About Us

Marvin Cable Tailpieces is a US business that designs and creates cable tailpieces for bowed string instruments. The company was founded by Kevin Marvin from Burlington Vermont, USA. Kevin is a bass player who, like most bass players, is constantly searching for ways to improve the sound and playability of his bass.

The Product
The Marvin cable tailpiece was developed to eliminate the negative impact of the tailpiece on the instrument's sound. This design assumes that the most significant sound of the instrument emanates from the body and top table. In order to maximize the sound it is important to maximize the vibrational energy going from the string to the top table through the bridge. The traditional tailpiece reduces this energy by muting the vibrations of the string.

The most common source of tonal inconsistency in string instruments is the tailpiece and string afterlength between the bridge and tailpiece. These inconsistencies, also known as wolf tones, are caused by the pitch of the tailpiece vibration and the vibration of the string afterlengths. These pitches impact the vibration of the string to create dead and enhanced pitches. Traditionally, the best luthers use many methods to tune the tailpiece and afterlength pitches to reduce or change the wolf tones. The Marvin Cable Tailpiece eliminates all wolf tones originating from the tailpiece. The reduced mass of this tailpiece, the individual cables per string and the buffering of the cables against vibration accomplish this.

A second issue with traditional instrument tailpieces is that the bridge vibrates unevenly due to the reduced elasticity on the tailpiece side of the bridge and the stabilizing effect of  the traditional tailpiece attachment. The thin cables of the Marvin tailpiece provide additional elasticity to provide a more even vibration of the bridge. A single braided cable passing over the saddle reduces the stabilizing impact of the traditional 2 cables on the bridge and thus allowing more even bridge movement.

So why were traditional tailpieces ever developed if they created all of these problems? Tailpieces were initially developed primarily as a place to attach the strings, originally gut strings. The inconsistency of traditional gut strings required something to control the overtones created by this inconsistency. Therefore the tailpiece was used and adjusted by the luthier to meet the sound needs of traditional strings. 
Modern steel strings are of more consistent in material and manufacture. Therefore modernstrings do not need the muting of the tailpiece to control the overtones. Newer synthetic and steel core strings allow the player, by choice of strings,to adjust the sound of the instrumentTherefore the traditional tailpiece is not needed with modern steel strings.