with the loop posts where they are.
    I'd find a nice cast tailpiece like an Allen or something and use it instead. Even the cheap Ashton Bailey types are better than the Eastman tailpiece in my opinion.
    If you can live with brass or bronze, these will work better and are inexpensive
    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Golden-T...s/123702885322
    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Bronze-T...s/293236969114

    If it has to be chrome:
    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/NEW-CHRO...E/371656116143

    And I would go for it with filling the old holes and drilling new for the new tailpiece. The one issue that you might run into is the placement of the endpin hole. So be aware of that and check it out before you drill.
    Best, Stevo

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Eastman MD515 tailpiece replacement

    If I could change one thing on my 515 it would be the tailpiece. After getting a James on another Mandolin I have decided I am opposed to any tailpiece that requires me to thread a string through a tiny hole, usually drawing blood in the process. Or blindly threading under a piece of metal as on the Eastman. And then hook them over tiny peg and keep them on while bringing them to tune. I wonder if a James would require new holes, but even then it might be worth it.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Eastman MD515 tailpiece replacement

    If you are going to keep the Eastman, I'd get a James.
    Silverangel A
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  9. #9
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman MD515 tailpiece replacement

    Plugging the screw holes is pretty straight forward as long as the new tailpiece covers the old holes. The James has a slightly elongated hole for the endpin in the event that it doesn't line up. It's pretty easy to plug the holes with round toothpicks and wood glue. I was replacing an imported tailpiece with a James tailpiece on my mandola in this picture.
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    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Eastman MD515 tailpiece replacement

    Thanks everyone for your replies and info. I'm going to have a crack at plugging the holes and fitting an Ashton Bailey style tailpiece as the James Tailpiece doesn't seem to be available in Australia.

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