Lose sustain with Aluminum tailpiece.

frankv

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Maybe the cycle has started again. I remember in the late 70s early 80s, everything was about "sustain", from pancake bodies to neck-through construction to heavy tailpieces to brass nuts. I believe at one point Yamaha would let you special order an entire Ford Anglia built into the body of an SBG 3000. I remember my poor soaking-wet 130 lb 16 year-old frame trying to wear some of those monsters on a strap.
Ya never know, everything in life is a cycle.. Why not this..

But in my case, I don't have a sustain issue. I mean I'm not playing an organ here. I can't imagine any more sustain then what my '81 is giving me now. I think that is generally the norm for a LP.. Not an exception..

I do subscribe to the point made about a Floyd Rose Big Block effect. I have experienced that myself. It does make a big difference.. However, in the FR case the trem is also the bridge. It does not resemble the tune-O-Matic of a LP.. So in the case of the LP, the effect of a heavy tail might be negated by the bridge intercepting the string vibrations.

My PRS is another one where sustain is a non issue..
 

Shawn Lutz

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OK i just bought the Callaham tailpiece. $107 ouch. I hope this solves it, its machined out of steel. Might also be time for a brass nut, hmm.
Let us know how you like it when you get it. I'm really interested in the Callaham steel TP, I already replaced the bridge with a locking Faber ABR-1 and ToneLock TP studs.

Going to a light weight aluminum PT never made any sense to me as that is one area where you don't want to reduce mass....then again all the whining about a Les Paul's weight doesn't make much sense either ;)
 

River

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....then again all the whining about a Les Paul's weight doesn't make much sense either ;)
Hey! :slap:

Just kidding. My 12-pounder and I get along fine, but not without taking special measures to deal with it. And it's still not much fun to fling around when you get into it during a live performance. Sustain it does, that's for sure.
 

rabidhamster

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I like aluminum tailpieces, and I think on a lot of guitars they're the business. But, there's really something to be said about a brass bridge or saddles. Just because the 70s have a bad rap for guitar quality and the Badass bridge looks pretty ugly doesnt mean brass itself sounds bad.
Even if one wants to go with a weight saving bridge, an adjustable aluminum bridge with brass saddles will sound more full and even across the frequency spectrum IMO, and to me makes pinch harmonics sound better. The solid aluminum tailpiece, which I love, has a more airy, chirpy high end.

I'll be interested to hear what you think of the steel bridge, I expect it'll have a lot of that fendery spank and zing with maybe a tad fuller low end than the aluminum. Cant hurt for the harmonics...
 

drugprowlingwolf

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Eh, I thought the same thing too... Until I plugged in my guitar. To be honest, I didn't even change the TP out for any reason. I had a nicely worn extra one and it fits the look and vibe of the Paul. It's a brick 93 Standard. It added a little bit more chime maybe and took away some bass but it still has that sledgehammer lo-mid sound.

When I put it on, the guitar (unplugged) seemed to vibrate even less, lol. Plugged in it definitely didn't rob anything of the guitar. People probably should experiment more instead of blindly rushing for the 59 vibe. Some aspects of it are invaluable to me (50s wiring, PAF style pickups, 500k pots) but the rest are really just small details.

You said you installed it and lost sustain... If it came with that stock, how would you have lost anything? And if you had a Gibby TP why not just pop that on as opposed to the uberpricy Callaham? Just curious.
 

joesatch

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You said you installed it and lost sustain... If it came with that stock, how would you have lost anything? And if you had a Gibby TP why not just pop that on as opposed to the uberpricy Callaham? Just curious.
I've been in upgrade mode since i got it . I immediately swapped out the bridge with a Callaham. The tailpiece studs were next. I removed the aluminum and put on one from my old standard and the tone change (for the better) was immediate. I felt as though i was on to something and decided to look for one with more mass. Was pointed out that Callaham machine one out of steel. I pretty sure it will blow the aluminum one out of the water. well see.


