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ES 335 Trapeze or bar Tailpiece ?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by goodtone, Feb 10, 2008.

  1. goodtone

    goodtone Member

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    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
     
  2. phatster

    phatster Member

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    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
     
  3. musicman1

    musicman1 Member

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    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.
     
  4. Rotten

    Rotten Silver Supporting Member

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    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:

    [​IMG]
     
  5. KRosser

    KRosser Member

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    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....
     
  6. PKAZ

    PKAZ Member

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    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).
     
  7. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    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.
     
  8. goodtone

    goodtone Member

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    Thanks everyone for the info it's appreciated !
     
  9. KRosser

    KRosser Member

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

    mad dog Silver Supporting Member

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    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.
     
  11. amc

    amc Member

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    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
     
  12. English Jim

    English Jim Member

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    +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!
     
  13. gadzooka

    gadzooka Member

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    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.
     
  14. franksguitar

    franksguitar Member

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    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
     
  15. Lawn Jockey

    Lawn Jockey Member

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    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.
     
  16. amc

    amc Member

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    Here is my 1965 Trini Lopez with a stop tailpiece (a conversion from trapeze)

    [​IMG]
     
  17. JSeth

    JSeth Member

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    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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