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Tail Pieces
Normal vs Compensated
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March 13, 2016 - 3:48 am
Member Since: March 15, 2014
Forum Posts: 244
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I have been kicking around the idea of changing some of my hardware.

The Tail Piece, chin rest and end button, to either Boxwood or Rosewood.

My dilemma is do I use a standard Tail piece or a compensated one (ie also called French or Harp styles)

I know that weight and shape will change the tone to some degree, that goes for even going from just standard ebony to and other material. What I am wonder is the claim of sellers that compensated tail pieces are better tonally? Or would it just be cosmetic.

I would like to hear you views on this topic.

thanks and have a great day.

With violins there is no fretting over the music.

Athens, Greece
Regular advisor

March 14, 2016 - 12:02 am
Member Since: August 28, 2014
Forum Posts: 139
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What's the shape and material of your current tailpiece? And what you are trying to achieve by changing it?

What I understand is that this is a matter of string after-length. I would personally stick with the fact that we should avoid by all means having an afterlength less than 1/6th of the vibrating length. Given that, and by securing that we maintain the same vibrating length on the instrument I suspect that a compensated tailpiece should (or could) give the ADG a more powerful character, increasingly from string to string. (since the afterlength increases each time). So in theory, it could enhance your sound.

Anyway, to sum it up, from my experience so far:

1) Bigger afterlegth could lead to more powerful sound, but it should be at least 1/6th of the vibrating length in the ADG
2) Ebony - Rosewood - Boxwood from the bass side to the treble side of the spectrum. Sometimes. But as you said, the weight and dimensions, and the actual position of the tailpiece could be more important.

I changed the hardware of my main instrument twice this year settling to ebony. It's a lot heavier than boxwood, but I like the sound. For now. hehe.

P.S. no2 I just noticed that you mentioned the end button. This could prove tricky, nothing is more annoying than a non fitting end button. So just make sure you have the proper tapering tools (or a local luthier) just in case.

Fort Lauderdale
March 14, 2016 - 9:48 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 16063

A lot of great points by Hermes.

I don't think you should worry that much about the style though. Just pick your favorite style for both your taste and to match your new setup. I believe there actually can be a difference but mostly the difference comes from longer strings (after length) and different densities. I have noticed, IMAO, that denser accessories seem to give a darker tone. The difference is extremely small though.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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