Top wrapping strings on SG and Les Paul tailpieces

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by Oldguitarguy, Jul 9, 2019.

  1. Oldguitarguy

    Oldguitarguy Squier-Meister

    311
    Mar 2, 2019
    Nj
    5F0DA2C6-5AB4-4F12-9225-2352FABBEBF6.jpeg What are the advantages and disadvantages of top wrapping the strings on LP and SG tailpieces? Sustain? Locked down tailpiece? Less angle of string from tailpiece to bridge and avoidance of hitting the back of the bridge with the string? Buzzing issues? Tuning or intonation issues? Tone? Any harm or damage? Which way do you prefer and why? I have Gibson LP I want to set up and the tailpiece is currently high and one of the strings is hitting the back of the bridge.
     
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  2. theflow

    theflow Squier-holic

    Age:
    59
    Feb 16, 2017
    Palmetto,FL
    I do it for the simple fact that Duane Allman did ! :) IMG_20190321_151607.jpg IMG_20190321_151257.jpg DSCI1779.JPG
     
  3. drewcp

    drewcp Squier-holic

    Age:
    35
    Dec 14, 2018
    Saint Paul, MN
    I don’t think it makes a difference except for situations where the angle of the string is too sharp upward and catches on the back of the bridge. I know there are others on forum who think it makes a difference in feel, but I’ve never felt it.

    There are plenty of pros who do it one way, and plenty who do the other way. Some folks do it just for aesthetic reasons.
     
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  4. daan

    daan Squier-holic

    Oct 21, 2013
    Twin Cities
    I’ve seen people top-wrap just a couple of the strings, like they always bend the G/B strings, so they top-wrap just those two, to get a little bit less tension on those.
     
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  5. ElRey67

    ElRey67 Squier-holic

    Age:
    52
    Jan 10, 2016
    Chandler, AZ
    C3747AFC-C0F5-4EE4-84E6-5E7019041650.jpeg
    ^
    This is the main reason for me and it feels better when palm muting.

    Damage would be grooves/marks on the stop bar itself. But I never planned on selling my Les Paul, and never will. So if I top wrap all the time, no wear will show :)

    Some of the greats claim better sustain and there are so many arguments and opinions for and against this. But, who am I to argue with Joe Bonamassa? He knows more about guitar than I ever will.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
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  6. dbrian66

    dbrian66 Squier-holic

    Age:
    49
    Jul 14, 2017
    Maryland, USA
    I do not top wrap because I don’t want to damage the tailpiece. And also because my guitar did not come top wrapped from the factory. But I don’t think there is a definite right or wrong answer here. Do whatever feels right to you.

    955CF141-7DB1-461C-B84A-CE54D3F84AA6.jpeg
     
  7. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Dr. Squier

    Jan 7, 2016
    Maryland, USA
    I top wrap the wraparound bridge on the Epi LP SPecial I. I don't on the LP Trib + or Gretsch Streamliner. Maybe I should try.
     
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  8. TimTheViking

    TimTheViking Squier-Nut

    854
    Feb 13, 2019
    Chesapeake, Virginia
    Sincere question here for the group since string tension is mentioned here.

    Why would there be less tension by wrapping? Isn't the frequency generated by a string determined by:
    1) String diameter. The bigger the diameter, the lower the frequency at a given tension.
    2) String length. The longer the string is at a given tension, the lower the frequency.
    3) String tension. The higher the tension, the higher the frequency.

    So the string diameter is set by the gauge you choose, length is set by the nut to bridge distance, and lastly, you set the tension required to bring out a particular frequency by the tuners, the trem or by bending . None of this is affected by whether you wrap or don't wrap on a stop tail.

    Isn't how easy it is to bend determined by string length, string tension, spring tension on axes with trems (to some degree), and friction points like saddles, the nut and string trees?

    (BTW - @dann: I was born and raised in the Twin Cities. St. Paul east-sider)
     
  9. DrBeGood

    DrBeGood Squier-holic

    Dec 9, 2014
    Sutton QC, CANADA
    That is my view.
    For the reasoning as Gibson claims that a steep angle headstock is better ?

    I do it because I like the way it feels and looks. If it makes bends easier, so be it.

    bridge.jpg
     
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  10. Stratlover84

    Stratlover84 Squier-Nut

    Age:
    35
    930
    Jun 16, 2016
    NY
    What I would like to know, (and I've read so much about tailpieces this week that it's got me dizzy) is if I decide to top wrap, is it absolutely necessary for me to bolt down the stopbar all the way or is it ok to leave it a bit raised? Almost everyone I've seen that top wraps, lowers it all the way.
     
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  11. so1om

    so1om Squier-Axpert

    Age:
    52
    Feb 10, 2010
    Chicago
    I top wrap as well. I like as minimum string break angle at the bridge. I'm a huge Duane Allman fan and I knew he did it for years.

