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Gibson archtop tailpiece

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  • Gibson archtop tailpiece

    I have a Gibson ES-175 that I am trying to lighten up.
    I have removed all sorts of odds and ends so far.

    Right now I would like to replace the tailpiece to something lighter.
    From everything I have seen, it looks like a wood tailpiece will be the lightest.

    Does anyone here know where I can get specs on tailpieces for their weight?
    Nothing I've seen on the web so far mentions anything about their weight.

    Thanks!



  • #2
    A !75 isn't that heavy in the 1st place. What the weight about 7lb. or less?

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    • #3
      StewMac gives the weight of their thin body metal trapeze tailpiece as 0.227 lb and their ebony Benedetto tailpiece as 0.280 lb. The Benedetto extends approximately 7-1/2 inches from the end of the body, the metal one about 5-1/2. This may change the break angle slightly and might have a very slight affect on the feel of the strings during bends. Also the Benedetto requires the installation of a small bone "saddle" at the edge of the guitar and mounts with a little loop of wire to the end pin jack - the stock 175 has three mounting holes which may need to be plugged.

      Oh, and if it matters, the wooden tailpiece is a hundred and fifty bucks. There are others, of course, and a good luthier (or you) could make your own from ebony or rosewood to match the f/b on your 175.

      http://www.stewmac.com/How-To/Online...tructions.html

      fwiw, I'm currently building an ES175 clone and am going to let my customer choose the tailpiece, but I'm thinking it will be pretty much like Gibson would furnish.
      Last edited by Freeman Keller; 07-14-2014, 09:43 AM.

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      • #4
        If you really want to save weight you can replace the ToM bridge (0.160 lb or so) with an ebony archtop style bridge (0.060 or less). The feet will cover the holes where you pull the ToM inserts - you could always put if back if you wanted. You'll have to do the usual intonation tweaks and it will fall off every time you restring, but much lighter.

        I'm actually going to use an archtop bridge on my project guitar. Its intended to be played acoustically and I want to reduce the bridge mass as much as possible.

        edit to add - StewMac gives the weights of all components but does not indicate units. I just weighted an archtop bridge at 1.1 oz or 31 grams, which is about0.068 lb, so I believe all units above are pounds.
        Last edited by Freeman Keller; 07-13-2014, 04:18 PM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by jtr654 View Post
          A !75 isn't that heavy in the 1st place. What the weight about 7lb. or less?
          When I was your age I thought it was light too.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Freeman Keller View Post
            StewMac gives the weight of their thin body metal trapeze tailpiece as 0.227 kg and their ebony Benedetto tailpiece as 0.280 kg.
            Thanks this is helpful.

            . Also the Benedetto requires the installation of a small bone "saddle" at the edge of the guitar and mounts with a little loop of wire to the end pin jack - the stock 175 has three mounting holes which may need to be plugged.
            It's a pity about the bone saddle that is required. That's a good amount of work right there.
            I couldn't follow the diagrams they had at their site. I didn't understand how a guitar strap could be placed on top of the wire that attaches to the end pin. To me, it looks like the wire takes up the space that a strap would usually use.

            Oh, and if it matters, the wooden tailpiece is a hundred and fifty bucks. There are others, of course, and a good luthier (or you) could make your own from ebony or rosewood to match the f/b on your 175.
            I would get my luthier friend to make it for me.

            Good luck with your build!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Freeman Keller View Post
              If you really want to save weight you can replace the ToM bridge (0.160 lb or so) with an ebony archtop style bridge (0.060 or less). The feet will cover the holes where you pull the ToM inserts - you could always put if back if you wanted. You'll have to do the usual intonation tweaks and it will fall off every time you restring, but much lighter.
              My ES-175 came with a rosewood bridge + ToM saddle.

