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  1. #1

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    I remember when you could buy the whole l-5CES (used) for that much. (and this is the cheapest one on EBay)

    Vintage 70S Gibson L5S Tail Tailpiece Old 70 / Guitar | eBay

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Unfortunately me as well!

  4. #3

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    In 1972, I received a price quote for a brand new L5 CES, at that same amount!!!!!!! Maybe it didn't include a case? But I was a little short on that much cash, shy about ordering with a small dealer, and I needed something quicker, so I bought a '71 ES 150 TDC.
    I always wonder how I would have fared had I followed through on that L5 order.

  5. #4

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    And that’s an L-5S tailpiece, so it’s made for a thin body guitar.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatRhythmMan
    And that’s an L-5S tailpiece, so it’s made for a thin body guitar.
    Good catch! No wonder that one was cheaper than the others. It should be noted that all of these L-5 Tailpieces are being sold by sellers in Japan who may be resellers and may not even have the items. And asking prices and getting prices are often two different things.

  7. #6

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    World’s gone mad....

  8. #7

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    Here is one for sale by a US seller (one of our esteemed forum members I believe) and looks to be in pretty good shape: Genuine Gibson L-5 Tailpiece L-5CES L5~~Nice One! | eBay

    Still a bit rich for my blood....

  9. #8

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    Rices on those are up there because Gibson does not sell them retail
    i got one from a brother here and it wasn’t cheap but I’m glad I got it

  10. #9

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    Gibson keeps their L5 tailpieces in a vault. In 2013 12 L5 tailpieces were stolen.
    HJ called in the FBI for a full forensic investigation. The culprit was never found
    nor the tailpieces.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by vinnyv1k
    Gibson keeps their L5 tailpieces in a vault. In 2013 12 L5 tailpieces were stolen.
    HJ called in the FBI for a full forensic investigation. The culprit was never found
    nor the tailpieces.
    Did the culprits get any Super 400 tailpieces? I would surmise that they would be kept in the same vault.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by vinnyv1k
    Gibson keeps their L5 tailpieces in a vault. In 2013 12 L5 tailpieces were stolen.
    HJ called in the FBI for a full forensic investigation. The culprit was never found
    nor the tailpieces.
    It is my understanding that Gibson keeps these on a tight rein. It is my opinion that that particular design and alloy are a big part of the secret sauce that makes the L-4s and L5s such great-sounding, not to mention great-looking, world-class instruments. The "Flying Lady" on the hood of the family Rolls is just a chunk of metal, too.

  13. #12

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    I dont know about "esteemed" from Philly. Lots of shady characters in Philly. I know as I live in Pittsburgh.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    Here is one for sale by a US seller (one of our esteemed forum members I believe) and looks to be in pretty good shape: Genuine Gibson L-5 Tailpiece L-5CES L5~~Nice One! | eBay

    Still a bit rich for my blood....

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildcat
    I dont know about "esteemed" from Philly. Lots of shady characters in Philly. I know as I live in Pittsburgh.
    I hear you. I am originally from Philly myself (my dad moved us to NYC when I was 10) and some might even find me shady in one way or another. But in my book, Wintermoon is "esteemed".

  15. #14

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    Wintermoon, a power seller. Who’d have thought it? Actually where is one going to find an L5 tailpiece with a solid finish for less? We live in the present, and presently the prices for these is through the roof. You guys gotta get current, for it’s no longer 1972.

  16. #15

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    Cream City Music had 10 tailpieces minus the medallion for sale a few years ago. It was said that they were Gibson rejects. I thought Bigsby made them for Gibson.

  17. #16

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    Yup
    Some folks gotta try to lowball though
    it’s part of the code here



    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop
    Wintermoon, a power seller. Who’d have thought it? Actually where is one going to find an L5 tailpiece with a solid finish for less? We live in the present, and presently the prices for these is through the roof. You guys gotta get current, for it’s no longer 1972.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky
    Cream City Music had 10 tailpieces minus the medallion for sale a few years ago. It was said that they were Gibson rejects. I thought Bigsby made them for Gibson.
    That is correct. I have one of those (I paid a little over $200 for it and having two L-5's, I thought it wise to have a spare tailpiece on hand).

    The welds on the underside are imperfect, but installed no one could tell. They were made in 1989 when Gibson did not have L-5 engraved on the tailpiece (in those days, they had an Ebony insert that said L-5).

