wraparound tailpiece questions

Decadent Dan

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Yep.

I only top wrap wraparound bridges for obvious reasons.

With a TOM and tailpiece, the tailpiece is designed with threaded posts to adjust the height so that the strings do not hit the back of the bridge. Some people think decking a tailpiece improves sustain. If that were the case, they should try decking a wraparound bridge where the bridge and tailpiece are one and the same and see how that works out.

My Standard got the “Pro Setup” at Gibson while it was in for warranty work. The tailpiece isn’t decked but the bottom of the bottom rings on the studs are about level with the top of a 5-ply batwing pick guard. Both E’s barely touch the back of the bridge but everything else clears it.
There’s a rig rundown on D. Trucks where he mentions decking the tailpiece with 11’s. :wow:
 

MR D

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Yep.

I only top wrap wraparound bridges for obvious reasons.

With a TOM and tailpiece, the tailpiece is designed with threaded posts to adjust the height so that the strings do not hit the back of the bridge. Some people think decking a tailpiece improves sustain. If that were the case, they should try decking a wraparound bridge where the bridge and tailpiece are one and the same and see how that works out.

U kno C.G. I deliberately did not add the comments that my most reliable Luthier made about the Stop-Bar and the Body.......it usually leads to a ****-storm argument and I've not the need......BUT BUt But...a GIBSON Authorized Svc center Luthier told me fairly recently (within the last two years) if only because I asked him point blank. This Luthier stated that it doesn't make a bit of difference SUSTAIN wise if the Stop-Bar is touching the Body OR NOT. This man was really adamant about it and seemed fairly annoyed as he explained it as though he was tired of the question. The Luthier went on to add that the only thing the height of the Stop-Bar WILL affect is string tension...so there, I said it, and b4 I did I put my trusty old MC helmet on, just in case.....Bottles flyin from every angle, OMG, itssa jungle out there !!!
 

DrBGood

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The Luthier went on to add that the only thing the height of the Stop-Bar WILL affect is string tension...
It will probably affect string tension between bridge and tailpiece. If there's more to it, please someone explain to me how a greater string tension pass the bridge will not equate a higher note on said string.
 
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Wraparounds definitely feel tighter that TOM's for a given gauge. Physics explanation is that you don't have the string past the bridge to stretch when you bend. That extra string is like a spring. The logical extension of that is that you have to bend further to get the same note on a bend with the TOM, but it feels smoother along the way.

I don't like the non-adjustable wraparounds. Intonation can be tough (or impossible) to get as close as a TOM. I prefer a Pigtail type (not Badass) with adjustable saddles. MHO.

I like locking posts, otherwise the wraparound will lean like an ABR does. The bridge to posts fit isn't precise on any of them. The posts lean a bit too because the threads are coarse and loose.

The wraparound or Pigtail is a more comfortable place to rest your hand if you do a lot of hand resting or palm muting.
 

DrBGood

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That extra string is like a spring. The logical extension of that is that you have to bend further to get the same note on a bend with the TOM, ...
How's that ? Are you saying that the further the anchor point of a string is, the more you'll have to bend to get a certain note ? I can't imagine then how far you'd have to stretch a bend on this one.

8361496dbd45df5b94d0fca0957f4e97.jpg
When a 24.75" lenght of string is stretched to a certain point, it will always give you the same note, won't it ?
 

papagayo

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Schaller, Faber, TonePros, ABM make very discrete adjustable wraparound bridges.

Pigtail-Aluminum-Wraparound-Bridge-Nickel.jpg
 

MR D

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and just to add to the string tension part of the answer the luthier (an Authorized Gibson svc Center Luthier for over 30 years. I do have an opine on him as well but I digress) gave me: I do not, did not, and still don't give one good **** about whether or not sustain is increased or not.....I wanted to know what the Man/Luthier thought of my contention that the 'E' strings slightly touching(or maybe even completely bearing down on, as long as the ADGB strings clear the back) the back of the T-O-M Bridge do NOT make a difference in-so-far-as those strings effect on the T-O-M (i.e.: the potential for crushing the T-O-M) because the upward arch of the Bridge underneath the T-O-M doesn't start until just after the 'E's. The Man/Luthier GIBSON authorized Svc Center owner agreed...but did seem annoyed. No idea why and I really DGAS.

