Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 32

Thread: Tailpieces

  1. #1
    Registered User Chris Bowsman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Yellow Springs, Ohio
    Posts
    881

    Default Tailpieces

    I have a mandolin with a tailpiece hook that's bent fairly severely. It needs replacing, but I've never shopped for tailpieces. Are all the vintage style stamped ones essentially the same quality? It's a nice Sparks F-5 that my dad played for nearly 30 years, so I wouldn't mind spending a little and putting on some quality hardware.

    Also, would prefer matte nickel to shiny chrome.
    2016 Gibson Doyle Lawson F-5
    D'Addario Nickel Bronze 11.5-40
    Current pick: Dunlop 500 .96mm

  2. #2
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Posts
    3,056

    Default Re: Tailpieces

    This is what I bought when the prong lifted on the tailpiece for my Passernig A5:

    https://cumberlandacoustic.com/produ...lin-tailpiece/
    1924 Gibson A Snakehead
    2005 National RM-1
    2007 Hester A5
    2009 Passernig A5
    2015 Black A2-z
    2010 Black GBOM
    2017 Poe Scout
    2011 Passernig F5
    2018 Vessel TM5

  3. #3

    Default Re: Tailpieces

    Check out Allen tailpieces.
    Some of them will be direct replacement with the screw holes and a nice upgrade.
    I like the TR2.
    https://www.allenguitar.com/tpcs.htm
    You can get it in satin nickel
    https://www.allenguitar.com/tpcs_tr-2.htm
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	TR-2satrhod-web.jpg 
Views:	24 
Size:	278.9 KB 
ID:	186376

  4. The following members say thank you to stevojack665 for this post:

    sonic 

  5. #4
    Registered User Chris Bowsman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Yellow Springs, Ohio
    Posts
    881

    Default Re: Tailpieces

    Wow, those are both cool, look more functional than the traditional one, but not "what in the world is that" different.

    Of the Allen bridges, I also like the TR2. That aged patina one is pretty sweet. Of course, it would need matching tuners. My dad rode this thing pretty hard, I think it's earned a few bucks spent on some cool new hardware for it
    2016 Gibson Doyle Lawson F-5
    D'Addario Nickel Bronze 11.5-40
    Current pick: Dunlop 500 .96mm

  6. #5
    Hands of Pot Metal
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Forest Grove, Oregon
    Posts
    1,399

    Default Re: Tailpieces

    I'm a big fan of not having to thread a string through a tailpiece. James are fine, but a tad expensive, while 'Monteleone' style tailpieces (open top) can be inexpensive, albeit imported, if that matters.
    Play it like you mean it

    Not all the clams are at the beach

    Arrow G
    Clark 2 point
    Ratliff CountryBoy A
    00-21 (voiced by Eldon Stutzman)

  7. #6
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    40.1646° N, 74.2083° W
    Posts
    23,587

    Default Re: Tailpieces

    I'm a fan of the James tailpiece and I also prefer the matte finish to the shiny.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	JamesInstalled.jpg 
Views:	54 
Size:	674.0 KB 
ID:	186377  
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  8. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to MikeEdgerton For This Useful Post:


  9. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    High Peak - UK
    Posts
    2,757

    Default Re: Tailpieces

    My Collings mandola came with one of the Allen type tailpieces and I hate it with a vengeance. It’s difficult to keep the string loops on whilst you’re stringing up and you have to yank the strings hard to get the distorted string ends through the holes whilst taking them off again.

    I have two mandolins with James tailpieces which are a dream so, unless you’re trying to keep the mandolin looking original, my advice would be to go for one of those.

  10. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Ray(T) For This Useful Post:


  11. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    S.W. Wisconsin
    Posts
    5,508

    Default Re: Tailpieces

    If you get a stamped tailpiece I would get a stainless steel one instead of a plated one. They seem to stand up much better.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  12. #9
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    40.1646° N, 74.2083° W
    Posts
    23,587

    Default Re: Tailpieces

    The Prucha stamped tailpieces have a stainless base and a plated cover.

    https://gregboyd.com/product/prucha-...lpiece-nickel/
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  13. The following members say thank you to MikeEdgerton for this post:


  14. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    3,892

    Default Re: Tailpieces

    Another James fan here. I also like my Rigel tailpiece, but they look more “different” than the James.

    After seeing a photo of Marty Stuart’s mandolin in FB Journal, I began using just the straight hooks on my Gibson style tailpieces rather than dealing with the bends on the higher strings, and it changed my life, lol. My James is designed this way. No idea why I’d never thought of that before, other than I figured if the sideways tabs were there, they were there for a reason.

