• New Sponsor: ShipNerd, Ship Your Gear with Us... for less! Click Here.

Confuzed with Gibson LP tailpiece height

Alejandro

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,486
Well, This is my new Gibson LP DC and came pretty good with factory set-up. I just touch neck relief to my taste (almost straight).
String heigh 5/64 bass side and 4/64 treble side..check
Now, the weird thing I noticed is the unbalanced heigh of the tailpiece, lower the treble side than the bass side
So, what is your expierence regarding height balance, or unbalance one and in what way may affect stiff strings, sustain, anything?



 

AdmiralB

Member
Messages
3,060
I tend to set tailpieces down on the top. Not because I think they necessarily sound better, but because it reduces the moment on the stud inserts. But on some guitars, that causes the strings to hit the back of the bridge frame. That's not necessarily a bad thing (think of the places a Strat or Tele string touches during its path to the saddle), but it also puts some forward pressure on the bridge posts.

So in those cases, I lower the tailpiece to just-above-touching. And since the bridge might not be square to the body (treble-side action set lower, for example), the tailpiece may wind up angled when that's achieved.

A long way of saying, "Walter's right, don't worry about it".
 
Last edited:

Alejandro

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,486
Thank for your reply, Indeed I was thinking to lower the TP and maybe try the wraparound system and see how it feels. The only mod I did was moving the strap button from the back of the body to the upper horn. Use to be that way from factory, I don't know why replace the position to the back where IMHO is uncomfortable
 
Last edited:

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
39,361
I tend to set tailpieces down on the top. Not because I think they necessarily sound better, but because it reduces the moment on the stud inserts.
that's not the issue, those things aren't going anywhere.

the real problem is that if you go too steep it puts too much pressure on that weak pot metal bridge and it eventually starts to cave in the middle.
 

AdmiralB

Member
Messages
3,060
Maybe I'm just doing it wrong, but I've been playing ABR bridges since 1983 and I've never had one deform. Perhaps I should be using 13-60 flats?
 

guitararmy

Member
Messages
2,834
I've never understood the LP tailpiece thing, so I have no advice.

However that is one really nice maple top on your DC!
 

Alejandro

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,486
I've never understood the LP tailpiece thing, so I have no advice.

However that is one really nice maple top on your DC!
Thanks!
And regarding the tailpiece thing is like the floating or decking strat bridge! :p
Anyway I just asked because I never saw or read about unbalanced heigh Tailpieces like this one adjusted from factory itself. I guess they know how to set up better than me :D
 

Ncp10

Member
Messages
1,439
I like them up a little. The action feels better to me and the sound is a little fuller to my ears. Experiment and use the right size screwdriver to avoid marks.
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
39,361
Maybe I'm just doing it wrong, but I've been playing ABR bridges since 1983 and I've never had one deform.
i'll bet you a nickel that if you go back and check across the tops of some of those ABRs with a ruler you'll see that they're bent down in the middle a little bit.

i have to hammer them back straight again on nearly every single gibson setup i do, even ones where the tailpiece wasn't too steep.

(that's why i jumped on the callaham steel ABR when it came out for my own guitars.)
 
  • Like
Reactions: DC1

Don A

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,383
With a Nashville bridge like that one, I set the tailpiece height so that the strings just clear the edge of the bridge on the tailpiece side.
 

Fireball XL5

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,005
Now, the weird thing I noticed is the unbalanced heigh of the tailpiece, lower the treble side than the bass side.
So, what is your expierence regarding height balance, or unbalance one and in what way may affect stiff strings, sustain, anything?



The tailpiece adjustment allows you to dial-in the string tension. The further the tailpiece is raised up from the body, the slinkier the guitar will feel. A low or decked tailpiece will feel more taught. There are no set rules. Adjust it to where it feels and sounds best to you.

Some claim that adjusting the tailpiece down to the top increases sustain, but you'll have to determine that one for yourself as I've never found that to be the case with any of my guitars. As has already been mentioned, excessive downward tension can eventually lead to premature bending of the bridge base as well as premature breaking of strings.

