Aluminum tailpiece versus Zinc (Nickel Plate)

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Ud Reks, Jun 19, 2008.

  1. Ud Reks

    Ud Reks Member

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    I'm upgrading the tailpiece on my Epi Elitist LP.

    I'm choosing between a Gotoh Aluminum TP and a Tone Pros standard TP.

    There's only a $10 difference in price, so let's take that out of the equation.

    Does aluminum make that big a difference?
     
  2. The Golden Boy

    The Golden Boy Member

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    I can't actually tell the difference between the lightweight TP and the zinc alloy one. Not tonally, not weight-wise.

    I've got a 98 R8 with the old zinc alloy TP and an 01 R8 with the aluminum TP. I've swapped them out back and forth and not noticed a bit of difference.

    Where you really can hear the difference is when you have a wraparound.

    I don't know if the difference is more pronounced if you top-wrap.
     
  3. jamison162

    jamison162 Supporting Member

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    Hmmm. The lighweight aluminum tailpieces are significantly lighter than standard zinc ones. The lwa will be brighter and more open sounding than the zinc. It your guitar is dark and mid heavy the lwa will be a nice change. If it's on the bright side already, the lwa may not be a good idea.
     
  4. The Golden Boy

    The Golden Boy Member

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    BTW, I did mean, once it's on the guitar. You can totally tell the difference just holding the tailpieces in your hand.

    What I did mean tonally- as a whole unit- the 98 and the 01 have distinctly distinct voices- changing the tailpiece as a part of the TOM system didn't make a noticable difference.

    HOWEVER, if you have a zinc wraparound, like on a JR or Special, using the aluminum TP is amazing- at least it was to me because I had not experienced any change with the R8s.

    Again, I don't know how top wrapping would be affected.
     
  5. straightblues

    straightblues Member

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    They definitely sound different. Now which one sounds better is up to your ears. I have both and I can tell you some guitars sound better with aluminium and some do not.
     
  6. Ud Reks

    Ud Reks Member

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    Thanks, just what I was looking for.
     
  7. Bob V

    Bob V Member

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    Does the TonePros standard tailpiece come with their locking studs? In that case it's a big price difference since a set of those studs is thirty-five bucks alone. The locking studs are supposed to improve tone, not sure about that. However you can't deny that with the locking studs the tailpiece wont fall off when the strings are off. If you happen to do that from time to time to clean the fingerboard or mess with the pickups, it's a nice feature to consider. Otherwise I prefer to change strings one at a time so nothing falls off.

    I do notice that many of the Custom Shop Historics have lightweight tailpieces. I heard that the magnesium alloy (aren't aluminum car wheels really magnesium, too?) requires special machining equipment and safety measures that makes it expensive to manufacture, and also that the source Gibson uses simply can't produce enough for them to use lightweight tailpieces in all of their production. Heard that from the father of a girl whose boyfriend is buying a guitar store where the current owner knows the wife of the guy who makes the tailpieces - so I'm sure the information has not lost anything in the translation...

    Let us know if you like the difference.
     
  8. jamison162

    jamison162 Supporting Member

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  9. omni

    omni Member

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    WOW, the aluminum sounds like crap!
     
  10. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    No way is the tailpiece the only difference between those two clips, and his playing doesn't do much to help any argument to the contrary.

    By the way, with an adjustable bridge, the tailpiece... um, doesn't transfer vibrations to the body. The only difference would be 2 - 3 oz. to the overall weight of the instrument. I've tried both, I can't feel or hear the difference either.
     

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