    Good luck in your search!
    Chuck

  15. #11
    Registered User jan281969's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    North Georgia
    Posts
    75

    Default Re: Tailpieces

    I am a recent convert to James---great tone/sustain improvement!And looks great.
    1980 Gibson F-5L

  16. #12
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Posts
    3,056

    Default Re: Tailpieces

    Quote Originally Posted by CES View Post
    I began using just the straight hooks on my Gibson style tailpieces rather than dealing with the bends on the higher strings, and it changed my life, lol. My James is designed this way. No idea why I’d never thought of that before, other than I figured if the sideways tabs were there, they were there for a reason.
    I think they’re a vestigial organ left over from the days when string windings were less reliable than they are now. If they are still present, as on my Gibson snakehead, I continue to use them to honor tradition.
    1924 Gibson A Snakehead
    2005 National RM-1
    2007 Hester A5
    2009 Passernig A5
    2015 Black A2-z
    2010 Black GBOM
    2017 Poe Scout
    2011 Passernig F5
    2018 Vessel TM5

  17. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to pheffernan For This Useful Post:


  18. #13
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    40.1646° N, 74.2083° W
    Posts
    23,587

    Default Re: Tailpieces

    Quote Originally Posted by pheffernan View Post
    I think they’re a vestigial organ left over from the days when string windings were less reliable than they are now. If they are still present, as on my Gibson snakehead, I continue to use them to honor tradition.
    Frank Ford has this article about the why and also notes you no longer need to use the bend. I like you still do it as a nod to tradition on my mandolins with the traditional tailpiece.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  19. The following members say thank you to MikeEdgerton for this post:


  20. #14
    Registered User Chris Bowsman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Yellow Springs, Ohio
    Posts
    881

    Default Re: Tailpieces

    I use them so if I break a string at the headstock, I can possibly move the loop to the front hook and maybe have enough string left to use it in a pinch. I'm not opposed to new strings at all, but I've been without a spare a few times, and that's the only time they ever break.

    Thanks for all the advice on new tailpieces.
    2016 Gibson Doyle Lawson F-5
    D'Addario Nickel Bronze 11.5-40
    Current pick: Dunlop 500 .96mm

  21. The following members say thank you to Chris Bowsman for this post:


  22. #15
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    3,038

    Default Re: Tailpieces

    I have 4 mandolin family instruments with cast Allen tailpieces. I really like how sturdy and simple they are, plus allow using ball or loop end strings.

  23. #16
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Saint Augustine Beach FL
    Posts
    4,725

    Default Re: Tailpieces

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    My Collings mandola came with one of the Allen type tailpieces and I hate it with a vengeance. It’s difficult to keep the string loops on whilst you’re stringing up and you have to yank the strings hard to get the distorted string ends through the holes whilst taking them off again.

    I have two mandolins with James tailpieces which are a dream so, unless you’re trying to keep the mandolin looking original, my advice would be to go for one of those.
    Putting a piece of masking over the post with the new string while tuning up solves that problem. When replacing the strings, cutting the old ones with a pair of wire cutters solves the other.
    I just ordered a James tailpiece (engraved) for my Girouard from Max. Can't wait to be rid of the stamped one.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  24. #17
    Registered User Doug Brock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    KC MO
    Posts
    529

    Default Re: Tailpieces

    I have James tailpieces on two mandolins and highly recommend them. To me they look simple and traditional but are so easy with string changes and they also mute the strings between bridge and tailpiece so no other harmonic suppressors needed.
    Doug Brock
    2018 Kimble 2 point (#259), 2019 Silverangel Econo A (#446), Eastman MD315, 2020 Morris Oval Flattop A, Eastman MDA315
    Pisgah Wonder open back banjo, cheap old German fiddle, Martin HD28, Martin D18GE, CA Guitars Bluegrass Performer

  25. #18

    Default Re: Tailpieces

    To my mind using the extra hook on this type of tailpiece just puts an unnessesary kink in the string, you really don't need to use it.

    Dave H
    Eastman 615 mandola
    2011 Weber Bitteroot A5
    2012 Weber Bitteroot F5
    Eastman MD 915V
    Gibson F9
    2016 Capek ' Bob ' standard scale tenor banjo
    Ibanez Artist 5 string
    2001 Paul Shippey oval hole

  26. #19
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    High Peak - UK
    Posts
    2,757

    Default Re: Tailpieces

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles E. View Post
    Putting a piece of masking over the post with the new string while tuning up solves that problem. When replacing the strings, cutting the old ones with a pair of wire cutters solves the other.
    Obvious solutions but why should I have to?

