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What do you think of this tailpiece ?

124

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  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 3,194
    Buco-

    Edit- to be clear and more to the point of your question, the TENSION on each string is determined by the distance between the nut and bridge (and gage of course). What happens between the bridge and tailpiece doesn't really SIGNIFICANTLY affect string tension (although it probably has a lesser order effect that isn't really noticeable). For example, if you took a regular 'flat top' guitar (where the strings REALLY do terminate at the bridge) and strung it up with the same strings as you put on your Selmac, and the scale was the same, I bet you would not notice much difference in string tension. In fact, they would be virtually identical when tuned up to the same pitch.
    Buco
  • pdgpdg ✭✭
    Posts: 274
    Jimmy D'Aquisto's archtop tailpieces have shorter afterlengths on the bass side.
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 3,194
    Yeah, then there's the old Epi "Frequencator". I found this on the web:

    "The short fork on the bass side results in a deeper tone. The longer fork is used on the treble side for extra brilliance. The forks are interchangeable for varying tone as well as string tension. Epiphone used them to change the tension on the strings. By making the bass strings longer through the tailpiece, the tension is higher and stiffer, making for a "tighter" bottom end sound, while the shorter top strings would have looser tension and therefore easier to play solos on the higher strings and upper frets of the instrument."

    That doesn't make any sense at all. Actually though, I doubt it much affects tone and it doesn't affect tension really at all. It will, though, affect longitudinal STIFFNESS somewhat and that might be noticeable to the player for bends.

    As far as tension goes the equation for a vibrating string (frequency, f) is only a function of length between the bridge and nut (L), tension (T) and density (u)

    f = (1/2L) x (T/u)^^.5

    Sure there may be some slight variation to that equation if you modeled what is going on between the bridge and tailpiece but the affect would be very small. The equation above is probably 99.99999% of what is going on. String length between the bridge and tailpiece just doesn't really affect string TENSION for a given frequency.

    That said those Frequensators look kinda cool. I think it's really just aesthetics. I may think about putting one with 2 short forks on a Selmac sometime except then I couldn't use loop ends. Hmmmm.....
    Buco
  • crookedpinkycrookedpinky Glasgow✭✭✭✭ Alex Bishop D Hole, Altamira M,
    Posts: 837
    I finally fitted the Boonstra tailpiece and it definitely makes a difference to the guitar. Previously I found the bass side of things to be slightly muddy and all the strings felt stiff. Bending was also a real issue. After fitting the Boonstra I find the guitar is slightly brighter with a touch more volume and bending is much easier. The only downside is a slight ringing but this is barely noticeable and could probably be fixed with some felt under the taipiece - my next job.
    BucoBill Da Costa Williams
    always learning
  • jeffmatzjeffmatz ChicagoNew
    Posts: 97
    Looks great.

    My guess if there's any benefit tone wise, it'd be in less string to ring behind the bridge on the trebles...



  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 3,194
    Interesting thanks for the update CP. One other thing to mention is with the higher posts on the bass side it makes less of a 'break' angle of the string over the bridge which gives less downward force on the bridge. Not sure if that would affect volume. I played with an adjustable tailpiece on an archtop once and with the lower angle it decreased volume but an archtop is a slightly different animal.

    For the ringing, it might be the tailpiece itself or the long bit of strings between the bridge and tailpiece. To damp the strings weave or wrap some cloth or Velcro or something thru/over them. Yeah also need felt under the tailpiece.
  • crookedpinkycrookedpinky Glasgow✭✭✭✭ Alex Bishop D Hole, Altamira M,
    Posts: 837
    Just to say that there's no loss of volume on the bass side which seems to go against expectations. The ringing isn't as bad as some guitars I've heard and I will put some chamois leather - my preferred material - under the tailpiece. I think it's the strings behind the tailpiece that are responsible for the slight ringing sound. And the other thing to note is that the tailpiece only accepts loop end strings.
    always learning
  • edited November 2020 Posts: 3,732

    I ended up buying one of these from Alan. He was super nice to sell me one of his at a great price.

    I'll try to keep this short. After putting it on the guitar and using the guitar for about 5 days I think I can confidently say that Ger nailed one thing here and that is the feel of the strings. I'm not sure what term to use to describe, but it's how taut the strings feel. Basically the high E feels as if I replaced it with 11 gauge (I use a 10 set) and low E feels, almost, as if you took the A string and tuned it to low E. These two have the most dramatic change. B string doesn't feel any different, A, D and G are also much more supple. Especially G, which is fairly easy to bend now even near the tailpiece. As far as this, it's night and day between the old and new tailpiece.

    I don't feel there was any difference in volume change either way. Maybe I'll find out when I start playing with people again.

    Sadly, Ger is not with us to continue working oh his innovations but I think he was most definitely onto something here. I didn't wanna comment until I had some time with the guitar and the novelty wore off but every time I pick it up and I try to approach it kinda critically and pay attention to how it feels and every time I'm amazed at the the difference. There was more ringing than my old tailpiece even though Alan glued the leather piece underneath and first few days I was super aware of it but now I don't even hear it any more, guess I just tuned it out. Eventually I'll experiment to mute it some more. But it, in my mind, without doubt affected playability in all the good ways.


    Bill Da Costa Williamsbillyshakes
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • pdgpdg ✭✭
    Posts: 274

    Interesting! Buco, you didn't talk much about the difference in tone.

    On some guitars that I built I used a height-adjustable tailpiece, which allowed one to affect both the feel (stiffness vs. suppleness) and the tone/volume (due to the load on the top).

    Jimmy D'Aquisto had designed a tailpiece that lets one change the length -- to vary the string afterlength. He told me, "I can make medium strings feel like light strings" that way.

    Has anyone ever tried using a "finger tailpiece" on a gypsy jazz guitar? You can adjust the height of each string individually.

  • Posts: 3,732

    These days I mostly practice late at night and use the mic and headphones so I can use backing tracks and also can play softer but hear myself. So I couldn't really judge much the change in tone or volume. A little that I played it acoustically, I didn't get a feeling that it changed either way. But that's why I'm kinda looking forward to hearing what happens, if anything, during jam whenever that happens.

    What Jimmy D'Aquisto said is exactly the kind of change I'm experiencing, Especially low and high E. Just a few minutes ago I tested the suppleness of G and broke it after I bent it a whole step up from A to B from the second fret. I'd have to go back to the old tailpiece and try but don't think I'd be able to do that.

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
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