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Source for repro 53 LP trapeze tailpiece

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by mertzy, Sep 18, 2009.

  1. mertzy

    mertzy TDPRI Member

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  2. cmatthes

    cmatthes Tele-Meister

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    Aaaarrrrggghhh!!

    Why couldn't that have turned up a few years ago? I sold my '53 that had been converted, largely because I couldn't find one of those - repro or original - and gave up on getting it back to spec.

    Ah well...

    I have a contact in Gibson's Custom Shop now though. I'll check with him to see.

    That's at a great price so far though! A repro would cost more than it's currently going for in that auction.

    What are you building?
     
  3. mertzy

    mertzy TDPRI Member

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    That is a great price, if it holds I may snipe that one.

    It's actually a repair/alteration. I recently picked up a 1980's MIJ Burny Les Paul, refin, headstock repair, missing parts.

    I'm going to rebuild it as either a 53 or 54 gold top w/ P-90's, and a stinger to cover the repair. I read that you can over wrap the 53 trapeze tailpiece and it fits the modern neck angle LP style guitars.
     
  4. Engraver-60

    Engraver-60 Friend of Leo's

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    From an episode of Antiques Roadshow, that trapeze tailpiece made the early LP's less valuable because it's uncomfortable to have in the way of most people's right hands. The next model LP's without them (late '53-ish) commanded much higher prices FWIW.

    And from a book I just read about Les Paul, "Les Paul, An merican Original" by Shaughnessy, that was one of the only parts of the Gibson R&D design that he (Les Paul) insisted on which they did not have on the design originally. He used to play a muted style that the trapeze allowed. The rest of the LP design was solely by Gibson R&D (McCarty and his bunch), not as most belive Les himself. They just needed his endorsement to help sell guitars, and he got royalties for every guitar with his name on it. That's my little bit of trivial knowledge for tonight. (-:
     
  5. fishtownmike

    fishtownmike Tele-Meister

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  6. cmatthes

    cmatthes Tele-Meister

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    If I was doing a conversion, I'd DEFINITELY make it like a '54, rather than a '52/'53.

    Mgdesigns is correct - the trapeze version is a lot harder to play, and isn't as stable. If you're doing a lot of string bending it's also not all that great (frets out in the higher frets, slips out of tune). My '53 was converted by the original owner to a stop tail/tunOmatic in the late '60s for that very reason.

    One of my favorite LPs is a '54 RI, not that that helps you much! :)
     
  7. iansmitchell

    iansmitchell Tele-Afflicted

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    The trapeze doesn't really intonate, either.
    Go for a '54 with bigsby. they're sexy.
     
  8. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I'm thinking a machine shop could make the bar and you could use the rest from a 335. I've heard about this place but never used them.

    http://www.emachineshop.com/

    and this is gold from Allparts.com but you get the idea.

    TP-0410-002 - Gold Trapeze Tailpiece

    marty
     
  9. mertzy

    mertzy TDPRI Member

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    I think I'm agreeing with the general consensus that I should go for a '54. I already have a pigtail that I bought for another build (was going to attempt a Gustavson Bluesmaster from scratch but that will have to wait), either that or the aluminum Wilkinson that GFS sells.

    I love the look of the trapeze but I think it will add variables that I am probably not qualified to deal with.

    Should the more modern type intonatable bridges, such as the Wilkinson, be mounted on an angle like an original '54 or should they be straighter like a modern TOM.
     
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