  19. #18

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    It really makes you wonder if "authenticity" is so important. I have a relative who runs a machine shop. I should ask him about reproducing these things.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    It really makes you wonder if "authenticity" is so important. I have a relative who runs a machine shop. I should ask him about reproducing these things.
    I'd gladly buy one if you'll actually get this done! I got one of those samick copy tailpieces on my epi Broadway, and I'd love to find another one to put on my eastman.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    It really makes you wonder if "authenticity" is so important. I have a relative who runs a machine shop. I should ask him about reproducing these things.
    You will probably find that the cost of materials plus machining plus plating plus engraving will add up to quite a bit. And Gibson may have a trademark on the design, so be careful about that. Fighting the legal department of a big company can be expensive.

  22. #21

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    I think the mass of this tailpiece contributes to the sound of the guitar it was intended to be installed on. I really do.
    JD

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max405
    I think the mass of this tailpiece contributes to the sound of the guitar it was intended to be installed on. I really do.
    JD
    No question in my mind. It's all apart of an irreducible whole. Part and parcel.

    Plus it just looks so good!

  24. #23

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    One of the reason D'angelicos sound like they do is partly the tailpiece. The big stairstep has mass and in the right proportion it adds to the sound. Some look at how light an archtop is in determining the sound but that is not the whole reason. It is the same situation as a Gibson Super 400 and the sound they produce. The tailpiece may not make the guitar but is damn sure makes it distinct.

  25. #24

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    Thanks Deacon and C74.
    I am quickly becoming convinced that the frequensator TP on my Epi Emperor Regent is the reason the sound seems to prematurely fade. Not so much the recorded sound, but more so the sound I expect hear (and don’t) while I’m playing it. It’s a great guitar don’t get me wrong. But I wish it had a firmer place to mount the strings. I like to hear a guitar “breathe” a little. The L5 tailpiece is like an oxygen tank..
    Joe D

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max405
    Thanks Deacon and C74.
    I am quickly becoming convinced that the frequensator TP on my Epi Emperor Regent is the reason the sound seems to prematurely fade. Not so much the recorded sound, but more so the sound I expect hear (and don’t) while I’m playing it. It’s a great guitar don’t get me wrong. But I wish it had a firmer place to mount the strings. I like to hear a guitar “breathe” a little. The L5 tailpiece is like an oxygen tank..
    Joe D
    I just had a thought (it can happen). What if you filled the back of the block parts of the Frequensator with something with some mass - say, lead from fishing sinkers or somesuch, just some thing to increase the mass and therefore the inertial resistance to motion. That would effectively damp the TP a bit. You could even - and this might be better - cut some hunks of brass to size and solder them in. additionally, you could fill those long and not-so-long spaces between the rods with nice pieces of hardwood (walnut or cherry or even some nice curly maple) to dampen their tendency to vibrate. You could do the whole project in an afternoon. Then when you get the wood in, you can shape some pickguard material into nice rectangles to mount on the wood after taking them to a cooperative jeweler and have them engrave you name or initials in the plastic like Gibson used to do with their endorsee's guitars (BK, TF, HR, etc). Viola - EER, the Joe DeNisco Special Edition!

  27. #26

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    Well, I think my Aria Herb Ellis TP looks as good... and its tailpiece is free with the git :-)

  28. #27

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    C74, hahaa.
    The repurposed ABR1 bridge helped a little, but I couldn’t imagine attaching stuff to my guitar. I won’t be modding this guitar past that!
    Soon I won’t need to worry about how long my beater sustains..
    And I really shouldn’t compare the sound of a $700 guitar to a $3500 or even $6500 guitar. That’s not fair.
    Sorry to nit-pick over such trivial stuff. And C74, thanks for the ideas!
    You are a good dude. Always.
    JD


    Quote Originally Posted by citizenk74
    I just had a thought (it can happen). What if you filled the back of the block parts of the Frequensator with something with some mass - say, lead from fishing sinkers or somesuch, just some thing to increase the mass and therefore the inertial resistance to motion. That would effectively damp the TP a bit. You could even - and this might be better - cut some hunks of brass to size and solder them in. additionally, you could fill those long and not-so-long spaces between the rods with nice pieces of hardwood (walnut or cherry or even some nice curly maple) to dampen their tendency to vibrate. You could do the whole project in an afternoon. Then when you get the wood in, you can shape some pickguard material into nice rectangles to mount on the wood after taking them to a cooperative jeweler and have them engrave you name or initials in the plastic like Gibson used to do with their endorsee's guitars (BK, TF, HR, etc). Viola - EER, the Joe DeNisco Special Edition!