As far as Physic's and the rest go, I am not a physicist nor am I a Luthier. I do not know any Physicists but do personally know quite a few luthiers. I have only asked one Luthier the question posed in my first comment......and have been doing the slightly touching 'E's, instead of the $100 bill clearance 'E's, for a couple of years with no negative effects on the T-O-M's involved, which is a lot more than a few.
 
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MR D

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It will probably affect string tension between bridge and tailpiece. If there's more to it, please someone explain to me how a greater string tension pass the bridge will not equate a higher note on said string.

IDK why when I set the Neck Relief on my guitars @ .012-.015" and tune to standard pitch, the strings FEEL mushy, I just do not know...and dont care, but also dont know why. When the Neck relief on my guitars is dead straight,and I am tuned to standard pitch, the strings feel tight...same string action... and dont kno, dont care why.

I dont see the guy too often lately but that is obviously what the Luthier meant, yes? I have a suspicion, but could be wrong, that the tension between the Bridge and Nut determines the pitch of the string? OMG.

I do have to go see this guy soon though and will ask him for a clarification, most likely un-necessary? But, it is possible I might have misunderstood what he said, or vice versa.His prices are not to my liking but he does attend to my guitars when I just can't.
 
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Tom Dickinson

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So I've read thru the posts thus far, and while I've read the comments that have indicated that a standard 'uncompensated' stop tailpiece can live on a guitar and produce intonation that is 'dead on'...... I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I believe this to be 'physically' impossible!!! Close? Perhaps! But, these were developed in the early days of electric guitar prouduction and engineering......or lack there of! And, if you look at their history, 'most' were found on the lower price models, like the Les Paul Junior or later SG Junior. Pretty obviously a 'cost' measure. The early development of the 'compensated' bridge was clearly an effort to do just what the name implies; 'compensate' for the inability to PROPERLY adjust the bridge and the intonation. And, if you look at later developments of the compensated bridge, you'll clearly see that as was previously mentioned, the 'G' string saddle was moved back.....which 'compensated' for the 'un-wound' aspect of G string production, which was moving rapidly away from where things started. Early strings were heavier, with wound Gs, and some were even 'flat-wound'. Later 'lighter' strings without a wound G required some distinct changes in order for the guitar to play properly!! So, going back to the physics here, the 'linear' aspect of an uncompensated stop tailpiece, even with proper bridge pin placement and adjusted as best possible...... you simply cannot achieve an exact adjustment on all 6 strings. Again, 'close?', yea, I'll give you that! But, if your expectation is that you really can get it 'perfect'.....then you'll be disappointed. Even the compensated bridges can often leave you with some imprecise adjustments after having set it as best possible. Hence the 'Leo Quon' type of replacement bridge where individual saddle placement can altered in order to get the adjustment done properly. Having said all this, I won't argue the 'feel' aspect of a stop tailpiece..... as I have a number of guitars that have them and I do indeed get a sence of some level of 'mojo' from them. BUT, there's just no getting around the fact that you simply cannot adjust the intonation 'perfectly' with a standard stop tailpiece. And, depending on string gauge and type, even the compensated bridges can also give a 'perfectionist' a headache. My final comment is that I believe Gibson is still offering this because '...the market' is there for it! With people still placing the kinds of 'values' on 'vintage' instruments....emulating them in new production is really a no-brainer! I don't have $5K to burn on the current value of an authentic '50s Les Paul Jr. But, for $1500 or less, I can buy a genuine Gibson version of the same thing! That's how my 2021 SG Junior came to live in my house! Anyway........that's just my $0.02 worth!!
 

