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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Prewar Chrome Tailpiece

Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link:

keithmcgreggor - Posted - 03/23/2021:  13:25:25

Friends, I just acquired a very fine 1930 Style 4 conversion (9553-44).  Greg Earnest was kind enough to visit with me recently and has put it upon his site:

As you can see from the pictures, it's currently got a punched prewar Presto on it, but I want to get it back to factory original hardware.  So, I'm in search of a chrome prewar 4-hump Grover "clamshell" tailpiece.

Any of you have one in a parts drawer that you might want to part with?   Let me know!

- Keith

ChunoTheDog - Posted - 03/23/2021:  13:55:20

Congrats on a lovely Style 4!

DSmoke - Posted - 03/23/2021:  16:58:24

Wouldn't the factory original chrome tailpiece be for only 4 strings?

The Old Timer - Posted - 03/23/2021:  17:16:44

Oh congrats, I was sniffing around the banjo a little myself!

I have also been looking for chromium 4 hump tailpieces, new repros. Plenty of nice looking nickel plated ones, but for chrome, the only supply seems to be Chinese (not Czech) and has the "closed" bar for a 5 string, at the tip, instead of the two feets on the usual ones.

If you find two old ones, please let me know!

Good luck in your search.

Again, handsome banjo! Happy for you.

Oldtwanger - Posted - 03/23/2021:  17:49:08


Originally posted by DSmoke

Wouldn't the factory original chrome tailpiece be for only 4 strings?

Yes, Dan, they were designed for four strings, but Gibson used them on RB's by drilling a small hole under the lid to accommodate the third string.

Edited by - Oldtwanger on 03/23/2021 17:49:57

GStump - Posted - 03/23/2021:  21:36:42

Correct, the far majority would have had the 4 hump grover clamshell, with chrome plating. A very few may have had a nickel clamshell, or a nickel presto, and even fewer something else (parts shortages, intentionally putting something on it other than the "usual" tailpiece;) having said that - a very few may have also had a CHROME presto, of which I have seen, I think, exactly two in my life..... no doubt much more rare than even the gold plated presto, of which I have seen 3.....

southerndrifter - Posted - 03/24/2021:  05:07:30

Congrats! I have a littermate, 9553-29! Chrome-plated 4 hump clamshell tailpieces are quite difficult to find. The 30s style 4 and also the style 12 used them, but no other models. I have never seen an original Presto chrome-plated tailpiece. I asked Jim Mills about the chrome Presto and he said he had never seen one either. Unless you are really lucky, a reproduction may be as close as you can get.

LouZee Picker - Posted - 03/24/2021:  05:37:41

First congrats on your new Style 4 purchase Keith!!! Good luck on your quest, Interesting thread, for me anyway. Lol. I too , own a style 4 and many times thought about posting a want ad for an extra prewar tailpiece just in case my original might break on my style 4 but I figured they were scarce as hens teeth. So I just took mine off and stored it away along with the original neck & put a Jerry Keyes punched prewar Presto on it. It makes it a whole lot easier for string changes anyway.


lazyarcher - Posted - 03/24/2021:  07:34:29

I was in the same situation when I bought 9466-X. I found a Grover clam that was on a Maybell banjo and had it replated..nickle because my 4 was an original nickle plated from the factory, but you could have one chrome plated as well.
Noam Pikelny had one for sale but don't know if its still available.

RioStat - Posted - 03/24/2021:  13:23:26

Is this what you guys are talking about?

This is a repro, obviously. I believe I took this off of a Japanese "Masterclone" back in the ...80's?....90's? and I've never used it since

BanjoLink - Posted - 03/24/2021:  21:07:10

I have a four, but I have not taken it out of the case in such a long time I don't remember what tailpiece is on it. I do know that the tension hoop is nickel. The entire banjo looks like it has never been touched, so I guess the hoop can be original, but always assumed that it had been replaced many years ago.

Bob Rodgers - Posted - 03/25/2021:  12:41:08

FYI Chrome plating has to be nickel plated first to Chrome Plate. If you locate a Chrome plated part. A plater can remove the Chrome and you have a Nickel plated part. A 5 Minutes Job. Small Charge for removing chrome.. It dipped for 4-5 minutes Chrome is gone.

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