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Trapeze Style Tailpieces


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The guitar I'm working on now has a TOM style roller bridge; I was originally thinking of putting a Bigsby behind it, but I don't think I use trem enough to warrant the cost at this point, and it's always something I can retrofit. (Although having a trem would probably keep my from making those detune-y warbles by bending the neck, which given the noise my SG made yesterday is probably a very bad habit.)

I'm probably going to do a string through set up behing the bridge, I've got some of those smaller top-mounting ferrules on the way, but I'm debating making/purchasing some sort of a trapeze type tailpiece. Not as ornate as a Rickenbacker, but hopefully a little more going on than those first LPs. Or maybe something out of ebony like those nice jazz boxes, although that would be more expensive and difficult. (but hey, learning is a good thing!)

The reasoning is purely asthetic - the way the guitar is made, there is a rather large empty area behind the bridge, (kind of like an SG) and while a stop tailpiece would take up some of that space and probably be a visually pleasing, I feel like a trapeze tailpiece could look really nice there.

So my question, I guess, is there any downsides to these style tailpieces in terms of sound? I would venture to guess I could expect there to a be a bit less sustain than through-body? Would this be noticable?

Maybe I do the through body and the tailpiece, rigging it up so the tailpiece covers the through body holes when attached, and then see if there is a difference. I guess I'm just looking for anyones thoughts on trapeze style tailpieces.

thanks.

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I'm probably going to do a string through set up behing the bridge, I've got some of those smaller top-mounting ferrules on the way, but I'm debating making/purchasing some sort of a trapeze type tailpiece.  Not as ornate as a Rickenbacker, but hopefully a little more going on than those first LPs. 

I'm sorry, I can't vouch for the sustain of through body versus, stop tailpiece, versus trapeeze. I might however give you a little comfort in that I had a lot of (bad) experince with the rather spartan (as you implied) 52 Les Paul trapeeze bridge. But the tuning problem (that is the big problem IMHO) with it is due to it not merely being a trapeeze tailpiece, but a combination trapeeze tailpice/bridge which is floating.

I've seen Justin Adams with Jah Wobble and Robert Plant play one which is anchored and works very well.

If you stay clear of a floating bridge (depending on your style, but then again you "bend" your guitars as do I :D ) and anchor it (the bridge), I wouldn't worry too much about that aspect of a trapeeze tailpiece.

I'm sure you really knew that but it wasn't clear in your post.

John

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I have a roller bridge on one guitar, that thing rattles so much it's crazy. Could be the Bigsby behind it doesn't give enough downward pressure, I'm going to take away the little felt feet to see if the extra millimeter helps.

But I don't see any point in having a roller bridge without the bigsby.

Personally, I like the way Bigsbys look and some guitars just look naked without them. Dunno about the SG style though --to me they look fine without a Bigsby.

Telecasters on the other hand should have had Bigsbys from the get go.

And if it's an archtop type/rockabilly guitar, you've got no choice, it's Bigsby city for you.

I pair my Bigsbys with locking tuners, also add graphite to the nut slots. I usually change saddles for graph techs, but that's because I break strings a lot.

I used to do that neck twisting trick on my Melody Maker, used to make other guitarists go all pale (of course, they were already sickened by the way I play)...but the Bigsby really does sound better. And you still get to twist the neck if you like.

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