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I've read various threads on various websites concerning the end stop v. trapeze tailpiece debate, but all the posts seem to be opinions rather than definitive answers and I was wondering if any luthiers or guitar technicians can supply the answer.

I have a Gibson 335 12 string and a Danelectro DC59 12 string, both with their own individual voice and both with their own very different "feel".

The Danelectro is much easier to play; barring, bending, hammering on & pulling off etc., and I'm just wondering why.

Both are strung with the same brand and gauge string sets and both are set up perfectly and more or less identically. The only differences I can see are that the 335 has a trapeze tailpiece against the Dano's fixed bridge and also the 335's headstock has a much greater, acute back angle; the Dano's being almost flat (fender'ish).

I believe both these issues contribute greatly to the feel of the string tension and ease of playability, but being no luthier or physicist I would appreciate a more authoritative view.

Cheers............Brian msp_thumbup.gif

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It's just opinion - sorry - but fret size and profile, neck profile and fingerboard width and camber should all be taken into account if you're considering why the Dano feels better for you to play. I don't doubt that break angle over the nut and length of string behind the bridge play a small part in the playability, but they're a minor ingredient. I seem to remember the Danos are 25" rather than 24 3/4" scale length, which would have at least as much effect.


As I understand it though, having extra string behind the bridge with a trapeze setup means that when you bend a string, you are stretching a greater length of string than on a guitar with a stopbar because the string is stretching both in front of and behind the bridge, and therefore more effort is required to bend upto a given pitch. The string tension itself is the same on either guitar.

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Hi, thanks for the response.


On measuring, you're absolutely right about he scale length................would 1/4 inch make that much difference, I thought shorter scales were a little easier to play?


I ask that in total ignorance of guitar luthiery. msp_biggrin.gif

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