Pigtail 50s wraparound vs. MojoAxe compensated wraparound

Discussion in 'Historics & Reissues' started by onlyrockrocks, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. onlyrockrocks

    onlyrockrocks Senior Member

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    Hey everybody!

    I know that these two products have been discussed before, but I didn't find a thread that dealt exclusively with these two only.

    So, which one would you use and why? Any experience with one or did you even compare them to each other?
    They are supposed to go on a Custom Shop Junior (2009) and a Custom Shop Standard (2004).
    What about the visuality of the vintage incorrect MojoAxe? And what about intonation issues with the vintage correct Pigtail?

    By the way: So far I've been using Retrospec studs...

    Thanks a lot in advance and kind regards!

    Edit: Does the compansated MojoAxe tailpiece have any disadvantages when bending hard? (especialy on the G and D string, where the adjustment seems to be made in between)
     
  2. Bobby Mahogany

    Bobby Mahogany Senior Member

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  3. RAG7890

    RAG7890 Premium Member

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    Never had a Pigtail but did buy a MojoAxe. Will be receiving the Guitar it is on shortly. A friend has played it & he then ordered several MojoAxe Bridges for his Vintage Gibsons & loves them.

    Here is a pic on the actual Guitar. It intonates perfectly.

    Many here like Pigtail as well but I was more concerned with intonation & playability than what it looked like, albeit the MojoAxe looks cool.

    [​IMG]

    Good luck.

    :cheers:
     

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  4. Danelectro

    Danelectro V.I.P. Member

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    Pigtail and MojoAxe = Apples and Oranges.

    The Pigtail is intended to be an exact replica of the original 1950's tailpiece and it does a good job of it. It is diecast aluminum with all the proper tooling marks. The most notable difference between Pigtail and the 1950's tailpiece is that the top of the ridge of the Pigtail has a crisp "soft-V" profile whereas the 1950's tailpiece is typically very rounded, thus Pigtail eliminates the sitar-like buzz that is common with many of the original (and Historic) tailpieces. In the past I have had Pigtails installed on both Vintage Juniors and Historics and found them to be an improvement over the stock tailpieces in both cases. The only thing that is a little quirky about the Pigtail is the nickel plating which tends to blacken when you age them, in which case you need to polish them back out. Intonation may be improved very slightly due the the crisp break line for the strings, however the saddle is still in a straight line.

    The MojoAxe bridge is intended compensate for intonation while still maintaining the general appearance of an original wraparound tailpiece. The ridgeline is offset between the wound and the plain strings and it is crisp so that the sitar-effect is not an issue. It is CNC machined out of a block of aluminum, thus it does not have moldmarks on the underside like an original molded bridge would. If you overlook the offset ridge, the MojoAxe tailpiece acutally does look more vintage-correct than does the Historic wraparound.

    Basically, the Pigtail gives you a spot-on vintage appearance. The MojoAxe improves intonation considerably while sacrificing a little bit in the true vintage appearance. Depends on what's more important to you, looks or tuning. :hmm:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Notice in this photo that both the 1950's and the Historic bridges have a soft rounded peak. I have seen a few vintage bridges that have a sharper peak, however the ridge was hand polished by the manufacturer in order to clean up the molding seam and most bridges were polished to a very round profile. The sitar effect is cause by the string vibrating against the rounded surface that is in front of the point where the string leaves the bridge. Both the MojoAxe and the Pigtail have a sharper peak, thus the sitar-effect is not an issue.
    [​IMG]

    ABR-1 vs MojoAxe
    [​IMG]
     
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  5. onlyrockrocks

    onlyrockrocks Senior Member

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    Wow, first of all thanks a lot for your huge input!!! :thumb:

    I must admit that I first definitley wanted to go for the Pigtail, but then started to tend to the MojoAxe quite a bit during the last days, which in the end lead to this thread.
    But now, after hearing about the missing moldmarks, it seems I'm back on the Pigtail again... :D

    Well, I REALLY want the guitars to be as vintage correct as possible, but on the other hand they should work well in the studio as well as live. I'm just afraid that the one I'll choose will be missing something important the other one does have... :hmm:
     
  6. korus

    korus Senior Member

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    Is there any chance of LEFT-HANDED version of MojoAxe wraparound bridge? I am aware it has to be more expensive ...
     
  7. RAG7890

    RAG7890 Premium Member

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    I hate to burst your bubble but the Guitars you are putting them on are NOT Vintage correct, so worrying about the Tailpiece is arguably a non event. :)

    Do yourself a favor, get the MojoAxe.....................if it worked for my mate in England with his collection of Vintage Juniors & Specials, it will work for you..........................just sayin. :D

    My 2c FWIW.

