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Thread: NS Starfire II String thru ??

  1. #11
    Junior Member Llewellen's Avatar
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    @Nuuska: I like your idea and had already been looking at harp tailpieces - they're all too long. I live in a small community so I'm not so sure I can find someone to fabricate a shorter one like you have drawn and described. Would the single strap button screw be sufficient to hold it in place against the tension of the strings?

    In any case, after reading the excellent feedback here and giving it some more thought, I'm still very much into doing something that will allow me to use long scale strings but I think that a tailpiece is a better idea, either the one you describe or the Hipshot one I linked to earlier. It would be less invasive (your idea would be almost totally reversible) and it would provide an almost straight pull on the strings. Also much less expense in terms of luthier time and fees (at least for the Hipshot one).

    Drilling the body to provide string thru holes seems elegant from an appearance perspective (to me at least) but has a number of problems: (a) it is the most invasive approach; (b) even with offsetting the ferrules a bit behind the bridge plate there will still be some comparatively sharper string bends (certainly not as desirable as a straight pull); (c) because the top and bottom of the guitar are arched, as Minnesota Flats noted it will be well nigh impossible to drill straight holes and get the ferrules seated completely flat - i.e. to some extent an unfinished look; (d) limited to about 1.5 to 1.75 inches of additional length; and (e) considerably more expensive for the luthier's fees.

    The luthier is away on vacation until Sep 8 so I do have a few days to mull this over before contacting him to discuss it and make an appointment.

    Any further thoughts/suggestions would be much welcomed.
    "To play a wrong note is insignificant; to play without passion is inexcusable" - attributed to Ludwig von Beethoven

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Llewellen View Post
    @Nuuska: I like your idea and had already been looking at harp tailpieces - they're all too long. I live in a small community so I'm not so sure I can find someone to fabricate a shorter one like you have drawn and described. Would the single strap button screw be sufficient to hold it in place against the tension of the strings?.

    Hello

    As with any harp tailpiece or Bigsby - the tension is against the body of the guitar - the screw only has to resist small sideways force, that is trying to shift the tailpiece upwards. The angle should be such, that the lowest edge touches the body first.
    First good guitar - GUILD Duane Eddy 400 - I was 3rd owner - still regret letting it go 25 years ago - used to have Artist Award and Starfire - no regrets here.
    Present guitars - all bought new - F50R 1975 - F512 1977 - F212CSB 1979 - OM-240CE 2018 - Schecter Startocaster
    bought secondhand - B30SB fretless - RED Songbird - White Songbird - D-125 - Gibson 3/4-size acoustic 1957 - Carmelo Gonzales nylon string - old Levin Lute

  3. #13
    Super Moderator fronobulax's Avatar
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    Hipshot link above was not a direct click.

    https://hipshotproducts.com/collecti...le-bass-bridge

    I like Nuuska's idea.

    I note that so long as the original saddle location is kept the result will still be a 30.5" scale bass that can be intonated. I spent too much time wondering if the longer string changed the scale length and then remembered that neither the nut nor the bridge saddle locations were moving so, "Never Mind".
    Quote Originally Posted by mgod View Post
    What he said.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stuball48 View Post
    Frono: You are correct----again.

    '67 Starfire I Bass (Cherry)
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    '13 Newark Street Starfire Bass (Cherry)
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    LMG I, II, III

    This space available.

  4. #14
    No need for any of this to be done.
    I use longscale Chromes (.105) and LaBellas flats (.110) with no probs. Silk wraps on E/G posts, not on A/D. Iíve had no problems during the last three years.

  5. #15
    I'd seen other Hipshot bridges before but never that model. I like it. Thanks for the fix, Frono.

  6. #16
    Super Moderator fronobulax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minnesota Flats View Post
    I'd seen other Hipshot bridges before but never that model. I like it. Thanks for the fix, Frono.
    You are welcome. I was curious too.
    Quote Originally Posted by mgod View Post
    What he said.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stuball48 View Post
    Frono: You are correct----again.

    '67 Starfire I Bass (Cherry)
    '71 JS II Bass (Walnut)
    '82 B-50 Acoustic Bass (Natural)
    '87 Pilot (Black)
    '13 Newark Street Starfire Bass (Cherry)
    '16 Betts Bass "Walnut Bottom"

    LMG I, II, III

    This space available.

