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mandobaron 01-13-2022 06:33 PM

Sourcing Custom Trapeze Tailpieces (Archtop Guitar Style)
Hi all,

I'm in the process of having three Loar L5 Archtop guitar style instruments built, and the thing that is giving me the most trouble is the trapeze style tailpieces. The instruments are a smaller bodied tenor (4 strings), a 6 string, and a 10 string mandocello (Liuto Cantabile/Moderno).

At this point, my thinking is in order to get them all to match I should have at least the string bar custom machined. It seems like a fairly straightforward project for a machinist, but a machinist I am not so that is a guess. The best solution I've seen is what Collings is using:

I've been in contact with the company that makes them for Collings, but it isn't financially feasible to have 3 singular tailpieces made.

My thought is that the string bar is the important part. All three would use the same stock and profile, with custom lengths and custom string holes depending on the instrument it is for. From there I can use pre-existing trapeze tailpiece parts for the rest and add my custom string bars.

My only hesitation there is the string tension on the 10 string 'cello and the gauge of the sheet metal used to attach to the body of the instrument. My guess is standard gauge would be fine, but we are talking a fair bit of tension involved.

I'm thinking nickel plated brass for these custom string bars.

All this to say, does anyone have any leads or experience?

Baron Collins-Hill

Prof_Stack 01-15-2022 11:05 PM

Contact and see what they have, or suggest. They are located in Seattle and do mainly online and phone orders.

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