Wrapping strings over top of stopbar questions

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by lovehifi, Sep 27, 2014.

  1. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    I like top wrapping, and not everybody does. That's the beauty of this particular forum,
    we usually make our point once and let the reader make up his/her own mind.

    Funny, I don't like it on every guitar. But I think it works well with my two SGs
    so those are the only ones that I do this with.

    And no, I don't feel that it makes a huge difference. I started doing it in search of
    additional sustain and as a tonal experiment. I can say that it does no harm, and
    sounds great to my ear, but I wouldn't try to persuade anyone that it was dramatically better.
    I like the look of it too... not everyone does.

    So let us know how it works for you. This topic comes up periodically on this site,
    so there are multiple threads with lots of Sturm und Drang over it. And also lots of
    pithy and detail rich commentary by real musicians who play SGs.
     
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  2. shreddy bender

    shreddy bender Well-Known Member

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    "I like the look of it too... not everyone does."

    Me too! That's probably the real reason I do it is to be slightly and subtly different.
     
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  3. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    I like it on Lesters.
    [​IMG]But SGs, not so much.
    ;>)/
     
  4. R.A.F.

    R.A.F. Active Member

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    Well, I for one think Paul G.'s hypothesis is quite reasonable... if you have the bridge cranked up, there will be a greater length of metal post to be flexed and bent. The most energy you use bending the post, the least will remain to keep the string vibrating over time. I know guitar's physics are very complex, and that it is hard to individually analyse each part's role, but movements out of the fret and bridge area aren't to be disconsidered.

    (I just feel like geeking out a little today :dunno:).
     
  5. Rowdymoon

    Rowdymoon Well-Known Member

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    Top wrapping will allow further height adjustments if it's needed... but tonally no change
     
  6. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    If it weren't for the fact that his model is fatally flawed and there is no science to support the hypothesis, I'd be right there with you. :thumb:
    Assuming the receiver inserts are firmly in the wood, the tailpiece studs are quite dense and unlikely to flex. When tension is on the strings, that tailpiece can't move. (It even takes a lever, when the tp is spring loaded.) Friction is what stops the string from vibrating, so the straightest string path and smallest contact patch at saddle and nut should provide the best resonance. Tension is constant at a given pitch. The very reason that the tp is adjustable is to allow the least down-force on the bridge saddles necessary to keep the strings in place and stable. The lower down-force and the shorter and therefore lighter unsprung length of string is what makes bending easier. Less friction=more sustain and resonance.
    ;>)/
     
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  7. Paul G.

    Paul G. Well-Known Member

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    It's all good. I didn't respond because these things devolve into pissing contests.

    These differences can be subtle, and perhaps my theory is flawed, I do know that Les Pauls with a 4° neck set tend to (of course each guitar has it's own character) sound better, feel better and sustain better than some of the 80s versions with 5-6° angles.

    SGs with flatter angles also float my boat.

    I also know that in my 45 years of more or less continuous Gibson ownership (too many to remember them all), I have found top wrapping guitars with higher neck sets makes a difference I can hear.

    I have never built a controlled test rig, nor have I put a 'scope or meter on a guitar, so there may be some other factors here. I'm not a missionary on the subject, but I do think there's something there. :hmm:

    That is all. :wave:

    P.
     
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  8. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    "I do know that Les Pauls with a 4° neck set tend to (of course each guitar has it's own character) sound better, feel better and sustain better than some of the 80s versions with 5-6° angles.

    SGs with flatter angles also float my boat.

    I also know that in my 45 years of more or less continuous Gibson ownership (too many to remember them all), I have found top wrapping guitars with higher neck sets makes a difference I can hear."
    All absolutely consistent with my theory.
    Like I said, I like it on Lesters.
    [​IMG]But SGs, not so much.
    [​IMG]
    I think, but have no reasonable theory for, that it works better with the arched top or maple cap on Lesters. I (think I) can hear a noticeable loss of harmonics when I hard deck and top wrap my SG Specials and G-400s. As long as I leave some gap, that is not an issue.
    No contest, here, and no desire to micturate on anyone's maypole, just trying to dispel a popular myth.
    ;>)/
     
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  9. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    but we love the myth! that's why it's popular! *laughs

    not only that, but we all get to try it and see for ourselves, and then make
    up our own minds, if any. I like to top wrap my two SGs, but I tried it on my
    Epi Wilshire and disliked it so much that I took it all apart again and did it
    over. So the Epi rings better with the straight path seemingly and the Tailpiece
    raised a few millimeters off the deck.

    Both of my SGs ring with bell-like tones top wrapped, and with the tailpiece
    raised maybe 1mm or less, just enough to see daylight. I've read through nearly all
    the posts on this thread, and there are several other threads where we've mulled
    it all again. I can't say I'm convinced by anyone's arguments, but after reading
    Biddlin's remarks I raised my TP just a hair and... I like the sound so
    much that I'm not changing anything for a while. I'm using 11-52 D'Addario
    Blues & Jazz strings.

    One other cool thing... I never break strings. I put 'em on and take 'em off in
    sets. I have actually taken a grinding stone chucked into a dremel tool and rounded
    off slightly where the string wraps around the back side of the tailpiece. I tried to do it
    artistically, but a cork sniffer would call it damage. *laughs
    But my SGs are not for sale.

    I don't know if the top wrapping saves string breakage, or if it's the combination of
    the 11s, lubed saddles and a thin pick. my picks will crack and split but my strings don't break.
     
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  10. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    I don't think I've ever seen a string break at the bridge/stopbar end.They always go at the tuner, and usually when slackening, not tightening. Go figure.

    Actually, I can't remember my last broken string. They go dull sounding before they break.
     
  11. shreddy bender

    shreddy bender Well-Known Member

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    When I do break a string it's most often at the saddle. That is another thing I noticed about top wrapping though is that I seem to break strings less frequently. I actually had one break in the middle once. It must have been really old!
     
  12. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    Do you have a trem? With all the Gibson systems, that results in the string rubbing on the saddle. Breaking would be quite easy, I imagine.
     
  13. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    I haven't experienced string breakage at the saddle, (Maybe I change strings too often for that,) but recently changed to roller saddles on several of my tremolo equipped guitars, to avoid excess pressure on the bridge posts and facilitate smoother operation.
    [​IMG]
    All of the bridges exhibit less longitudinal shift when loaded and unloaded, intonate well and have not affected tone.
    ;>)/
     
  14. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    I can see how that would be. Your bridge looks like it is set really quite high. Is the neck angle much greater than average?
     
  15. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    Like most Classics.
     
  16. shreddy bender

    shreddy bender Well-Known Member

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    No I don't but I do have an aggressive vibrato and bending approach. Also I probably don't change my strings as often as I should. I have a fresh pack at home right now and I know it's time for them.
     
  17. Rowdymoon

    Rowdymoon Well-Known Member

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    I on the other hand experience more longitudinal shift when loaded..:naughty:
     
  18. Voxman

    Voxman Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't have any other options bout wrapping w/ this one ! :wave:

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    Yup!
    [​IMG]
    Me, either.
    :laugh2::laugh2::laugh2:
    ;>)/
     
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