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by GNAPPI
    Well, I think my Aria Herb Ellis TP looks as good... and its tailpiece is free with the git :-)
    ^ This.
    Swap it out, remove the paint on the badge, get it silver plated, and you're good to go.
    Here's one that came off of a Japanese Howard Roberts copy:



  30. #29

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    Things ain't what they used to be....

    I got mine for my '1940 L5N for around 900 $, three years ago...It was initially mounted with an Ibanez tailpiece copy. This isn't the same mass of metal and this old lady deserved the real thing.

    There is also this one:
    Gibson Vintage L-5 Tailpiece Fluako Johnny Smith | eBay
    If I am correct, this is the prewar model. Even more difficult to find...

    Best.

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    You will probably find that the cost of materials plus machining plus plating plus engraving will add up to quite a bit. And Gibson may have a trademark on the design, so be careful about that. Fighting the legal department of a big company can be expensive.
    Well I sold my GJS years ago, so at this point I don't even have an example on hand to give him to duplicate.

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    That is correct. I have one of those (I paid a little over $200 for it and having two L-5's, I thought it wise to have a spare tailpiece on hand).

    The welds on the underside are imperfect, but installed no one could tell. They were made in 1989 when Gibson did not have L-5 engraved on the tailpiece (in those days, they had an Ebony insert that said L-5).
    That's a thing, buying spare tailpieces? I can see folks paying the big bucks to restore an instrument, but how often has anyone needed to replace a tailpiece because it broke?

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by zdub
    That's a thing, buying spare tailpieces? I can see folks paying the big bucks to restore an instrument, but how often has anyone needed to replace a tailpiece because it broke?
    Not often, but it happens. It has happened to me. I mainly bought my spare because the price was so right. It seemed like a move that I will never regret. I am sure that I could sell it at a profit if I was so inclined (and I am not, so don't ask!)

  34. #33

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    Per Gibson the ONLY way to get a replacement L5 tailpiece is to send your L5 to their repair and restoration shop.

    If you are the original owner of a L5 you used to be able to send them your tailpiece and they would replace it. No longer the case. You must now send the entire guitar.

  35. #34

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    What Stringswinger and Vinny1k said


    you couldn’t offer me enough money for my spare

  36. #35

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    The parts are worth more than the whole. Always the case. Strip you original Dangelico NY and sell the tailpiece, the machine heads. the lifton case, original Dearmond 1100, and possible you could get a $3000 or more? Your Super 400 same thing.

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by deacon Mark
    The parts are worth more than the whole. Always the case. Strip you original Dangelico NY and sell the tailpiece, the machine heads. the lifton case, original Dearmond 1100, and possible you could get a $3000 or more? Your Super 400 same thing.
    This seems to happen not infrequently with vintage Fenders where you can take it completely apart and sell each piece separately: neck, body, tuners, bridge, pots, caps. (Same as stolen cars!) But I would think that this happens WAY less often with set neck archtops because then you'd be left with a hard-to-sell neck plus body stripped of all other original parts.

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by zdub
    This seems to happen not infrequently with vintage Fenders where you can take it completely apart and sell each piece separately: neck, body, tuners, bridge, pots, caps. (Same as stolen cars!) But I would think that this happens WAY less often with set neck archtops because then you'd be left with a hard-to-sell neck plus body stripped of all other original parts.
    Actually guys just add modern parts to the body and sell it for pretty good bucks as a players guitar.

  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by zdub
    This seems to happen not infrequently with vintage Fenders where you can take it completely apart and sell each piece separately: neck, body, tuners, bridge, pots, caps. (Same as stolen cars!) But I would think that this happens WAY less often with set neck archtops because then you'd be left with a hard-to-sell neck plus body stripped of all other original parts.
    It happens all the time with ES-175, Kessel and other Gibsons with PAF pickups, and any old Gibsons with tuners, knobs, wiring and tune-o-matic bridges similar to those found on '56-'60 Les Paul/'58-'65 ES-3x5/'61-'65 SG guitars.
    Last edited by Hammertone; 05-04-2021 at 03:09 PM.

  40. #39

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    One thing I always respected about Westerly Guild. If you needed a new tailpiece or pickguard they would sell you one.
    No way from Gibson.

    Gibson has never been customer focused....well at least in my life.