              I built a new bridge myself about 10 years ago when the original started to sag.
              I recently purchased a rosewood saddle that is waiting to be mounted on my bridge.

              edit to add - StewMac gives the weights of all components but does not indicate units. I just weighted an archtop bridge at 1.1 oz or 31 grams, which is about0.068 lb, so I believe all units above are pounds.
              Not all components have weights listed, but most of them do. It's just what I needed.
              Last edited by Jazzer2020; 07-13-2014, 09:40 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Freeman Keller View Post
                StewMac gives the weight of their thin body metal trapeze tailpiece as 0.227 kg...
                I put one of those StewMac 335 tailpieces on a Gibson ES-295 (essentially the same as a 175) to replace the stock Bigsby and it works just fine - much lighter than the Bigsby - and it looks like it belongs there.
                Last edited by onelife; 07-14-2014, 12:37 AM.


                you can't control the wind but you can learn to sail

                contentment is true wealth

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                • #9
                  I have some tips for you. Firstly Get a wide and comfortable strap. Swap stop tail against an alu one and think about trading it agian with that minimum 4 kg weight will be reliefed.

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                  • #10
                    I'd put an Frequensator tailpiece on that guitar to improve its playability. They don't weight much at all and the improvement in the way the guitar sounds and plays is definitely worth it. The only issue you may run into is if you buy a brand of strings that aren't normal length, but I haven't had that problem with any of the major string brands.

                    http://static.musiciansfriend.com/de..._natural_R.jpg

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                    • #11
                      Jazzer2020 how old are you????

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by onelife View Post

                        I put one of those StewMac 335 tailpieces on a Gibson ES-295 (essentially the same as a 175) to replace the stock Bigsby and it works just fine - much lighter than the Bigsby - and it looks like it belongs there.
                        Interesting that you mention this.
                        I bought the part you mentioned on eBay last month (shipped from China).

                        It arrived last week.
                        There were a few of problems with it.

                        First off, one of the arms is longer than the other.
                        The second problem is its weight. It's much heavier than I had imagined.
                        I hadn't done a weight search prior to ordering it.
                        Thirdly, the mounting bracket is designed for a thinline guitar like a ES-335.

                        A ES-175 (mine) has a much deeper body
                        So the mounting holes and end pin hole don't match my guitar at all.



                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Thom Mack View Post
                          I have some tips for you. Firstly Get a wide and comfortable strap. Swap stop tail against an alu one and think about trading it agian with that minimum 4 kg weight will be reliefed.
                          I am having trouble understanding what you wrote (maybe someone can interpret it?)
                          The only thing I could understand was the strap part. I already have a wide comfortable strap.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by WRGKMC View Post
                            I'd put an Frequensator tailpiece on that guitar to improve its playability. They don't weight much at all and the improvement in the way the guitar sounds and plays is definitely worth it. The only issue you may run into is if you buy a brand of strings that aren't normal length, but I haven't had that problem with any of the major string brands.

                            http://static.musiciansfriend.com/de..._natural_R.jpg
                            Thanks WRG, that was really helpful!
                            I will seriously consider this as an option.

                            The tailpiece looks great and appears to be on the light side.
                            It also has a segmented length for the 1-3 and 4-6 strings, which I like.

                            The only thing I am wondering about is whether the tp is offered for a deep jazz body guitar like a ES-175?
                            The one in the diagram appears to be for a ES-335 thin body style.
                            I haven't found one yet in searches.

                            The mounting bracket/holes would be different for my guitar.
                            Last edited by Jazzer2020; 07-14-2014, 05:47 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Jazzer2020 View Post

                              Interesting that you mention this.
                              I bought the part you mentioned on eBay last month (shipped from China).

                              It arrived last week.
                              There were a few of problems with it.

                              First off, one of the arms is longer than the other.
                              The second problem is its weight. It's much heavier than I had imagined.
                              I hadn't done a weight search prior to ordering it.
                              Thirdly, the mounting bracket is designed for a thinline guitar like a ES-335.

                              A ES-175 (mine) has a much deeper body
                              So the mounting holes and end pin hole don't match my guitar at all.
                              The tailpiece I got from StewMac seems fine. I never paid too much attention to the weight and I can't tell now because it is on the guitar. The effective length of the arms on the one I have can be adjusted with the nuts on the end of them.

                              The 295 has the same body as the 175 and, even though the tailpiece is for a thinline, it works. I just drilled new holes.

                              The factory installed Bigsby that was on it doesn't have a much bigger mounting bracket and would probably fit on a 335.



                              you can't control the wind but you can learn to sail

                              contentment is true wealth

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