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Dutchman

Top wrap tailpiece

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A fellow geetar picker asked me why I top wrap my guitars. I’ve been doing it for so long I’d forgotten why I installed my strings that way. So I switched back to the “standard” way.   The result IMHO was it makes the strings slinkier, easier to bend when top wrapped. Anyone else top wrap? Same effect for anyone else?

Edited by Dutchman
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Some people swear by it. Some say it's complete BS.  What you are doing definitely is reducing the break angle over the bridge, which some day reduces the amount of sound conduction into the body of the guitar. The strings between the tailpiece and bridge really conduct much vibration at all.

I have heard that some think it started with people who were used to the "lightning bar" bridge of the early Les Pauls, and just kept doing that after the T-O-M bridge was developed.

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In recent years, I have found myself gravitating more toward a single piece (wrap) bridge. Among other things, it makes it easier to go UP a gauge on string size, even on 25.5" scale guitars. For me, it feels "just right".

Pretty much started with this, and I find it hard to go back......

Huber Dolphin.JPG

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Top-wrapping does make strings feel, "slinkier." In some cases, all of the grunt'n'ballz disappear because the break-angle is next to nothing. I set up tune-o-matics so the "E" strings are just a hair above the back of the bridge. This method usually yields good results, puts less pressure on the bridge housing and helps with keeping the guitar in tune. 

Another plus is that the plating on your tailpiece doesn't get all jacked to shit from the string wrappings.

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I've been top wrapping for years. It is exactly because it makes the strings slinkier. As for changing the sound, I'd say negligible in most cases.

 

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Fair enough. Maybe I’m misinterpreting, “feel” with, “sound”, or some such. I just like the response of my setup better, I reckon. 

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I agree that top wrapping produces a slinkier feel. 

‘I have not had the experience that it degrades the tone or emasculates the tone...at all.

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My LP is top-wrapped, but I didn't like it on the Hamers I tried it on. Too slinky, maybe? Didn't really notice a change in sound, but the LP tailpiece is screwed down solid to the guitar (sits on .06 thick washers the same diameter as the anchors. It's a f***ing rock.) and that helped a lot.

DSCN6134small.jpg

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I tried it on my Soecial FM years ago because I heard Billy Gibbons swore by it for the tonal properties. I don’t remember hearing any difference. But then again, I’m no Billy Gibbons...

Unfortunately I don’t presently have any TOM/stoptail equipped guitars with which to try it again. Since I’m really wanting my next guitar to be a wraptail; unless something irresistible comes up, I don’t anticipating having one to try anytime soon...

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3 hours ago, Travis said:

...because Billy Gibbons swore by it....

...and a gazillion other things, all BS. B)

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3 hours ago, hamerhead said:

My LP is top-wrapped, but I didn't like it on the Hamers I tried it on. Too slinky, maybe? Didn't really notice a change in sound, but the LP tailpiece is screwed down solid to the guitar (sits on .06 thick washers the same diameter as the anchors. It's a f***ing rock.) and that helped a lot.

 

That was what I found, TOO SLINKY for me. It took a little too much snap out of my high strings. 

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3 hours ago, hamerhead said:

...and a gazillion other things, all BS. B)

The top wrap makes pitch shifts bigger on bends. It stands to reason because the top wrap has less resistance to bending. However, this is the Reverend Billy G we're talking about, and there's some likelihood that he "tuned" his signal chain to have it both ways--easy bending AND ballsy tone. And I suspect that he "forgot" to reveal how he restored the ballsy tone. (JMHO)

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