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May 20, 2019 - 9:02:48 AM
138 posts since 11/13/2018

Hey all,
I'm working on a friends 2005 Gold Star GF100W. Been reading a lot about the set screw in the Presto style TP. The general opinion is to remove it. On this particular one, the hole for the set screw is so low that it makes the heads of the two screws interfere with each other. And there's not enough play in the hole of the adjuster bolt to be able to tilt the bolt to one side to the get the set screw past it.

To get the set screw out I'd have to spread the the tailpiece at one side of the cover flaps hinge points to remove the cover flap so I could remove the adjuster bolt, then I could get the set screw out.

Just wondering if this is typical of most/all Presto style pieces.


 

May 20, 2019 - 9:36:17 AM

138 posts since 11/13/2018

Because of this screw head interference, there's very little adjustment possible with the set screw before the two make contact, so essentially, the only setting for the screw is all the way in.

May 20, 2019 - 9:55:32 AM

11888 posts since 10/30/2008

That's why you get rid of it. There are times you actually NEED access to the "hanger bolt", and that "adjusting screw" is always in the way. Dumb design.

May 20, 2019 - 10:59:16 AM

168 posts since 1/28/2011

It doesn't take much to get the cover off. The detents that hold it in place are shallow and rounded and pop out pretty easily. You probably wont even need a tool. As far as the small screw goes, I drill and tap another hole about 1/4 inch above the existing hole and find that in that location it works very well to adjust the tone on my banjos, and the screws don't interfere with each other.

May 20, 2019 - 11:39:26 AM
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1275 posts since 10/13/2004

I have yet to determine what the sole purpose is for that screw.....Certainly not to adjust the string tension of the head.....All I have found that happens is you either bend or break the tail piece at the bend.....Also, it scours up your tone ring with he screw all the way in.

I do one of two things with the screw.....I either cut if of from the inside of remove it completely.

May 20, 2019 - 12:45:15 PM

10275 posts since 10/27/2006

quote:
Originally posted by clancyc1

I have yet to determine what the sole purpose is for that screw.....


It exists to adjust the string length behind the bridge. This is the purpose of the twin bolts on the Kershner and ODE tailpieces, too—there were others. That's also the function of the tailpiece gut on a bowed stringed instrument.

Back in the days of gut strings and the desire to wrench every last bit of (fill in the blank), some considered this an important adjustment. Bowed string luthiers still do but I doubt that anyone does on a steel stringed banjo. 

Yes, really.

May 20, 2019 - 12:46:53 PM

168 posts since 1/28/2011

The purpose of the screw is to increase or decrease the string pressure on the bridge / head. I have a Deering Deluxe and a custom made banjo, and both have Presto's, modified as explained in my post above. Both are very responsive to the adjustment screws. Sometimes the tone will change from morning to night, or cold room to warm, and a turn or so of the screw will bring the tone right back in. I have never bent or broken a Presto TP. I just push down on the front to release some of the pressure on the screw and then the screw turns easily. I have a Kershner TP and it is fine but I think the Presto's are easier to get the sound i want.

May 20, 2019 - 2:37:59 PM

1275 posts since 10/13/2004

If you want a tailpiece that you want to adjust the string tension on the bridge get one that is designed to do just that......The normal Presto is not designed with that function in mind....The Presto model shown in the link below is designed to do just that........

sagamusic.com/products/product...tem=P-112

Edited by - clancyc1 on 05/20/2019 14:47:58

May 20, 2019 - 3:35:26 PM

300 posts since 12/14/2008

The purpose of that screw originally was to hold the presto in place by touching the screw to the tone ring. The whole floating tailpiece wasn’t designed into their equation yet. I think the floating tail piece that became the presto was kind of an accident, or the screw was an accident. One of the two.. but that little screw does nothing for the tailpiece so we take them out. I believe they thought it would hold it into place but they didn’t know that the string tension alone would do that once set correctly.

May 20, 2019 - 4:11:16 PM

138 posts since 11/13/2018

Thanks all. This appears to be a Golden Gate P-118.

May 21, 2019 - 5:33:25 PM

1275 posts since 10/13/2004

Nope.....That's a P-112 which is of the Presto style that is designed to adjust the string pressure on the head......The P-118 is the regular Presto style with the screw that is of now benefit.....

May 21, 2019 - 7:00:29 PM

138 posts since 11/13/2018

I meant the one I have, looks like a P118 at least given the picture of the 112 at the link above.


 

May 22, 2019 - 6:19:26 PM

1275 posts since 10/13/2004

The P-112 and the P-118 are totally different in how they function, even though they look very similar from the top......The end of the tailpiece is what's different.

May 22, 2019 - 10:53:22 PM

10275 posts since 10/27/2006

"The purpose of the screw is to increase or decrease the string pressure on the bridge / head"

Not on a P-118 which is the tailpiece in the picture. An adjustable P-112 looks like this

 

"The purpose of that screw originally was to hold the presto in place by touching the screw to the tone ring. "

Nope, not at all. That's just one of those things that sounds like it must be so to folks who don't know why it's really there.

It really is designed to adjust the length of the strings behind the bridge. This is also called the after-length or afterlength.   After-length adjustment

May 22, 2019 - 10:55:15 PM

10275 posts since 10/27/2006

quote:
Originally posted by clancyc1

The P-112 and the P-118 are totally different in how they function, even though they look very similar from the top......The end of the tailpiece is what's different.


Yes and you really do have it wrong. The OP has a P-118.

From the top, a P-112 looks like this.

May 23, 2019 - 6:57:01 AM
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1275 posts since 10/13/2004

I can only imagine how that little screw on a Presto tail piece will enhance the sound of a good tone ring when screwed up against the ring, not to mention what it does to the plating on it.......

May 23, 2019 - 7:20:33 AM

5444 posts since 12/10/2003

In my opinion and this is from 35 years of playing experience and building the standard Presto is not a great design the flap and cover likes to rattle and buzz and at the joint its weak.

Deering and cox have them based on the Presto design without the cover and they are thicker and are much much better

May 23, 2019 - 7:21:08 AM

5444 posts since 12/10/2003

Of course as a builder and I think Clancy would probably agree 95% of the people out there wants a presto

May 23, 2019 - 11:03:25 AM

1275 posts since 10/13/2004

I agree Tim, the Presto is the preferred tailpiece of today.... If you don't try to use that screw to put downward pressure of the strings.....Eventually it will break the tailpiece at the bend.....I have observed Deering is using a tailpiece similar to the Presto (without the cover) but is designed to adjust the string tension like the P-112 (Golden Gate) Presto tailpiece.....

May 24, 2019 - 5:35:11 AM
Players Union Member

rudy

USA

14045 posts since 3/27/2004

quote:
Originally posted by mikehalloran
quote:
Originally posted by clancyc1

I have yet to determine what the sole purpose is for that screw.....


It exists to adjust the string length behind the bridge. This is the purpose of the twin bolts on the Kershner and ODE tailpieces, too—there were others. That's also the function of the tailpiece gut on a bowed stringed instrument.

Back in the days of gut strings and the desire to wrench every last bit of (fill in the blank), some considered this an important adjustment. Bowed string luthiers still do but I doubt that anyone does on a steel stringed banjo. 

Yes, really.


Hi Mike,

The Kershner patent specifies that the twin bolts are used to adjust the centering of the tailpiece relative to the bridge.   The patent explains how the two bolts shift the tailpiece relative to the mounting bolt center.

There's no mention of afterlength adjustment in the patent claims.

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