ES 335 Trapeze or bar Tailpiece ?

goodtone

Silver Supporting Member
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879
In my opinion most guitarists favor ES335's with the stop tailpiece over the trapeze style . Has anyone owned and played ES335's with both styles of ( trapeze vs stop ) and what would be your take on both. As usual I'm curious if a trapeze would sustain and chime as well as the bar stop tailpiece . Just wondering if pulling the plug on a 70's trapeze style ES335 is worth it or should I hold out for the stop tailpiece one
 

phatster

Member
Messages
733
I have had both and the differences are there!The stop bar sustains better than the trapeze but the trapeze sounds fuller and louder w/o an amp...so if you are just playing at home with minimal volume I like the trapeze better,for gigs its the stop bar.If you are looking for chime the trapeze is a little more harmonic/shimmer.Thats my .02.:munch
 

musicman1

Member
Messages
5,339
My '76 had the trapeze tailpiece which I later converted to a stop tail piece.

I found the gtr had less string tension using the stop tail piece as the trapese increases the string length and as a result became easier to play and a hell of a lot easier to re-string.

Tonally, I dont remember any real difference between the two tailpieces but I also changed the pickups.
 

Rotten

Gold Supporting Member
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6,755
I have a '73 335 that used to have a trapeze. Now it has a stop tail piece by way of a Kahler. The trapeze was prone to a bit of shifting. the Kahler sucked all the life out of the guitar. The stop tail piece increased stability and sustain. In all honesty, my stupid decision in the '80s left me a bit uglier guitar, but it really became a great instrument once I put in the stop. Here's a pic:

Alex013-1.jpg
 

KRosser

Member
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14,707
I've owned both and liked both, though they are indeed different beasts -

The simplest way I could put it is that the trapeze to me accentuates the 'hollow' aspect while the stop accentuates the 'solid'.

In a very rough nutshell....
 

PKAZ

Member
Messages
104
I have a '71 335 with trapeze and a recent historic 335 with a stop tail. KRosser has it right... the trapeze is more "hollow" sounding.. the stop is more "solid" sounding. But both are quite similar in sound.
I love the sound and look of the trapeze, but prefer the feel and comfort of playing one with a stop tail (I rest my palm between the bridge and tailpiece).
 

Dana Olsen

Platinum Supporting Member
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7,956
I've owned both and liked both, though they are indeed different beasts -

The simplest way I could put it is that the trapeze to me accentuates the 'hollow' aspect while the stop accentuates the 'solid'.

In a very rough nutshell....
Yeah, I'm with Ken too. I have a '59 dot neck, and I've had a '65 ES-335, and a '64 ES-345 that I foolishly converted to a stop bar as well. The conversion DID make the guitar sound better overall, I just regret modding an original instrument.

My pal Pete had a very average sounding and playing '68 ES-335 with a trapeze. He converted it to a stop bar, and it became a GREAT guitar. The stop bar really woke up the guitar.

As far as "holding out" for a stud ES-335, if you're talking about an original instrument, that's some major bucks these days. Some of the reissues are quite nice for way less money, and at the prices of '60's 335's, I'm not sure if buying one now and converting it would be a good investment at all.

Try out some of the reissues - some are pretty cool guitars. Swap the pickups and I bet you'd be thrilled.

Dana O.
 

KRosser

Member
Messages
14,707
As far as "holding out" for a stud ES-335, if you're talking about an original instrument, that's some major bucks these days. Some of the reissues are quite nice for way less money, and at the prices of '60's 335's, I'm not sure if buying one now and converting it would be a good investment at all.

Try out some of the reissues - some are pretty cool guitars. Swap the pickups and I bet you'd be thrilled.

Dana O.

Absolutely - I think in particular the 80's Gibsons are really under-coveted.
 

mad dog

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,207
My 66 ES-335 is stock with the trapeze. I've played many newer and older with the stoptail. Considered swapping the trapeze out for the longest time, in pursuit of the ultimate in playability, finally realized mine sounds too good the way it is to mess with. There's a "zingy" sound, for lack of a better term, with the trapeze. More sustain, more solid-body like with the stop-tail.
 

amc

Member
Messages
3,140
What kind of music do you play?
IMHO....

Stop tailpiece- Rock and blues (if you bend strings as part of your playing)
Trapeze tailpiece- Jazz, swing, bebop

Obviously, YMMV

amc
 

English Jim

Member
Messages
632
What kind of music do you play?
IMHO....

Stop tailpiece- Rock and blues (if you bend strings as part of your playing)
Trapeze tailpiece- Jazz, swing, bebop

Obviously, YMMV

amc

+1

I loved my '72 trapeze for jazz stuff in the studio - despite it's skinny neck but for more rocky and live stuff always prefered the stop tp. I think the stop tp is more versatile also. Only way to go - get both!
 

gadzooka

Member
Messages
507
My 66 ES-335 is stock with the trapeze. I've played many newer and older with the stoptail. Considered swapping the trapeze out for the longest time, in pursuit of the ultimate in playability, finally realized mine sounds too good the way it is to mess with. There's a "zingy" sound, for lack of a better term, with the trapeze. More sustain, more solid-body like with the stop-tail.

That describes it well (as do some of the other posts here). I have a '67 ES-335 with trapeze, and I would never alter it. I briefly had a '68 ES-345 that was converted to stop tail and it sounded less open or airy in the attack of the notes...more solid-body like. I enjoy both, but I'm really fond of the trapeze for both look and tone.
 

franksguitar

Member
Messages
3,683
I've had both one stock 1990 ES335 with a stop I curently have. I had 1970 ES335 with trapeze and a 64 ES345 that came with a changed bridge and trapeze. I had the bridge put back to a vintage tunamatic and had a well known guitar repairman put on a vintage stop tail. Never regretted it except for selling it later. I do prefer the sound and focus of a stop tail
 

Lawn Jockey

Member
Messages
5,747
I've had both..a '71 TDW..and a 07 Dot Reissue (Gloss). I prefer the stop tailpiece without a doubt. The trapeze isn't bad, just different.
 

amc

Member
Messages
3,140
Here is my 1965 Trini Lopez with a stop tailpiece (a conversion from trapeze)

IMG_0461.jpg
 

JSeth

Member
Messages
2,649
Goodtone - I have a '74 ES-345 that came with a trapeze... I loved the guitar but it would not stay tuned... or even close! I changed to a stop tailpiece and it was a little better, but nothing really worked until I (gasp!) had a kahler locking nut/tremelo installed - now, older and wiser (lol), I should have kept the beast stock and bought a different guitar, but I love the way this one plays and sounds (contrary to the other post saying the kahler "sucked the life" out of his...) and love the look w/ the kahler and the pickguard removed... She's a beauty!
By the way, I agree w/ one poster who said "if you tend to bend strings" the post is better...IMO,
John Seth
 




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