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View Full Version : why no love for wraparounds?


minorseventh
06-04-2009, 01:45 PM
slim pickings for set neck guitars with wraparound bridges.

theres a few PRS models, a couple of Hamers, and a few older Gibsons. Im sure theres others out there, but Im not finding much.

this leads me to believe the demand for a wraparound isnt very high, as even the cheaper guitars all ship with TOM style bridges, when a 1 piece must be less expensive to manufacture. right?!

I like them because they feel different, looser than a TOM, and I get that cool bendy thing going on. plus they just look cool!
Since I cant really find one Im thinking of converting my sg-x and plugging the extra post holes (bad idea I know), or maybe picking up an epiphone and butchering that instead... but then id need to remove 3 pounds of poly first.:rolleyes:

Maess
06-04-2009, 01:55 PM
Because its hard to set the intonation on them and getting the right setup on them is a PITA. Individually adjustable saddles = win.

BPSUL
06-04-2009, 01:59 PM
I've never used them - but I assume a any particular wrap around bridge has specific string gauge recommendations? True? If not then how would you get the intonnation right?

gkoelling
06-04-2009, 02:04 PM
Actually, set up is simple.

http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f115/gjk318/Gear/IMG_0158.jpg
http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f115/gjk318/Gear/IMG_0160.jpg

Nergalled
06-04-2009, 02:06 PM
Can't intonate them.

Maess
06-04-2009, 02:06 PM
Actually, set up is simple.

http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f115/gjk318/Gear/IMG_0158.jpg

Yes because thats a wrapover with adjustable saddles. I am assuming that's an after market part, correct?

minorseventh
06-04-2009, 02:10 PM
http://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n90/northernlord/Pigtail_Aluminum_Wraparound_Bridge_.jpghttp://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n90/northernlord/Schaller_BridgeTailpiece_Detail.jpghttp://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n90/northernlord/Adjustable_Wraparound_Bridge_Detail.jpghttp://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n90/northernlord/tonepros-wraparound-prs-bridge-2-me.jpg

maybe I dont understand. why cant they be intonated?

Gnarlly
06-04-2009, 02:12 PM
If the guitar is constructed well (i.e. exact measurements), you shouldn't have any issues with a wrap-around bridge. The PRS wrap-around bridge does have two small allen screws against the bridge posts that can adjust the intonation if needed for different strings gauges, but I haven't needed to adjust the bridge with 9's or 10's.

These bridges also feel a lot better on your hand when palm muting (no spiky saddles/screws to deal with).

http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa178/gabrielgnall/prs3.jpg

gkoelling
06-04-2009, 02:13 PM
Yes because thats a wrapover with adjustable saddles. I am assuming that's an after market part, correct?

The guitar is a Prairiewood Special, built by TGP member 57 Special. The Pig Tail is original equipment.

Maess
06-04-2009, 02:14 PM
^^^

That's an aftermarket part, name me one guitar that comes with that type of wrapover standard.

gkoelling
06-04-2009, 02:15 PM
http://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n90/northernlord/Pigtail_Aluminum_Wraparound_Bridge_.jpghttp://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n90/northernlord/Schaller_BridgeTailpiece_Detail.jpghttp://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n90/northernlord/Adjustable_Wraparound_Bridge_Detail.jpghttp://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n90/northernlord/tonepros-wraparound-prs-bridge-2-me.jpg

maybe I dont understand. why cant they be intonated?

They can, some guys just don't like anything that's more than .00000000000001 of a cent off.

jrw32
06-04-2009, 02:16 PM
I like a variety of bridge-types & trems, etc. I think I like the feel of trem-equipped guitars a little better, but I much prefer the clean/simple look of wraparounds, & actually find them (at least on my PRS Standard below) easier to intonate, tuning is definitely more stable, & better sustain when compared to my trem-equipped guitars:

http://img15.imageshack.us/img15/245/std22011.jpg

minorseventh
06-04-2009, 02:17 PM
all I was asking is why people dont like them. the parts are there. we have the technology.

and off the top of my head old BC Riches used leo quan badass bridges stock, and then their own quad design, and even gibson used something similar on the spirit series in the mid 90's. im sure there are others.

dk123123dk
06-04-2009, 02:17 PM
Edwards makes a guitar with a wraparound. PRS, Gibson, etc.

dk

minorseventh
06-04-2009, 02:19 PM
these PRS bridges look sturdy as hell. Ive never been fond of the PRS because of the glass finishes, but I might have to give them another look now...

