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  1. #1
    Les Paul Forum Member CatManDoo88's Avatar
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    Best/Most Vintage Accurate Repro Bridges and Tailpieces?

    When I was changing strings and oiling my fretboard tonight, I went to take my tailpiece off and the one side snagged on the post a little and when it came off a big chunk of nickel plating chipped off. I was shocked because I am pretty gentle with my guitar. Needless to say, it doesn't look pretty and I would like to replace the tailpiece. My CS9 has a VOS finish and it seems no one does their aging exactly the same. I figure I might as well replace the bridge at the same time so that the hardware looks consistent. What's the most accurate and sounding options out there? I've replaced a few things on my guitar with CreamTone Absolute Vintage parts, which I adore, but they don't seem to be selling nickel tailpieces or bridge currently. I understand Pigtail parts are well regarded, but I understand that they age rather quickly and turn dark. I would prefer to keep the hardware looking lightly aged. Any recommendations?

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member fernieite's Avatar
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    Re: Best/Most Vintage Accurate Repro Bridges and Tailpieces?

    I don't know what's the best or most accurate, but I have a Pigtail bridge and tailpiece. I've had these on the guitar for 10 or more years and haven't had them turn black. I think that was a bad batch of plating or something that happened years ago and was corrected.

    Have you tried contacting Lonnie at CreamTone? Maybe he has another batch coming in the near future? Doesn't Mark's sell the same stuff?
    https://www.marksguitarloft.com/cata...at=accessories

  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member CatManDoo88's Avatar
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    Re: Best/Most Vintage Accurate Repro Bridges and Tailpieces?

    Thanks, fernieite. I did contact Lonnie, who advised that they were not offering Absolute Vintage bridge or tailpiece going forward due to plating issues with the tailpiece and the fact that they cannot put the required "Gibson ABR-1" marks on the underside of the bridge to constitute a true reproduction. He did advise that their other tailpiece and bridge is at least equal to the stock Gibson Historic parts, which is very tempting because I really love the look of their LIX patina.

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member Old Flame's Avatar
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    Re: Best/Most Vintage Accurate Repro Bridges and Tailpieces?

    Pigtail. Ithink the website is pigtail.com

    Awsome stuff, I have their ABR-1 bridge - excellent!
    Everything has its price.

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Best/Most Vintage Accurate Repro Bridges and Tailpieces?

    The folks at Crazy Parts have some great looking stuff.
    A smile relieves a heart that grieves.

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member Skydogfan81's Avatar
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    Re: Best/Most Vintage Accurate Repro Bridges and Tailpieces?

    I've had pigtail hardware for a decade and all is fine (not black). The best stuff!
    Get Something out of Everything!

  7. #7

    Re: Best/Most Vintage Accurate Repro Bridges and Tailpieces?

    I got a set of pigtails recently and one of my saddle screws couldn’t fit and the slot had to be filed. The studs for the tailpiece were of the wrong size as well and my tailpiece had to be filed down for it to fit. Kinda iffy for the asking price.

    that said, they do look and sound the business!

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Best/Most Vintage Accurate Repro Bridges and Tailpieces?

    Quote Originally Posted by iknowpeanuts View Post
    I got a set of pigtails recently and one of my saddle screws couldn’t fit and the slot had to be filed. The studs for the tailpiece were of the wrong size as well and my tailpiece had to be filed down for it to fit. Kinda iffy for the asking price.

    that said, they do look and sound the business!
    I agree.
    I've had problems with 2 guitars and Pigtail's stop tail piece. 1) 2009 R9, Pigtail tail piece and studs do not fit at all, their too wide. I barely got the stop piece to work by using Retospec studs that fit looser. 2) 74 Custom that previous owner had chromed everything and I wanted to put it back to gold. Same problem as the R9. I ended up using the Pigtail studs and a tail piece from Philadelphia Luthier that I had. Not going to file the tail pieces because the plating chips, been there and done it!
    No problems with the bridges and the R9 really improved a lot.
    Last edited by maxwedge; 06-28-19 at 06:53 AM.
    53 LP, '09 R9 LP, '62 & '64 SG juniors, '06 R6 Goldtop, '06 LP Special VOS, '67 ES-330, '59-61?? Double Mandolin and a few Fenders, Voxs and Hagstroms, 1947 L7 and 1937-41 L30 archtops
    ___________
    Scott

  9. #9

    Re: Best/Most Vintage Accurate Repro Bridges and Tailpieces?

