Do you adjust your tailpiece height? (ToM)

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by AkiraSpectrum, Sep 15, 2018.

  1. AkiraSpectrum

    AkiraSpectrum SS.org Regular

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    Do you adjust your tailpiece height if the strings are touching the bridge before it makes contact with the saddle?

    If so, what is your philosophy on it? Do you have then make the tailpiece even on each side or are you okay with one side being higher than the other?
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
  2. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    You want an unobstructed, direct string path.

    This usually means that the Stop Tail will sit about 1/16th to 1/8th lower than the TOM, as you still want some down force over the saddles so the strings don't pop out when strumming harder.
     
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  3. NateFalcon

    NateFalcon Party’s over

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    Honestly that’s a preference...the break angle effects playability to some degree (mostly placebo) so some guys like the tailpiece anchored to the body for tone reasons and guys like Zakk Wylde will wrap his strings over the top and back through the tailpiece to relieve the angle- I’m with Max that the tailpiece being an 1/8” lower than the saddle to keep the strings seated seems a good “balance” but the strings shouldn’t be touching the TOM bridge edge behind the saddle -if it is, you can bring up the tailpiece until it’s only touching the saddle -if I’m understanding the question correctly
     
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  4. AkiraSpectrum

    AkiraSpectrum SS.org Regular

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    This is what I figured. I hadn’t ever really paid much attention until now, realizing all my ToM bridges (3 guitars) have the strings (1 or more) touching the edge of the bridge before being seated in the saddle.

    I adjusted the tailpiece so the high e would no longer touch the side of the bridge (on one guitar) and noticed a significant reduction in tension on the treble strings after tuning back up to pitch and double checking the intonation. One side of the tailpiece was then significantly higher than the other and it looked kind of odd visually. I will try to check sometime today or tomorrow to see if the bridge is roughly 1/16 to 1/8 higher than the tailpiece.
     
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  5. NateFalcon

    NateFalcon Party’s over

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    If you mean a height difference between the low E and high E (or B etc) posts then they should be pretty close -it’s not uncommon to have the low side slightly higher to reduce a little buzzing...but I’m glad you noticed the feel difference when you raised the tailpiece and got the string off the bridge
     
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  6. Alex79

    Alex79 SS.org Regular

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    Some people also claim that screwing the tailpiece all the way into the body enhances sustain. I have tried both and I do mostly what others have suggested here (adjust it).
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
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  7. BornToLooze

    BornToLooze SS.org Resident Redneck

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    I've heard a bunch of people say that top wrapping your strings make them feel slinkier and I've never really noticed that, but it does seem like I break less strings since I started doing it. But one thing I think is cool is when your strings are top wrapped is you can push down on them with your palm to add some vibrato to a chord that's ringing out. It's easier on something like a semi hollow where the tailpiece is further away from the bridge, but if you push hard enough you can still do it on something like a Les Paul.
     
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  8. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    I top wrap the strings on my les Paul but pretty much only because I think it looks cool.

    On my other guitars with tune-o-matic bridges, they’re all string thru body, so the angle is sharper and not adjustable. Even on my Mayones the two highest strings touch the back of the TOM before going into the body. I’ve never had a problem with it though.
     
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  9. AkiraSpectrum

    AkiraSpectrum SS.org Regular

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    I heard this too. I’m curious as to what the science is on that.
    Yeah I personally don’t like the look of top wrapping so I probably won’t go that direction. Interesting that you break fewer strings though!
     
  10. AkiraSpectrum

    AkiraSpectrum SS.org Regular

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    Interesting. I was just thinking about that actually—guitars with ToM bridge but are string through body. Guess aside from lowering your bridge action you can’t do much in that situation?
     
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  11. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    Pretty much, but really ought to just let the required action dictate bridge height.

    I don’t think it’s detirmental though. I imagine if maybe it was just barely contacting you might get some buzz.
     
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  12. NateFalcon

    NateFalcon Party’s over

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    I tried wrapping the bridge and it felt slinkier but kept pinching and ripping the hairs out of my hand when palm muting lol...I’ve also tried anchoring the tailpiece and haven’t noticed a real discernible tone difference...but between looks, feel and playability or tone there’s definitely reasons people set them up differently
     
  13. NateFalcon

    NateFalcon Party’s over

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    Good point, and you’re correct...you’re stuck with their geometry. I usually don’t prefer string through guitars for that same reason
     
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  14. Lukhas

    Lukhas SS.org Regular

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    I did notice it myself, it does feel a lot slinkier that way. Not so much that I would want to change the way I string the guitar or alter the position of the tailpiece however. I'll try again to string in wraparound in the future... if I can be arsed. :lol:
     
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  15. BornToLooze

    BornToLooze SS.org Resident Redneck

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    I started doing I when I was using .12s for a half step down and I didn't notice any more slinkiness because I was too busy hitting my stings hard enough to break .11s. But Zakk Wylde was doing it and it looked cool. Since then I've learned there's this thing called dynamics and don't have to beat the shit out of my strings all the time, but I've been top wrapping them going on 10 years and I'm not gonna stop now.

    And I saw a Phil X video where he says he top wraps some of his stings to keep them from breaking, so I might be on to something.
     
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