Maess
06-04-2009, 02:19 PM
I thought you were asking a question rather than trying to start an argument. Now that I know that's not the case I'm done with this thread.

minorseventh
06-04-2009, 02:22 PM
I thought you were asking a question rather than trying to start an argument. Now that I know that's not the case I'm done with this thread.

what????
I have never argued once in this forum. what in the world gave you the idea that I am being the least bit confrontational?
wow.
I was indeed asking a question, and if a discussion ensued, then so be it.

gkoelling
06-04-2009, 02:22 PM
^^^

That's an aftermarket part, name me one guitar that comes with that type of wrapover standard.

That guitar came from the builder with that part as stock.

billy budapest
06-04-2009, 02:25 PM
I have two guitars with wraparound bridges - a Melody Maker RI and a Les Paul DC Studio - and despite my initial skepticism I was impressed with how spot-on the intonation was on each of them.

I've been toying with the idea of switching to a Leo Quan on the LP, but I really like the smooth feeling of the wraparound on the heel of my hand.

drbob1
06-04-2009, 02:25 PM
They have the reputation of being hard to intonate. Since no bothers to intonate their guitar anyway (well, some of you obsessives may but I'll bet 90% of guitars out there are never intonated between delivery and fiery death) so it's kind of a moot point. I think there's kind of a prejudice that a proper guitar has a strat, tele, stop-tail, Floyd or Bigsby bridge and the wraps get used for "vintage style" instruments. Just a prejudice, but unfortunate...

minorseventh
06-04-2009, 02:27 PM
I have two guitars with wraparound bridges - a Melody Maker RI and a Les Paul DC Studio - and despite my initial skepticism I was impressed with how spot-on the intonation was on each of them.

I've been toying with the idea of switching to a Leo Quan on the LP, but I really like the smooth feeling of the wraparound on the heel of my hand.


the les paul DC studio is another Im looking at right now.. from about 97 i think?
they are pretty solid? Ive never played one.

Nergalled
06-04-2009, 02:32 PM
A regular wrap around, the kind on vintage Gibsons, is what I thought you were referring to. The Leo Quan, and the new Tone Pros are great because you can intonate them. I do not care for the PRS bridge, I like to be able to adjust each saddle. I like Floyds so I am in the minority anyway.

doublescale1
06-04-2009, 02:45 PM
I put a TonePro intonatable wraparound on my McCarty - I like it a lot and it really does make intonation a snap - my only little complaint is that there is no channel to run the string through when "wrapping around" as a result I have found myself fighting with getting the string to come out the hole facing the end of the guitar - a major PITA when your trying to change a string in a dark backstage area or just off stage in a club. Like I said a very minor complaint, but it's not minor while your fighting with that high E string, stabbing around in teh dark litteraly.

billy budapest
06-04-2009, 03:15 PM
the les paul DC studio is another Im looking at right now.. from about 97 i think?
they are pretty solid? Ive never played one.

If memory serves, these were only made for two years - from 1997-'99.

Here are the specs:

- offset double cutaway mahogany back
- carved maple top
- set-in mahogany neck
- 24 fret rosewood fingerboard with dot inlay
- wrap-around stop tailpiece
- 3 per side tuners
- chrome hardware
- 2 covered humbuckers
- volume/tone controls, 3-way toggle.

Available in Ebony (EB), Heritage Cherry Sunburst (HS), Emerald Green, Ruby, and Wine Red (WR) finishes.

I have a black one, which I have to admit is visually plain to a fault. The Cherry Sunburst or Wine Red are far more striking. Playing-wise, however, it's a whole other story. The body is chambered so the tonal variations of the three pickup selections is very wide. The neck pickup setting sounds nearly like a semi-hollow!