Next on my list might be the nut. I dont know what is on here but it aint bone. I'm thinking of going brass. I have no interest in keeping vintage correct. This is a reissue, not the real deal. Too many stock R7's out there. Already removed the pickguard too, now i can get more of my hands on the strings. Might switch out the tuners to heavy Grovers, i'm betting this will be an improvement too.
 

joesatch

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Rub bacon all over the aluminum tailpiece and jesus will fly out of the clouds and bless you with great tone. :hippie:


Went ahead and changed out the tuners for nickel 18:1 Grovers. Gettin there, still more to do. Nut is next. I need more sustain

will age another day.
 

splatter

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so is the tailpiece in yet . I'm interested to see what you think of it .
 

joesatch

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Tailpiece with the Faber locking studs made the difference. At this point the weak spot is at the bridge the Callahan saddles are loose and I had a he'll of a time just getting them to rest flat. Tailpiece is definitely worth it.
 

MiniB

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I prefer aluminum on a Les Paul, but a regular Zinc on an ES-335 or chambered LP.
 

politenessman

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both my lps, first thing i did was callaham them, with faber insert kit for the bridge and faber locking studs for the tp. aluminum just always seemed dead (soundwise), to me. if you hit a 10 pound block of aluminum, and a 10 pound block of steel with a hammer, which do you think would ring the longest?
 

splatter

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Tailpiece with the Faber locking studs made the difference. At this point the weak spot is at the bridge the Callahan saddles are loose and I had a he'll of a time just getting them to rest flat. Tailpiece is definitely worth it.
so did it change the tone ? I mean is it any brighter or darker or just the same only with more sustain ?
 

politenessman

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i have the callaham abr1 with nickel plated brass saddles (and stainless steel tp), and it brightened my tone a bit, but the main thing it did was focus and tighten my lows.
 

KenG

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It always makes me wonder why people immediately mod a new guitar. If you didn't like the way it sounded or played why buy it? barring that approach why not play it for awhile to get a chance to assess its shortcomings if there are any. Mods will change your sound but whether for the better or not is debatable. Why screw with something that works I say.
 

Shawn Lutz

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It always makes me wonder why people immediately mod a new guitar. If you didn't like the way it sounded or played why buy it? barring that approach why not play it for awhile to get a chance to assess its shortcomings if there are any. Mods will change your sound but whether for the better or not is debatable. Why screw with something that works I say.
I can't speak for anyone else but when I look at guitars I'm more concerned with a good baseline of resonance and sustain of the instrument while unplugged, how it sounds while plugged in is down several steps on my importance ladder ;) From my experience if you can get an instrument to sing unplugged you'll have no problem when amplified. This includes LP's and cheapy guitars. When I got my trad + I liked it right off the bat but knew I could make it a bit better with a better bridge vs. bunk metal zamak Nashville bridge. It was my first LP what I couldn't live with was the bridge and TP fallling off on string changes and doing string changes one string at a time is bullshit...hence the primary reason for getting a locking ABR-1 w/raw brass saddles and tail piece studs/locks from Faber.

I'm from the opposite train of though here. I don't understand folks who pass up killer guitars based on pickups that come with the guitar as it can be changed cheaply and easily to whatever tone taste you care for.
 

splatter

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It always makes me wonder why people immediately mod a new guitar. If you didn't like the way it sounded or played why buy it? barring that approach why not play it for awhile to get a chance to assess its shortcomings if there are any. Mods will change your sound but whether for the better or not is debatable. Why screw with something that works I say.
I agree with alot of what shawn said . Also I don't lke any gibson pups except the dirty fingers so when i buy a new gibson its a given that I'm changing the pups .
I just bought a 2013 SG and wasn't happy with the tone at all . However i know what a mahogany guitar with a rosewood board can sound like . So after some mods I love the way it sounds .
I don't understand people who sell guitars because of the way they sound without trying to mod it first . So much of a guitars tonal charastics can be changed with a few simple mods .
 


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