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  1. #1

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    Hi
    I've played electric guitar for a long time and know how to do minor tweeks now and then on the action etc. I'm new to hollow body guitars though, with floating bridges and a tailpiece. I had my Ibanez AF155 set up a few months ago and it plays nicely and in tune. However after a while the trapeze tail piece started to slightly touch the top of the guitar on one side causing a vibration and odd harmonic sounds on certain notes. I put a tiny but of card in between to stop the "off" sound which helped. I tried adjusting the string height to see if that raised it and that helped. When jamming with friends yesterday I noticed it was touching the body again and doesn't sound right. I guess I don't know the basic principle of how the trapeze tailpiece works. I'd like to know how it should be adjusted, if possible, to lift it slightly so it doesn't touch the guitar top. Any advice would be welcome or direction to a similar post.
    Thanks

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  3. #2

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    Can you post pictures?

  4. #3
    How to adjust trapeze tailpiece Ibanez AF155-tailpiece-1-jpgHow to adjust trapeze tailpiece Ibanez AF155-tailpiece-2-jpg
    Here are a couple of pictures

  5. #4

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    You COULD try pinching that metal lip a bit tighter with some needle nose...but that's a NOTORIOUS point of breakage on those...

    I'd be more inclined to get a piece of sticky felt under there to protect the guitars top and minimize vibrations and be done with it...

    the other route is to completely change the tailpiece...

  6. #5

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    My first thought when I saw those photos- that hinge is yielding (slowly separating).

  7. #6

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    Tailpiece shoudn’t be like that at all!
    The part that is touching the top should be rolled all the way up against the bottom of the tailpiece. I’ve seen this happen in cheap tailpieces (Aria, Loar), had succeeded in bending it back onto itself with some pliers (with the tailpiece off the guitar, of course!). There’s no warranty that it won’t open up again though.
    For a permanent, 100% fix I would either change the tailpiece for a better one or just another one, maybe this one is defective or, if thats not possible, bring it to a reed instrument repair shop. They will probably weld a tiny metal plate under the tailpiece that will held it together for a lifetime or two.

  8. #7
    Thanks for the replies. I'll try the felt underneath for now and then it looks like I will need to get a new tail piece. Any good suggestions for a replacement that's not too expensive?

  9. #8

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    Pinching it would probably be a stopgap. If it's opening up, time to change that puppy. There are threads on here about this problem.

    -Just saw your last post: there are many replacement items available, the only problem being lining up the screw holes.

  10. #9

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    I had a similar issue with my EEJP. With pliers wrapped in electrical tape I closed the large gap at the 'hinge'.

  11. #10

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    The tailpiece hinge appears to be deformed. Check what you've got against images of the AF155 that you can find with an internet search. It looks like the piece that holds the harp has pulled forward and down, and that the enclosure around the harp has pulled apart.

  12. #11

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    Step 1 - purchase of of these, in gold (ABM-1251g):


    or one of these (ABM 1266g), in gold:


    Step 2 - replace the current tailpiece with the new tailpiece.
    Step 3 - play your guitar for the rest of your life without having to think about your tailpiece.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by foner
    Tailpiece shoudn’t be like that at all!
    The part that is touching the top should be rolled all the way up against the bottom of the tailpiece. I’ve seen this happen in cheap tailpieces (Aria, Loar), had succeeded in bending it back onto itself with some pliers (with the tailpiece off the guitar, of course!). There’s no warranty that it won’t open up again though.
    For a permanent, 100% fix I would either change the tailpiece for a better one or just another one, maybe this one is defective or, if thats not possible, bring it to a reed instrument repair shop. They will probably weld a tiny metal plate under the tailpiece that will held it together for a lifetime or two.

  14. #13

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    If you do decide to bend the tailpiece back to shape, I would advise putting some JB Weld epoxy in the gap. Mix the epoxy, put a thin coat in place, then clamp it shut securely and let it dry for 24 hours. Clean up any squeezeout before it sets. This will prevent it from bending again, and probably breaking. JB Weld is incredibly strong and permanent. I've used it to repair the head gasket on a crappy GM car, and it held for at least a couple of years until I sold it. I keep some on hand at all times.

  15. #14

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    I bet sgosnell's idea would work!

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by gps
    Here are a couple of pictures
    Ouch!