In fact, out of nowhere and much to my surprise, this one has jumped to the head of the line as my go-to guitar by my desk in my office. Impressive.

Dumo
06-04-2009, 03:25 PM
I love them. My most toneful guitars have been wraparounds. JG guitars have em stock. http://www.jgguitars.com/frame2.html

bek
06-04-2009, 03:45 PM
I have a beautiful Hamer Archtop Studio from 96, I think. It has a wrap bridge with sliding G/B saddle. I've only used 10s on it and it's perfect. I also have an Industrial (Guitarman_1 is selling a Tele-shaped one in the Emporium; mine's LP-shaped) with a wrap bridge using individual saddles. I tweaked it a tiny bit when I installed TonePros locking studs. I love the feel of them, like other people here. I also love the look. A Michael Kelly Valor model has one, too, so they're not always expensive.

bigworm04
06-04-2009, 03:53 PM
I had an 07 Gibson Oxblood and it was spot-on. The guitar killed. I loved it, buy when the prices came down on the 50th R8's I had to use it as a down payment. It hurt, but next week when the 50th arrives, all will be right with the world.

Here it is (no longer affiliated). http://wildwoodguitars.com/electrics/misc/47110/47110.php

Baxtercat
06-04-2009, 04:00 PM
I made this
http://www.telemodders.com/b_ohsiek.html
using just an LP-type stud for a wraparound.
Funny thing is: it's in tune! [def. close enough for RnR]

Gigbag
06-04-2009, 04:11 PM
Because its hard to set the intonation on them and getting the right setup on them is a PITA. Individually adjustable saddles = win.

That's why I don't like them.

clmazza
06-04-2009, 04:19 PM
I have a soft spot for them as well! So much that I had one custom made :AOK It's the first and only Chafin 24 fret Xalta. I have a few PRSi as well and love them all!

http://home.earthlink.net/~clmazza/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/chafin21.jpg

Oh... no intonation problems with adjustable saddles :)

bluegrif
06-04-2009, 04:30 PM
I'm a big fan of wraparound bridges. And yes, there are a lot of modern wraparounds that feature fully adjustable saddles. The Tonepros wraparound on my Giffin is a really excellent bridge. Incidentally, the wraparound on the PRS Singlecut I used to own had excellent intonation. At least with the 10-46 set I used on that guitar.

webe123
06-04-2009, 04:38 PM
Because its hard to set the intonation on them and getting the right setup on them is a PITA. Individually adjustable saddles = win.


NOT TRUE! You seem to base your assumption on a guitar that does not have a decent setup in the first place.

My PRS Mcarty Soapbar has not given me one bit of trouble as far as intonation and setup goes.

So you cannot make a blanket statement and say that is true for all guitars.

Dale
06-04-2009, 06:02 PM
I put the Gotoh on my PRS Soapbar II. Worked great.

http://www.warmoth.com/Gotoh-510-C706.aspx

jaydawg76
06-04-2009, 06:21 PM
That guitar came from the builder with that part as stock.
Hey Greg, just because that bridge was put on there by the manufacturer doesn't mean it's OEM.:roll

Here is another great sounding AND intonatable bridge.


http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb138/jaydawg76/IMG_1370.jpg

okie
06-04-2009, 06:51 PM
Pigtail aluminum with tonepros locking studs, smokes my tom and tailpiece equiped LP's in terms of sustain and tone.

http://i127.photobucket.com/albums/p136/okiegibson/Guitars/Bulldog%20LP/aIMG_1384.jpg

CitizenCain
06-04-2009, 07:24 PM
I have a Pigtail aluminum and Tone-Pro locking studs too :D

Intonation is just fine.

http://www.visi.com/~sstolle/refin/012-done-front3.jpg

okie
06-04-2009, 07:41 PM
Nice!

gkoelling
06-04-2009, 07:50 PM
Hey Greg, just because that bridge was put on there by the manufacturer doesn't mean it's OEM.:roll

Here is another great sounding AND intonatable bridge.


http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb138/jaydawg76/IMG_1370.jpg

:boxer

Mike R.
06-04-2009, 08:20 PM
Because generally speaking, it costs extra and it's really not worth the.....oh wait...WRAP arounds......

Never mind......

Rhomco
06-05-2009, 06:08 AM
that lingers from the 60's & 70's. I know, I was one of the purps for many years! Back in the day "all bridges" including the wraptail bridges were designed for heavy/medium gage string sets with wound "G" strings. You could not buy anything else unless you used singles to make your own custom string sets. In fact so many of us guys were doing that, the string makers started offering sets that way and called them "Lite-Gage Strings". When players started shifting to "lite-gage" strings the wound "G" strings were dropped in favor of unwound "G"s. Suddenly everyone started badmouthing the guitars with wraptails because they would not intonate. We did not know what the hell intonation was back then but we did know these guitars sounded like crap after we put new strings on them. With few exceptions today a guitar with a wraptail bridge is designed for "normal" strings which are in fact "lite-gage" will intonate just fine and you will be amazed at the string tone, note seperation and bendability you get with these bridges. I do a lot of conversions these days for people who want thier TOM's removed and wraptails installed. Good things never die, they just hide from public opinion sometimes.
Rob

Don A
06-05-2009, 06:55 AM
Most players believe them to be cheap and inferior. They associate them with poorly setup Les Paul Juniors and Specials and swapped them out along with the P-90s back in the day!

I love them both!

bek
06-05-2009, 07:05 AM
CitizenCain, that is just gorgeous! I was thinking of doing that on one of my guitars. Did the wraptail just drop in and lock, no problem?

HeyMrTeleMan
06-05-2009, 09:15 AM
If memory serves, these were only made for two years - from 1997-'99.

Here are the specs:

- offset double cutaway mahogany back
- carved maple top
- set-in mahogany neck
- 24 fret rosewood fingerboard with dot inlay
- wrap-around stop tailpiece
- 3 per side tuners
- chrome hardware
- 2 covered humbuckers
- volume/tone controls, 3-way toggle.

Available in Ebony (EB), Heritage Cherry Sunburst (HS), Emerald Green, Ruby, and Wine Red (WR) finishes.

I have a black one, which I have to admit is visually plain to a fault. The Cherry Sunburst or Wine Red are far more striking. Playing-wise, however, it's a whole other story. The body is chambered so the tonal variations of the three pickup selections is very wide. The neck pickup setting sounds nearly like a semi-hollow!

In fact, out of nowhere and much to my surprise, this one has jumped to the head of the line as my go-to guitar by my desk in my office. Impressive.

Here's mine. I just upgraded the pups to Fralin PAF's and it's wonderful!
I believe mine is a '96.

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c187/Tomway301/LPDC1.jpg

HeyMrTeleMan
06-05-2009, 09:22 AM
Ooops! It's a '97. Sorry!


I believe mine is a '96.

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c187/Tomway301/LPDC1.jpg

dk_ace
06-05-2009, 09:50 AM
I have a McCarty with one, and it's intonation is absolutely perfect with 9s or 10s. I haven't tried anything else on that guitar, but it's the easiest guitar I have to setup and intonate.

I wouldn't want a wrap on everything, but for certain designs it's perfect. I love it on the Mac, and I want to get a Jr or special soon with a wraparound as well.

It feels different. Not better or worse, just different. I certainly have a place for the design in my toolbox, YMMV.

