Sloppy tailpiece fit on Firebird studs

myguymydude

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I purchased a 2017 Firebird HP from the Gibson Demo Shop about a year ago, and I've noticed that the stopbar tailpiece is very loose in the studs (see pic). It's loose enough that it's actually tilting within the bushings (I prefer top-wrapping, the studs themselves are fine). Is it possible they used the wrong size or that they might replace it? Otherwise I think the Faber Tone-Lock studs would solve the issue and be a nice upgrade. Just wondering if this is common or a mistake. Thanks!

EDIT: I took a look at my 2 Les Pauls for comparison. The one that I top-wrap also looks this way, and the one that is not wrapped the entire tailpiece is just slid up to the top of the stud with a little gap to the bottom. Seems like this is just a common Gibson thing, not sure why there is such a big gap instead of fitting snugly. I guess that's why there's so many after market hardware companies making stuff for Gibsons.

Update: https://www.mylespaul.com/threads/sloppy-tailpiece-fit-on-firebird-studs.468941/post-10248662
 

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BDW60

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I think this is just the physics of using the tailpiece in a way it wasn’t specifically designed to be used? It makes sense that top wrapping would make the trail end of the tailpiece respond to the upward pressure of the strings.
 

myguymydude

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I think this is just the physics of using the tailpiece in a way it wasn’t specifically designed to be used? It makes sense that top wrapping would make the trail end of the tailpiece respond to the upward pressure of the strings.
Well it wouldn't matter if the tailpiece fit more snugly in the studs, and it's not like top wrapping is a new thing. There's so much less contact between the tailpiece and studs this way. I guess that's the reason the Faber Tone-Lock studs exist though. See the attached pic for the "traditional" method showing the gap.
 

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Subterfuge

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I usually just measure the gap with a feeler gauge (yours looks pretty bad) and make a steel shim of the same thickness in the form of a 1/2" circle with cutout for the post dia. of course, tap it into the gap and the lean is gone, fit is snug and no one but you knows it is there .. problem solved
 

myguymydude

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I usually just measure the gap with a feeler gauge (yours looks pretty bad) and make a steel shim of the same thickness in the form of a 1/2" circle with cutout for the post dia. of course, tap it into the gap and the lean is gone, fit is snug and no one but you knows it is there .. problem solved
That's cool if you have the tools! I spent the $40 on the Tone-Lock studs instead :p
 

Airplane

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both my vintage guitars look like that and they sound AMAZING anyway
 

moreles

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Obviously, Gibson lacks either the manufacturing capability or the commitment, or both, to spec parts that couple more tightly. All the LP hardware, including the bridge, is like this -- imprecise; a little cruddy. It's obviously not an earth-shaking matter, but it's junky. Gotoh, for instance, puts Gibson to shame. The difference in precision is huge.
 

ARandall

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I think this is just the physics of using the tailpiece in a way it wasn’t specifically designed to be used? It makes sense that top wrapping would make the trail end of the tailpiece respond to the upward pressure of the strings.
Today's tailpiece was designed in 1953 as a wraparound bridge.
 

myguymydude

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Obviously, Gibson lacks either the manufacturing capability or the commitment, or both, to spec parts that couple more tightly. All the LP hardware, including the bridge, is like this -- imprecise; a little cruddy. It's obviously not an earth-shaking matter, but it's junky. Gotoh, for instance, puts Gibson to shame. The difference in precision is huge.
Yeah, I actually bought some Tone-Lock studs, but they are too long for the Firefird. Can you recommend a stud/tailpiece combo that would have tighter tolerances and be compatible with Firebirds?
 

myguymydude

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Update: TonePros locking studs did the trick! They don't seem to make gold anymore so I had to find some on Reverb.
 

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Blue Blood

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The modern/recent Gibson lightning bar setup is sloppy.
Schaller, Faber, Gotoh, all are far and away more precisely made.
 

Rockabilly

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I had a similar looking tailpiece. I also did the top wrap and cranked the tailpiece all the way to the body. But that angle bugged me. I went with the Faber kit. The studs were just a tad too long but they send 3 sets of spacers along with the kit. I was able to use the middle set of spacers and I'm pretty happy with my angle now. In my opinion I think the sound is an improvement with the increased sustain that I get with tightening the tailpiece to the body. I like the way it looks too!
firebird.jpg
 

Rockabilly

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Now I just need to get some aged pickup covers and rings. Or maybe aged pickups. Any thoughts? I don't mind the sound of the stock pickups on my 2016.
firebird 2.jpg
 

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