Aftermarket sources for R4 parts?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by bluesdoc, Oct 6, 2008.

  1. bluesdoc

    bluesdoc Gold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    13,150
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA
    I picked up a '96 R4 this weekend and would like to change the bridge (the portion where the string wraps up out of the exit hole is irregularly notched) and consider other stuff. Is there any 'go-to' source for parts for this beast? Or highly recommended upgrades? It plays and sounds amazing, despite violating all my guitar requirements (it's heavy, no body/arm carves, blah, blah, blah). I'm not attached to keeping it exact. I'm going to pull off the dial spike as soon as I dig up some surface washers. Etc, etc.

    jon
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2008
  2. twinrider1

    twinrider1 Member

    Messages:
    12,842
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2005
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
  3. fullerplast

    fullerplast Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,792
    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Pigtail is considered to be one of the best. The shape of the top for the string breakover is key to intonation and how the string vibrates. The Gibson OEM is pretty poor in that regard.

    If you want adjustment, tonepros makes a very good adjustable stop tail.

    Here's the Pigtail (right) vs Gibson:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. bluesdoc

    bluesdoc Gold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    13,150
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA
  5. fullerplast

    fullerplast Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,792
    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Haven't seen that, nor do I know anybody that uses it, but it looks interesting.

    My personal opinion is that the best coupling from string to body occurs with the fewest number of connected parts. That's a big part of the R4 (and PRS stoptail) formula. Once you start adding separate adjustable parts for intonation, you start to slowly degrade that coupling. So if you can make a solid tailpiece work for you (and it usually can), IMHO you will be better off than with an adjustable tailpiece. (Of course if you can't intonate with a solid tailpiece, then that minor coupling advantage is of little importance.)
     
  6. bluesdoc

    bluesdoc Gold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    13,150
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Well, my intonation is definitely a bit off with the stock tailpiece and it doesn't seem to me to be correctable with the post set screws. I don't think there's any way to achieve correct intonation without a two step staggering. That said, I'm not sure it matters for my style of playing. Slightly off just doesn't stand out in the rock this guitar is for in my life and bands. Of course, I could be wrong. I've never had a guitar with this absence of adjustability, other than the prs, which works so damn well.

    jon
     
  7. fullerplast

    fullerplast Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,792
    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Here is a good Pigtail adjustable.

    There are also solid compensated tailpieces, similar to the PRS, like this one, or the old "lightning bolt" design.

    Still, the stock vintage style Pigtail intonates much better than the Gibson due to the more defined "V" shape vs the Gibson "U" shape.
     
  8. bluesdoc

    bluesdoc Gold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    13,150
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Thanks for your replies and suggestions, guys, and fullerplast in particular.

    Another thing - the more I play this, the more I see the need for either larger strap buttons, or locking ones. I've never needed either before with my other very light guitars or the massive diameter PRS buttons. Suggestions for that?

    jon
     

Share This Page