Raise the stopbar on my les paul?

omfg51

Member
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2,915
I've heard that the strings on your les paul should not touch the latter edge of your bridge. I don't know why, but I've heard it's bad. The only way to counter act that is to have the stopbar raised. Is this correct, or does it even matter?
 

chrisrocksusa

Member
Messages
2,313
omfg i've never noticed that!

mine don't touch, just checked. difficult to tell from the high E side, but if you check from the other side you get a better view.


never heard that they shouldn't touch that end of the bridge.
 

omfg51

Member
Messages
2,915
If it really does effect anything at all, I think it would be sustain. The reason I ask is because I like my stopbar cranked all the way down for max tension. But apparantly it is bad? I have no idea but I really want to find out.
 

Chandyland

Member
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2,384
I suppose after a while, the bridge could get scratched up if the strings put too much pressure on it, but the main concern with the bridge and tailpiece is a really huge break angle. If the angle the strings make with the body when strung up is too great, it can eventually cause the bridge to collapse under the pressure. At least, some have reported this happening.

The best way to avoid this phenomenon, if the angle on your guitar is especially steep, is to wrap the strings over the top of the tailpiece. I did this with my SG, and I'm a lot more comfortable with the angle. I do plan to get a Bigsby sometime, though.
 

gmann

Member
Messages
8,747
If the strings hit the back of your bridge, over time, it can cause your bridge to lean forward. Lotta pressure there. Very small posts that the ABR-1 sits on. Raise the bridge a little or try top wrapping.
 

erksin

Senior Member
Messages
23,127
IMO, it comes down to tuning stability and feel of the strings - if you have a contact point at the back of the bridge it's possible that the wound strings can get bound up there. It's also an additional stressor on the bridge posts pushing them forward.

I topwrap my LP Deluxe and found that the strings feel more slinky and are a little easier to bend, as well as having just bit more acoustic ring to the guitar.
 

4styx

Member
Messages
1,269
In my experience it affects the tone of the guitar.More angle on the bass side gives you tighter punchier bass,less angle is a softer/warmer tone.
I adjust the treble side to the playing tension I like.
 

vortexxxx

Supporting Member
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10,886
Just raise your tailpiece high enough so that you can slide a piece of paper where the strings are currently touching your tailpiece.
You can also fix this by top wrapping your tailpiece.
 

Tim Plains

Member
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6,145
If the strings hit the back of your bridge, over time, it can cause your bridge to lean forward. Lotta pressure there. Very small posts that the ABR-1 sits on. Raise the bridge a little or try top wrapping.
I've never come across an ABR-1 where the strings touched the back of the bridge. I'm guessing he has a Nashville bridge.

omfg51, if you do have a Nashville, replacing it with an ABR-1 should allow you to slam the tail piece and clear the bridge (as would top wrapping). Faber sells a direct drop on ABR-N.
 

DC1

Member
Messages
15,391
You can top wrap it and tighten the stop tailpiece down tight. Sounds great. Or you can get a spacer kit from Faber or others, and raise the tailpiece up enough to clear the back of the TOM, and still have the tailpiece locked down tight. Both will make a nice tonal improvement IMO.


dc
 

Wizard of Ozz

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,416
You DO NOT want the strings to touch the backside of the bridge, as if they do, it will kill off sustain and deaden your tone.

You want to have the stopbar tailpiece, screwed down as low as possible to the body, WITHOUT the strings hitting the back of the bridge. A small piece of paper slid under the high and low E strings can help you verify this.

It might take a little time and effort, and you may have to re-check your intonation, but it makes a huge difference in your tone.
 

crgtr

Member
Messages
387
I lower mine all the way to the wood & wrap the strings over the top of the tailpiece. Gives it a slinkier feel & I like that the tailpiece is making contact with the body. More vibrations. Works for Joe Walsh, Bonamassa, Zack Wylde & many more.
 

Bhodie

Member
Messages
603
I am always amazed at the things that get said and repeated as fact, that we really do not know for sure. "drop on the deck for more vibration" "top wrapping is better than lifting the bridge a little to clear the back of the TOM"

I have serious reservations that having an extra 3/4 inch of string with two additional break angles from top wrapping has better tone than a clean feed from the bridge over the TOM. Or more vibrations..

I know everyone gets passionate about their particular set up, but let's remember that barring scientific proof to the contrary, it is just our own personal conjecture.
 

riffmeister

Member
Messages
16,615
The only argument that makes sense to me on an intuitive level is that a steep break angle will put more forward pressure on the bridge.......which might not be a good thing on your vintage ABR-1 guitar.

Also, in the past, I have tried raising the stop bar to significantly lessen the break angle, and the strings did seem to bend easier. Didn't actually measure the force to bend the strings before and after, though......
 

brentrocks

Guitar Hack/Player
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
4,257
I top wrap all of my guitars that have nashville hardware. I tighten the tailpiece down also. It seems to work very well for me
 

M40A1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,930
Yep, you're talking about the break angle over the saddles. Too much and the strings can contact the back of the bridge. According to Dan Erlewine's excellent guitar set-up and repair books he recommends setting the tailpiece height for a certain break angle so that in time the stresses don't collapse the bridge down the road. He also states that to get better sustain try lowering the tailpiece so that it fits flush or nearly flush and then top wrapping. This is what I am going to try with my 08 Standard during the next string change as I am curious how it may, or may not, improve the sustain.
 
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