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This is my attempt to try and consolidate some knowledge about the tailpieces that appear on old acoustic guitars from the mid century. I a...

Vintage Acoustic Guitar Tailpiece Encyclopedia

This is my attempt to try and consolidate some knowledge about the tailpieces that appear on old acoustic guitars from the mid century. I am mostly focusing on lower end instruments from factories like Kay, Harmony, and Regal and specifically their guitars.

No.
Appears On:
Years:
Construction: 
Screws:
Mounting Face: 
Mid Face:
Front Face:

Flattop Tailpieces

[8]


No. 11356
Appears On: Wurlitzer-branded instruments
Years: Early 1900s
Construction: Stamped, nickel-plated brass
Screws:3
Mounting Face: Spade shaped
Mid Face: Hourglass figure with 3 distinct curves per side
Front Face: Folded over for string mounting


[5]



No. 12R5186
Appears On: Sears Roebuck
Construction: Stamped, nickel plated brass
Screws: 3
Mounting Face: Spade shaped
Mid Face: Hourglass figure with 5 curves per side
Front Face: Folded over and notched for strings

[16]
No.
Appears On: Kay
Years: 1960s
Construction: Stamped, nickel plated steel 
Screws: 1
Mounting Face: 
Mid Face: 9 lines are etched into the left side, The Kay stylized 'K' is etched in the middle, and 3 diamond shapes are cut into the metal
Front Face: Sharp triangular raised portion for the strings to sit


[2]



No. 706
Appears On: Regal
Construction: Stamped, nickel plated steel
Screws: 3
Mounting Face: Spade shaped 
Mid Face: Trapezoid with center cut out
Front Face: Raised portion for strings to sit in, smooth front

[12]
No.
Appears On: Harmony
Years: 1950s-1960s
Construction: Stamped nickel plated steel
Screws: 2
Mounting Face: Two nubs, one for each screw
Mid Face: Trapezoid with raised lines and center cut out
Front Face: Raised portion for strings

[10]
No. 1711
Appears On: Harmony
Years: 1950s-1960s
Construction: Stamped nickel plated steel
Screws:3
Mounting Face: Spade shaped 
Mid Face: Trapezoid with raised lines on the edges and a 4 hole decorative cutout in the center. 
Front Face:Raised portion for the strings to sit, small convex curve

 [1]
No. 1701
Appears On: Harmony, Kay
Construction: Stamped, nickel plated steel
Screws: 3
Mounting Face: Spade shaped
Mid Face: Hourglass shape with 4 curves per side
Front Face: Raised portion for strings, serrated front

 [1]



No. 1705
Appears On: Harmony
Construction: Stamped, nickel plated steel
Screws:1
Mounting Face: Square shaped with cutout that comes to a point below the screw
Mid Face: Trapezoid with shield-esque cutout
Front Face: Raised portion for strings, comes to a point

[6]



No. 707, 6084
Appears On: Regal, Kay, Tonk Bros
Years: 1930s-1940s
Construction: Stamped, welded, nickel plated steel
Screws: 3
Mounting Face: Spade shaped
Mid Face: Trapezoid with cutout. All sides are folded over for a smooth feel and appearance
Front Face: Claw string mount is hidden by tailpiece cover.


[3]


No. 12L5190, 54
Appears On: Regal, Kay, B&J
Construction: Stamped, nickel plated steel
Screws: 3
Mounting Face: Raised portion in the center, 3 curves on each side that come to a singular point
Mid Face: Smooth, hourglass shape with a single curve for a fan-like appearance. Raised center for a beveled appearance.
Front Face: Raised portion for strings to sit with decorative rivets (?)

[11]
No.
Appears On: Harmony
Years: War time 1940s
Construction: Wood
Screws:2
Mounting Face: 
Mid Face: Elongated heart shape
Front Face: Small channel with holes for strings
 [1]



No. 1710  "Idento" tailpiece
Appears On: Harmony
Construction: Stamped, nickel plated steel 
Screws: 2
Mounting Face: Ornate, comes to a point
Mid Face: Art-deco, trapezoidal shapes.
Front Face: Removable insert for a card, intended for the owner's name. More art-deco influences.

