Aluminum tailpiece ?

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by ERIC A, Nov 3, 2012.


  1. ERIC A

    ERIC A

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2004
    Location:
    Baltimore/Washinton DC
    I just had my luthier set up my new Engelhardt bass. He put on an aluminum tailpiece as an experiment and the tone seems to be very thin and hollow. Could that just be caused by the aluminum tailpiece? Prior to that, it didn't sound as thin however it was difficult to play. So he made several adjustments, not just the tailpiece. And, by the way, my luthier has always done great work. So any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. uprightben

    uprightben

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Location:
    Boone, NC
    It could be the tailpiece, a lighter one can bring out the higher frequencies, making the sound seem thin. It could also be the sound post location, and if the strings were lowered that might reduce the volume.
     
  3. robobass

    robobass

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2005
    Location:
    Cologne, Germany
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    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    You could try loading the tailpiece with steel C-clamps to see what effect it has. I'm also thinking that there is probably some high frequency damping going on in a wood tailpiece which you wouldn't get with aluminum, independent of weight.
     
  4. ERIC A

    ERIC A

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    Mar 9, 2004
    Location:
    Baltimore/Washinton DC
    Thanks for the replies!!
     
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  6. Epidrake

    Epidrake

    Joined:
    May 24, 2011
    The tailpiece makes a big difference in guitars, especially on Gibson Les Pauls. I see no reason why it wouldn't make a difference on your bass.
     
  7. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Supporting Member

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    May 24, 2006
    Location:
    Crescent Beach, BC
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    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    I doubt that its the tailpiece unless its very heavy. Any idea of the actual weight?
     
  8. MostroDB

    MostroDB Guest

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2012
    Why not put back the original tp, without changing any of the other things he did? Before you put on the old tp, put it on the scale to weigh it, and after you changed the tp's out, weigh the alu one. 10-20 min job, but do let it rest on its back while you do it and beware of the dreaded 'plonk'.
     
  9. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    I respectfully disagree, from the perspective of personal anecdotal experience. My CCB came with an aluminum tailpiece, and due to its lightness and resonance, my bass sounded thin until I purchased and installed a traditional ebony tailpiece.
     
  10. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Location:
    Crescent Beach, BC
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    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    The only metal tailpieces I've seen are the brass Wittners with fine tuners, unless you count the Marvin which weighs almost nothing. ;)

    Are we talking sheet aluminium or what? How much does your tailpiece weigh?
     
  11. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    My cheap aluminum tailpiece appears to be cast and anodized. It feels like it weighs marginally less than the ebony tailpiece I purchased to replace it.

    I keep meaning to put it into the recycle bin....
     
  12. Badener

    Badener

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Location:
    Germany
    Hi!

    "The only metal tailpieces I've seen are the brass Wittners with fine tuners..." Those Wittner tailpieces are also made of aluminium, brass would be much too heavy.

    Generally ist is not easy to say if a bass sounds better with a light (e.g. maple) or a heavy (e.g. ebony) tailpiece, you have to try. Very important ist also the string which holds the tailpiece, it should be as flexible as possible. As far as I listend to aluminium tailpieces they in deed sound thinner and colder. The Marvin is very interesting but it looks so ugly, I never would put that thing on my bass.

    Thomas
     
  13. ERIC A

    ERIC A

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2004
    Location:
    Baltimore/Washinton DC
    Aluminum Tailpiece is gone It did solve the problem.
     

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