Tail Guts (Tailpiece Hangers)
A tailpiece hanger (aka "Tailgut") is an oft-overlooked "upgrade" or replacement part; it can have a surprising effect on the tone and feel of your bass. Even more surprising is when your old, weak cable fails, hopefully by stretching, but believe me, I would not wish having one break on my worst enemy (or opposing auditioning bass player) - the resulting "bang" as the bridge collapses is a sound you never want to hear.
"Flexible and strong" are usually the buzzwords for tailguts, and we have several such choices, briefly described below. They are listed in the order they appear in the photograph so you can easily identify them:
Tekrium Tailpiece Cable:
Tekrium is a new, proprietary blend of materials, very similar to the Kevlar we used to sell (Kevlar is the stuff they make bulletproof vests from). As you can imagine, it's extremely lightweight and strong. Unlike some similar material tailguts, Tekrium will not stretch, so the tailpiece will stay in the position you choose. Some call it a "High Tech" tailpiece cable due to the modern materials, and it's extremely easy to install - no hardware or crimp sleeves - just tie a nice fisherman's knot and you're good to go. (We include instructions along with the tailpiece to tie this knot, or you can consult with your local Boy Scout).
Nylon/Synthetic Tailpiece Cable:
This nylon tailgut is 19.5 inches long and has two threaded stops on each end. These are made in Germany; beware of the cheaper imitations, which can often fail - bad news! It is designed for use with tailpieces that have vertical holes behind the tailpiece; DO NOT USE with stock Engelhardt or Kay type tailpieces with holes through the front face of the tailpiece. Easily adjusted - as well as installed and removed - thanks to its threaded stops. No crushable sleeves or special tools required.
Adjustable Stainless Steel Tailpiece Cable:
Made by Wittner in Germany (you know they make good stuff, right Vince?)*, this stainless steel tailgut is 17 inches (432 mm) long and has threaded ends with adjustable stop nuts on each end. The cable is thin and lightweight, and is flat black for low-profile looks. It is unbreakable under normal use. It is very nicely flexible without any stretching. It is designed for use with the Wittner synthetic tailpieces, as well as wood tailpieces that have vertical holes behind the tailpiece - and a a recess or cutaway to allow room for the adjusters.
DO NOT USE this cable with stock Engelhardt or Kay type tailpieces that have their holes drilled through the front face of the tailpiece; this would require a hard right-angle bend - as well as create a poking hazard with the ends of the wire. Check out our standard stranded steel tailpiece wire for your Kay or Engelhardt (or similarly-equipped bass).
This cable is very easily adjusted - as well as installed and removed - thanks to its threaded stops. No crushable sleeves or special tools required.
According to the manufacturer, this wire is suitable for all 3/4, 1/2 or 1/4 size basses. Here's the specs, so you can compare to your existing wire or bass measurements:
All Measurements approximate
* Hey, this is just for fun! No endorsement by - or of - Vince Schlomi should be inferred in our satirical use of his photo.
- Length of wire: 17 in
- Diameter of wire: .157 in/4mm
- Length of nut adjusters: 1/2 in
- Diameter of nut adjusters: 1/4
- Weight: 27.5 grams
Stranded Steel Tailpiece Cable:
The Flexible Stranded Steel (plain) Tail Gut (Tailpiece Hanger) is 28 inches long and comes with a crushable sleeve to secure it. You determine the length desired and smash the sleeve with a hammer to secure. Simple, inexpensive and effective, stranded steel is absolutely superior over solid cables, as it is less prone to complete failure if it gets damaged - not to mention it can move with the music! The materials to do this sort of tailpiece cable yourself are readily available at a typical hardware store, and I have an Upright Bass FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) topic which can help you through the process, if you prefer to source your own stranded steel cable and sleeve. However, I stock this kit as well, for those who would rather have the items they need, ready-made and sent to their door. TIP: If using it with a stock Engelhardt or Kay tailpiece with the holes through the front, feed the wire that is exposed (on the front of the tailpiece) through a small piece of heat-shrink tubing to create a cleaner, less visible look!