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About that whole Les Paul / bridge argument thing ...

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by Vinsanitizer, Mar 27, 2021.

  1. Vinsanitizer

    Vinsanitizer ______. sṓzō .______ Double Platinum Supporting Member VIP Member

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    I did forget about the center of the bridges collapsing (probably because I have never seen it in person), but that wouldn't have anything to do with the break angle of the strings, it would have more to do with the heavy gauges they used.

    I'd bet

    [​IMG]

    that sets of 9's, 10's or 11's are going to destroy a modern bridge with the stop-tailpiece clamped to the body.

    BTW - that was a good point to bring up.
    .
     
  2. ricksdisconnected

    ricksdisconnected Well-Known Member

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    if the center is collapsing it will also change the break angle as well.
    center sinks the saddles move..........
     
  3. Vinsanitizer

    Vinsanitizer ______. sṓzō .______ Double Platinum Supporting Member VIP Member

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    Probably, but we're talking about the break angle bending the bridge, right? That's what I'm talking about anyway, and my point is that I don't see it happening. Even if it did, it must not be common enough to mention because I never read talk about it. What I do hear too often though is that the strings aren't supposed to touch the back of the bridge, and no one who says so ever explains the reason why. So I'm thinking that, regarding modern guitars of the type, this is outdated and falls under the "... because that's just the way we've always done it" category.
    .
     
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  4. ricksdisconnected

    ricksdisconnected Well-Known Member

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    i think its in theory. they say the more things or surface material that touches the string
    the less tone transfer and sustain. i can see where some believe this looking at custom made nuts.
    the string doesnt ride all the way through the nut on the surface of the nut. there are often guys that
    will cut the nut at a downward slope to prevent it from doing so. usually les paul guys are the ones ive
    seen do this. some swear by this some say its a waste of money. i see where it makes sense but ive never
    got the chance to hear a before and after. its my thought that this theory may be used in the situation
    your asking about.
     
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  5. Vinsanitizer

    Vinsanitizer ______. sṓzō .______ Double Platinum Supporting Member VIP Member

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    Yes - regardless of any of this, I guess the real question is whether driving the tailpiece to the body truly makes a difference.
    Maybe I'll just STFU and try it myself then. (I won't, because I'm too lazy.) :rofl:
    .
     
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  6. scozz

    scozz Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Yey @Vinsanitizer, @RLW59 is correct.

    Besides some complaining about less sustain and some mentioned a slight dulling of the notes. I don’t know for sure about those things, but I wouldn’t doubt that they’re true.

    One thing I do know from experience, it’s not a good idea to have a string/strings touching the back of a Tune-o-matic bridge. If any string/strings are touching the back of the bridge, they are adding unwanted downward pressure on the bridge.

    Left unattended to, the pressure over time could, and has, collapsed the bridge! I’ve seen it happen, and I’ve read about in happening many times!

    Just google ‘collapsed Tone-o-matic bridge’.

    One way to correct it is to raise the stop bar tailpiece until the strings are clear of the back of the bridge. I’m not a fan of this, I like the tailpiece decked, so I topwrap.

    There are a couple of reasons why I like topwrapping, one is no pressure on the bridge thing, another is it allows me to deck the tailpiece, Also, topwrapping creates a softer string angle over the bridge which creates better feel and playability, slightly easier bending too.

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    Strings stretch when being bent, therefore causing friction against the tail piece if touching which will cause a breaking point for the string eventually. If bridge saddle slots are not cut properly that too can become a breaking point for strings. This is just my logic to this question. :yesway:
     
  8. johan.b

    johan.b Well-Known Member

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    Those who let the strings ride on the back edge complain gibsons can't stay in tune... those who don't, don't know what you're talking about.
     
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  9. PaulHikeS2

    PaulHikeS2 Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Exactly what I thought of when I saw the initial question. I've only been playing for a couple years, so I'd never heard of that being a no-no with a Les Paul bridge assembly, but I immediately thought of the bent steel saddles on my strat.
     
  10. donwagar

    donwagar Active Member

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    I did have a collapsed bridge on my old '74 Custom. After straightening it, to keep clearance at the back of the bridge I thought the tailpiece was way too high, so I topwrapped that guitar. I don't normally topwrap an ABR-1 guitar.