DrBGood

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So I've read thru the posts thus far, and while I've read the comments that have indicated that a standard 'uncompensated' stop tailpiece can live on a guitar and produce intonation that is 'dead on'...... I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I believe this to be 'physically' impossible!!! Close? Perhaps! But, these were developed in the early days of electric guitar prouduction and engineering......or lack there of! And, if you look at their history, 'most' were found on the lower price models, like the Les Paul Junior or later SG Junior. Pretty obviously a 'cost' measure. The early development of the 'compensated' bridge was clearly an effort to do just what the name implies; 'compensate' for the inability to PROPERLY adjust the bridge and the intonation. And, if you look at later developments of the compensated bridge, you'll clearly see that as was previously mentioned, the 'G' string saddle was moved back.....which 'compensated' for the 'un-wound' aspect of G string production, which was moving rapidly away from where things started. Early strings were heavier, with wound Gs, and some were even 'flat-wound'. Later 'lighter' strings without a wound G required some distinct changes in order for the guitar to play properly!! So, going back to the physics here, the 'linear' aspect of an uncompensated stop tailpiece, even with proper bridge pin placement and adjusted as best possible...... you simply cannot achieve an exact adjustment on all 6 strings. Again, 'close?', yea, I'll give you that! But, if your expectation is that you really can get it 'perfect'.....then you'll be disappointed. Even the compensated bridges can often leave you with some imprecise adjustments after having set it as best possible. Hence the 'Leo Quon' type of replacement bridge where individual saddle placement can altered in order to get the adjustment done properly. Having said all this, I won't argue the 'feel' aspect of a stop tailpiece..... as I have a number of guitars that have them and I do indeed get a sence of some level of 'mojo' from them. BUT, there's just no getting around the fact that you simply cannot adjust the intonation 'perfectly' with a standard stop tailpiece. And, depending on string gauge and type, even the compensated bridges can also give a 'perfectionist' a headache. My final comment is that I believe Gibson is still offering this because '...the market' is there for it! With people still placing the kinds of 'values' on 'vintage' instruments....emulating them in new production is really a no-brainer! I don't have $5K to burn on the current value of an authentic '50s Les Paul Jr. But, for $1500 or less, I can buy a genuine Gibson version of the same thing! That's how my 2021 SG Junior came to live in my house! Anyway........that's just my $0.02 worth!!
I think what's being debated is not if the early non compensated wraparounds have spot-on intonation, it's more regarding the lighting bolt ones. I agree that not all guitars will get great intonation from it, but a nice bunch can. Physic proof of that ? We often see saddles on a bridge aligned exactly like that famous lightning bolt.

Untitled-1.jpg
 

MR D

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The
I think what's being debated is not if the early non compensated wraparounds have spot-on intonation, it's more regarding the lighting bolt ones. I agree that not all guitars will get great intonation from it, but a nice bunch can. Physic proof of that ? We often see saddles on a bridge aligned exactly like that famous lightning bolt.


PHYSICS, its beyond me. BUT I did talk to the Luthier about a few things just yesterday so to clarify what I quoted him as stating above.

Said the Master Luthier GIBSON Authorized Svc Ctr. owner:
"Raising a tail-piece in a Stop-Bar T-O-M Bridge set-up away from a contacted position make the strings easier to bend.The further away from the body the Stop-Bar goes the easier the strings will bend."

I agree, as I have done exactly that and noticed it. He had no comment on whether it affects TENSION, but it sure feels like it does.....but IDK as not a Physics guy.

He also stated that "a Stop-Bar that is firmly in contact w/the body of the Guitar will have absolutely ZERO Effect on sustain.".

This is one IDK about as I have never really cared enough to do just do that, and vice-versa, and observe the effects....BUT if this guy sez it, I tend to believe him.

The point I made about WHEN the Neck Relief being opened to .012-.015 (Twelve to 15 thousandths) is just something I have definitely noticed in that the strings feel MUSHY as oppossed to when the neck relief is as near to Dead Straight as I can get it w/out kinking the binding and the strings FEEL tight...and that is with the guitar in perfect standard concert tuning/Intonated in both scenarios. IDK why the string tension in both case's FEELS different, I DO NOT ! But it surely does. Is it the strings tension that is actually affected? Sure feels like it, BUT, IRDK......

I also do not know why the strings feel easier to bend when the Stop-Bar of a Stop-Bar & T-O-M Bridge set-up is raised away from the body of the Guitar, but they are. I suspect TENSION but that being a PHYSICS term, I can not confidently say.
 
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Personally, I'd like to see some precise tension measurements of all these alternatives. I like science and we don't have a lot of hard numbers.

From the subjective side, it's easier to bend on my TOM guitars vs. my one-piece wraparound guitars. For any given gauge, the strings feel thinner on the TOM setup. Others have observed the same. YMMV.

