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  1. #1

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    What are the differences, if any? If there are differences.... are they subtle and hardly noticeable?

    I heard that some wooden tailpieces can develop cracks if the string pressure gets too much.

    Are there any differences in tone?

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  3. #2

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    I can't comment on the differences in tone, though I'm sure there must be some. I had a Benedetto guitar on which the ebony tailpiece failed. It was quite the experience - an amazingly loud POP! followed by the sound of splintered wood falling on the floor. Luckily, other than the tailpiece, nothing else on the guitar was damaged. Mr. Benedetto was amazing to work with and personally repaired it to as-good-as-new. I wouldn't avoid buying another guitar with a wood tailpiece, but ever since I've had a preference for metal tailpieces.

    Here are some pictures from when it happened:

    http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/f...d.php?t=244310

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by backdrifter
    I can't comment on the differences in tone, though I'm sure there must be some. I had a Benedetto guitar on which the ebony tailpiece failed. It was quite the experience - an amazingly loud POP! followed by the sound of splintered wood falling on the floor. Luckily, other than the tailpiece, nothing else on the guitar was damaged. Mr. Benedetto was amazing to work with and personally repaired it to as-good-as-new. I wouldn't avoid buying another guitar with a wood tailpiece, but ever since I've had a preference for metal tailpieces.

    Here are some pictures from when it happened:

    My Benedetto archtop just exploded. - The Acoustic Guitar Forum
    Damn, that was some bad damage. Still, it's good to know that Mr. Benedetto was able to rectify the problem.

    Interesting how it hasn't put you off wood tailpieces. I'm like you..... I have a preference for metal tailpieces, only because of the possibility of a wood one breaking.

  5. #4

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    I never cared for those wood over metal tailpieces. The wood tailpiece produced by Buscarino is solid wood. No metal in the top section. And thicker than Benedetto's. Noticeably so. They're pricey, but worth it. I placed the Ebony Buscarino tailpiece on a Heritage Super Kenny Burrell. Not everyone's cup of tea - but I loved it!

  6. #5

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    Never cared for wood TP, but mostly by aesthetical reasons. They just don't look right to me, and I can't even put my finger on why... Maybe too nerdy is the word? No idea how they differ in tone from metal TP, my guess would be mellower, less sustain? But I'm sure someone who played both will describe better.

    After reading the above post I actually have a better idea why I don't like them

  7. #6

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    I prefer wood over metal tailpieces.

    IMO a TP made from steel cheapens the look of a nice guitar, while a wood over metal model with some pearl inlay adds to me a level of classy distinction as does a wood pickguard with a well done burst on it. Also I suspect that a wood cover over the TP dampens sympathetic or secondary vibrations not necessary to the tone envelope?

    Of this eye candy... fingerboards, heads, necks, inlays, and wood flame on the body I think a nicely designed wood TP (and pickguard) balances out the package.

    P.S. Of the metal TP's I "could live with" are the D'Angelico and L5's :-)
    Last edited by GNAPPI; 11-03-2015 at 06:48 AM.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by backdrifter
    I can't comment on the differences in tone, though I'm sure there must be some. I had a Benedetto guitar on which the ebony tailpiece failed. It was quite the experience - an amazingly loud POP! followed by the sound of splintered wood falling on the floor. Luckily, other than the tailpiece, nothing else on the guitar was damaged. Mr. Benedetto was amazing to work with and personally repaired it to as-good-as-new. I wouldn't avoid buying another guitar with a wood tailpiece, but ever since I've had a preference for metal tailpieces.

    Here are some pictures from when it happened:

    My Benedetto archtop just exploded. - The Acoustic Guitar Forum
    That's a beautiful guitar, wow.

  9. #8

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    i've had wooden and clever composite tps for ages (andersens; sadowsky; comins)

    the metal bridge and metal tp on my current guitar makes me VASTLY prefer metal

    i think the ebony tp thing is an aesthetic thing - it makes modern boutique archtops look different to the classic gibson offerings

    but there has to be a connection between the incredible sustain on my current guitar and the metal bridge and tailpiece.

    it keeps a freshness in the sound that - on a naturally warm and mellow instrument - is really a very positive thing

  10. #9

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    And what guitar is THAT?

  11. #10

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    This design works very well...


  12. #11

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    251,
    I like it. Where did it come from, and is it for sale?

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Klatu
    251,
    I like it. Where did it come from, and is it for sale?
    That is one of Bill Comin's tailpieces. He makes a variety of tailpiece styles for his custom instruments. I honestly have no idea whether he sells them or not outside of his guitars. My guess is no, but I have honestly never asked him.

