What's the scoop on ES-335s with the trapeze tailpiece?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by E5RSY, Nov 2, 2018.

  1. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

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    When I got my '66 Epiphone Riviera it had the dual trapeze tailpiece. After about ten years I had a stop tailpiece put on it. I couldn't hear a bit of difference other then maybe a bit more sustain. It holds tune a lot better then before.

    That's what I know.
     
  2. coldengray

    coldengray Tele-Meister

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    My Bigsby equipped 335 stays in tune no problem, provided I properly wrap/loop the strings at the tuners. That’s a must in general.

    Someone asked about nylon saddles - those absolutely killed my sustain so swapped them out. Definitely didn’t make the strings more “alive”, quite the opposite in fact.
     
  3. jayyj

    jayyj Tele-Afflicted

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    330s with Bigsbys can be more problematic than 335s due to the step break angle caused by the bridge being set further into the body and therefore closer to the Bigsby. My experience of them is that they can be set up to play properly if the nut and saddles are perfect, but they are a bit finicky. If it has the standard 7/8" spring you might find a 1" helps a little.

    One option that might improve it if the saddles and nut slots already look good is to shim the bottom of the Bigsby so it sits a little higher. Adding 3-4mm is surprisingly un-noticeable and it decreases the break angle so there's less pressure down on the saddles, so less chance of the strings binding on them. This is the shimmed Bigsby on my 355 - you can't tell from the front anything's different about it. The shims are ebony blocks an inch long under each screw.

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Texsunburst59

    Texsunburst59 Tele-Afflicted

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    WOW!!

    Thanks for the heads up info on the Bigsby shim.

    I'm going to have to give it a try.

    It's just sad having the guitar with a Bigsby and not being able to use it because of the tuning issues.
     
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  5. noah330

    noah330 Friend of Leo's

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    I agree with you. A properly done 335 conversion is a great guitar. A lot of them were done wrong and when they're botched the trapeze is the way to go.
     
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  6. mad dog

    mad dog Friend of Leo's

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    My '66 ES-335 came stock with the trapeze. I'm no expert, but always thought most of the old ones did.

    I've played many others too. The trapeze is much preferable to me. Feels different, sounds different. I suspect the trapeze setup is an essential part or why my 335 sounds so good. I would never change it.
     
  7. jayyj

    jayyj Tele-Afflicted

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    See my previous post! Trapeze was standard on 335s and 345s from '65-81.
     
  8. fjrabon

    fjrabon Tele-Holic

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    There’s also a product called a “biggsfix” that essentially raises the front bar of the bigsby (it’s reversible so doesn’t harm value). This will also dramatically lessen the break angle which is better for tuning stability. The Gretsch people swear by then, and I have one on an SG. Works great. It does changes to tonality a smidge and makes wolftones more likely I think.

    https://bricksbiggsfix.com/product/btsv3/
     
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  9. Texsunburst59

    Texsunburst59 Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks FJ for the heads up on the Biggs fix.

    I'm going to have to do some research and see what guys think who've installed it on their Bigsby's .
     
  10. Donelson

    Donelson Tele-Afflicted

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    ES335 with trapeze tailpiece has equal sustain, all that, to a stop tailpiece model. That statement is based on my having and gigging extensively with two trapeze 335's from 60's and 70's, and also a later model with stop tailpiece. I don't fear trapezes, I love jazz boxes. They generally "sustain" as well as solidbodies. My opinion.
     
  11. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

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    Just packing my vintage ES 345 w' Trapeze to play out tonight.

    I find it has more character and range than my Les Paul - the semi body, the trapeze, low output pickups... all contribute their bits. I personally think the trapeze adds a bit of 'air' or presence to the tone - but could be other things.

    Have never had a worry, a lack of tone I wanted or any other issue with my 345 or my '64 Casino.

    With top wrapping a Les Paul, break angle is little different too.
     
  12. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

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    1541354227259.jpg
     
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  13. Marc Muller

    Marc Muller Tele-Holic

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    OK, in the case I found the original tune o matic bridge. Not sure why it was changed. Better to change back to original for tone, playability, tuning? Also weird, the double dots that are usually on the 12th fret of the binding are on the 15th fret? Is this normal or a mistake?
     
  14. Marc Muller

    Marc Muller Tele-Holic

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    OK, in the case I found the original tune o matic bridge. Not sure why it was changed. Better to change back to original for tone, playability, tuning? Also weird, the double dots that are usually on the 12th fret of the binding are on the 15th fret? Is this normal or a mistake?
     
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