my tune o matic top wrapping experience

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by scr@tchy, Jan 14, 2015.

  1. scr@tchy

    scr@tchy Member

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    2005 Les Paul Special SL

    Was going up a gauge in strings and thought I would try top wrapping to keep the strings from being too tight and see what bringing the stop bar down flush would do for me.

    I found nothing but heresy

    First, I didn't like a flush stop bar tone-wise. It took away some detail, brightness, and overall liveliness on my guitar. It reminded me of how I like the tone of a strat with a floating bridge over a decked one, but the difference here was much less subtle.

    Second, I found it easier to dial in the tension I wanted on the tune o matic with normal stringing verses top wrapping. My experience is overall string length from tuner to where the ball is effects tension at pitch, top wrapping adds to the string length by at least an inch and only works to alleviate tension if you are decking the stop bar... is my finding.

    This is just what I went through with my guitar. If I were going to lower the tail piece flush then I would most likely try top wrapping again but for this guitar/situation it didn't work out.
     
  2. PlinytheWelder

    PlinytheWelder Member

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    Every guitar is unique.... :D
     
  3. gmann

    gmann Member

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    And some are different!
     
  4. scr@tchy

    scr@tchy Member

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    I've heard that, about experiences even
     
  5. Virgman

    Virgman Member

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    Doesn't it scratch up the tailpiece too?
     
  6. mellecaster

    mellecaster Member

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    Sure does....and Frets will also wear if you play your Guitar a lot....:JAM
     
  7. davebc

    davebc Member

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    I used to try top wrapping way back when.
    It absolutely kills the life in the strings because of the extra kink
    At the back of the tailpiece. Kills the snap crackle pop too.
    Just one mans opinion.
     
  8. 1radicalron

    1radicalron Member

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    Duane Allman did it. You can too...
     
  9. Seth L

    Seth L Silver Supporting Member

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    I've never noticed any difference in sound or string life. The angle of the strings comes close to the headstock angle so there's less tension on the bridge. I can adjust my action without loosening the strings or needing a special tool to lift the bridge. Once again, I haven't heard any difference at all. It's really sort of insignificant.
     
  10. analogsystem

    analogsystem Member

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    I top wrap on my Firebird because the neck is set at such a steep angle that I would have otherwise had to have had the tailpiece so high it looked and felt ridiculous.

    Tonally I'm not too sure it makes a difference but honestly, I just like having my tailpiece set all the way down. It seems more secure.
     
  11. wwit

    wwit Member

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    Billy Gibbons and Joe Bonamassa also pretty famous top wrap guys known for their tone.

    Way before the interwebz we had these paper things we used to read called magazines. I recall one of them had an interview with Billy Gibbons and who he set up his famous Pearly Gates LP and talked about clamping the stop down solid to the body top wrapping it. Which was unusual at the time to do so. I honestly cant remember the exact reason he did this...that article was close to 30 years ago...and my memory is getting horrible. But anyway, I tried it, liked it and have done that method with every stop/tom guitar I've owned since.

    No right or wrong in it as long as it works for the individual player. I have never had a string break due to the hard edge it makes back over the stop. In fact I have only broken 1 string that I recall in maybe the past 10-12 years and it was on a Strat that broke at the nut while being heavy handed on the trem.

    In the US you can buy quality name brand sets of strings for $3.50 to $4.00 a pack. SO no huge loss if you try it and don't care for it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2015
  12. Virgman

    Virgman Member

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    Now you tell me! :bonk
     
  13. mschafft

    mschafft Member

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    I like the way it looks but it doesn't make any sense to me. Just my 2 cts.
     
  14. MKB

    MKB Silver Supporting Member

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    There is a illustration from a fifties Gibson catalog that shows an early tuneamatic guitar with top wrapping on the tailpiece. Many stock Gibson tailpieces I have seen, including the one on my 2010 LP Trad Plus, have had machining that suggests top wrapping. So at least at some time that is what was intended. Plus there are all those non tuneamatic guitars that are top wrapped, no problem with those.

    IMHO a LP doesn't feel right unless it is top wrapped, but that's because it is what I'm used to. The string tension and feel difference is significant, but I have not noticed a tonal difference (other than what you get with a higher tension).

    If you have a Nashville tuneamatic, often you can't get the tailpiece down all the way with standard stringing, as the string will hit the back end of the bridge and cause much string breakage.

    There are many players of LP's with the smaller width tuneamatics (Jimmy Page is one) where they string normally but have the tailpiece all the way down. This would make for a stiff action on an LP, but his use of 9's might make up for it.
     
  15. shane88

    shane88 Member

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    the U turn @ the tailpiece slows down the mojo
     
  16. Gevalt

    Gevalt Supporting Member

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    You didn't like the tone because there was more energy going into the body. Less metal, more wood, less Stratty.
     

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