    Good design involves balancing economics, aesthetics and ergonomics. I don’t care about the economics of a tailpiece and, whilst the Collings one is aesthetically pleasing, it’s a ergonomic disaster which equates to bad design.

  27. #20
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    High Peak - UK
    Posts
    2,757

    Default Re: Tailpieces

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hanson View Post
    To my mind using the extra hook on this type of tailpiece just puts an unnessesary kink in the string, you really don't need to use it.

    Dave H

    But they could be useful if one of the hooks were to snap off.

  28. #21
    Registered User Buck's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    KY
    Posts
    382

    Default Re: Tailpieces

    I prefer the lighter weight of a traditional tailpiece. I just don't think the heavy ones sound as good. The Prucha looks nice, but I haven't used one myself. I didn't necessarily plan it this way, but all of my current mandolins are from the 1990's and have stamped tailpieces of the period. Never had a bit of trouble with any of them to this point.
    Todd Yates

  29. #22
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    S.W. Wisconsin
    Posts
    5,508

    Default Re: Tailpieces

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    Obvious solutions but why should I have to?

    Good design involves balancing economics, aesthetics and ergonomics. I don’t care about the economics of a tailpiece and, whilst the Collings one is aesthetically pleasing, it’s a ergonomic disaster which equates to bad design.
    Ray(T) if you put the string on the tailpiece and keep it tight all the way to the tuner. Keep tension on it by pulling with your hand, not a lot, then wrap the tuner with the desired amount of wraps, wound or plain. Finally put the string thru the post hole being sure to keep the windings below the hole when your put the string thru. It makes changing much easier, should keep the string from coming off the tailpiece, and you don't need to worry about a string winder as you don't have to turn the tuner nearly as much. Been doing it this way for decades and it is sooooo much easier. Doesn't work on a slotted headstock tho.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  30. #23
    Registered User Chris Bowsman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Yellow Springs, Ohio
    Posts
    881

    Default Re: Tailpieces

    Is the James tailpiece heavier than a regular stamped one?

    Some would consider this a sin, but I’m also thinking about replacing the gold hardware on my Gibson Doyle Lawson with nickel.
    2016 Gibson Doyle Lawson F-5
    D'Addario Nickel Bronze 11.5-40
    Current pick: Dunlop 500 .96mm

  31. #24
    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Blue Zone, California
    Posts
    1,378
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Tailpieces

    I compared the weight of my stamped Gibson tailpiece with my James tailpiece by hand before I installed it. I was surprised that the weights are extremely close, almost no perceivable difference. I was surprised at this since the James tailpiece is bronze; I was expecting it to be heavier.

    To me the main general difference is how solid the James tailpiece is. My stamped Gibson tailpiece had bent with string tension, the James tailpiece will probably never do that.

    FWIW, on my F-9, the James tailpiece sits very slightly higher above the top of the mandolin using the original screw holes. I like it that way.

    Regarding nickel vs gold plating, in either plating the stock James tailpiece has a beaded matte finish and looks really quite nice.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	James Tailpiece on my F-9.jpg 
Views:	13 
Size:	101.8 KB 
ID:	186403  
    -- Don

    "The less I play it, the better it sounds!" -Zippy the Pinhead
    "It is a lot more fun to make music than it is to argue about it."
    -DH

    2002 Gibson F-9
    2016 MK LFSTB
    1975 Suzuki taterbug (plus an assortment of other noisemakers)
    [About how I tune my mandolins]
    [7/29/2019 -- New Arrival!!!]

  32. #25
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    High Peak - UK
    Posts
    2,757

    Default Re: Tailpieces

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    Ray(T) if you put the string on the tailpiece and keep it tight all the way to the tuner. Keep tension on it by pulling with your hand, not a lot, then wrap the tuner with the desired amount of wraps, wound or plain. Finally put the string thru the post hole being sure to keep the windings below the hole when your put the string thru. It makes changing much easier, should keep the string from coming off the tailpiece, and you don't need to worry about a string winder as you don't have to turn the tuner nearly as much. Been doing it this way for decades and it is sooooo much easier. Doesn't work on a slotted headstock tho.
    Yep, that’s exactly the way I do it; although I can’t say I’ve been doing it that way for decades. I was always taught that “designers design for designers” but this one definitely doesn’t impress me. It’s almost as bad as the one on my National but the flat wound strings on than don’t need changing nearly as often.

    Fortunately, I haven’t had an instrument with a slotted head since I was a teenager and that was way back in the last century!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •