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Gotoh GE101A Stop Tailpiece Review – Affordable Upgrade!

Hello there and welcome back to yet another review article for you! This time, we will consider an affordable upgrade option for your LP-style guitars with Tune-O-Matic style bridges and tailpieces, the Gotoh GE101A Stop Tailpiece!

In this Gotoh GE101A Stop Tailpiece review article, I will provide you with brief information on the Gotoh company and talk about why this stop tailpiece is a great upgrade for your LP-style guitars.

I have also prepared a pair of videos in which I demonstrate “How to remove Tune-O-Matic bushings” with a smart bushing remover and “Does tailpiece affect tone?“.

Before we start, let’s have a quick company introduction for Gotoh Gut Co., Ltd. company.

Gotoh Company

Gotoh (Gotoh Gut Co., Ltd.) is a Japanese company that specializes in the manufacturing of guitar parts and accessories. Gotoh is well-known for producing a wide range of high-quality components used in the construction and maintenance of guitars. Some of the products they manufacture include tuning machines (tuners), bridges, tailpieces, knobs, and various hardware components.

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The company has gained a reputation for producing reliable and durable guitar parts, and its products are often used by guitar manufacturers, luthiers, and musicians worldwide. Guitarists often choose Gotoh parts for their instruments due to the company’s commitment to craftsmanship and precision engineering while their products are affordable for most budgets.

Modding My Beloved Ibanez AR300

As you may have already come across this on my blog, my Ibanez AR300 is probably my favourite guitar of all time! When I first owned this instrument, I also went for an upgrade and changed the pickups, the bridge and pots and got great results.

Check out my Ibanez AR300 review here

This time, I would like to mod and upgrade my Ibanez AR300 a bit better than my previous attempts and I have already started purchasing parts and components for it. So far, I have had the factory frets refretted with Jescar stainless steel jumbo frets and changed the factory bridge and installed a Gotoh GE103B-T-C TOM-Style Bridge and also purchased a pair of Seymour Duncan Full Shred pickups for both bridge and neck, CTS pots, TAD Orange Drop capacitors.

Having said that, I have never considered replacing the tailpiece as I believed they had no function in terms of tone and vibration. However after I carefully researched the topic, I noticed that they affect the vibration and the tone. How much a tailpiece affects tone is another topic and hopefully, you will be able to hear it in the video I prepared for you!

Gotoh GE101A Stop Tailpiece

Gotoh GE101 A Stop Tailpiece is a standard tailpiece for your LP-style guitars that come with different alloys. Although they are identified with the same product code GE101, the letter that comes after the product code indicates the material used in making these tailpieces.

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Simply put, A is for aluminium and Z is for zinc material. Note that, there are colour or plating options that have nothing to do with the alloys used in these tailpieces. It’s possible to have gold, nickel, chrome or relic versions that have either aluminium or zinc materials.

Gotoh GE101A Stop Tailpiece Box
Gotoh GE101A Stop Tailpiece comes in a nice box

Gotoh GE101A tailpieces offer to enhance the sustain and stability of your guitar. Their precision-crafted tailpieces are a testament to Gotoh’s commitment to quality and innovation in guitar hardware.

Check out entire options of Gotoh GE101 Stop Tailpieces here

Gotoh GE101A Features

The GE101 is crafted with precision and attention to detail. Made from high-quality materials, it ensures durability and reliability for your instrument.

According to popular claims, it offers improved sustain with its lightweight design and provides a solid anchor point for your strings, allowing them to resonate freely and contribute to a rich, full-bodied tone.

Gotoh GE101A also features an easy installation and is compatible with most of the guitars in the market.

Gotoh GE101A Stop Tailpiece
Gotoh GE101A Stop Tailpiece

Gotoh GE101A Tech Specs

Before I provide you with my A/B audio test video and how to install this tailpiece, let’s have a brief look at the tech specs below.

Material Aluminium
Single String Spacing 10.3 mm
Total String Spacing 51.5 mm
Dimensions (W x D x H) 102 x 18 x 13 mm
Bolt Spacing 82 mm
Colour Chrome
Incl. M8 (metric)Height adjustment bolts and drive-in sleeves
Made InJapan!
Gotoh GE101A Stop Tailpiece Rear
Gotoh GE101A Stop Tailpiece made in Japan!

How To Remove Tune-O-Matic Bushings?

Removing bushings or inserts from your guitar seems to be an impossible task at first. But I got you covered! As I mentioned in the beginning, I already upgraded the factory bridge and installed a Gotoh GE103B-T-C TOM-Style Bridge on my Ibanez AR300.