D

minorseventh
06-05-2009, 11:08 AM
that lingers from the 60's & 70's. I know, I was one of the purps for many years! Back in the day "all bridges" including the wraptail bridges were designed for heavy/medium gage string sets with wound "G" strings. You could not buy anything else unless you used singles to make your own custom string sets. In fact so many of us guys were doing that, the string makers started offering sets that way and called them "Lite-Gage Strings". When players started shifting to "lite-gage" strings the wound "G" strings were dropped in favor of unwound "G"s. Suddenly everyone started badmouthing the guitars with wraptails because they would not intonate. We did not know what the hell intonation was back then but we did know these guitars sounded like crap after we put new strings on them. With few exceptions today a guitar with a wraptail bridge is designed for "normal" strings which are in fact "lite-gage" will intonate just fine and you will be amazed at the string tone, note seperation and bendability you get with these bridges. I do a lot of conversions these days for people who want thier TOM's removed and wraptails installed. Good things never die, they just hide from public opinion sometimes.
Rob

see now we're getting somewhere! this is why I started this thread, because there does indeed seem to be misconceptions and a general aversion to these.
I knew there were reasons, but I wasnt playing in the 70s. Well, I was. But not with guitars.

SoCalSteve
06-05-2009, 11:15 AM
The Hamer Artist I picked up a few weeks ago is my first with a wraparound. I bonded with it quickly. The intonation is spot on. It's got the Wilkinson with adjustable G and B string saddles.

minorseventh
06-05-2009, 11:27 AM
all this said and I still can't find on the Ebay that I like. ugh:puh

odd
06-05-2009, 12:54 PM
Pardon my ignorance, but if I understand correctly, the classic wraparound design (not the modern ones shown throughout this thread) does not allow for individual string intonation. Then how the hell do you intonate? After some time and handling the guitar's surely bound to be annoyingly out of tune?

sears
06-05-2009, 01:18 PM
The intonation won't drift. Once it's set I intonate with the fingers of my left hand as I get used to the guitar.

Baxtercat
06-05-2009, 04:05 PM
Yes, see my earlier post showing using just an old LP stud for a bridge. It's not out of tune, and you bend and pull worse than that all the time anyway as you play.

AustinIsPresent
06-05-2009, 04:38 PM
I play a wraparound on my PRS, and that guitar intonates better than my fender and my gibson...fascinating!

Brett Valentine
06-05-2009, 05:00 PM
Pardon my ignorance, but if I understand correctly, the classic wraparound design (not the modern ones shown throughout this thread) does not allow for individual string intonation. Then how the hell do you intonate? After some time and handling the guitar's surely bound to be annoyingly out of tune?


I did restoration & repair work on a friend's '64 Melody Maker, and spent some time adjusting the action and neck relief. Once I got everything "balanced," the intonation was surprisingly good.

http://img297.imageshack.us/img297/2424/64melodymaker1bsmall1ms6.jpg

CitizenCain
06-05-2009, 06:05 PM
CitizenCain, that is just gorgeous! I was thinking of doing that on one of my guitars. Did the wraptail just drop in and lock, no problem?

Thank you :D

No, it was not a straight drop in. I had to remove the bushings for both the old tail piece and the bridge, plug the old holes then drill new holes for the wrap bridge bushings. It wasn't too hard actually and I did everything with common hand tools. I'm planning to do a strip and refin this year to try and work the plugs for the old tailpiece holes in better.

bek
06-05-2009, 06:33 PM
thanks, guy. nice work!

webe123
06-05-2009, 09:07 PM
I think that there is a BIG DIFFERENCE in the early wraparound bridges and the ones modern manufacturers like PRS use today.

Again, as others have stated, I have had no intonation problems at all with my PRS Mcarty soapbar and a lot of others have stated this as well throughout the thread.

It may have gotten a bad reputation and was just stuck with having it, but today's wrap around bridges are fine to put on certian models....maybe not every one, but some models certianly do benifit from this design.

axslinger
06-05-2009, 11:06 PM
http://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n90/northernlord/Pigtail_Aluminum_Wraparound_Bridge_.jpghttp://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n90/northernlord/Schaller_BridgeTailpiece_Detail.jpghttp://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n90/northernlord/Adjustable_Wraparound_Bridge_Detail.jpghttp://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n90/northernlord/tonepros-wraparound-prs-bridge-2-me.jpg

maybe I dont understand. why cant they be intonated?

I love the Schaller-style bridge (middle one). Had one on an old Hondo Formula I that was one of those pawnshop prizes. Played great and sounded great.