    [​IMG]

    I don't know if keeping the strings off the back of the bridge actually does matter, but I've always thought it was good practice to clear it.
     
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  11. renips

    renips Well-Known Member

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  12. DaDoc

    DaDoc Well-Known Member

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    The only LP I currently own was a pawnshop find. Built in 2003, nice figured top, Burstbucker pickups, like new condition at the time I bought it..The only quirk is that the stoptail had to be raised in order to keep the strings off the back of the bridge. The strings against the bridge effects sustain and can cause tuning problems as well, but mainly puts a strain on the back of the bridge, and can cause it to eventually start leaning forward.

    So I did the Duane Allman wrap over the top bit and it seemed to help tonewise, but it made the stock tailpiece cock forward into the guitar's top..I solved the problem by scoring a Tonepros vintage style locking tailpiece. Not really a modification, since it retrofits into the existing hardware.

    GREAT improvement in tone IMO! And I can now remove all my strings if I need to without the tailpiece falling off..I'm planning on scoring one of Tonepros locking bridges in the near future as well..I also put on of their locking roller bridges on my ES-335 when I switched it from a trap tailpiece to a Bigsby..Another awesome improvement!

    Their stuff's not cheap, but worth every penny IMHO.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2021
  13. DaDoc

    DaDoc Well-Known Member

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    Why would anyone want to wrap a paper towel around the springs? That's likely to muffle the tone somewhat.

    I have four Strats, and all of them have the backplate removed..Never had any kind of issue playing it that way, the springs are recessed into the body cavity deeply enough to where they don't catch on buttons or anything.

    For years I would never have dreamed of taking the backplate off, then I started reading about pro players getting a slightly better tone by removing them. I tried it on my '63, and DID notice a difference..So I took the backplates off the rest of them. It makes it easier to adjust the spring tension as well.
     
  14. renips

    renips Well-Known Member

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    Dadoc
    The reason I did is because it works. It does not muffle anything. Like I said, everyone has different methods to achieve the same results. The journey is the best part.
     
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  15. Vinsanitizer

    Vinsanitizer ______. sṓzō .______ Double Platinum Supporting Member VIP Member

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    One of our members posted that. I forget, but I think he was getting a lot of spring noise or something like that. I always kept the back plates off my cheaper Strats because I deck the bridges, and when you do that on the cheaper models the plate covers up the string holes so I have to take the plate off every time I change strings. The few good USA Strats I've had leave more room for some odd reason.
    .
     
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  16. mcblink

    mcblink Well-Known Member

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    I've done the same on my strat as he's done. It's just a way to dampen the springs because certain notes will cause those springs to have sympathetic resonance issues, and if those vibrations are picked up by the pickups they can become very very annoying. I don't have these issues with any of the springs on my floating FR guitars though, just that decked strat. I have had it that way for years. Can't say I've noticed any tone suck from it....
     
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  17. Vinsanitizer

    Vinsanitizer ______. sṓzō .______ Double Platinum Supporting Member VIP Member

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    Good point. :yesway:
    Perhaps we should add this to the list of fables, myths & other stuff we do just because that's the way we've always done it.
    .
     
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  18. renips

    renips Well-Known Member

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    Hey Vin,
    I posted the pics you referenced.
     
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  19. mcblink

    mcblink Well-Known Member

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    Possibly so, huh?

    I should mention that this particular decked Strat is an old Squier I bought while I was still in high school 20 some years ago....so it's not exactly some high quality US made Fender or anything....but it did work. That guitar doesn't have irritating rogue "notes" ringing out at seemingly random times anymore.

    I don't think so anyway... I have since passed it to my 8 year old son to learn on. He doesn't really know anything about it yet, aside from Eddie Ate Dynamite; Good Bye Eddie. I imagine it might be a while yet before he comes to me asking why I did that.
     
  20. WellBurnTheSky

    WellBurnTheSky Well-Known Member

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    I'm 99% certain it's not because of a potential tone improvement, but so you can access the claw and tweak strings tension and trem resting point. "Name players" often have their tech put in new strings every show or every other show, so keeping the back plate off just makes more sense than constantly removing it and putting it back.

    And myth or not, on MY Les Paul, the strings hitting the back of the bridge was sounding off and definitely impeding both sustain and pitch stability. Might not be the case for everyone, but that's my experience, make of it whatever you want.
     
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