Tune-o-matic - tailpiece or thru body?

spauldingrules

Senior member
Messages
721
I am preparing to order a Carvin set neck California single cut (basically, a Les Paul knockoff) to complement my Fender-ish Warmoths.. 

There are two options for the tune-o matic style bridge.  I can get it either with a standard tailpiece, or instead with the strings thru the body and over the bridge.

Does anyone have any opinions/experience with these options?  Preference?  Insight?  Anything?  lol

Thanks for your input!
 

dbw

Senior member
Messages
4,531
I'd go with the tailpiece.  You can raise/lower it to adjust the break angle of the strings over the bridge.  With through-holes, you're stuck with the (rather steep) angle it comes with.
 

m4rk0

Senior member
Messages
5,383
Thru!
Just because it looks classy! :)
and who knows, the direct string/body contact may improve tone/sustain! (I have no proof to back this up though, but it sounds like a plausible theory  :icon_biggrin:)
 

BigBeard

Senior member
Messages
433
I have a thought or two on this.  I like string through for a couple of reasons

1) the strings go through the body, I don't know really if this makes a difference sonicaly, but my thought is that if the strings are anchored thru the body, that gives them more of a chance to put some of that resonation into the body itself, which my brain tells me more tone from the wood.

2) there is the slight one in a million chance that you can pull a T-O-M tailpiece out of a body.  I have seen it happen, so that is the one in a million!!

That and I like the way the string through setup looks!!!!
 

spauldingrules

Senior member
Messages
721
That's what I am leaning towards.  The neck angle is supposedly lower than on a Gibson, so the string through might be better because of that as well.  Simpler is usually better if it's a "tie" otherwise, right?  lokl
 

rockskate4x

Senior member
Messages
1,601
Yeah forgot about that, whether you want a straight or angled neck pocket on this thing is probably the biggest factor here.
 

dbw

Senior member
Messages
4,531
There is no explanation for NT's madness.  He made me sad because he was my friend and he went so wrong...  :sad:
 

rockskate4x

Senior member
Messages
1,601
Nonsense simply likes the looks better for your style of les paul while dbw has yet to explain his reasons for disagreeing with Nonsense.

I think that while the string thru may look better, that there are a few advantages to using a standard tailpiece. I think that the string through design puts an excessive amount of vibrating string after the bridge. If that side of the string is vibrating at all, you may end up losing some of the vibrations in the strings directly over the pickups, therefore robbing you of your tone and sustain. The difference however is very small, and does not seem like an issue to the players who favor the string thru design, like our bigbeard. The biggest issues here are the feel and the looks. The string thru will have the strings closer to the body because the TOM bridge will have to be recessed and the neck pocket will be standard and unangled. This will make it feel more like a strat than a Les Paul. If you can't stand how that feels, than the standard is the way to go. If you prefer that to the way a Les Paul feels with the strings higher above the body, than go with the string thru
 

fdesalvo

Senior member
Messages
3,607
Go for looks.  If your strings are vibrating behind the saddles, you have problems.  String Vibration is incuded through the bridge itself- not the tail piece. 
 

dbw

Senior member
Messages
4,531
Well, in that case, the angle of the strings over the bridge will be pretty severe.  They'll have to angle sharply toward the body.  That seems like a bad thing to me.  For one thing, string breakage will be out of control.
 

RU36

Senior member
Messages
147
Here is my feed back on it.
I am deciding on the same issues right now before my next order.
a) standard TOM / tailpiece
b) standard tom (un-recessed) / string thru

I have been emailing back and forth with the tech at warmoth and I have some info straight from the source on this.

Both options require an angled neck pocket.
the only way to do the string thru tom on a standard neck pocket is to recess the bridge into the body.

The reason the option to have a standard (un-recessed) TOM with string thru is not available in the order form is this:
When the strings leave the back of the saddles they hit the edge of the bridge on the way to the string ferrule holes.
However you can get this done if you call in and ask for it or make a special note of it, but its not listed as an option in the drop down menu online.

I have several guitars with standard tom bridge/tailpiece and string thru tom set ups.
On both configurations I cannot feel ANY vibration on the strings behind the saddles, even when I strum the shit out of it.
This tells me that 99% of the vibration enters the body wood from the bridge studs and what happens behind the saddles is probably not going to effect tone as much if at all.

One thing that is proven however is that the more mass your bridge has, the more sustain you get.
So if you have a light aluminum bridge it produces less sustain then a heavy brass bridge.
Also if there is slop in bridge post screw it will reduce vibration transfer to the body and kill sustain, thats why in my opinion the tone pros locking TOM is a better choice. Solid connection with no slop.

The tech at warmoth is right about the string thru set up making the strings hit the back of the bridge on the way to the ferrules.
I have a few schecters that have this set up but I have never had a string breakage issue on them even though they DO hit the back of the bridge a little.
One thing I can say is that it is a pain in the ass to get the strings through both holes when restringing the schecters with that set up.
The reason being that the string goes thru the back ferrule fine then gets stuck on the inner lip of the front ferrule and you have to poke it in and out about 25 times to get it to go through.

So my opinion in a nut shell is this.
The string thru looks cooler but sucks for changing strings (especially if your playing a show and you break one) So thats 1 pro 1 con
The original tom with tail piece is not as trick looking but you can adjust the string break angle, and its hassle free for string changing. And thats 2 pros 1 con
That's why I decided to go with the tailpiece set up


 

Jeremiah

Senior member
Messages
249
I've got a Schecter Tempest with string-through, and I'd never noticed that the strings hit the back of the bridge on the way to the holes until I read this thread - but yes they do. It's never caused any breakage issues though.

I'd always assumed that the reason Schecter and other manufacturers chose this was mostly to save on manufacturing costs, as all those tailpieces must add up to quite a lot, especially if it's Tone Pros hardware.
 
Top