    Years ago I bought a new Guild X-150. The neck developed a tail rise after a couple years. They sent me a brand new guitar no questions asked. Hand picked too as the new one had monster flame.

  41. #40
    I remember when my Gibson Johnny Smith was stolen in Nashville in the seventies because my" neighbors" noticed that I came in and out several times a day with a guitar case. The awesome NV police detectives found it in a pawn shop about a week later and returned it! Evidently thieves thought my name was Johnny Smith and tore that part off the tailpiece. The dealer I originally bought it from wanted full retail as usual of 60$. There was a guitar repair school in Spring Hill,Tn. who didnt want to overcharge me and let me have it at for 30$. They also stole my serial number 2 Tom Holmes Lenny Breau guitar. But I taught in the store I had ordered it in Green Hills Hillsboro Village Cotton Music,and was there when he came in to sell it! Fate was on my side that time. The amount of evil greed in the modern world of guitar astounds and sickens me big time.

  42. #41
    That episode reminded me of a funny story. I grew up on mainly Gibson guitars and in my late twenties had hardly ever played a strat. Cotton Music had a new 50th anniversary silver one so I picked it up and plugged it in. The vibrato arm was really interesting to me but I had no experience with one whatsoever! I was doing mainly very,very non-musical dive-bombs and crazy sound effects with it. I didnt think I was bothering anyone but there was an older couple in the store. I went on and on for several minutes not really aware someone might be listening.Wang Wang Wang!!! All of a sudden Richard Cotton the owner and Lenny Breau sideman and caretaker says "Steve Ild like you to meet Chet Atkins!!!

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Archtop
    Things ain't what they used to be....

    I got mine for my '1940 L5N for around 900 $, three years ago...It was initially mounted with an Ibanez tailpiece copy. This isn't the same mass of metal and this old lady deserved the real thing.

    There is also this one:
    Gibson Vintage L-5 Tailpiece Fluako Johnny Smith | eBay
    If I am correct, this is the prewar model. Even more difficult to find...

    Best.
    Hi Fred,
    This is probably a one off/experiment from postwar Gibson judging by the engraving.
    You're correct in noting that large hinged modern L-5 tp's were in use in the later 30s for a few yrs (slightly different design) but once 1940 hit you basically have the same t.p. today save for the engraving pattern and varitone.
    The hinge and the additional holes drilled in the mounting plate of this example aren't standard and no evidence of varitone/top crusher. Interesting but likely some sort of experimental/custom postwar tp.
    Last edited by wintermoon; 05-05-2021 at 04:03 AM.

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon
    Hi Fred,
    This is probably a one off/experiment from postwar Gibson judging by the engraving.
    You're correct in noting that large hinged modern L-5 tp's were in use in the later 30s for a few yrs (slightly different design) but the engraving on this is 1950s or later.
    That and the additional holes drilled in the mounting plate aren't standard and no evidence of varitone/top crusher. Interesting but likely some sort of experimental/custom tp.
    Thanks for sharing George.

  45. #44

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    I just put this together this morning:
    Tailpiece sticker shock-img_20210505_122947-jpg
    I know it's not accurate, but it was quick and easy. I'm working on a cheap guitar that i bought for some Charlie Christian stuff. I thought a super 400 style TP might Look nice, so i just wanted to try this.
    I just cut the Design out of some sheet metal which i wrapped around a Standard trapeze TP. Had it done in about 20 minutes and I think it doesn't Look that bad.
    Might put it on the guitar with the next String change

    Paul

  46. #45

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    I've been wondering for a few years who made this one. It's quite old and quite gorgeous, obviously inspired by the original S-400 tailpiece. It might be an original from John Abbott Sr. in England (since it is installed on a guitar that I believe was built by John Abbott Sr.), which would place it in the late 1930s. If anyone has seen anything like it...
    Attached Images Attached Images Tailpiece sticker shock-img_1499-tp-jpg Tailpiece sticker shock-img_1494-tp-jpg 
    Last edited by Hammertone; 05-05-2021 at 03:54 PM.

  47. #46

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    Very Stromberg like Hammer

  48. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone
    I've been wondering for a few years who made this one. It's quite old and quite gorgeous, obviously inspired by the original S-400 tailpiece. It might be an original from John Abbott Sr. in England (since it is installed on a guitar that I believe was built by John Abbott Sr.), which would place it in the late 1930s. If anyone has seen anything like it...
    Those little holes in the center are odd.