Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

No Trapeze Tail Piece 335?


SteveFord

Recommended Posts

Am I the only one who misses the trapeze tail pieces on the older ES-335s?

 

I just loved that on my old 70s 335 as it just seemed like such a classy touch. I guess they were so unpopular that Gibson won't consider them for any of the current line up?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think for the most part the trapeze is seen as being something put in place to cut cost and speed up production so is undesirable as a modern feature, not to mention that it changes the sound and feel of the instrument which most see as a negative. Personally I think Gibson could do a run of late 60s spec cherry sunburst 335s with the trapeze and it would sell reasonably well as a limited edition, but it's always a risk doing a run of this sort of thing, ending up with a street price of $4000 or so when there are vintage examples for not much more that will hold their value far better than a brand new guitar. It'd be interesting to see it on a 333 style guitar, helping to keep the cost down whilst giving it a unique appearance.

 

For me the only tailpiece that I want to see on a 335 is a Bigsby B7 though!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

L5Larry,

 

Could you elaborate some?

 

I can't put a quantitative analysis to it. There are those that say the stoptail improves sustain, tone and tuning stability. I don't necessarily agree, or disagree with that, but theoretically it makes sense (of course most is subjective).

 

The 3X5's, with the center block, really are a cross between a hollow body and a solid body. Therefore, things like string anchorage and downward pressure on the bridge will affect the sound as on an archtop. Their solid body traits mean that these effects are lessened to a degree since the string path is basically solid wood.

 

I loved my old trapeze 335. The only reason I replaced it was that it was wore out. I had literally played it to death. 20 years of bar gigs is pretty hard on a guitar (not to mention the guitar player). I decided to "upgrade" to a 345 and told my guitar dealer friend to find me one. Dave Rogers (Dave's Guitars, LaCrosse, WI) had a brand new "Historic Series" 345 in sunburst, and he had it shipped down for me. My dealer even brought in his personal early 60's 345 so I could compare the two to see how Gibson had done on the historic-ness of the reissue. It was love at first sight.

 

The day I picked it up I took both the 335 and the new 345 to a gig. I played the new stoptail 345 for the first set and declared at break that the old trapeze 335 was officially now for sale (and eventually sold it for 4x what I had paid for it).

 

I really can't put an exact reason why the stoptail instantly tripped my trigger. Maybe I was just ready for a change. Maybe it was the added features of the 345 vs the 335. In my case it was simply "I liked it better", for whatever reason or reasons.

 

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it! Probably not much help, sorry.

 

Anyway.... If you want a trapeze 335, there are plenty of them out there available, especially from the Norlin era, many of which are probably great guitars, mine was!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My reason for preferring stopbars is another one. Except for the Historic imperial-threaded ones, they can be replaced with the TP-6 finetuning tailpiece. In my opinion it is the best accessory Gibson ever created. I would love making them black chrome ones, too. However, I guess I will have to have one modded for that in the near future.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I had a '74/75 335 with a trapeze, it was my main gigging axe for 20 years. I now have a 345 with a stoptail, it has been my main blues/rock guitar for 14 years.

 

I, BY FAR, prefer the stoptail.

 

Me too.

 

My 1964 ES345 had a trapeze (must have been made just after they stopped using the stop tails) and it wasn't as good as my (current) reissue 1959 reissue ES345 stoptail. As Steve has found - the string tension on a 24.75 inch scale guitar is too high with a trapeze.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wonder if adding a Bigsby would have the same effect when it comes to string bending?

 

I've always wanted a 355 with a Bigsby but if it's going to fight me I'll give it a pass. This isn't the kind of thing I can swing by my local retailer and try out, I'm afraid.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bigsby 335s have more break angle over the bridge which potentially changes the feel from a trapeze, but there's still a lot of string behind the bridge so it's probably closer to a trapeze than a stop bar. I've played an ES355 for nearly twenty years with both a Bigsby and fretless wonder frets that should be a string bender's nightmare, but it feels fine to me, just what I'm used to. I guess I don't mind a guitar that wants to fight me a little.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...