Laborie Tailpiece

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by goodgig, May 18, 2007.

  1. Has anyone had any experience with the Laborie Tailpiece? (not the endpin - I'm familiar with that). Claims to promote resonance in the bass. I have the typical ebony tailpiece and might consider trying it next string change.
  2. quenoil


    Jan 20, 2007
    I have one on my bass (a Laborie Quenoil model). Hard to say what effect the tailpiece in particular has since its the only one that's ever been on the instrument, but the bass in general is magnificent, and is definitely very resonant. I know the Laborie tailpiece is made of some variety of pearwood, and is much less dense than ebony. The theory being that the lower density will have less of a muting effect, making the bass more resonant.

    I'm really curious to hear what you find if you do decide to try it.
  3. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    I've thought about that same thing--swapping the tailpiece on my Kolstein Guarneri out. One thing that concerns me is the string spacing. I know the spacing on my Kolstein is wider than on a Laborie, so I am worried the tailpiece will be too narrow and the strings will not pass over the bridge on a straight angle.... The Kolstein tailpiece is really nice, but it is a thought. Any clue on how much they cost?
  4. quenoil


    Jan 20, 2007
  5. JoeyNaeger

    JoeyNaeger Guest Commercial User

    Jun 24, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Bass Specialist, Lisle Violin Shop
    Having a lighter tailpiece can increase resonance, but it also amplifies wolftones. In my experience, heavier tailpieces dampen some overtones that making bowing more difficult, resulting a mellower tone and smoother bowing. I've gone from a lighter tailpiece to a heavier and am much happier with the feel.
  6. Thank you all for the great input. You have answered my question. Well, it looks like the Laborie would most likely do what it claims to do - enhance resonance - :hyper: but it might also enhance wolftone(s). :crying: If I get one of these, I'll first put in on the bass with the current strings (corelli mediums) and hear what the results are before I put on a new set of strings.

    One last thought, do you have a pick-up on the Quenoil? I have a Full Circle and the jack is attached to the tailpiece. I would think that might also create a muting/loss of resonance too. Any thoughts?
  7. quenoil


    Jan 20, 2007
    For better or for worse, anything that increases the resonance of the bass is probably going to increase wolf tones also, since they're a result of the resonances in the bass. Its a cruel world.

    I do have a pickup on my bass - a realist. I have the jack velcroed to the tailpiece, as I take it on and off fairly regularly. Of course anything like that that adds mass to the vibrating parts of the bass is going to have some kind of muting effect. But there are compromises that have to be made depending on circumstances. If I had my way I'd never play amplified, but that's just not realistic for me. I hate dealing with it and I hate having the pickup on my bass and the other pieces of the signal chain to take care of. Oh well. Poor me.
  8. quenoil


    Jan 20, 2007
    Is the Full Circle the one that is in one of the bridge adjusters? I think that having adjusters on your bridge is one of the biggest potential sources for loss of tone/resonance on your instrument. Just something to think about if you're trying to maximize your bass's acoustic potential.
  9. That's the one. Good point about the adjustable bridge - so many variables. Sure would be nice to have a blank check to fund experimentation! Let me back up and throw this into the mix: I really like the feel/sound of the Corelli medium strings that are on the bass. I play both jazz and classical. I love Rabbath's conception and I'm going throug his books as well as George Vance's. The Corelli's are not loud enough for pizz., so far. That's why I'm thinking about changing up the tailpiece - instead of putting on heavier strings. I guess I'm not alone in this compromise thing. Thanks again for your input!
  10. I've just ordered the Laboire Tailpiece. I'll give a report when it arrives and is put on.
  11. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver

    A picture would be very nice, as well as the weight and the length, neither of which are available on the website.

    Thanks, Jake
  12. The Laborie Tailpiece arrived. I can't believe how light this is. Looks like a pelican bill! I don't have a scale so I took it for a ride to the local post office and weighed it there. Ready? 4.1 oz. That's about $32.00 an ounce. Remember those days? I also ordered a Sacconi Tail Adjuster. Don't trust it in this application, and won't be using it. I'm waiting on a synthetic Clef-style tail string, and will provide pix and a report after I string 'er up.
  13. Please do post a pic and your impressions. Wow, 4.1 oz -- is that of pear?
  14. Actually, most people have determined that a solid versus an adjustable bridge, just doesn't make that big of a difference and that the pros of the ability to adjust far out ways the cons of a tiny tiny amount of lost resonance.

    See Jeff Bollbach's luthiers rant here
  15. quenoil


    Jan 20, 2007
    I don't buy it. I've had adjustable and solid bridges on my bass and I think the difference is pretty clear. At the level we're talking about here, its all about what might be called small amounts of resonance. They make the difference between specatcular sound and, well, not spectacular. Of course there are also necessary compromises that need to be made. If an adjustable bridge is one of those compromises, then that's just the way it is.
  16. so is this thread about bridges and pickup or about the Laborie tailpiece? i generally expect relevant comments...
  17. robobass


    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    Well, it isn't really about anything at all. All of these arguments over tailpiece weight/length, tailpiece gut length/thickness/flexibility, Adjusters/solid bridge, what material for adjusters....on and on, go nowhere. At best the effects of changes to any these parameters are subtle, and in no case will a problem instrument suddenly start playing nicely, or a nice instrument suddenly start sounding like a Galliano. Bassists would serve themselves well by directing their energy away from issues like this. There are much bigger problems in the world right now which aren't being solved!
  18. I don't know about all that . . . :confused: Back to the original issue. Thanks for all your input. When spending $$$ it's always good to get other opinions, for which I'm grateful. I decided to go ahead and give the Laborie a try. UPS said they will deliver the tail string for it on Tuesday. I'll install the tailpiece then and let you all know if it results in a subtle change or not.
  19. quenoil


    Jan 20, 2007
    so you're reading and commenting on this because.....?:bag:
  20. I think this is a good point, and also I realize that no one can practice all day and that some people will got to whatever ends to make there bass sound the best it can. I'm sure this might be a circumstance when a new tail piece could help a lot.

    To the OP try, if you can, to make a recording before and after the tail piece change and see what it sounds like, try to keep everything relatively the same make sure its in tune both times bridge adjusters the same height, you know everything that could potentially change the sound.

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