While trying to remove the bushings of the factory bridge, I went for the traditional method to remove the inserts. Simply, I put some bolts into the hole and tighten the posts. By tightening the posts, the bottom part of the screws would push against the bolts inside and push the insert upwards.

Gotoh GE101A Stop Tailpiece Bushings
Gotoh GE101A Stop Tailpiece Bushings

However, it did not work with the bushings of the factory bridge as they were so tightly holding the guitar body. I ended up damaging both the bolts of the factory bridge and the bushings. That was completely down to me being stubborn instead of looking for a safer solution.

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To safely remove the bushings, I started researching this topic and found out that there are tools available to execute this. There’s a tool called Knob and Bushing Puller or Remover sold by Elmer Guitar company. It took a while for this item to arrive in Slovakia as it was shipped from China. But eventually, I received my package and went for the removal! You can also buy this from Amazon as well.

Click here to check availability and price of Knob and Bushing Puller at Amazon

Knob Bushing Puller
Knob and Bushing Puller

Using Knob and Bushing Puller is pretty easy. You just need to switch the puller to bushing/insert mode (the default mode is for pulling knobs) and then grab the matching bolt to grab the insert, and then slowly pull the inserts up!

Let’s have a quick look at the Knob and Bushing Puller in action here below!

The problem with the Gotoh GE101A‘s bushings is that they were a bit smaller than the original bushings on my Ibanez AR300. Unlike the factory bridge inserts, these were a bit loose. So I ended up slicing a toothpick in half and tightly installed them on my guitar.

Cool, But Does Tailpiece Affect Tone?

Here’s the big question! Does the tailpiece affect the tone? Let’s find out. First of all, I would like to start from the beginning and talk about the factory tailpiece on my Ibanez AR300.

The factory tailpiece is an Ibanez Quick Change III tailpiece in Chrome plating with model number 2QC1CQ3C. I didn’t know that the tailpieces affect the overall vibration of the guitar, however, after having watched some comparison videos and researched what’s popular among modders, I understood that the lighter ones are usually preferred.

Weight of The Tailpieces Matter?

Ibanez Quick Change III weighs around 68g without the bushings and the bolts. Together with bushings and bolts, it weighs 109g!

On the other hand, Gotoh GE101A only weighs around 28g without the bushings and the bolts. Together with bushings and bolts, it weighs 79g!

I somehow had the misbelief that the heavier is better for tone. But what I noticed was that my Ibanez AR300 did not sound so sweet acoustically. There was something weird about the instrument’s acoustic guitar sounds.

I believe this upgrade has solved this issue. I can easily hear a 2 to 3% difference in acoustic tone. I think it has just opened up a little bit. Also, as you can see from the measurements, my guitar is now 30g lighter! 🙂

To provide you with a comparison demo, I made a short video to feature both acoustic and recorded sounds of my Ibanez AR300. Let’s watch this and finalise it! 🙂

Gotoh GE101A vs Ibanez Quick Change Stop Tailpiece Comparison

Verdict

I have been using Gotoh parts for a long time. Even on my first custom guitar, modding and upgrading my other electrics, Gotoh has been my go-to brand for high-value/money guitar parts. I have never had a single issue with their products and I am 100% confident while buying their products without even thinking or doubting about the quality and consistency!

So from my perspective, you can even take this article as a very long-term review of the Gotoh brand and its guitar parts. My first experience with Gotoh was back in 2006, then in 2013 and now in 2023. I believe you can never go wrong with their guitar parts and they make sure you never have to bust your bank for an upgrade.

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Apart from the Gotoh brand and Gotoh GE101A tailpiece, I would like to also mention that the tailpiece upgrade is something you should be considering, especially if your guitar is an import one. Guitar manufacturers usually use heavier alloys on their tailpiece and bridges and I believe switching to lighter aluminium alloys definitely makes a difference.

Where to Buy Gotoh Parts?

As you may already know, I always buy my guitar parts from Thomann as they offer the best prices in the EU market.

Check out entire Gotoh catalogue on Thomann here

However, you can also check out Reverb and Amazon for any Gotoh parts. They are usually easy to find in any online retailer.

Chances are that it’s not easy to hear these differences in recordings but you will definitely notice a difference in vibrations and openness in the acoustic tone. How much of this effect is translated comes down to the pickups and the amp settings you are to use. But I would say give this upgrade a chance and consider Gotoh tailpieces.

As always, I have never been endorsed by any brand to publish a paid article containing positive reviews (If I do, I always make it transparent with you!), it’s the same with Gotoh and this particular article. I’m a big fan of their products and would like to promote them as they totally deserve more success!

Thanks for visiting my blog and supporting me so far! I will hopefully see you in the next review here!

Osman Cenan Çiğil – cigilovic.com


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