Hi all!

Have any of you built a cbg with a violin-style tailpiece, one that is fixed by a cord to a tailpin and essentially floats rather than being hard to the body? How did it work out? I'm building a couple of baritone scale guitars and thought such a tailpiece might make it easier to find strings long enough.

FWIW, I've built a lyre with this style tailpiece and swapped out the tails on my viola before, but I've never tried one on a guitar.

All thioughts appreciated.

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Hi, it would work ok if a few things are considered first. I have made my violin-style tailpieces. You need to get a size that suits the bridge position, height, and the string  back angle required.

Depending on the scale used and the size of the box, you may find the tailpiece too close to the bridge.

But it would work ok I reckon.

Thanks for the info. That's the kind of thing I was wondering. To be honest, I've never really understood why bowed instruments use that style of tailpiece. Sometimes I think the whole string section just likes being stuck in the 1600s. (Yes, wooden tuning pegs, I'm looking at you!)

Hi Justin, yes it's been a slow rate of change for the violin in the past 400 years or so. nothing much has changed since the time of Stradivarius.

Everything on a violin comes about by careful calculation, this includes the length of the strings from behind the bridge to the tailpiece itself.

You mentioned the use of wooden tuning pegs, well, strange as it may seem these are one of the parts of the violin that have changed. You can get them with internal gears but still look like traditional ebony pegs and do not rely on a friction fit.
Chears taff

I've seen those, but never had a chance to try them out. I keep toying with the idea of building a cigar box cello, but I would probably just use standard tuners on it.

Sure, why not. Will likely have to trim it to get a length that will work, as Taff mentioned.

Is the trapeze tailpiece found on many archtop guitars not a variation on a theme (violin tailpiece)?

I think it is, though I'm not sure if a trapeze tail is hooked by string/cable or screwed to the body. I need to look at some.

Thanks for the reply!

A trapeze style tailpiece for an arch top guitar is screwed to the body, but a violin style tailpiece is secured with a cord around a peg & held in place by the pull of string tension? These kind of tailpiece’s aren’t used on flat top’s, they benefit contoured top instruments more, but if your a no rules guy, have at it, there’s more than one way to skin a cat. I would use a top loading hard tail bridge because you don’t need a tailpiece & the string will anchor close to saddle, so you don’t have to worry about string length? Gitty has some kool affordable tailpiece’s & they’re made right there at the warehouse? Good luck on the build :) 



Hi Justin, shown here is a tailpiece I have just finished making for a customer's guitar and fitting it to the guitar has caused me to try many different fitting methods.

These wooden tailpieces are often found on upmarket custom arch-top guitars, the problem I had was that this guitar has a thinner body so the normal cello tail nylon was too long. I tried many other "cords" even a motorcycle throttle cable, but they all stretched.

So, I have ordered a couple of trapeze-style tailpieces and plan to cut off the tailpiece at the hinge area and fit the hinge to the wooden tailpiece and screw it to the guitar as mentioned by Brian.

PS... those geared pegs are crazy expensive
Is there a cigar box big enough for a Cello, Hahaha.
I have fitted electric bass guitar tuners to some cello's, instead if the normal friction pegs.

Thanks for posting this! I missed seeing it earlier, but that is exactly what I was wondering about.

 Very good thread. I am interested in this myself. 

 Taffy, gorgeous piece of work there. Is it iroko?

Hi, thanks for the nice comments, Ray.
I have finally finished the piece and it's fitted to the guitar, and more importantly, the customer is happy. He gave me the timber and I forgot to ask what it was. If you use this style of tailpiece you will need a much higher bridge if used with a flat top. This will also mean a backward set neck.

here's one I built for a flat top CBG style fiddle...

Enjoy, Taff


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