On your guitar, the reason the tailpiece is set higher on the bass side & lower on the treble side is to accommodate for the different bridge height setting between the bass & treble strings. If the tailpiece was adjusted such that the bass side was the same height off the top of the guitar as the treble side, there would be more tension on the higher bass strings vs. the lower treble strings. Angling the tailpiece as on your guitar allows the downward tension to be more equal. Not saying you should or shouldn't set the tailpiece this way (there are no set rules), just explaining the reasoning behind it.

I personally set my stop tailpiece similar to how yours is set - up off the body so that there is a more subtle string angle between the bridge & tailpiece, and raised up a bit higher on the bass side. I like the slinkier feel of having the tailpiece higher, and I think it sounds fuller and rounder on the attack with the tailpiece raised up a bit. Not as sharp. I notice no difference in sustain with the tailpiece raised up.
 

Alejandro

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,486
The tailpiece adjustment allows you to dial-in the string tension. The further the tailpiece is raised up from the body, the slinkier the guitar will feel. A low or decked tailpiece will feel more taught. There are no set rules. Adjust it to where it feels and sounds best to you.

Some claim that adjusting the tailpiece down to the top increases sustain, but you'll have to determine that one for yourself as I've never found that to be the case with any of my guitars. As has already been mentioned, excessive downward tension can eventually lead to premature bending of the bridge base as well as premature breaking of strings.

On your guitar, the reason the tailpiece is set higher on the bass side & lower on the treble side is to accommodate for the different bridge height setting between the bass & treble strings. If the tailpiece was adjusted such that the bass side was the same height off the top of the guitar as the treble side, there would be more tension on the higher bass strings vs. the lower treble strings. Angling the tailpiece as on your guitar allows the downward tension to be more equal. Not saying you should or shouldn't set the tailpiece this way (there are no set rules), just explaining the reasoning behind it.

I personally set my stop tailpiece similar to how yours is set - up off the body so that there is a more subtle string angle between the bridge & tailpiece, and raised up a bit higher on the bass side. I like the slinkier feel of having the tailpiece higher, and I think it sounds fuller and rounder on the attack with the tailpiece raised up a bit. Not as sharp. I notice no difference in sustain with the tailpiece raised up.
This is a terrific response, thank you!
Very informative and you taught me a lot :bow
 
Last edited:

Trebor Renkluaf

I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse?
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
14,189
Maybe I'm just doing it wrong, but I've been playing ABR bridges since 1983 and I've never had one deform. Perhaps I should be using 13-60 flats?
I had not one, but two flatten out on my Les Paul. It's one where the neck set is a little steeper than normal so the bridge sites a little higher to keep the strings off of the fingerboard, which in turn creates a greater break angle to the tail piece. I was told as a kid to crank the tail piece all the way down to get the best sustain. I did and the pressure flattened two ABR-1s. I've since been top loading the tail piece and haven't had a problem since.
 
Messages
541
I've heard that the angle of the strings over the bridge to the tailpiece should be the same as the angle of the strings over the nut to the tuners. Like a suspension bridge. Probably just snake oil, but a decent starting point anyway? I started there and settled on screwing the tailpiece all the way down and wrapping over the top of it. The string angle over the bridge are just about the same as the angle over the nut. I feel that the guitar is more resonant and strings feel slinkier that way.
 
Last edited:

KGWagner

Member
Messages
3,243
I've seen a lot of bent ABRs, too. You wouldn't think it would be possible, but excepting the machined units from Callaham, they're just die-cast parts. Aluminum or zinc, not sure which. Not much to 'em, either way. Buddy of mine who had a number of ABRs in his guitar collection went on a binge some years back replacing them with those wide-travel "harmonica" bridges from Schaller for that reason.


I'm not sure if they were machined or die cast, but they were more substantial than the ABRs so they tended to maintain their shape.​
 

Ncp10

Member
Messages
1,439
The Schaller harmonica bridges with properly notched saddles sound good on the right guitar, but I call the ones with roller saddles "note dullers".
 

Oldschool59

Member
Messages
1,890
I have my tailpiece stuck to the guitar top, as low as it can possibly go, and I top-wrap the strings. This is equivalent to raising the tailpiece, string-tension-wise. I have not found any effect of tailpiece height on sustain, but top-wrapping provides a nice way to add some give in the strings, when bending.
 






Trending Topics

Top Bottom