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Question about a Gibson prewar clamshell tailpiece

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Dec 13, 2019 - 11:49:17 AM
3339 posts since 4/27/2004

Did Gibson ever have a 5-string version of the clamshell tailpiece in the prewar years? I don't ever recall seeing one that was made specifically for a 5-string. If so, post some photos please! Thanks!

Edited by - southerndrifter on 12/13/2019 11:50:18

Dec 13, 2019 - 7:08:28 PM
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12454 posts since 10/30/2008

According to Jim Mills' book, the 5 string clamshell tailpieces had a "factory drilled hole" just under the cover, in the spot where Jerry Keys would punch the oval hole today. Jim includes a photo of Hoke Jenkins' RB 6 on page 66 of his book. Just a rude hole, no chamfering or anything. On page 78 is a photo of the two hump tailpiece on the Mack Crow banjo, and the "factory drilled hole" is way back by the four larger diameter holes near the string hooks.

Dec 14, 2019 - 7:13:06 AM
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560 posts since 8/10/2009

I have never seen a Grover “DeLuxe” model tailpiece (clamshell) with more than 4 string hooks.

Joe Spann

Dec 14, 2019 - 7:21:39 AM
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12454 posts since 10/30/2008

Good point Joe. Jim M makes that point too, that nobody "bothered" to design these originally for 5 strings.

Dec 14, 2019 - 7:50:32 AM

3339 posts since 4/27/2004

quote:
Originally posted by Joe Spann

I have never seen a Grover “DeLuxe” model tailpiece (clamshell) with more than 4 string hooks.

Joe Spann


Thanks for the reply Joe! That was my thoughts too........there was just not enough demand for a redesign. 

Dec 16, 2019 - 2:28:40 PM

rexhunt

USA

2648 posts since 10/11/2005

When my dad's walnut TB-4 came back from Gibson with the RB-250 neck, there was a hole drilled in the original clamshell tailpiece.  They wanted to sell me a tailpiece and all new tuners but I passed.

Rex

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