  7. #17
    Junior Member Llewellen's Avatar
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    Thanks for fixing that link to the Hipshot D style bridge and tailpiece. It's a nice tailpiece (spendy though) but it has one drawback in this application: string spacing of 18mm, whereas the ball end string spacing on the backend of the bridge is 15mm.

    I have abandoned the idea of drilling for string thru but I'm still sold on the idea of using long scale strings. We don't need to get into a debate about this on this thread but, although the speaking length of the strings from bridge saddle to nut will remain the same, my mind thinks it can feel and hear a slight difference with a longer winding length in play between ball end and nut. I think the physics would say that a longer string would have to be more taught in order to reach the same pitch. Thus the E would be a little firmer. But we don't need to resolve that here. In any case, my main motivation for this is to gain access to the much greater array of strings available in long scale.

    What I think I have settled on is this. I already have a piece of katalox that I bought to have the luthier fabricate some new saddles to replace the rosewood and also to fabricate a thumb rest. There's more wood in this piece than will be needed for the saddles and thumb rest, so the luthier could easily fabricate a tailpiece and get the string spacing correct at 15mm (or perhaps a little less to align with the very slight angle from the ball end anchor to the saddles).

    Katalox is denser than Macassar ebony (certainly denser than rosewood) so it would certainly be strong enough for the application and aesthetically it will go well with the saddles, thumbrest and fretboard.

    https://www.wood-database.com/katalox/

    Any final thoughts before I talk to the luthier next week and take the plunge?
    Last edited by Llewellen; 09-07-2018 at 02:53 AM. Reason: additional info
    "To play a wrong note is insignificant; to play without passion is inexcusable" - attributed to Ludwig von Beethoven

  8. #18
    Junior Member Llewellen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lungimsam View Post
    No need for any of this to be done.
    I use longscale Chromes (.105) and LaBellas flats (.110) with no probs. Silk wraps on E/G posts, not on A/D. I’ve had no problems during the last three years.
    But the tailpiece will allow me to mix and match long and medium scale strings easily so as to get more balanced tension. For example D'Addario EXL 170 (long) E and A anchored at the tailpiece and D'Addario EXL 170M (medium) D and G anchored at the bridge base plate.
    "To play a wrong note is insignificant; to play without passion is inexcusable" - attributed to Ludwig von Beethoven

  9. #19
    Junior Member Llewellen's Avatar
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    Appointment booked with the luthier to discuss all this on Tues Sep 18-18. He may tell me some good reasons why my idea won't work well. At the very least I'm going to have him fabricate bridge saddles and a thumb rest from the piece of katalox that I acquired. I'll report back next week.

    http://www.rufusguitars.com/
    "To play a wrong note is insignificant; to play without passion is inexcusable" - attributed to Ludwig von Beethoven

  10. #20
    Junior Member Llewellen's Avatar
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    Your collective wisdom was, in fact, wise. I stand better informed and somewhat chastened :)

    The luthier listened to me politely and then said that he wouldn't dream of drilling the holes necessary for a tailpiece that I described in such a beautiful instrument. If the main goal is to gain access to the much larger selection of long scale strings, he said that he has been using them on short and medium scale basses for decades without a problem, especially with larger diameter tuning pegs like the Guild has. He showed me how he squashes the end to be cut before crimping and that was that.

    If I am adamant about wanting to use long scale strings, he said he could fabricate a sort of harp style tailpiece out of brass, like Nuuska suggested and like you often see on archtop guitars, that fastens on the butt of the guitar only with the strap button and then right angles over the body without touching it. If desired that could have a wooden decorative piece over it, like you see on Eastman or Peerless jazz guitar tailpieces. Mucho dinero so must be left for another day, if ever at all.

    He is going to fabricate and install bridge saddles and a thumbrest out the piece of katalox that I supplied. The thumbrest will have a small piece of thin clear plastic sheet protruding from under it to prevent my thumbnail from gouging the finish when my thumb is on the rest.

    He quickly checked the frets and pronounced that a full dressing appeared not to be necessary but will check that again when he lowers the action and installs the new strings (D'Addario EXL 170).

    I don't know what you're accustomed to paying for luthier services where you live but Rufus charges $80CAD per hour plus parts plus sales taxes.

    Thanks for all the input, suggestions and advice; very much appreciated.
    "To play a wrong note is insignificant; to play without passion is inexcusable" - attributed to Ludwig von Beethoven

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