Thinki9ng of converting a tunomatic to wrapover...is it possible??Am I crazy??!!

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by riffpowers, Jul 11, 2006.


  1. riffpowers

    riffpowers Member

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    Seeing as I'm using P90's in my black les paul custom, I had a crazy thought....hang on, while I'm at it, why not convert the tunomatic to a wrapover!!That'll be a cool custom guitar!!!This les paul I've owned since new (its a 1990) and I'll never sell it, so I'm not too bothered about its value, as its more valuable to mne the better it plays and sounds.
    I've noticed that guitars with wrapovers tend to be more resonant, sustain better and sound more "guitar like" tonally acoustically, and I thought this can only be a good thing!!
    So, can this even be done??Am I crazy??!!
     
  2. LesPaulMan

    LesPaulMan Member

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    Wrapovers do have a different sound, and it's a good one.
    I don't think you should convert it. It would be very expensive to do it right (Talking about mainly getting the finish right, though you'd also want someone good as the intonation of these things can be hoaky).

    What you need is a guitar I played recently. I don't own one, but it was mighty impressive.
    A '54 Black Les Paul Custom Shop RI.

    Man that thing sounded cool!!!
     
  3. riffpowers

    riffpowers Member

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    I played one too, mighty cool!!
    I know just the guys for the job, should I decide to get it done.I might run it past them and see if they think its a stupid idea or not.
     
  4. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

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    It's no big deal to do and you don't have to match the finish at all if you don't want to (check out the pearl dots on my Jackie-Jet, cool, huh? and they're just glued to inserts). However, even though I did something similar in adding the Bigsby to my J-J, I don't think it's worth the effort in your case.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. steve rowen

    steve rowen Member

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    I started making aluminum ABR style bridges for this reason. I personally prefer the sound of a wraparound guitar to a tunamatic. If you do a search on the LP Forum, guys that have wrap GT's and tunamatic guitars to compare, almost without exception, prefer the acoustic sound of the GT. The whole reason for adding another part to the mix was intonation. An aluminum tunamatic weighs 40% of what a zinc unit weighs, and so less work of the string is consumed in moving the bridge. It along with heat-treated steel posts and the early thin thumbwheels helps too, because you have less loss due to the increased modulas of elasticity of the posts. I don't want to seem like spam, but this is something you can do without modding your instrument and hurting the value, it costs less, and it will get you most of the way there.
     
  6. lamenlovinit

    lamenlovinit Member

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    Is there one that just drops in where the tuneomatic goes? If so, I could live with the two bolts where the tailpiece currently is. At least that would let you experiment and see how you like it. I could see a benefit to a much more direct transfer of energy from string to body... Wouldn't mind trying it out if it didn't mean butchery... Gotta figure PRS didn't just start doing it to save bucks.
     
  7. steve rowen

    steve rowen Member

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    The tunamatic posts are .140" dia. vs .312" dia for the wrap studs, so it's not a good canidate for that.
     
  8. riffpowers

    riffpowers Member

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    I think wraparounds are great.I'd agree with the wraparound/tunomatic comparison.I think this coudl make a good guitar great in my les paul's case.

    So is there a replacement wraparound that fits tunomatic spacing???With all the retrofit products on the market I'm surprised no-one has done this!!
     
  9. The Golden Boy

    The Golden Boy Member

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    Think of the size of the posts the tune-o-matic rests on. Then think of the size of the tailpiece studs. Look at the method the tune-o-matic posts are installed into the body- then look at the way the tailpiece studs are anchored into the body.
     
  10. stevieboy

    stevieboy Clouds yell at me Gold Supporting Member

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    Absolutely. A tune-o-matic only has to support downward pressure from the strings. A wraptail has to handle the full tension of all six strings pulling at 90 degrees toward the headstock. The posts and their anchors into the body have to be much stronger. It could be done, but you'd have to get new holes drilled and new bushings installed. Though I'm a wraptail fan, I personally wouldn't do something that invasive when the tune-o-matic works just fine.
     
  11. Luke

    Luke Senior Member

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    Each string in a pack of 10s produces less than 20 PSI, so let's round up and assume a total pressure of 120 PSI of tension. The shear strength of each stud must therefore be a bit more than 60 PSI. Harden steel could easily operate in the described range at the diameters mentioned. I can not speculate on the attachment to the wood and the strength of that joint. Suffice to say, the stud diameter issue could be overcome.
     
  12. riffpowers

    riffpowers Member

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    So even if there was a wrapover that fitted tunomatic spacing the studs wouldn't take the pressure anyway......
     
  13. The Golden Boy

    The Golden Boy Member

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    What you're looking at, at this point is how the wood is going to accomodate that tension. If you look at a lot of pre 1956 LP Jrs and Specials, you'll see the studs leaning towards the nut-
     
  14. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

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    I think Beck did it...check out the cover on "Blow by Blow"
     
  15. The Golden Boy

    The Golden Boy Member

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    No, that's a post 1953, pre 1956 Les Paul. That's the way those came. You'll often see a pre 56 LPs modified to a tune-o-matic, but not the other way around.
     

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