[4]




No. 45
Appears On: B&J
Construction: Stamped, nickel plated steel
Mounting: 3 holes in a triangle formation
Screws: 3
Mounting Face: Spade shape
Mid Face: Hourglass figure with 4 curves
Front Face: Raised portion for strings to sit in. Two nubs on the front resemble Mickey Mouse's ears

Archtop Tailpieces



[1]


No. 1703, 6086
Appears On: Harmony, Kay
Construction: Stamped, welded, nickel plated steel 
Screws: 4
Mounting Face: 2 arms with 2 screw holes each
Mid Face: 2 arms
Front Face: Plain, rectangular cover with holes for the strings to go through

[6]


No. 6085
Appears On: Kay, Tonk Bros
Construction: Stamped, Riveted, nickel plated steel
Screws: 4
Mounting Face: 2 arms with 2 screw holes each
Mid Face: 2 arms
Front Face: Plain, rectangular cover with holes for the strings to go through. 4 rivets visibly mount each arm to the center portion.
[1]




No. 1735
Appears On; Harmony
Construction: Stamped, assembled nickel plated steel
Screws: 3
Mounting Face: Spade shaped
Mid Face: One bar bent into a U shape with acorn nuts on each end. Hinged
Front Face: Sliding string mount with fully enclosed holes for the ball ends of the strings to rest.


[13]
No.
Appears On:
Years:
Construction: Stamped, machined, nickel plated steel
Screws: 3
Mounting Face: Spade shaped with a strap button hole
Mid Face: Rod bent into a U shape, held in a hinge, and with acorn nuts affixed to the ends
Front Face: Floating bar with slots for the strings to go through and 3 lines cut into the top






No. "Adjustotone"
Appears On: Vega
Years: Late 1930s
Construction: ?
Screws: ?
Mounting Face: Adjustable thumb screw for changing the break angle of the strings. Trapezoidal construction
Mid Face: small art-deco cut out
Front Face: Thick block with holes for the strings

Image and Information Sources


 [1] http://www.vintaxe.com/cgi-bin/vintaxe_viewer.pl?cat_1940harmony_page35&cat_1940harmony_page35
[2] http://www.vintaxe.com/cgi-bin/vintaxe_viewer.pl?cat_1940regal_025&cat_1940regal_025
[3] http://www.vintaxe.com/cgi-bin/vintaxe_viewer.pl?cat_1915b_j_09&cat_1915b_j_09
[4] http://www.vintaxe.com/cgi-bin/vintaxe_viewer.pl?cat_1927B_J_020&cat_1927B_J_020
[5] http://www.vintaxe.com/cgi-bin/vintaxe_viewer.pl?cat_1902sears_006&cat_1902sears_006
[6] http://www.vintaxe.com/cgi-bin/vintaxe_viewer.pl?cat_1937tonk_041&cat_1937tonk_041
[7] http://www.vintaxe.com/cgi-bin/vintaxe_viewer.pl?cat_1939vega_005&cat_1939vega_005
[8] http://www.vintaxe.com/cgi-bin/vintaxe_viewer.pl?cat_1906wurlitzer_007&cat_1906wurlitzer_007
[9] https://www.ebay.com/itm/263632723231
[10] https://www.umanovguitars.com/store/item/1950s-harmony-1711-tailpiece/
[11] https://reverb.com/item/20921872-harmony-wood-carved-tailpiece-for-archtop-guitar-h1301-clipper-1940-rosewood
[12] https://www.ebay.com/itm/Chrome-Vintage-Stella-Silvertone-Harmony-Guitar-Tailpiece-/283440183202
[13] https://reverb.com/item/6323481-kluson-vintage-kay-harmony-short-trapeze-guitar-tailpiece
[16] http://thumb1.zeppy.io/d/l400/pict/293061655482/kay-deco-1960s-arch-top-guitar-tailpiece-silvertone-harmony-old-kraftsman-nr


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