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higher quality replacement tailpiece for Eastman DM1?

daverepairdaverepair Vermont, USANew Craig Bumgarner 'Selmer' style

The flimsy, thin, original tailpiece on my friend's DM1 is now so bent, from string tension, that is is touching the top. The tailpiece on my own DM1(now sold), showed the same problem, just not as severe. The metal stamping is apparently too thin to resist the string tension. The variety and cost of available upgrades is confusing: can anyone who has made this upgrade suggest the least pricey improvement? One gets what one pays for, sure, but, any suggestions?



  • Bill Da Costa WilliamsBill Da Costa Williams Barreiro, Portugal✭✭✭ Mateos
    Posts: 516

    After 3 failed on my Mateos in 2016, I ended up investing in a Dupont DR Tailpiece - not the cheapest, but I have never had to worry again about the tailpiece.

  • Posts: 4,119

    My thinking is whenever the tailpiece is doing something out of the ordinary, there's something else going on. Even the cheapest of them should do the job I believe if everything else is squared away.

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • mac63000mac63000 Tacoma, WANew Geronimo Mateos Jazz B
    Posts: 248

    Good point Buco, the tailpiece touching the top would suggest something more than flimsy metal since the arch of the top and angle of the bridge should be pulling the strings and tailpiece up, rather than towards the top of the guitar.

  • daverepairdaverepair Vermont, USANew Craig Bumgarner 'Selmer' style
    Posts: 16

    The tip of the tailpiece, on both my friends Eastman, and the same model I previously owned, show the same curling downwards of the tailpiece tip. The Miller tailpiece on my Bumgarner guitar does not. Therefore I assume the tailpiece on the Eastmans is of a thinner, flimsier metal. I am a luthier: the two Eastmans do not exhibit ‘other things going on’ that would explain the bend in the tailpieces.

  • Posts: 4,119

    For example on my guitar, when I pulled it out of the case after 5 weeks of being away, it was so over humidified to the point of top completely pushing against the tailpiece. Normally there's 1 mm gap. Tailpiece on my guitar is a solid piece of brass. After a couple of days outside of the case it's returning to where it usually is. It's just my experience that the tailpiece will follow the string pull. But that's a narrow experience and I certainly am not a luthier.

    I'd second Bill, a DR tailpiece will remove any doubt.

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • daverepairdaverepair Vermont, USANew Craig Bumgarner 'Selmer' style
    Posts: 16

    Buck, you make a good point: unlike a tailpiece on a carved top archtop, which has a hinge and can pivot, a Selmer style tailpiece does not. Which I now realize, means that in humid conditions, the top will move closer to the tailpiece. Hmmmm. Since my friend can’t keep his guitar at a lower humidity, I’ll see if I can maybe slightly bend the tailpiece upward, giving it clearance. If not, a replacement, with more angle and clearance may be needed. Thanks!

  • daverepairdaverepair Vermont, USANew Craig Bumgarner 'Selmer' style
    Posts: 16

    I wrote ‘Buco’, but spellcheck had other ideas...

  • Posts: 4,119

    A friend from Texas always called me Buck-oh. This nickname I carried to the states from the old country actually sounds like boots-o.

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • ChrisMartinChrisMartin Shellharbour NSW Australia✭✭ Di Mauro x2, Petrarca, Genovesi, Burns, Kremona Zornitsa & Paul Beuscher resonator.
    edited August 8 Posts: 903

    Apart from the humidity and raised top theories there may be a simpler explanation.

    I attach a photo of how my Gitane copy does the same thing. Anyone who has worked on sheet metal would recognise the relative strengths and weaknesses of a plain stamped piece with and without swaging or stamped details. The standard design of these Selmer copy tailpieces has the wooden insert adding strength along the lower two-thirds where the wood is slotted and grips a straight flange. Then usually there is a stamped logo, in this case the stylised 'S' in a circle, between the string posts, this adds some extra strength to the brass(?) in that area.

    But looking closely at mine, the middle two string posts are mounted in what is obviously the weakest area; narrow in section and without and reinforcing folds, such that the string tension pulling straight from the bridge has the effect of pulling the posts forward, thereby bending the tip of the tailpiece down.

    If you look closely at the photo you can see how the ball ends of the D and G strings are exactly in line with the others although where the string exits the posts it appears to be nearer the body of the guitar. This shows how the string tension has pulled the posts toward the bridge.

    So, depending on the relative strength of the material used, any stamped detail in that area, combined with string tension which will vary according to gauge, scale length and angle, could all easily cause this to happen.

    Looking at my other guitars which all have different tailpieces I can say none of them suffer with this so it may be a problem with the Selmer design. Finding one that is made stiff enough to not bend will be trial and error. Next change of strings I plan to swap that one for a nickel Favino style one I have lying around; the swap solely for the purpose of matching the nickel Schaller Deluxe tuners and even if that one does not bend I could not remember where it came from.

    So there is something to be said for the old standby hinged 'Trapeze' tailpiece after all.

    billyshakesBill Da Costa Williamslukejazz
  • Posts: 20

    I would consider switching to loophole strings vs. the ball ends, which appear to be angling additional pressure onto the tailpiece directly into the direction of the guitar it's warping towards

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