    I never actually started to top wrap until about 2011/2. I had gotten a G-400 and was playing it regularly in the band and I was breaking a lot of B and E strings. It wasn't unheard of in the aggressive style of music and these were a set of 9s, yadda yadda.

    Then I saw a video of Phil X with his ESP guitars and he said he'd top wrap only the G and B because he was always breaking those and that prevented it? SNAKE OIL!

    But the next time I changed strings and Duane Allman, what the heck, right? I never broke another string again (and yes, I had looked at the bridge for sharp points etc., there were none).

    I I set the action to whatever height I like, pretty low just above buzzing. Then as long as the stop bar gives just enough break, that's the height of the bar.
     
  12. so1om

    so1om Squier-Axpert

    Age:
    52
    Feb 10, 2010
    Chicago
    So I'm thinking about this and yes.. The tension question. I'm not sure. physics numbers and facts... SCIENCE!

    But the one thing I can think of is bending a string. When you bend it you stretch it. You have to pull excess from somewhere.

    So let's say I have a 5 gallon paint can on a driveway that's flat. It's we'll say it's 40 lbs and we tie a rope to it and pull. it wouldn't take much to pull it over a speedbump either.

    It may feel a little different if we are on a roof and the rope is along the roof, over a gutter and the paint bucket is on the ground. And then we have to pull it up and over the gutter. There's that little bit of illusion and leverage over the break angle.
     
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  13. TimTheViking

    TimTheViking Squier-Nut

    854
    Feb 13, 2019
    Chesapeake, Virginia
    When you bend, I think that there are multiple physics things involved.
    1. You increase tension
    2. You increase the string length a tiny bit. Think of the triangle you make with the three sides being A) the nut to fret, B) the fret to saddle and C) the original position of the unbent string. The increase in string length requires it to stretch and thus move across the friction points.. So while the friction points (string trees, nut, saddle, bridge break-over for through body, trem springs) may increase the force necessary to stretch the string to a particular frequency, they won't add any more tension. They'll just make reaching a particular tension more difficult and then may also prevent the string from returning to it's precise original position and thus, the original exact frequency.
     
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  14. so1om

    so1om Squier-Axpert

    Age:
    52
    Feb 10, 2010
    Chicago
    sure there is friction but at the bridge it will be a lot different if I have 2 feet of extra string to pull and stretch compared to 1 inch. Also, string material.

    My use of the work "tension" in my previous statement was not the right term. it's more of the combined factors and ability to allow the string to move and stretch more easily.
     
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  15. ElRey67

    ElRey67 Squier-holic

    Age:
    52
    Jan 10, 2016
    Chandler, AZ
    I think it almost needs to get very close to the body if not all the way down. If raised, you might have a string jump out of the saddle groove. So your preferred action height might play a factor
     
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  16. TimTheViking

    TimTheViking Squier-Nut

    854
    Feb 13, 2019
    Chesapeake, Virginia
    I read that the steeper break angle across the bridge saddles that Gibson prefers increases the string pressure on it and thus increases sustain. The sustain is increased by not allowing string vibration past the bridge saddles. Less pressure means more string vibrations leak past the bridge saddles to the stop bar tailpiece decreasing sustain. It's the same reason why Gibson/Epiphone use angled necks with Gibson's being even sharper than Epiphones. It's not for looks and certainly not for durability. Just ask anyone who's shattered their Les Paul neck when it fell over. The neck angle increases string tension on the nut again to maximize sustain by having less leakage past it. The flat necks on Fenders do not lend themselves to great sustain so Fender has string trees for the same reason. The angle the string trees produce increase string pressure on the nut for better sustain.
     
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  17. DrBeGood

    DrBeGood Squier-holic

    Dec 9, 2014
    Sutton QC, CANADA
    Everybody top wrap. Good title for a tune.
     
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  18. DrBeGood

    DrBeGood Squier-holic

    Dec 9, 2014
    Sutton QC, CANADA
    What I said, but in fewer words. Less angle = less tension, more angle = more tension.

    Another good reason for top wrapping is to prevent the bridge to collapse. Yes it does happen when too much down pressure is applied for some time on that metal piece.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Stratlover84

    Stratlover84 Squier-Nut

    Age:
    35
    930
    Jun 16, 2016
    NY
    I want to try top wrap but I've read that bends go extra far and that there is a plinky tone, although I also read that it has a slightly slinkier feel and that palm muting is more comfortable.

    So you don't lower the tailpiece all the way down then?
     
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  20. so1om

    so1om Squier-Axpert

    Age:
    52
    Feb 10, 2010
    Chicago
    I lower it to where there is a break angle, but very minimum. Maybe it is down all the way? I don't know. Mine is like the photo that @DrBeGood posted above of the SG.
     
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