Les Trem on JM/Jag body ...

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bodhi
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Les Trem on JM/Jag body ...

Post by bodhi » Tue Jan 12, 2021 1:31 pm

So, stuck in lock-down locally and can't get to a workshop as of about a month by now and my current build has stalled with only some minor tweaks using mostly hand tools in the kitchen... I've started more actively planning some other ideas and managed to buy a Duesenberg / Goldo (göldo) Les Trem II used for a reasonable price used.

As I'm about to put it on a JM/Jag body but don't have any existing tailpiece to replace, I'm a bit unsure about where to place it specifically... Anyone here with one in use who can share some experience? Where is yours and how does it feel compared to a standard JM/Jag trem?

Also, do you have the longer arm or the shorter one?
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HarlowTheFish
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Re: Les Trem on JM/Jag body ...

Post by HarlowTheFish » Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:50 pm

I can't speak to its functionality (I only have experience with the old Schaller unit that worked almost the same), but as far as mounting, it depends on whether you want it to be more like it would be on a Les Paul (closer to the bridge, less string behind the bridge, less overtones and all) or more like it would be on a standard JM/Jag (farther from the bridge, more string, etc. etc.).

The old Schaller one I tried was on a Junior with no tailpiece, where it was a combo tailpiece/bridge, and it seems to be a lot like a Mustang trem (I hadn't played one at the time and had no point of reference, but in hindsight it's pretty close). A bit less range, a bit springier like a Bigsby, but generally a good combo of controllable and responsive.

I'd say for the Les Trem I'd go for maybe the Guild tailpiece positioning (farther from the bridge than a Gibson, closer than a JM), and for something like the DG Trem, more in the JM area.

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Re: Les Trem on JM/Jag body ...

Post by timtam » Tue Jan 12, 2021 7:56 pm

What bridge are you planning ? Trem closer => greater string break angle => higher string-saddle downforce => lower friction fixed bridge TOM, ie roller TOM better ? Not sure if anyone has paired the Les Trem with the rocking bridge. Would be interesting to try.

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Horsefeather
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Re: Les Trem on JM/Jag body ...

Post by Horsefeather » Tue Jan 12, 2021 10:32 pm

The Duesy is a great vibrato. I have one on a Matsumoku Vantage with a roller TOM and it works very well.

My recommendation is to go with a fixed roller bridge with one of these and save yourself a whole bunch of hassle vs. what you'd get with Fender stuff. Heresy, I know.

The Duesy has a greater range of pitch than a typical JM vibrato and is very smooth and stable. It won't matter much where you place it if you use a fixed roller bridge. A longer arm will effectively reduce the amount of pitch change you get with the same hand movement. If you're wanting to keep the range similar to a JM piece, then maybe a longer arm on a more distant vibrato is the way to go. Although I reckon you'll be stoked either way.

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bodhi
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Re: Les Trem on JM/Jag body ...

Post by bodhi » Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:09 am

Thanks, appreciate the replies! Just trying to make an informed decision...

I have a few of the GFS fixed roller bridges around that I thought to use with this one, so roller TOM kind of deal.
Jazzmaster project (got a body, placeholder neck, some pickups and ideas)
Tokai Telecaster Thinline with Creamery Pickups Filtertron and Tapped Tele
Blake Mills-inspired Strat project w/ Gold Foil and slide pickup

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Lost In Autumn
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Re: Les Trem on JM/Jag body ...

Post by Lost In Autumn » Mon Jan 18, 2021 3:06 am

I was about to put a Bigsby B5 on a new to me DiPinto Belvedere, but I think I'll save the hassle and $80 and get one of these, instead.

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epizootics
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Re: Les Trem on JM/Jag body ...

Post by epizootics » Mon Jan 18, 2021 4:54 am

Just for the record, the Les Trem unit works great with a rocking bridge. I used a Les Trem / Staytrem combo on this one:

Image

If you're going for the rocking option, you don't want the trem to be too far away from the bridge, unless your neck is angled a fair bit, to maximize downward pressure/friction. I hate to admit it, but I liked that combination better than the traditional JM trem. Super smooth. I seem to remember it had a narrower pitch range, though.

I no longer have that guitar, but I did make samples back then: https://soundcloud.com/model-beirut-rec ... CiLj9hiaj4

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jvin248
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Re: Les Trem on JM/Jag body ...

Post by jvin248 » Mon Jan 18, 2021 8:10 am

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Most guitars have trems located so they 'look right' as in not too close nor too far from everything else. Searching for design balance.

However, not to add to your indecision, but the amount of string between the saddles and the 'stop tail'/'trem' give more or less string stretch. This can make a guitar feel 'more slinky' when bending notes if longer strings are given or 'more sustain' if shorter string lengths are used. The opposite is that Sustain gets impacted by the string stretch and friction at the saddles/nut. Look at a Mandolin for percent of string beyond the nut/saddles (50%? it's a lot) and a headless style guitar with tuners right at the saddles -- which instrument is 'plinky' and which 'sustains for hours'? I've seen string to string sustain differences on the same guitar depending on the style of headstock (6-in-line, reverse 6-in-line, 3+3, 4+2).

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Re: Les Trem on JM/Jag body ...

Post by HarlowTheFish » Mon Jan 18, 2021 10:21 am

jvin248 wrote:
Mon Jan 18, 2021 8:10 am
.

Most guitars have trems located so they 'look right' as in not too close nor too far from everything else. Searching for design balance.

However, not to add to your indecision, but the amount of string between the saddles and the 'stop tail'/'trem' give more or less string stretch. This can make a guitar feel 'more slinky' when bending notes if longer strings are given or 'more sustain' if shorter string lengths are used. The opposite is that Sustain gets impacted by the string stretch and friction at the saddles/nut. Look at a Mandolin for percent of string beyond the nut/saddles (50%? it's a lot) and a headless style guitar with tuners right at the saddles -- which instrument is 'plinky' and which 'sustains for hours'? I've seen string to string sustain differences on the same guitar depending on the style of headstock (6-in-line, reverse 6-in-line, 3+3, 4+2).

.
Can confirm this -- my headlesses feel super tight and responsive (in a good way, but very noticeable) due to the stiffness of the strings. My Mustang (standard 6-in-line) and RGR (reverse 6), in comparison, feel a lot looser, and the Mustang especially needs the high strings to be bent noticeably more to get the same pitch change (it's not apples to oranges because it's a short scale, but pretty much all my axes have different scale lengths).

It's not just "less string more tight" though": the less total string length there is (including some wraps around the tuning post depending on stringing technique), the tighter your bends are but the less distance you have to bend to get the same pitch change; the more total string length, the looser and slinkier the bends feel but the more you need to bend to get the same pitch change.

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