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ES-125 Tailpiece Replacement Question

#1 User is offline   mfosterwa 

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 07:53 PM

Hey everyone
I have a 1956 ES-125 that has been in the family for over 30years.
The tail piece has broken - so I ordered the standard replacement.

https://www.amazon.c...E/dp/B0006ZP9L4

The top 2 holes between the original and the replacement match. The replacement doesn't have the hole for the strap button, instead there is a 3rd hole for a screw. Which looks like it would go into the hole for the strap button. We lost the strap button decades ago, and I don't plan to replace it.

So my questions are
1. Can I just use the top two holes to attach the tailpiece to the body ? And not worry about the bottom screw. OR

2. Should I insert a dowel into the strap button hole for the 3rd screw ?

What would be the best way to replace the tailpiece, since I can't find an exact replacement.
I tried to include pictures...
THANKS ! Mark

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#2 User is offline   slimt 

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 09:32 PM

. to be honest.. Find a original... get rid of the aftermarket stuff.. with the amount of string tension on the tailpiece.. it would be wise to use all the screw holes.. the strap pin has some hold as well..
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#3 User is offline   powerwagonjohn 

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 03:42 PM

Thanks for pointing this tail piece out as I recently opened the case for my ES-225 and found the tailpiece cracked at the base. I ordered this tailpiece in nickel and with a couple holes drilled into the bottom plate I can make a replacement mounting plate and put the cracked piece in the case. I figure even if I get it repaired it will still look repaired but the replacement will look and work fine. I can play the guitar while looking into fixing the end plate or just leave it for the next owner. It's not like the ES-225 tail piece is easy to find or cheep. Unless someone here has a spare laying around.
Thanks again. John
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#4 User is offline   mfosterwa 

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 09:01 AM

PowerwagonJohn
Totally agree, the tailpieces are really hard to find. I found the exact cloverleaf after 2 weeks of web searching. I stumbled upon a forum post from 2009 that was about the ES-125 tailpiece replacement. The poster mentioned Jim Bastian / Island Fun House Vintage Guitar and Parts. I sent an email to him and he had the exact piece that he was willing to part with - for a "if you really want it" - but fair - price. BTW, I've flooded every vintage guitar shop trying to find this piece !

The ES-125 will not be my daily player. But, I figured that if the opportunity is there to get an original part, I better do it. I was about to fill in the strap button hole and use the reproduction piece. Unfortunately, I had to contort the repro piece to work. So, I took it off. And I wasn't too happy with filling in the strap button hole with something that might not work in the end. Even though the guitar has been well taken care of, the wood doesn't seem to be that strong, and I know the screw holes don't have much life in them.


I'm going to contact a metal fab guy about making repro cloverleaf bracket parts. Might not be cheap.... or worth the investment. But I know that the tailpiece bracket failures was an issue back in the day and I'm sure that if you have an original, it may someday fail.

Good Luck !
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#5 User is offline   powerwagonjohn 

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 11:08 AM

I have bought various items from Jim and sometimes he is the only place to have what you need. He usually has case handles and mounting hdwr. but didn't have a hinge I needed and I still have not found one 5 years later.My ES-225 is a real nice guitar but what good is a guitar you can't play. I thought about having a new one made too but a couple holes in the replacement piece will work great. I would think a tech. could install a removable plug so you could use a 3rd screw or even a screw in strap pin to retain the tail piece.
Thanks and good luck. John
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#6 User is offline   mfosterwa 

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 10:10 AM

A totally hot Emma Stone is on the cover of this weeks Rolling Stone. I was paging through while waiting for a hair cut when I saw this :

http://www.rollingst...couture-w459173

Pretty Cool to see the ES-125 in the mainstream. Now every dentist, lawyer and doctor will have to have one. :)
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#7 User is offline   Twang Gang 

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 11:13 PM

Since the original part is so hard to find I think having a metal shop fabricate one is the best way to go. It shouldn't be that expensive. The photo of your original actually shows 4 points of securing it to the body. 3 screw holes, plus the strap pin which I'm sure had a screw in the center of it as well. You would want to keep those four points to hold it securely. The last thing you want is to go to all this trouble, put on a new tail piece and then after time have it pull loose damaging the side of the guitar in the process.
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#8 User is offline   mfosterwa 

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Posted 22 January 2017 - 12:59 PM

Thanks Twang Gang
(BTW I Love your LP in the LP forum)
Since I put the ES back together, I haven't put it down. I play this guitar for hours each day. I love it. It's easy to play, stays in tune, sounds great acoustic and through my Blues Jr. I'm playing songs that I haven't played in 30yrs. Blues, Jazz, fingerpicking - it all sounds great on this guitar.

Jim Bastian : RetroGuitarParts / IslandFunHouse : Sent out the tailpiece ASAP. And it was an Exact replacement.

Little background : I learned how to play off this guitar. It actually belongs to my brother. So it's been several states apart for all this time. He was interested in checking out a Tele, and I just happened to have a MIM sitting around that I put locking tuners and Bill Lawerence pups into. I liked the Tele, but I like playing my Epi LP goldtop T better. So, we swapped - not forever ! Since its a $1500 guitar vs a $500 guitar. The ES needed a new case and the tailpiece. I was willing to get it back in playing condition since as he let me borrow it. And even though I don't own it : It was worth it to get this fine guitar the love it needs.

I'm still looking into having the bracket manufactured. If I get production done, I'll offer the pieces at cost. I'm sure that there are more ES-125 deep bodies that are in need - or will need a tailpiece bracket at some point.

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