Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Epiphone MB 100 Tailpiece Problems


Does anyone know how to lift the tailpiece for changing strings.

All I’ve been able to do so far is slide the string through the hole, and it is a comedy show watching me fight this over and over.

Any thoughts or comments are appreciated.

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I’m not familiar with your particular tailpiece, but many of them are anchored by the string tension itself, so you can lift it by hand. If you can’t lift the tailpiece off the head, it’s tightened down too tight. This video will help you set it, and probably get a better tone out of your banjo, too.

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Thanks Mark. Yes, I have watched this video. This model is just too bear bones, and I’m all but certain it doesn’t lift back to make changing the strings problem free. :angry:

If you recall the Chevy Monza Spider, it was a little 8 cylinder car that required loosening the motor mounts to change the spark plugs.

It’s just like that. Somebody get me a Xanax!

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Hi Jack, I’ve never seen an Epiphone banjo up close but I checked out a few pics on Google. The tailpiece looks similar in design to the one that’s on my Fender FB58. It has a clamshell clasp that’s held down with a heavy duty spring. It’s so heavy duty that it takes all my effort to prize open the darn thing. I usually wedge a lolly stick to keep it open whilst I change the strings, it’s a real pain to do, just be careful the stick doesn’t slip out that spring is so strong it’ll cut your finger in two. I’ve always been meaning to replace it with something similar to the one I have on my Stelling. But after nine years I never got round to doing it. The spring is still has heavy duty as ever even after nine years.

Check out this video.

Thanks Archie. Actually, I have nothing that flips back on the tailpiece there exposing the posts which the loop end goes into…It’s just slide it through the hole, under the tailpiece and hope that you can get the loop end to hook under the post.

One guy on the net suggested ball end strings.

I think I got it figured out. I pried the posts back a bit so they’ll hopefully catch the post easier. I was so PO’d I just cut the strings and am going to start with a new set.

Thanks again…Jack

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Hi Jack can you take a photo

That sounds similar to mine, actually, ball end strings are a good idea, otherwise you just have to wrestle it for about thirty minutes then wash your mouth out with soap :joy: :face_vomiting:

Could you take a close up picture of the part of the tail piece giving you a problem and post it here?

That’s a good one Kanon…I think I only cussed once. Twice at most. Definitely need to work on that. Agree though that ball end strings would be much easier, though probably a bit more difficult to find.


Got it done. Notice that the tailpiece is basically an L bracket.

To make it easier, I removed the thumb screw and pried back those string posts just a bit.

Then, after an extended calming down period, I got new strings, and bent the string loops at about a 90 degree angle with needle nose pliers and it went quite a bit easier.

All suggestions and support were much appreciated. This community is the best out there.


Hi Jack, How were you feeding the strings through the tailpiece, loop first or straight end?

Looks straight forward to me. Obviously easing out the hooks would make the task easier.

Well done! Glad you got it figured out.

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Straight end first. The tough part was getting the loop over the hook. I promise you it’s tougher than it looks. Prebending the loop and persistence played the biggest part.

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I was going to say new strings have a mind of their own and if your not careful you can end up jabbing yourself.

It’s always best to pre-bend the loop, slide the string thou the hole straight end first then with a small piece of duck tape, tape the string loop to the tail plate, then wind on the string at the peg head till you’ve taken up all the slack, do not fully tighten at this time.

Change only one string at a time that way the strings hold the bridge in place. When you have all the strings on the banjo give each string a little tug to stretch it a little then tune the banjo. Then tug each string again and retune.

Yes It’s even tougher fitting strings with a clam shell tail piece I swear the tension on that spring must be about 200 pounds.

It’s always frustrating the first few times but the good news is It gets easier each time you change strings.

Just a final note. Always make sure you keep a few packs of strings handy and never change strings when your down to the last pack. Cause as soon as you start changing strings your guaranteed to break one. Better to play with old strings than a banjo with new strings with one string busted.

Handy Tip, Keep a little tool kit handy, a small set of narrow nosed pliers, wire cutters and some tape. Maybe @BanjoBen or @Jake can advise if they stock these in the General Store.

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Wise counsel…thank you.

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That looks almos exactly like mine. I’m actually Gunnar my older brother is Kanon which is why his name is first but he almost never looks at this forum


I don’t see your photo… Shows broken link. Oops just noticed this is five months old. Hopefully you’ve solved it now. :wink:

Hi Jon,

This is a known issue with the forum storing images and files, @BanjoBen 's team has been working to resolve this for some time now.