That aside, I accept the explanation of those who are far more skilled in the physics than I am that the string beyond the bridge (on a TOM) does in fact play into the equation and act as a stretchable area (spring). Strings DO move across the bridge and the nut in play. How much? We need those measurements.
 

donepearce

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You want the science? Here goes

Let M = mass per unit length of the string
Let T = the tension
Let L = the length

If you use Google, you can put any units you like on these figures.

Frequency = 1 / 2 L * sqrt( T / M)

And that is all of it. The tension in the string is a function of its length, its mass and its pitch. Here's a sample calculation in Google, with mixed units. Google will deal with it

upload_2021-9-28_20-50-48.png
 

DrBGood

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You want the science? Here goes

Let M = mass per unit length of the string
Let T = the tension
Let L = the length

If you use Google, you can put any units you like on these figures.

Frequency = 1 / 2 L * sqrt( T / M)

And that is all of it. The tension in the string is a function of its length, its mass and its pitch. Here's a sample calculation in Google, with mixed units. Google will deal with it

View attachment 45827
OOOOAAAHH !
That is some serious science !
I'll go bend some strings now.
 

Go Nigel Go

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Yay for science! It may not be as entertaining as random speculation, but it is far more likely to yield useful and true results. :h5:
 

MR D

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You want the science? Here goes

Let M = mass per unit length of the string
Let T = the tension
Let L = the length

If you use Google, you can put any units you like on these figures.

Frequency = 1 / 2 L * sqrt( T / M)

And that is all of it. The tension in the string is a function of its length, its mass and its pitch. Here's a sample calculation in Google, with mixed units. Google will deal with it

View attachment 45827
So, does the string become easier to bend as the Stop-Bar is lifted away from contact with the body on a TOM/SB set-up? and if it is not 'TENSION' being affectted, then what is? (I already know that the strings become easier to bend, its rhetorical) BUT what is it that is affectted? IRDK, if its not the 'TENSION'. Ditto the Neck Relief @ 12-15 Thousandths of an inch, MEASURED @ 9th fret, w/the strings at standard pitch feel, the strings feel 'MUSHY', no doubt...Same Guitar, w/Neck Dead Straight, In Tune (Neck Relief measured @ same fret and is set @ .025"-.003") w/same string action, the strings feel 'TIGHT'. Anyone can attest to this, it is a fact........ and if its not 'TENSION', then exactly what is the term for the phenomena that makes the strinsg 'FEEL' so different? Semantics? maybe, or technical science? Maybe, but IDC...but I would like to hear the correct answer. If only to say it to the GIBSON Authorized SVC CTR OWNER, see what the come back is, if any. My guess? he wont care.Surely it will not affect the way I set my guitars up or how I play either.

The science above I thought would be more complicated, not that I needed to see it. I dont really need to understand it to play the guitar, which makes me fortunate, coz I dont.
NOW, Pythogoras' 'Rule of 18' concerning the science on determining scale length, to produce pitch, on stringed instruments etc etc, I am told, was not adhered to by GIBSON (or someone early on screwed up the math) and that somewhere in Pythagoras 'Rule of 18' lies the reason GIBSONs G string has problems, and that GIBSON rather than admitting they screwed up, have just let that screw-up/miscalculation become the Beauty of the Beast. A number of Luthiers have mentioned this to me and IDK if it is actually correct or if it really even matters. BUT, most players will say "GIBSONs G strings got problems" or something like that, and, more importantly, that is just the way it is.BUT IS IT TRUE?

I have never been a science Guy, never really gave a $#!T about Pythagoras BUT, BION, IMO, Modernity does owe the Guy a lot! A Beyond Brilliant mind. I did read his theories....FFS, did not really understand them either. Same/Same for Einsteins Relativity, just doesnt matter to me, but I did read it..... really tho? I play Guitars to make my them Howl as best I can.
 
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donepearce

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I suspect confirmation bias in the "apparent" tension effect of raising the stop bar. As for the rule of 18, it was an approximation that was used before we had calculators that would deliver the 12th root of 2, which is the correct interval. I've heard that Gibson still use the rule of 18, probably because they have fret slot sawing machines that were built back in the day before they could do it accurately. The G-string problem. No reason it should be any worse than the D - it shares identical geometry. It does suffer a bit from its relative thickness, which means it is no an ideal string which would have no forces on it apart from tension. The G has a considerable amount of force built into its stiffness.
 


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