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Question for the top-wrappers
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Paladin2019
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Joined: 06 Sep 2002
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Location: Cardiff, UK

PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2004 12:15 pm    Post subject: Question for the top-wrappers Reply with quote

I've just spent an infuriating few hours playing with my tailpiece height after discovering the bridge on my love rock is starting to collapse. The problem is that if I raise it I get a hollow, metallic rattling sound on the G and B strings on variable areas of the fretboard, which I'm convinced is due to the strings rattling against the roof of the tailpiece hole at certain frequencies.

In order to kill 2 birds with 1 stone I'm considering the top-wrap method but I have a question - What sort of marks does this method leave on the tailpiece, and how long does it take for them to appear? I don't want to try it, find I hate it after a week and be left with a permanently scarred tailpiece.

Any advice welcome.
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ArthurS
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Joined: 30 Apr 2003
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2004 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I top-wrapped my LS80 for about 8 weeks with a set of d'Addario 10s. The low E- and A-string have left very minor indentations in the tailpiece as a result. They look as you would expect them to look, but if you're more than a feet away, they're pretty much invisible (I wish I could take pictures but the guitar is at a tech at the moment). I don't know how long they took to appear, because I obviously didn't notice them before I took the strings off again. Even now it doesn't bother me at all, whereas I'm usually fairly fussy about such things.

FWIW, I strung my next set of strings the regular way. I didn't like the feel of top-wrapped strings at all, way too 'loose' and 'spongy' for me. Plus I hated how it looked (much more than I dislike the new marks on the TP )

If you're really concerned about damage to the tailpiece, why don't you just try to raise it at first and see if the rattling goes away?
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Paladin2019
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Joined: 06 Sep 2002
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Location: Cardiff, UK

PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2004 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ArthurS wrote:


If you're really concerned about damage to the tailpiece, why don't you just try to raise it at first and see if the rattling goes away?


Thanks arthur - I've raised it as far as it'll go without being higher than the bridge so I don't think there's anything I can do by taking it further. EDIT: come to think of it, the strings should have been clear of the TP roof by then... well anyway, the problem only occurs when the TP is above a certain point so something there must be the cause.

I think I'll use an old tailpiece to experiment with - I'll screw the TP down a bit to compensate for the raised strings. Seems a better idea than shelling out for a new bridge every year
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ArthurS
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2004 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paladin2019 wrote:
I think I'll use an old tailpiece to experiment with - I'll screw the TP down a bit to compensate for the raised strings. Seems a better idea than shelling out for a new bridge every year


Sounds like a sensible idea! But what is wrong with your bridge? This is the LS200 I presume? Shouldn't it be under warranty if the bridge is already 'collapsing'?
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sneakyjapan
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2004 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OH wrapping... not rapping. Thank god... I thought you were gonna start bustin rhymes on us...yeah yeah
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tubedogsmith
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Joined: 17 Feb 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2004 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FWIW, I've been topwrapping forever. I got a bad buzz on mine after adjusting the trussrod, setting the height on the bridge and TP, etc... On mine it was the bridge and not the little "C" clamps. I drilled out a Gibson ABR-1 and put it on, problem solved and the strings have a much more solid, woody tone. I'm going to take the stock bridge apart and see if I can grind the bottom of the saddles level and get it sounding better. So, I guess this is a long about way to say, it may not be the tailpiece.
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Paladin2019
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2004 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ArthurS wrote:
Paladin2019 wrote:
I think I'll use an old tailpiece to experiment with - I'll screw the TP down a bit to compensate for the raised strings. Seems a better idea than shelling out for a new bridge every year


Sounds like a sensible idea! But what is wrong with your bridge? This is the LS200 I presume? Shouldn't it be under warranty if the bridge is already 'collapsing'?


