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Tail Piece Repair Question

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by gerry grable, Jul 14, 2017.


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  1. gerry grable

    gerry grable Supporting Member

    Nov 9, 2010
    I have a very old tail piece that I'd like to try on my bass. I have a lot of free time on my hands :)
    The problem is that the 4 1/4 x 1/8 x 1/8 inch strip of wood (ebony?) that slides into the slot at the top of the tail piece and holds and guides the strings is missing.
    Is there a name for this part? And can one be ordered one online?
     
  2. robobass

    robobass

    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    No, you have to make it. I don't know what it's called. Tailpiece nut?
     
  3. 1st Bass

    1st Bass

    May 26, 2005
    Forest Grove, OR
    Tailpiece saddle
    Some people make them of bone, or horn or other hard substance. I have seen them made of metal.
     
    gerry grable likes this.
  4. gerry grable

    gerry grable Supporting Member

    Nov 9, 2010
    Thanks. My first thought was tailpiece nut, also.
    As for making one? I haven't a clue. Wood? Plastic? Also, it's curved or bent.
    I guess it's a job for a bass or maybe a cello repairman? I don't think there's a huge demand for them for bass parts companies :)
     
  5. megafiddle

    megafiddle

    May 25, 2011
    I believe it's called a fret.

    -
     
    james condino likes this.
  6. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    really doesn't matter what you make it out of as long as it's hard enough to support the string pressure. You could even use plastic. Probably easiest would be to use some ebony or maple or some other hardwood.

    make a template out of cardboard and trace that onto your material cut to the right thin-ness for the slot. make sure the wood grain runs crossways. Glue with anything you like. I'd use hide glue but hey.
     
    gerry grable likes this.
  7. jsf729

    jsf729 Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 2014
    Central Maryland
    Curious- does the height of the piece have much effect with sound? Or pretty much any height will do as to keep the strings from laying on the tailpiece
     
  8. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    it just gives a defined start position. the length of the string between tailpiece and bridge is adjusted via the tailwire. you just need enough height to keep the strings from laying on the tailpiece itself.

    edit: ... But you know, it may not matter at all ... many tailpieces don't have them... you can use it quite well without the nut, but the pitch of the afterlengths may be less defined, if you care about that!
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017
    jsf729 likes this.
  9. robobass

    robobass

    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    I've heard people say that a higher TP saddle increases string tension.
     
  10. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    I can't see how that could happen ... can you?
     
  11. They may say that but it does not happen.
    Instead the tailpiece goes lower and the string sits at the exact same point as with a lower TP saddle.
     
    Matthew Tucker likes this.
  12. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    correct, and in fact if the tailpiece stayed in place (hypothetically) the string tension would actually go DOWN :)
     
  13. robobass

    robobass

    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    I was just trolling:rolleyes: A few years ago there were all of these heated arguments here about silly things that supposedly affect tension. No one took the bait this time!