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

Top Wrapping: Fact or Fiction

ZosoRush

Member
Messages
590
So as some of you know I've recently acquired a Gibson Les Paul and a month in I'm having a bit of trouble keeping it in tune. Nature of the beast, I know. But a friend of mine recommended i top wrapped next time I restrung. Ive known what it is for a long time just never have had a guitar to give it a shot with.

What do you do?
Any other remedies besides the obvious (Nut change, etc.)

Thoughts?
 

hogy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
13,847
What do you do?
Any other remedies besides the obvious (Nut change, etc.)

Thoughts?
The way you wrap your strings around the tailpiece has zero to do with the nut. Just wrap it either way you want and decide for yourself what you like. No other changes need to be made.
 

Bossanova

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
8,420
So as some of you know I've recently acquired a Gibson Les Paul and a month in I'm having a bit of trouble keeping it in tune. Nature of the beast, I know. But a friend of mine recommended i top wrapped next time I restrung. Ive known what it is for a long time just never have had a guitar to give it a shot with.

What do you do?
Any other remedies besides the obvious (Nut change, etc.)

Thoughts?
NOT nature of the beast, at all. My LPs stay in tune for a week. Get it looked at by a pro
 

cap10kirk

Member
Messages
8,839
NOT nature of the beast, at all. My LPs stay in tune for a week. Get it looked at by a pro
I agree. My Les Paul stays in tune better than any other guitar I've owned, especially the Fenders I've had. Bad tuning is not the nature of the beast at all. Even with a Bigsby, a Les Paul can stay perfectly in tune for days, if it's set up right.
Incorrectly cut nut slots are the biggest reason Les Pauls, SGs, etc, don't stay in tune. Amazing that Gibson still hasn't figured out how to cut their nuts right. Get the nut fixed, that should fix any tuning problems. Also, the guitar has to be set up for whatever string size you're using, it won't stay in tune if the strings are binding in the nut and saddles. Even if you're using a normal 10-46 set of strings, that's bigger than what Gibson puts on the normal USA production Les Pauls, they use a 9-46 hybrid set...I don't know what LP you have, which is why I mention this. Custom Shop models come with 10-46 afaik.

FWIW, I always top wrap mine, I like the look and feel of them top wrapped better. But that has absolutely nothing to do with tuning stability, it would stay in tune just as long if I didn't top wrap it.
 

mango

Member
Messages
5,018
I've top wrapped my LP for over 30 years,tuning has nothing to do with it.
It stays in tune fine ,top wrapped or not.
I was experiencing string breaks behind the saddles and top wrapping eliminated that,so I stuck with it.
I know raising the tailpiece will get the same result but my brain likes it as low as it can go.
I can't argue with my brain,my therapist told me so.
 

HoboMan

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
17,956
I had a LP that would go out of tune as it warmed up.
It seems like most of my guitars do.
As others have mentioned it's probably the nut. I have four Gibsons and I've had new nuts installed on three of them.
I also put a little graphite in the nut slots with every string change (I just use a sharp pencil). I also put a little graphite in the bridge saddle slots.

I gig with my guitars and need for them to stay in tune.
 

buzzp

Supporting Member
Messages
7,102
I always assume that I'll probably need to get a new nut cut for a guitar I buy off the shelf. Typically factor in another $100 for a good one to be made/cut/installed.
 
Messages
1,767
Top wrap is only for sustain and even that's a mystery.

I have a brand new Les Paul Traditional Honey Burst and my tailpiece is chrome, I'm not ruining it for something that hasn't been proven.

Like mentioned lube nut with graphite from a pencil.
 

Average Joe

Member
Messages
12,019
Yeah, have the nut looked at.

My experience is that a good Gibson style guitar will hold tune well enough with a welll cut nut. A well setup strat, tele will, ime stay in tune even better, but a gibson can too
 

LaXu

Member
Messages
8,822
Top wrap is only useful when you have a guitar that has too much neck angle so the bridge and tailpiece have to be set high to have a good break angle between them. That way you can put the tailpiece all the way down (for a bit more sustain and clarity) while keeping the break angle from bridge to tailpiece from being excessive.

Poorly cut nuts plague most production guitars so getting that fixed is generally a good idea. I ended up learning to do this myself and brought a set of nut files because I was tired of taking guitars to a store for it.
 

Abram4235

Member
Messages
5,069
This technique changed my world after 20 years of playing I had no idea I was doing it wrong. This is showing a strat but I do it on my acoustic as well that has the same configuration as your LP. You just have to make sure you wrap the string towards the center of the headstock or in the opposite direction on your G B and high E strings. The difference was night and day for me. Try it, you'll like it.

 
Last edited:

Fatboy666

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,754
go to StewMac and get a few nut files. Smooth out the slots and make sure the edge closest to the fretboard is the highest point and the slot should taper away

I top wrap my LP's because I like the feel, but I have no tuning issues
 

67blackcherry

Senior Member
Messages
11,744
Look at my avatar (and I've added a few more LP's) I've never had a tuning issue with any one of those guitars.
+5 on the "get it looked at by a pro" advice.
 

riefil

Member
Messages
831
You're going to think I'm nuts, but here goes anyway. Floss your nut! When I was having problems with my recently purchased LPM, I couldn't keep it in tune at all. I was thinking about changing the nut. Somehow I came across an article talking about running some dental floss(I used a Placker) in the slots and I figured what the hell I've got nothing to lose. I couldn't believe how much crud came out of the nut slots. I can only guess that it was residue from when the nut was originally cut. I haven't had an issue since. It's become part of my regular string change ritual. As always YMMV.
 






Trending Topics

Top Bottom