The stock bridge was collapsing when I got it, but I didn't recognise it as such back then. My tech filed out the saddles to compensate but eventually I replaced the bridge with a tone pros model, which is now on the one way train to sagville. Given the modification status and the fact I bought it in japan I'm not holding my breath on warranty repair

I'm fairly certain the tailpiece is at fault for a few reasons:

The noise first occurred when I changed it for an aluminium one,
if I rest my hand between the bridge and TP the noise stops,
if I fill the TP holes with plasticine the noise stops,
when I vary the height the noise is heard in different areas of the fretboard.

It's more a metallic overtone than a rattle really. It's a really odd problem.
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Novosel
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2004 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been curious about top-wrapping for a while, so I tried it last string change. This lasted exactly one day. I hated it. It felt like I was playing someone else's guitar. The paradox is, that while your strings feel looser, as if you're tuned down a step or so, - you have to really overbend the strings to get the note you want. And I do a lot of string bending. Once, I pushed the B-string right out of the notch on the saddle - there's not enough downward pressure. Plus, it seemed to lose the nuances in micro-bends. It just wasn't for me.

The up-side is that when I switched it back, I felt like my playing had gone up a notch and I realized that I had taken for granted how responsive my Love Rock was to my touch.

Rule of Thumb: If Gary Moore doesn't do it - I won't either!
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Paladin2019
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2004 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm.... I've got it top-wrapped right now and it doesn't seem to have solved the problem - but it does seem less noisy than when I had the strings at an equivalent unwrapped height.

Perhaps the curvature of the bridge is knocking off the action settings for the central strings. That might explain why the probelm was less obvious at low tailpiece settings - increased tension meant less deviation from central during vibration. This is getting more annoying by the minute.

I'm undecided on the wrap itself. The change in tone isn't huge but the change in feel is and I'm not sure that i like it. Strings are pretty loose and resting my hand between bridge & TP feels wierd.
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Paladin2019
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2004 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, the solution to my problem lies in the saddle. If I pop the string out of its slot onto the saddle all is well again. Need to find a solution based on that info now. Although I did learn how to restore collapsed bridges from this experience.

Oh yes, the top wrap lasted a whole 3 days. Very little difference in tone, strings to floppy for me (felt like going back to 10's), and it felt too strange - novosel said it well, like playing someone else's guitar. The Lack of 'hump' when resting your hand between the bridge and stopbar felt like playing a jaguar or jazzmaster style bridge. Good job I used an old tailpiece as those 3 days were all it took to get marks.
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Micky Mojo
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2004 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've heard about bridges "colapsing" before but what exactly does it mean?
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lasher
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Joined: 08 Feb 2004
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2004 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

they are no longer arched along the bottom, they become straight, therefore the strings are no longer following the radius of the fingerboard.
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Paladin2019
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2004 3:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Micky Mojo wrote:
I've heard about bridges "colapsing" before but what exactly does it mean?


Basically what Lasher said. The pressure from the strings causes the bridge to warp and sag in the middle throwing off your action. No matter what you do, your inner strings will be too low or your outer strings too high.

You can detect it by holding a straight object such as a steel rule across the top of the bridge and looking for a space underneath.

It's easy to undo as long as you have a good solid g-clamp or a vice but constant bending and unbending weakens the metal. If you collapse your bridge you need to make some changes to stop it happening again. Raising your tailpiece or doing the top wrap are the most common and least intrusive methods.
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Micky Mojo
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2004 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I get you. I recently aquired a Greco LP Custom and lowered the tailpiece because I like to rest my hand on it. Since then the action went all over the shop and I was thinking how come the strings are buzzing when I didn't lower the bridge. I suppose by lowering the tailpiece I was putting a lot more pressure on the bridge due to the string angle. The guitar is an 81 so I suppose it's due for a new bridge. Any suggestions for a new bridge would be appreciated and don't forget the new one will have to be gold.

Cheers
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lasher
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2004 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tone pros,,,you might have to enlarge the stud holes,,,or a gotoh.
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