stop tail piece adjustment

nomad100

New member
Messages
18
i always run my stop tail piece tightened to the body for the most sustain. Can anyone give me a better description of the tonal affect of different heights on the stop tail piece. Normally I'm the on that knows most of the answers and realize i don't know this one today
 

Funky Phil

Senior member
Messages
324
The important thing here is the break angle over the saddles...

More angle = more sustain (up to a point...after a decent angle is reached, no more increase in sustain).
More angle = greater chance of strings breaking at the bridge.

I don't agree that screwing the tailpiece down hard against the body gives the best sustain...
It just needs to be set for the correct break angle :)

 

Superlizard

Senior member
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2,514
Another trick you can do (but risk marring the surface of the tailpiece) is reverse-wrap the strings on the tailpiece.

So, instead of threading the string through the hole on the outside edge of the tailpiece, you thread it through on the opposite side; the side next to the TOM bridge.  Then you wrap the string *over* the tailpiece and go from there.

I've done it before (and kept it that way) on my old Les Paul Custom, and what it does is make the strings ever-so-slightly looser (at pitch) while imparting an ever-so-slightly thicker tone.  I don't know if you'd get a good angle with a flat-top, however.
 

Xplorervoodoo

Senior member
Messages
984
Superlizard said:
Another trick you can do (but risk marring the surface of the tailpiece) is reverse-wrap the strings on the tailpiece.

So, instead of threading the string through the hole on the outside edge of the tailpiece, you thread it through on the opposite side; the side next to the TOM bridge.  Then you wrap the string *over* the tailpiece and go from there.

I've done it before (and kept it that way) on my old Les Paul Custom, and what it does is make the strings ever-so-slightly looser (at pitch) while imparting an ever-so-slightly thicker tone.  I don't know if you'd get a good angle with a flat-top, however.

I tried that on my explorer, so it works on a flat top.  I reverted back to the 'normal' way though.  I just didn't notice enough difference to keep it that way.
 

blue313

Senior member
Messages
2,824
Funky Phil said:
The important thing here is the break angle over the saddles...

More angle = more sustain (up to a point...after a decent angle is reached, no more increase in sustain).
More angle = greater chance of strings breaking at the bridge.

I don't agree that screwing the tailpiece down hard against the body gives the best sustain...
It just needs to be set for the correct break angle :)
I was under the impression that screwing the tailpiece all the way down to the body was also the main cause of classic sunken TOM.  I can't corroborate it since most people do it, and its mostly older axes I find with this issue.  I can't remember where I read it, but it was apparently due to increased the leverage.
 

dbw

Senior member
Messages
4,531
It doesn't change tension, nothing you do with the tailpiece will change tension once you tune.  That goes for raising, lowering, and wrapping it.  When you tune, you're aiming for an exact tension, determined ONLY by the density of the string and the scale length.

However I agree that raising or wrapping makes a difference.  It feels different.  I don't know what the physics behind it is.  I like my tailpiece kinda halfway-raised; I don't break strings and they don't fall out of the saddles, so it's a pretty good spot for me.
 

Orpheo

Senior member
Messages
2,738
dbw said:
It doesn't change tension, nothing you do with the tailpiece will change tension once you tune.  That goes for raising, lowering, and wrapping it.  When you tune, you're aiming for an exact tension, determined ONLY by the density of the string and the scale length.

However I agree that raising or wrapping makes a difference.  It feels different.  I don't know what the physics behind it is.  I like my tailpiece kinda halfway-raised; I don't break strings and they don't fall out of the saddles, so it's a pretty good spot for me.

your post is a nice stepping board for me to jump on, and explain a bit ferther.

you are right that the TENSION wont change, for the reasons you mentioned. Nevertheless, the reason you feel it differently, is because the lateral force on the string (to move the string, the force the string has is a normalforce), will became a bit less, due to that angle.just basic geometrics.
 

hannaugh

Senior member
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4,230
You could get Tone Pros and then not have to tighten against the body to keep it tight. 
 

dbw

Senior member
Messages
4,531
hannaugh said:
You could get Tone Pros and then not have to tighten against the body to keep it tight. 

One of us is confused, Hannaugh.  Using a Tonepros tailpiece doesn't change the angle of the strings on the saddle.
 

nomad100

New member
Messages
18
good to know about the angle, do you know what angle is needed for max sustain? How does different angles affect tone? does the direct coupling to the body transfer more sound to the body of the guitar?
 

stubhead

Senior member
Messages
4,669
If you wrap them over the top you'll be as cool as Billy Gibbons, and Duane Allman and his disciples Warren Haynes & Derek Trucks.  :party07: If you're breaking strings before they wear out, you probably need to have your saddles smoothed, unless you never change strings till they break.
 

GoDrex

Senior member
Messages
3,619
hannaugh said:
You could get Tone Pros and then not have to tighten against the body to keep it tight. 
The tension of the strings keeps the stop piece nice and tight even if the stop piece isn't screwed all the way down. Screwing it all the way down does not keep the stop piece in place.
 

GoDrex

Senior member
Messages
3,619
nomad100 said:
good to know about the angle, do you know what angle is needed for max sustain? How does different angles affect tone? does the direct coupling to the body transfer more sound to the body of the guitar?

http://www.stewmac.com/freeinfo/Repair_tools,_specialized/i-4557.html

Keys to good tone
For good tone, the components should be solidly connected, and the strings should be properly “terminated” at the saddles and tailpiece. There should be sufficient downward force and string angle over the saddle to properly “note” the string — like a properly fretted note.

A good string angle from the back of the saddle to the stop tailpiece is in the range of 13-17 degrees. Some players prefer a shallower angle, sometimes players even wrap the strings over the top of the stop tailpiece (this is “reverse-wrapping” made popular by Billy Gibbons). This is a matter of finding a compromise that suits your preference; a shallow string angle makes it easier to bend strings, while a steeper angle improves the solid transfer of energy into the bridge/body. Consider the angle of a violin’s strings as they pass over the bridge to the tailpiece. Ultimately, your preference of string angle might be based on how the components feel under your playing hand.
 

dbw

Senior member
Messages
4,531
Just try it dude, all you need is a big screwdriver.  All you have to do is de-tune and re-tune.
 

nomad100

New member
Messages
18
thanks, i myself don't break strings i did have the dreaded bur once on my saddle, but since i never break strings when a string broke in investigated!
 

hannaugh

Senior member
Messages
4,230
dbw said:
hannaugh said:
You could get Tone Pros and then not have to tighten against the body to keep it tight. 

One of us is confused, Hannaugh.   Using a Tonepros tailpiece doesn't change the angle of the strings on the saddle.

No, but theoretically it increases sustain, which is why he was tightening the tailpiece all the way down in the first place.
 

dbw

Senior member
Messages
4,531
hannaugh said:
dbw said:
One of us is confused, Hannaugh.   Using a Tonepros tailpiece doesn't change the angle of the strings on the saddle.

No, but theoretically it increases sustain

Ah.  Personally I think that claim is bull.  :)
 
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