    :cheers:
     
  8. Danelectro

    Danelectro V.I.P. Member

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    Here's an "upskirt" shot so that you can see what you're missing out on with the MojoAxe vs the Pigtail. :thumb:

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. reedy

    reedy Senior Member

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    I can't comment on the Mojoaxe but I have had a couple of pigtails and that is what is currently on my special. Absolutely the peak on the pigtail makes a big differnce over the stock Gibson one, even helps intonation because it's a little more precise whenthe string breaks over the tailepiece. Both my junior and my special intonate great, not perfect but so close that I don't notice it. Generally I set it up withthe intonation slightly flat (~2 cents) on low E side and bang on the high E side. I tent to press a little harder on the low E higher up the fingerboard and that compensates for the slightly flat intonation.
    Dan is right about the plating onthe pigtail though. As mine has aged it's getting quite dark, not what I expected. I've tried to polish it out but it remains somewhat black. It's honest wear and I don't mind it but it isn't what I expected.
    If you want perfect intonation I'd say go with mojoaxe, Dan is really helpful and from what I've seen and heard his stuff is totally top-shelf quality. Honestly, I don't think you'd even notice the compensated ridge unless you were looking specifically for it.
    If absolute vintage accuarcy is more important... go vintage. The pigtail is great but it ages differently as mentioned and that might bug you. Here's a couple shots of my current pigtail on the special.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. onlyrockrocks

    onlyrockrocks Senior Member

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    So, the Pigtail isn't made of the exact same material as the originals either? Or why does it age that different?

    What about the MojoAxe in terms of patina/aging and the material it's made of in comparism to the originals?

    Thanks a lot guys!!! :thumb:

    PS: Of course I know that the/my Custom Shop models aren't vintage correct either, but I want to try to get them closer... :D
     
  11. lostinmusic

    lostinmusic Member

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    I installed the Mojoaxe bridge on a SG junior 60s and the intonation (when you get it right) is very good indeed. Highly recommended. There are other intonated wraparound bridges but obviously this one keeps the traditional look.
     
  12. reedy

    reedy Senior Member

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    In terms of vintage accuracy I would say the pigtail is as close as you are going to get. Same materials, same weight, same shape etc. My guess is the nickel plating is done a little differently that most places - who knows it may even be done the original way. The only difference is when they are relic'd or prematurely aged - again I think it depends on the aging method used that makes it turn a darker colour, or not.
    To be honest, I was going to take my Custom Shop junior and put in a '50s pickup with a 50's harness and old tuners and, and... And then I played a real vintage '59 special and I realized that it wasn't worth it to try and make my guitar something its not or is ever likely to be. Its' one of those things where the complete unit (guitar) is far beyond the simple sum of the parts. The thing with vintage guitars is that it's the old wood (cliche, I know) and the old finish and years of playing and just aging that makes them different and special. That said, I still modified my junior with a new harness and cap, upgraded the pickup to a lollar, got a bone nut (biggest improvement of all) and got a pigtail. Those things made a big improvement to the guitar and it played and stayed in tune 100x better.

    You might want to check this out. These guys have a few videos that compare their vintage guitars to Gibson's new versions of the same guitars.

    Doug and Pat compare old and new Gibson Les Paul Juniors.mov - YouTube

    If you want to bring you guitar as close as possible to vintage spec's have at it. My advice would be to spend your money on upgrading the guitar to get it to play and sound like you want.
     
  13. onlyrockrocks

    onlyrockrocks Senior Member

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    Still haven't decided anything yet, but although I really want the Pigtail, I guess I lean more towards the MojoAxe at the moment. Just because I'd like to use the guitar(s) live and in the studio and they need to work perfectly. Also the black aging on the Pigtail looks a bit weird/wrong somehow...

    Anyone else wants to chime in here?
     
  14. rockinlespaul

    rockinlespaul Recovering Oxblood Addict V.I.P. Member

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    Anytime I get a wraptail I get Pigtail hardware for it. Great products imho.
     
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  15. bluuzguy

    bluuzguy Junior Member

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  16. bluuzguy

    bluuzguy Junior Member

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    Put a Mojo on my '57 Junior VOS. No regrets here. Highly recommended!
     
  17. cjp54

    cjp54 Senior Member

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    I have two Mojo Axe's, on my 72/54 and on my 54. Don't care if they have a mold mark on the bottom. Both sound way better than the originals and intonate much better. I go for utility with still retaining the original look.
    Go Mojo!!!
     
  18. NotScott

    NotScott Premium Member

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    I am using the MojoAxe on my JB and am very happy with it. It looks right, sounds right and I have zero intonation issues. If I had more wraptails, they would all have the MojoAxe.

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. dreams

    dreams Member

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  20. TM1

    TM1 Senior Member

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