The Golden Boy
06-06-2009, 07:23 AM
I love the Schaller-style bridge (middle one). Had one on an old Hondo Formula I that was one of those pawnshop prizes. Played great and sounded great.

I've you've got a guitar with a non-adjustable bridge (I mean individual saddles) and it intonates fine- don't "upgrade" to a bridge with individual saddles. I've had a few different guitars with the Schaller 455 bridge. I really liked it. Then again, the first guitar I had it on NEEDED individual saddle adjustments. I got an old Special, and heard some hinky things with intonation, so I bought a 455 for it. Had it that way for a few years, and out of the blue decided to try it with the old wraparound... DAMN. I don't like the word/phrase "tone-suck" but that Schaller robbed the guitar of so much "life."

I currently have 2 guitars with the Schaller bridge- I'm sorta looking for an old Gibson bridge to replace one- and the other... it has an intonable wraparound because it needs it...

57special
06-07-2009, 04:37 PM
The people at Martin have been making some pretty sweet sounding guitars on their "unintonatable" bridges for a long time. A bone saddle is essentially the same thing as an old wrap in terms of intonation.
You can get better intonation with the units that have saddles, but you do lose something with all those parts, IMO. Sometimes it makes a big difference, sometimes not.

musicofanatic5
06-07-2009, 11:24 PM
Pardon my ignorance, but if I understand correctly, the classic wraparound design (not the modern ones shown throughout this thread) does not allow for individual string intonation. Then how the hell do you intonate? After some time and handling the guitar's surely bound to be annoyingly out of tune?

I've had lotsa archtop and flattop acoustics with a straight-line saddle that intonate fine. When I'm playing my R-4 and when something sounds hinky, it's always a string slightly out of tune. If one is of the ilk that must dick with adjusting their saddles at every string change, then don't get a wraptail. You won't like it.

Rhomco
06-08-2009, 07:41 AM
see now we're getting somewhere! this is why I started this thread, because there does indeed seem to be misconceptions and a general aversion to these.
I knew there were reasons, but I wasnt playing in the 70s. Well, I was. But not with guitars.

Heres another tidbit from the 60's that effects us all today. Back in those days most all "wound" guitar strings were made from nickel steel. Not nickel plated steel like we have today. The difference in bendability and brite tone is astounding between the two metals. The string manufacturers started using steel cores with steel wraps and or steel cores with nickel plated steel wraps because it is cheap to make. These strings are BRITE and THIN in the tones they produce. Suddenly the amp makers started tweaking the amps to these strings and we lost the magic mojo of tone again. Ever wonder why your guitar sounds and feels so different with different brands of strings? I recently tried out a set or two of the new Jimi Hendrix model pure nickel strings from Dean Markley, woah! I like that tone again. I liked it so much I placed a web order for 20 sets. I put on a set and something was missing again. They were really slinky but sounded different. After checking the labels I discovered I had bought the "other" version of the same brand strings but these were nickel plated steel instead of pure nickel strings. I saved a dollar a set but lost the tone I was after. Yep, I sent the 19 sets I did not open right back and exchanged them for the pure nickel version. If you are a rocker or a blues player, you owe it to yourself to try a set or two of the "pure nickel" strings and discover the tone they produce.
Just sayin,
Rob

sharpshooter
06-08-2009, 09:01 AM
Took off the bridge, and tailpiece, from my Guild S-100, in the '70's. Replaced those parts with a Bad Ass, intonation is/was easy to adjust, the tuning is very stable, and the unit is comfortable to rest your hand on. Like them very much, great sustain too.

skydog
06-12-2009, 08:18 PM
The people at Martin have been making some pretty sweet sounding guitars on their "unintonatable" bridges for a long time. A bone saddle is essentially the same thing as an old wrap in terms of intonation.
You can get better intonation with the units that have saddles, but you do lose something with all those parts, IMO. Sometimes it makes a big difference, sometimes not.
Thanks Rob. I couldn't agree more. Several acoustic manufacturers have experimented with intonatable saddles on their guitars but most if not all went back to a "fixed" bridge.