Stoptail bridges; do you wrap around?

DrewJD82

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I’m still learning my preferences with a ToM-style bridge with a stoptail and hadn’t tried wrapping the strings around the stoptail until last night. I read about it initially, curious why people did it and found many claimed it reduced tension on the strings but few said anything about the tonal/sustain aspects. I have to agree after doing it, you can look at the break angle of the strings as they reach the saddles and see that wrapping around doesn’t create as steep of an angle-

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I was slightly concerned that the tension would be too loose, as I’m using 10-52’s in drop C/D standard and there’s not a whole lot of tension to begin with. As soon as I had it tuned up and started playing, I immediately realized how Zakk Wylde gets that perfectly even, wide vibrato; all his guitars are wraparounds. Next time I change strings on the Orville I’m going to do the same thing. The majority of my setups on my own guitars are an effort to give the perfect string tension and it’s always great learning new ways to manipulate it, like I realized I can do so by introducing neck relief.

How do you set yours up?

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Damn, I was just about to change the strings on my singlecut!
I want it as slinky as possible, I want to be able to just touch the strings.
So, putting Elixirs super light 09-42, adding some neck releif and wraparound it is!
 
I have one LP wrapped like that, and the rest strung normally.

I can’t tell if it feels “slinkier” as some claim, or if it’s placebo. It also allows me to slam the stoptail to the body, and some say that helps create better sustain - but again - I haven’t really “noticed.”

But that particular LP does play super nice, so I’m leaving it. Why mess with a good thing. But none of my experience with it caused me to think I need to go restring the rest of my LPs the same way…

Just my $0.02.
 
I do, it depends on your set neck angle and bridge height.
One my Edwards after a few years I didn't wraparound the bridge was concave from the pressure, I had to straighten it out with weights, after that I moved to wraparound to lower the string breaking angle and pressure on the bridge.

Next time you change strings remove the bridge and put it on a straight surface to check if it is still flat.
Keep a few string grommets for the E and A strings to extend and 'hide' the sharp parts of the string inside the tailpiece.

The strings should not touch the back side of the bridge itself only the moving saddles, if they don't you should be able to lower the tailpiece all the way down to not be in the way of your hand when reaching for the volume/tone knobs.

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I do, it depends on your set neck angle and bridge height.
One my Edwards after a few years I didn't wraparound the bridge was concave from the pressure, I had to straighten it out with weights, after that I moved to wraparound to lower the string breaking angle and pressure on the bridge.

Next time you change strings remove the bridge and put it on a straight surface to check if it is still flat.
Keep a few string grommets for the E and A strings to extend and 'hide' the sharp parts of the string inside the tailpiece.

The strings should not touch the back side of the bridge itself only the moving saddles, if they don't you should be able to lower the tailpiece all the way down to not be in the way of your hand when reaching for the volume/tone knobs.

View attachment 4372

View attachment 4373
Any problems with your wound strings and the little bit of separation at the tailpiece "kink"?
 
I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around whether the tension would be any different, since it's simply a product of the scale length, string gauge, and desired pitch. I just can't see how whatever the string is doing beyond the nut and/or bridge would affect those numbers.

But there could be something else going on that I'm not grasping.
 
I top-wrap my LP. It does seem to make the feel a bit slinkier/lighter, but if so I wouldn't say it's a huge difference. And I haven't extensively compared it to not top-wrapping.

I just do it because Billy G does.... :rofl
 
I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around whether the tension would be any different, since it's simply a product of the scale length, string gauge, and desired pitch. I just can't see how whatever the string is doing beyond the nut and/or bridge would affect those numbers.

But there could be something else going on that I'm not grasping.
I would think that it reduces the downward pressure at the saddles, so the strings are not getting pulled with anywhere near the same intensity.

And you're not supposed to wrap them around your head! Sheesh ... :annoying
 
Top wrapping a TOM definitely decreases the break angle over the bridge, and I think that most of us can feel the difference. I've had Teles that have the option to top load and it also changes the feel of the guitar.
 
I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around whether the tension would be any different, since it's simply a product of the scale length, string gauge, and desired pitch. I just can't see how whatever the string is doing beyond the nut and/or bridge would affect those numbers.

But there could be something else going on that I'm not grasping.
Tension is that. But stiffness/compliance/"felt-tension" is affected by the length of the string beyond the anchor points of the nut & saddle and their break angles.
 
I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around whether the tension would be any different, since it's simply a product of the scale length, string gauge, and desired pitch. I just can't see how whatever the string is doing beyond the nut and/or bridge would affect those numbers.

But there could be something else going on that I'm not grasping.

Look in the top pic and the break angle of the strings from the stoptail to the saddles; the non-wrap around is a much steeper angle and if I push on the strings between the saddles and the stop tail, they’re pretty damn tough to push down on. On the wraparound, I could do a fake whammy bar by pushing the strings down in that area because the lack of tension.

I’m not physics smart enough to explain how it does it, but the saddles aren’t a 100% stop point of “nothing occurring before this point has an effect on the tension”.

It’s not a HUGE amount, but it’s certainly noticeable. If I had any more relief in the neck they’d feel like silly putty.
 
Done! Strings changed, added a bit of relief and top wrapped it.
It definitely is somewhat slinkier. Of course, the fact that I had 10s on it and now switched to 9s maybe has something to do with it.
So, no useful info from me. As usual.
Carry on.

One thing I have to report is that my G string is getting a nasty break right at this damn point, and I wouldn't be surprised if it snaps, which would be the first time I have an Elixir break in... Ever.

iOttZiu.jpg
 
One thing I have to report is that my G string is getting a nasty break right at this damn point, and I wouldn't be surprised if it snaps, which would be the first time I have an Elixir break in... Ever.
That's why I suggested to use the grommet (brass circle, ball end) from the old string and thread the new string through it to adjust the break point.
I've learned that form Bonamassa's tech Mike Hickey.
 
The way I see it, if you need to wrap it then the guitar was built poorly. The TOM bridge, in all its crappiness, requires either recessing to the body or some neck angle. If they get the neck angle wrong, it sits too high and you need to either raise the tailpiece or wrap it.
 
That's why I suggested to use the grommet (brass circle, ball end) from the old string and thread the new string through it to adjust the break point.
I've learned that form Bonamassa's tech Mike Hickey.
You really did, damn, completely missed it.
Remembering for next time. Hopefully.
 
It really depends on the construction of the guitar.

If I do it on my Burny 335 I eventually knock strings out of the saddle slot because the break angle is too shallow. So I stick to the standard method
 
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