  17. #16

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    This one:
    How to adjust trapeze tailpiece Ibanez AF155-s-l1600-2-jpg

    Or this one:
    How to adjust trapeze tailpiece Ibanez AF155-s-l1600-3-jpg

    Both available on the _bay. Both are nicer looking and far more robust than the thin, bent pot metal tailpiece that guitar came with.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone
    Step 1 - purchase of of these, in gold (ABM-1251g):


    or one of these (ABM 1266g), in gold:


    Step 2 - replace the current tailpiece with the new tailpiece.
    Step 3 - play your guitar for the rest of your life without having to think about your tailpiece.
    ...would not it require new holes for the screws in the instrument? if there would be a chance I would keep the authentic look of the instrument, and also avoid drawing extra holes, especially if it is not a cheapo, which is the case.

  19. #18
    I like the idea of a better replacement but at the moment I'd like to keep it simple. I could see if I can order a new Ibanez AF155 tailpiece but they are not that readily available where I am.
    I've seen a non Ibanez tailpiece on line that looks similar and from the measurements may not need any new holes drilled. However it's a cm longer so the end of the strings would be nearer the bridge. Would that make a difference or be a problem?

  20. #19

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    How to adjust trapeze tailpiece Ibanez AF155-155bccbc-e475-4fc1-b68f-d59e156986a3-jpgHow to adjust trapeze tailpiece Ibanez AF155-a4a0e521-a0d6-4343-a7ed-4a9794f9e088-jpg

    my AF81 is like that (both ends)
    I too was quite concerned when I noticed
    the situation about a year ago
    but in fact it hasn’t moved at all
    it is stable ,with no tuning issues

    if it was affecting the sound of the guitar
    (mine isn’t) I think I would close up the
    C shape slightly

    bon chance

  21. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by pingu
    How to adjust trapeze tailpiece Ibanez AF155-155bccbc-e475-4fc1-b68f-d59e156986a3-jpgHow to adjust trapeze tailpiece Ibanez AF155-a4a0e521-a0d6-4343-a7ed-4a9794f9e088-jpg

    my AF81 is like that (both ends)
    I too was quite concerned when I noticed
    the situation about a year ago
    but in fact it hasn’t moved at all
    it is stable ,with no tuning issues

    if it was affecting the sound of the guitar
    (mine isn’t) I think I would close up the
    C shape slightly

    bon chance
    Thanks I was wondering if anyone had a similar situation with an Ibanez. As others have said it happens on different guitar makes as well. I've found somewhere I can by a new Ibanez tail piece but may try and repair this one first

  22. #21

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    Having the ends of the strings a centimeter closer to the bridge should not be a problem. Having the joint open like that will eventually be a problem. I would certainly either repair it or buy a new tailpiece. If it lets go, the top could get some significant dings when things flop around.

  23. #22

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    Could this sort of thing thing happen if a previous owner or someone (potential customer) in a store pressed against the trapeze to simulate a bigsby style vibrato? A case of forced misuse? I would think that sort of leverage force could make it the wire prise weaker hinge metal apart?

  24. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by EastwoodMike
    Could this sort of thing thing happen if a previous owner or someone (potential customer) in a store pressed against the trapeze to simulate a bigsby style vibrato? A case of forced misuse? I would think that sort of leverage force could make it the wire prise weaker hinge metal apart?
    That's an interesting thought. I bought this new on line last year at a really good price. When I contacted the shop they said it had been in the sales room for quite a while and had playing marks. So it's quite plausible that something like that happened. You see people do that bigsby thing. ? Not having had a hollowbody before it's not something I would know to check. The sales assistant might not know. It was almost mint out of the box and played well. It's useful to consider this was the cause rather than a quality issue as otherwise its a very nice guitar.

  25. #24

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    and here’s my ibs af120

    How to adjust trapeze tailpiece Ibanez AF155-842e8b91-fdb5-4b8c-a53f-0d9d005cd8ac-jpgHow to adjust trapeze tailpiece Ibanez AF155-c1d43d9b-4352-4b83-a722-22b14d47a91d-jpg

    same thing , this i’ve had for many years
    and it’s not moved either
    no tuning issues either

    I think it possible that these tailpieces
    are made like this and that it is
    a ‘feature’ not a fault
    I use TI 13 flats on both the
    af120 and af81

  26. #25
    Thanks for the info about your Ibanez guitars that's helpful. I will just put something underneath again to cure the vibration rather than do anything drastic for now.