  14. #13

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    I have the best of both worlds - metal tailpiece covered with ebony. It increased sustain compared to a previous wood only tailpiece but my Guild has little sustain to brgin with, so one notices any increase.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by jorgemg1984
    I have the best of both worlds - metal tailpiece covered with ebony. It increased sustain compared to a previous wood only tailpiece but my Guild has little sustain to brgin with, so one notices any increase.
    I've got a couple of Eastmans that use that tailpiece combination, and I must say that I approve. The only guitar that I own with a wooden tailpiece occasionally suffers from grounding issues that my repairman says may be alleviated with a metal insert. My limited experience pushes me in favor of the more traditional wooden tailpieces.

    As to the visual appeal of metal vs wood, I think there are winners and losers in both categories. For example, I don't go for the squiggly line ES175 tailpieces from the 60s, nor do I like the big block tailpieces on some D'Aquistos. On the other hand, I really like the metal finger tailpiece, the D'Angelico stair step, and the L5 in the metal tailpiece category and the Comins piece that was just posted by 251 in the wooden category.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Klatu

    As to the visual appeal of metal vs wood, I think there are winners and losers in both categories. For example, I don't go for the squiggly line ES175 tailpieces from the 60s, nor do I like the big block tailpieces on some D'Aquistos. On the other hand, I really like the metal finger tailpiece, the D'Angelico stair step, and the L5 in the metal tailpiece category and the Comins piece that was just posted by 251 in the wooden category.
    Right, so visually wooden TP gives a different kind of vibe. I said before 'nerdy', but on another thought what I really mean is 'high brow', stiff kinda vibe. So I thought I would never own a guitar with wooden TP, until I googled "guitars with wooden tailpiece", and saw this beauty.
    wooden vs metal tailpiece-dogmar-jpg

    Now we talking!

  17. #16

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    Who's it made by?

    I like it.

  18. #17

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    I asked Roger Borys which one he thought was better, and he said metal.
    It had to do with sound, but I'm not sure if he was talking about sustain; I asked him a long time ago.

    Aesthetically, I think the wood tailpieces look better, but I'd never buy a guitar with a wood TP.

  19. #18

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    I bet if you went into a room filled with a variety of high quality archtops, most of them would have a metal tailpiece.

  20. #19

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    These are tailpieces on older Ibanez AF/AK/AG (3 on the left) line. The wire one on the right attached to the new AF-155. I like the wood just fine :-)

    wooden vs metal tailpiece-ibanez_tailpieces-jpg

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by edh
    Who's it made by?

    I like it.
    It's made by Dagmar Guitars, that's all I know, never heard of them, nor seen anyone playing it. It's not your typical grandpa archtop isn't it? It's got a t t i t u d e !
    wooden vs metal tailpiece-dagmar-guitar-jpg

  22. #21

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    If you get a wood TP, the strings may not be grounded.

    If you don't care whether the strings are grounded, it's not an issue. I do.

    I made a groove in the underside of my ebony TP and ran a thin wire that contacted the balls of two of the strings as well as the ground at the end hole. That worked but was a pain to do.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hep To The Jive
    wooden vs metal tailpiece-dogmar-jpg

    Now we talking!

    You think that guitar said it was cold and someone knitted it a scarf ?

  24. #23

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    Hi there,


    I hope you can help me.
    I inherited a Vanden built in 1982, it hadn't been restrung for a while as it sat unused for sometime, when restrung the glue on the tailpiece gave and unstuck. How would i go about repairing it?
    Take the dark piece of wood off, clean off the existing glue and reglue? If so is there a particular type of glue and method?


    Thank you
    Jack Cordes
    Attached Images Attached Images wooden vs metal tailpiece-vanden-full-jpg wooden vs metal tailpiece-vanden-jpg 
    Last edited by Jack Cordes; 02-16-2017 at 07:35 PM.

  25. #24

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    Hi there, good question and some great comments. We make a steamed oak tailpiece with a brass lamination underneath for our jazz guitar. Personally I think it helps with sustain slightly, and it is a major bonus to have the strings grounded with no danger of an explosion! Hope this is helpful.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cDZavyiAnQ

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by metaxu
    What are the differences, if any? If there are differences.... are they subtle and hardly noticeable? I heard that some wooden tailpieces can develop cracks if the string pressure gets too much. Are there any differences in tone?
    FWIW, my personal experience with acoustic, carved archtop guitars is that they significantly affect the tone of the guitar in a noticeable way. I have swapped all wood, wood cap over metal, and all-metal tailpieces on a few archtops and noticed significant tonal differences. I have some instruments that are very similar except for their tailpieces, and have noticed tonal differences between them.

    While I have never tested out the theory that qualitative differences have an affect as well, my guess is that tailpieces made of crappy pot metal will affect the sound differently than tailpieces made from bell brass, and that high-mass tailpieces will affect the sound differently than low-mass tailpieces.
    Last edited by Hammertone; 09-24-2020 at 08:39 PM.