Break angle

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Von Trapp, Jan 25, 2020.

  1. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Active Member

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    Does anyone know what the minimum break angle should be between bridge and tailpiece? I looking into putting a Vibrola on but I'm a little worried the angle might come out to shallow.
     
  2. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    The right break angle is as shallow as you can make it without the strings jumping out of the saddle notches when you play. The less the break angle, the smaller the string force on the bridge. This has the dual effect of preventing the famous bridge collapse, and also bringing the strings more accurately back to tune when you release the trem.
     
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  3. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Active Member

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    Right, so a quite shallow one would be ok then? I have about 4mm drop on a V but it looks like there's a different neck angle on this SG because the drop looks like it will be 2mm. Don't want to drill the holes only to have the guitar sound like damn sitar.
     
  4. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    That will be OK. If you find the strings jumping out of the saddle dents, just file them a little deeper.
     
  5. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Active Member

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    Great, thanks for the advice.
     
  6. Chubbles

    Chubbles Well-Known Member

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    I bought a cheap Dean guitar years ago. The break angle was very high because it was string through body. Over time, the cheap tuneomatic bridge sagged in the middle causing buzzing. Now, I start with a very low break angle and increase it until I get a good feel. High break angles creep me out.
     
  7. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    This works fine for me... I've wrapped my strings over
    the top of the tailpiece. I did it because I read somewhere that
    it might improve tone and sustain. I'm not sure that it really
    does, but my SG sounds awesome, so I'm keeping it this way.
    Fig 08 tonepros bridge&tail.jpg
    I never have any trouble keeping my strings in the notches,
    and I never break strings on this guitar either. I do use 11s, but
    they don't break. I put them on and take them off in sets.

    I've seen posts on this site that claim the perfect break angle
    is the same angle as the strings have when they leave the nut
    headed for the tuners. I don't know if this has any validity beyond
    satisfying some kind of OCD, but it's an interesting concept.

    Anyway, I don't think you'll have any trouble either.
     
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  8. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    It does have mechanical validity. when the break angles are equal the force on the bridge is straight down along the posts. this stops the tendency of the bridge to be forced to lean forwards
     
  9. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Active Member

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    Thanks, yeah that looks shallow to me but great if it works then. I only know that if it's too shallow you'll be playing the sitar and that's what worried me. I'm a little considered that the strings may slide off when I press the vibrato down but like you said I can just file down the saddles and raise the bridge.
     
  10. AngelDeVille

    AngelDeVille Well-Known Member

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    I top wrap because it look cool.

    Hate string through bodies!
     
  11. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    On my SG. Works great.

    bridge.jpg
     

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