Whats the "Ideal " string angle on a les paul

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by benabloom, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. benabloom

    benabloom Member

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    My question is:

    What is the ideal angle that the strings should aproach the bridge from the stop bar tailpiece on a les paul? (minimum stringbreakage to max tone ratio)

    Does it depend on the distance between the stop bar tailpiece and the bridge, and if so what is the ideal distance there?

    Thanks,

    Ben
     
  2. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    There isn't an 'ideal' string angle on a Les Paul, or on any guitar - it depends on what the player likes.

    A steeper angle is usually stiffer feeling, a shallower angle more compliant. The angle you choose depends on the string gauge you use and the feel you're looking for. string breakage has to do with how well the saddle is cut, not so much the break angle.

    There's no one 'right way' to adjust it - it's MADE to be adjustable so each player can suit their own needs.

    Hope this helps, Dana O.
     
  3. David Collins

    David Collins Member

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  4. benabloom

    benabloom Member

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    That does help! Thanks, I was under the impression that the steeper the angle, the stiffer the feel, but also the more likely it would be to break a string.

    Thanks,

    Ben
     
  5. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    the real "brick wall" on the acceptable string angle for gibsons is the strength of the bridge, which will bow in the middle with even moderate down pressure over time. i suspect the fable about "tone loss" if the string touches the adjustment screw on an ABR-1, along with much of the hoopla about top-wrapping, is just forgotten knowledge about not over-stressing it with too steep an angle.
     
  6. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    Exactly right Walter, in my experience. So many of the older Gibsons, like my '59 dot neck 335, have the tailpiece too close to the bridge. The break angle on that guitar is extreme, and the original bridge is frankly, bent to hell - it's totally collapsed in the middle; has a concave bow!

    So I'm using a replacement TOM, and I'm top wrapping, and it totally solves the problem. Now the guitar plays and sounds great.

    My pal Pete took note of this years ago when modding his '68 ES-335 from trapeze tail piece to stud, and located his a full inch further from the bridge than mine is - his works great and he doesn't need to top wrap to make the tension right.

    Two methods for two different guitars - that's why they're adjustable. Ya just do what ya gotta do ....

    Thanks, Dana
     

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