Replacing the metal stop bar on a Casino with a wooden bar

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by Gogogoch, Jun 23, 2021.

  1. Gogogoch

    Gogogoch Tele-Meister

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    Hi,

    Hope it’s okay to post this as it’s kind of connected to a previous post about a rattling trapeze tailpiece. Just wondered if anyone has ever replaced the metal stop bar on a Casino with a wooden bar. This is the suggest of a local luthier who has offered to build one as a solution to the tailpiece rattle where the ball ends of the strings are vibrating really loudly on the stock trapeze tailpiece.
    Just wondered what the opinions of the experienced and knowledgable folks here are? Thanks.
     

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  2. vhilts1

    vhilts1 Tele-Holic

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    I suspect it would move towards a lo-fi tone I’d tend to like
     
  3. Gogogoch

    Gogogoch Tele-Meister

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    Thanks. I’m using the Casino in a 1960s band but also for my own songs, which are largely fingerstyle, so that might work okay. Cheers.
     
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  4. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Friend of Leo's

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    Never seen that specifically done, but no reason not to. If you don't like it, you could always file the holes in the metal trapeze so the ball ends make contact. I'm assuming some part of the twist is hanging up leaving the ball end rattling. Otherwise it would have tension on it.
     
  5. Wallaby

    Wallaby Friend of Leo's

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    You might try using leftover ball-ends as spacers on each string at the tailpiece and see if it helps the rattle?

    I do this with a wrap-tail guitar I have to avoid bending the string too close to the ball.

    Just a thought.

     
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  6. Crafty Fox

    Crafty Fox Tele-Afflicted

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    Hmmm, you've given me an idea.......I wonder if that's where the buzzing in my Casino is coming from?
     
  7. Gogogoch

    Gogogoch Tele-Meister

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    In my previous post on the rattling tailpiece, I found that shoving a piece of foam between the ball end of the strings and the trapeze tailpiece cured most of the rattle, but somewhat at the expense of tone. I can live with it, but I’d rather get the best out the instrument rather than compromising, hence considering the wooden stop bar. I wonder if it’s a common issue with Epi Casinos. I’d be interested to know if this helps you solve the buzzing on yours.
     
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  8. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Properly anchored, a string ball wedges into a recess and the string that's wrapped around it pulls hard against the groove in the ball. There should be nothing loose enough to rattle or buzz between the stop bar, the ball and the string. Everything should be tight.

    If this guitar were on my bench, I would take about 15 minutes to isolate the source of the rattle. Chances are extremely good that it's not the tailpiece that's the source of the noise.

    For example, a loose washer on a string post on the headstock can rattle, and the sound often appears to be coming from the bridge. Same goes for a strap button that's loose on its mounting screw.

    Before you go full-scale slash and burn, take some time to properly evaluate the guitar and nail down the source of the noise. Hollow guitars can be a real adventure because of the moving top and the components and wires mounted to them.

    Basic approach is to replicate the problem and hold a fingertip, chopstick, pencil eraser, or other item against suspected components to dampen any looseness/vibration and see if the problem goes away. Here's a quick and dirty how-to:

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Gogogoch

    Gogogoch Tele-Meister

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    Thanks Peegoo. The foam I’ve stuffed in the tailpiece has definitely reduced and mostly removed the buzz. I think that the lack of break angle on the string ends mean that the whole stop bar vibrates when the strings are struck/plucked. It’s either a design flaw or possibly a cheaply made part. I just can’t decide whether to leave the foam in place and accept it as it is or whether I’d get a ‘better’ sound by following the luthier’s suggestion of building a new stop bar from wood. Cheers.
     
  10. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    I'm not sure I'd go for wood, although I'm not sure the material of the tailpiece makes a difference either (bridge, yes… tailpiece? Mmmh). Before doing anything I'd make sure it's the tailpiece that rattles. On stock Casinos, it's the bridge that's typically rattly and it can be replaced with a better TOM (I put a "harmonica" Gotoh bridge in mine and it stopped rattling). Or perhaps it's just your tailpiece that's bad. Why not get it a drop in replacement?
     
  11. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Doctor of Teleocity

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    You could make a metal bar with holes and countersunk for ball ends. Like original Les Pauls.

    but I’d 100% want to know source of rattle first. On mine it rattles if the discs on the bridge posts work loose.

    None of my Casino’s rattles come out of the amp live.

    1445DF99-E260-48B8-BBAF-3D624E50117B.jpeg
     
  12. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Poster Extraordinaire

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    It is not a "stop bar." A stop bar is something specific, and very different. It is what you have with a Tune-O-Matic when you DON'T have a floating tailpiece, or a vibrato, or a wraparound. https://www.gibson.com/Gear/Tailpieces/PTTP-Stopbar

    I also doubt that the ball ends are rattling in the tailpiece. When the strings are at pitch, all components in the tailpiece are pulled tightly against something else.

    A shallow break angle (such as what you get when you try to use low action with a trapeze tailpiece) can certainly contribute to rattling and buzzing at the bridge, however – especially with cheap bridges. And a low bridge can cause the bottom of the tailpiece to incidentally make contact with the top of the guitar, causing a rattling (why you see a thin strip of felt on the bottom of some tailpieces).

    At any rate, replacing the crossbar on the trapeze with a wood part is about the last thing I'd do to fix this issue. The crossbar being metal almost certainly is not the cause of the rattle.

    Check that your tailpiece is properly/firmly attached to the butt end of the guitar, that the cross bar is tightened to its wire frame, and that the tailpiece isn't contacting the top of the guitar.

    You should also show us how low your action is, and how your bridge and tailpiece are set.

    I have a feeling that this is caused by an unreasonably low action setting, and/or by a wacky neck angle that requires a very low bridge setting (which is actually quite common on cheaper set neck guitars).
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2021
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  13. jayyj

    jayyj Tele-Afflicted

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    I have one with a wooden crossbar, an old Epiphone archtop. It works well, I'm not sure if it effects the tone particularly but it does it's job.

    Where is the earthing wire on a modern Casino? If it goes to the tailpiece as on a vintage one then if you fit a wooden crossbar you'll no longer have the strings connected to earth. You can get round it by running an earth connection out of the F hole under the pickguard and wrap it around the bottom of the bridge post.

    [​IMG]

    It's worth looking at photos of early archtop Gibson L-1s, L-3s and L-4s as well, they used to have a trapeze tailpiece that had a celluloid crossbar with the strings anchored via pins like an acoustic. A bit fiddly in practice - I owned one for a few years - but they looked great and didn't seem to impact the sound particularly.
     
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  14. _MementoMori_

    _MementoMori_ Tele-Afflicted

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    Nice try, Big Brother.
    Beautiful guitar. I love the way the inlays stop at the 15th fret.
     
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