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Thread: Allen Tailpiece

  1. #1

    Default Allen Tailpiece

    What exactly does a cast tailpiece accomplish as opposed to a stamped one? I think I read somewhere that they increase the sustain. Is that correct? I noticed on the Allens that they have only one set of hooks for the "little" strings and not the sideways which makes two sets. I don't know what those are called, hooks like on my standard Kentucky tailpiece. When I changed strings last I used only one set where the tension was pulled directly forward and one of the E strings came unwound. I kind of rewound it and used both sets of hooks and it worked fine. I saw on a changing string video that you can use only one set and all will be fine, but not so. Does anyone make a tailpiece with both sets? I don't think you could rewind one and pull directly forward and it would stay wound. Any ideas other than keeping the stock tailpiece?

  2. #2
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Allen Tailpiece

    I have 4 custom mando instruments with cast bronze Allen tailpieces. They certainly have more mass than a typical stamped tailpiece which in theory increases sustain.

    I also like not bending the string after going through those sideways hooks. They're a little easier to use when changing strings. The biggest plus for me on my 10 string mandola, octave mandolin and 10 string mandocello is they accept loop or ball end strings. Very nice when putting together a custom 10 string set with octave pairs using single guitar strings.

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Allen Tailpiece

    My suggestion is that you change to the cast tailpiece because you want to not because you're looking for any great change in the tone.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  5. #4
    Registered User j. condino's Avatar
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    Default Re: Allen Tailpiece

    Randy Allen makes a nice product that has been used successfully on 1000s of instruments.

    There are plenty of half deaf crusty old geezers around here that cannot tell any difference and will claim, "Whole lotta' nuthin!!!!!! Equally, there are plenty with excellent hearing that can detect very subtle changes in everything- the setup, the fittings, fretwire composition, et cetera. I'm in the latter group.

    In general, a well build, delicately constructed responsive instrument will react much more to subtle changes than an overbuilt one with a 1/2" thick top and a 1/4 inch of finish. The only true way to tell is to try it out on your individual mandolin. Many folks spend more money on picks that one of these tailpieces cost. If you don't like it, you can usually put it up in the classifieds here and get your $$$ back.

  6. #5
    Be Wild Zach Wilson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Allen Tailpiece

    Quote Originally Posted by j. condino View Post
    There are plenty of half deaf crusty old geezers around here that cannot tell any difference and will claim, "Whole lotta' nuthin!!!!!!
    😳

    Oh, wow. Shots fired.

  7. #6

    Default Re: Allen Tailpiece

    I agree with MandoBart. The ability to use ball end or loop end strings is a very nice advantage especially for longer scale instruments.

    If I'm keeping an instrument long term it ends up with either an Allen or a James (or the Gilchrist equivalent) tailpiece.
    Trillium Mandola
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    www.singletonstreet.com

  8. #7
    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Allen Tailpiece

    Quote Originally Posted by j. condino View Post
    ...There are plenty of half deaf crusty old geezers around here that cannot tell any difference and will claim, "Whole lotta' nuthin!!!!!! ...
    Whadju say, youngun? Speak up.
    New to mando? Click this link -->Newbies to join us at the Newbies Social Group.

    Just send an email to rob.meldrum@gmail.com with "mandolin setup" in the subject line and he will email you a copy of his ebook for free (free to all mandolincafe members).

    My website and blog: honketyhank.com

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  10. #8
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    Default Re: Allen Tailpiece

    Quote Originally Posted by j. condino View Post
    There are plenty of half deaf crusty old geezers around here that cannot tell any difference and will claim, "Whole lotta' nuthin!!!!!! Equally, there are plenty with excellent hearing that can detect very subtle changes in everything- the setup, the fittings, fretwire composition, et cetera. I'm in the latter group.
    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, What did he say, speak up son. Isn't that what caps are for, us deaf old geezers. I am constantly fiddling with my mandolins because I hear something, or think I hear something, or wasn't and now I do. Oh well it gives me something to do.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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  12. #9

    Default Re: Allen Tailpiece

    For me the attraction of the solid cast tailpiece is comfort and durability. The slide on tailpiece cover on the traditional stamped tailpiece can become prone to rattles and buzzes if not bent properly. It also has some sharp corners and needs to be polished regularly. The cast tailpiece is more friendly to casual forearm contact. You'll also never need to worry about one of the little bent tabs breaking off.

    The downside is restringing is a little more complicated. You have to be careful not to let the loop slip off the peg while tensioning up the string the first time and threading the strings takes some dexterity.

  13. #10
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    Default Re: Allen Tailpiece

    Who moved my cheese?

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