    Quote Originally Posted by maxwedge View Post
    I agree.
    I've had problems with 2 guitars and Pigtail's stop tail piece. 1) 2009 R9, Pigtail tail piece and studs do not fit at, all their too wide. I barely got the stop piece to work by using Retospec studs that fit looser. 2) 74 Custom that previous owner had chromed everything and I wanted to put it back to gold. Same problem as the R9. I ended up using the Pigtail studs and a tail piece from Philadelphia Luthier that I had. Not going to file the tail pieces because the plating chips, been there and done it!
    No problems with the bridges and the R9 really improved a lot.
    I feel your pain. I ordered the parts on two separate occasions and I thought it was just my arse luck that both times there was an issue with the parts. Quite a bit was taken off; not sure if it will chip in the future but i'll worry about it another day. I matched the abr-1 with lonnie's studs and thumbwheels and i kind of like the look of it. My guitar has never sounded better as a result, so they're staying.





  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Best/Most Vintage Accurate Repro Bridges and Tailpieces?

    Yeah, the Pigtail is too wide and you had to file the outside ear. Part of the problem or all of it, is that the area where it hooks on the stud, the diameter of their studs is about .030" greater than original 50's studs. I matched up the tail piece with a 53, 74 and R9 and it look the same to me. Different studs is the solution imo.
    53 LP, '09 R9 LP, '62 & '64 SG juniors, '06 R6 Goldtop, '06 LP Special VOS, '67 ES-330, '59-61?? Double Mandolin and a few Fenders, Voxs and Hagstroms, 1947 L7 and 1937-41 L30 archtops
    ___________
    Scott

  11. #11

    Re: Best/Most Vintage Accurate Repro Bridges and Tailpieces?

    Quote Originally Posted by maxwedge View Post
    Yeah, the Pigtail is too wide and you had to file the outside ear. Part of the problem or all of it, is that the area where it hooks on the stud, the diameter of their studs is about .030" greater than original 50's studs. I matched up the tail piece with a 53, 74 and R9 and it look the same to me. Different studs is the solution imo.
    Your solution is much more sensible; for me I was just too tired to source for another set of studs lol. How tight is the fit of the retrospec stud in the bushing though? I liked the snug fit of the pigtail stud and bushing which was a big part of the reason i decided to keep the set

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member Hot_Snake's Avatar
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    Re: Best/Most Vintage Accurate Repro Bridges and Tailpieces?

    For the tailpiece DMC were great.
    Montreux looks great and are available.

    For the studs : Retrospec.

  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Best/Most Vintage Accurate Repro Bridges and Tailpieces?

    Quote Originally Posted by iknowpeanuts View Post
    Your solution is much more sensible; for me I was just too tired to source for another set of studs lol. How tight is the fit of the retrospec stud in the bushing though? I liked the snug fit of the pigtail stud and bushing which was a big part of the reason i decided to keep the set
    They fit good in the stock historic bushings so I didn't use the Pigtail bushings.
    53 LP, '09 R9 LP, '62 & '64 SG juniors, '06 R6 Goldtop, '06 LP Special VOS, '67 ES-330, '59-61?? Double Mandolin and a few Fenders, Voxs and Hagstroms, 1947 L7 and 1937-41 L30 archtops
    ___________
    Scott

  14. #14

    Re: Best/Most Vintage Accurate Repro Bridges and Tailpieces?

    the tailpiece/stud dimensions are all over the place ... DMC tailpiece with PigTail studs ? big gap .. True Historic tailpiece with Pigtail studs ?? zero gap .. there are no standards to my knowledge, it's all hit and miss .. I just measure the gap/lean between the tailpiece and stud with a feeler gauge, use some shim stock of the correct thickness, create a 1/2" circle, file out the inside bridge stud dimension, pop it in between the tailpiece and stud .. it's invisible, no gap or lean between tailpiece/studs .. and tailpiece sits level which I believe is the way God and Gibson designed it, cost of material ?? maybe $1.00 max and one hour of time .. easy peasy

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