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Solid body bass with a hollowbody style tailpiece

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ejaggers, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    Of course it's possible. The question is, why would you want to? I doubt that the floating bridge that usually goes with a tailpiece like that would work very well on a solid body; and if you use the bridge from a 2 piece unit, why not just use the whole thing? Or a one-piece unit? Unless you just want to be different, of course...:D
  2. The look. :p It's like slapping a Bigsby on a Tele instead of using a Strat trem. :D
  3. Apolicious


    Jan 16, 2014
    It's possible, but only in very specialized circumstances. You have to remember that it's a tailpiece, not a bridge, so you need to incorporate the length of the tailpiece into the placement of the bridge, moving it much closer to the neck, which won't work on 34"+ scale basses. If you have a short-scale instrument with the bridge placed more like those on guitars, then sure, it's possible, but you're getting into some very, very precise measurements.

    All that being said, if you can make it work, I love the floating bridge/tailpiece combination. It gives it a slow, fat attack that's just fantastic.
  4. The only thing you have to worry about is the break angle and if the tail piece is too close to the bridge. If the tail piece is too long, shorten the tail piece. The saddles need to be in the same spot, so they can't really move much. If he uses a TOM type bridge, this will work fine, but he might have to shorten the rods that come over the side of the bass.
  5. Apolicious


    Jan 16, 2014
    If you look at the average bass, the bridge is mounted as far back on the body as it can go. If you put on a tailpiece, the strings would mount before the bridge, bypassing it completely. Break angle means nothing if the strings can't even touch the saddles. And you can't just smack a new bridge on in a new location without destroying any chance of it intonating properly. There is literally no way to shorten the tailpiece enough to make it fit over the average J-style bridge, or most any other style for that matter.
  6. JoeWPgh


    Dec 21, 2012
    On the average Fender style 34" bass, there is simply no room for the tailpiece. It would be so small, and so close to the floating bridge, that from 4 feet away, it would look like a single unit. If you are dead set on the look, your best option is an unlined fretless, where it can turn out to any scale length imaginable. But the caveat there becomes your pickup placement, relative to the scale length you end up with. You can forget about a J bridge pup - there will be no room for that. A P pup would end up somewhere around a MM position, or maybe a J bridge pickup, depending on where the bridge lands.
  7. Yes there is. It will just involve resoldering or welding the plate further back & trimming the rods.
  8. hemmerlinj


    Sep 21, 2012
    Astoria, NY
    I've seen some Carl Thompson basses with something like what you're talking about. But they're custom basses and part of the design.
  9. Apolicious


    Jan 16, 2014
    I just did some quick measuring on my J, and the bridge pickup (assuming everything is mashed together as tightly as possible, and you're using a mandolin-style bridge) would be about 1/16" away from the bridge (not counting the mounting screws.) Talk about twang! :p

    I'm not sure if we're having a problem with terminology differences, or if you're just unfamiliar with how these tailpieces mount. By "resoldering or welding the plate further back" do you mean changing the location of the hinge on the mounting plate? Because you can't change the location of the plate, it wraps around the end of the instrument. You can't move it further back without adding more material to the end, or extending the instrument like a Ritter Jupiter.

    And as for trimming the rods - and this is assuming you've also removed most all the material from the mounting plate to shorten it while somehow maintaining its geometry - you'd have to completely remove the perpendicular support/decorative piece, then re-thread the parallel bars so you can attach the string anchor. You'd be left with a tailpiece like 1.5" - 2" long from end to end, which would not only look ridiculous but be pointless. And after all that, intonating it will still be a nightmare unless you've done everything perfectly - down to the millimeter - because you have virtually no space to work with.
  10. cdef


    Jul 18, 2003
    Here it is on a 1958 Frii:

  11. ejaggers


    Aug 18, 2009
    Ft Worth, tx
    cdef your pic did not come thur. Please repost, I'd like to see it.
  12. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    I like the trapeze style tailpiece--I wouldn't use it exclusively, but it does add a different dimension to the sound.
  13. ejaggers


    Aug 18, 2009
    Ft Worth, tx
    Thanks cdef. I was wondering why you never see anything like that. It look pretty cool to me.
  14. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    I use a DIY floating bridge and screwed on wood tailpiece on several of my DIY builds.
  15. ejaggers


    Aug 18, 2009
    Ft Worth, tx
    Got any pics?
  16. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Not at the moment. But here's a couple of pix of an earlier version my semi-hollow Epiphone Dot Studio "Bass" conversion using a trapeze tailpiece and an aftermarket floating bridge.

    View attachment 392308 View attachment 392309

    I've since removed the trapeze tailpiece and screwed on a simple wooden tailpiece to eliminate some sympathetic vibrations using the trapeze.