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Thread: Breedlove tailpiece replacement

  1. #1
    Registered User nultylynch's Avatar
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    Default Breedlove tailpiece replacement

    So, I just picked up a Breedlove American OO for a keep at work instrument. Great sounding and comfortable instrument. Feel is not dissimilar from my Collings (which is why I picked it).
    However, the tailpiece is a nightmare. Restringing involved tweezers. I saw in an old thread someone mention that they'd rather set themselves on fire for fifteen minutes than restring their Breedlove. I can understand the feeling.
    So, I'd like to replace the tailpiece without spending a ton of money. Has anyone replaced their Breedlove tailpiece, and if so, with what?

  2. #2
    mandolin slinger Steve Ostrander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breedlove tailpiece replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by nultylynch View Post
    So, I just picked up a Breedlove American OO for a keep at work instrument. Great sounding and comfortable instrument. Feel is not dissimilar from my Collings (which is why I picked it).
    However, the tailpiece is a nightmare. Restringing involved tweezers. I saw in an old thread someone mention that they'd rather set themselves on fire for fifteen minutes than restring their Breedlove. I can understand the feeling.
    So, I'd like to replace the tailpiece without spending a ton of money. Has anyone replaced their Breedlove tailpiece, and if so, with what?
    I have a Breedlove America ff. I don’t find the TP to be any worse than most others. I long ago gave up threading the strings under the legs, I just let them go over. Then I put a small piece of tape on the loop end to hold it in place ve until tensioned. Works like a charm.
    Living’ in the Mitten

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breedlove tailpiece replacement

    If your concern is scratching the top lay the string envelope under the tailpiece for the string to ride on while changing the strings. Any change you make will most likely involve drilling some new holes for the screws. There are several inexpensive cast tailpieces available as well as the Gibson style stamped tailpieces.

    One in gold.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  5. #4
    Registered User nultylynch's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breedlove tailpiece replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Ostrander View Post
    I have a Breedlove America ff. I don’t find the TP to be any worse than most others. I long ago gave up threading the strings under the legs, I just let them go over. Then I put a small piece of tape on the loop end to hold it in place ve until tensioned. Works like a charm.
    Any downsides that you've found to stringing "upside down"?

    - - - Updated - - -

    I'm not worried about scratching, I've always just used a string envelope/package. And I use a capo to keep the string under tension and on the hooks. It's stringing this tailpiece properly that's a pain.
    The tailpiece on my Collings MT, while not as easy as a Gibson type, is at least doable without additional tools. To string the Breedlove I needed to use something else to lift the strings up to catch the hooks.

  6. #5
    Registered User Scott Rucker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breedlove tailpiece replacement

    I had an early Breedlove that had a weird tailpiece. I found later that Breedlove later switched designs and that thee were no other known tailpieces that fit my mandolin. It was a chrome kidney shaped TP, different from the later Monteleone and plain black tailpieces.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Breedlove tailpiece replacement

    If you don’t like stringing the Breedlove, you should try re-stringing a National RM-1!

    I was always taught that good design was a balance of ergonomics, aesthetics and economics. Unfortunately, in my experience, ergonomics often seems to get forgotten in the tailpiece design process.

  8. #7
    man about town Markus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breedlove tailpiece replacement

    I found two things of great use for restringing my Breedlove OF American ... a guitar capo and a hemostat from my fishing tackle box.

    The hemostat makes short order of unstringing old strings off the headstock without blood but also makes getting the loop over its `prong' a breeze. Both tasks are much easier with a simple hemostat.

    I also started using a guitar capo to hold this strings in place when getting them wound over the headstock. Let the capo provide consistency to keep the loop over the tailpiece before you're ready.

    I use both on when I do my Collings now, as both simplify the task just a little more.
    Collings MT2
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  9. #8
    Registered User nultylynch's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breedlove tailpiece replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by Markus View Post
    I found two things of great use for restringing my Breedlove OF American ... a guitar capo and a hemostat from my fishing tackle box.

    The hemostat makes short order of unstringing old strings off the headstock without blood but also makes getting the loop over its `prong' a breeze. Both tasks are much easier with a simple hemostat.

    I also started using a guitar capo to hold this strings in place when getting them wound over the headstock. Let the capo provide consistency to keep the loop over the tailpiece before you're ready. .
    The capo I've used for years...I went and found some pointed tweezers (they were upstairs and the fishing gear is in the basement). But it shouldn't take some added tool just to loop the string over the prong.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Breedlove tailpiece replacement

    I used to use a capo until I discovered the technique of winding the string round the tuner post two or three times, poking the end through the hole and tuning it up to pitch. All I need is a blob of Blutack to encourage the loop from slipping off the tailpiece post.

    The only issue I’ve ever had getting strings off had been on instruments strung by people using the awful technique of “locking” the strings to the tuner posts (and getting the thicker wound strings back through the holes in the awful tailpiece on my Collings mandola.).

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