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Tune-o-matic stop tailpiece adjustments?


Dennyf

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I recently had a pro setup done on one of my guitars, and I just noticed that the stop tailpiece behind the tune-o-matic received a fair amount of attention, i.e. it's been raised quite a bit, especially on the treble side, reducing the break angle behind the saddle by quite a bit.

 

I've always just set stop tailpieces as low as possible without hitting the bridge behind the saddle, half-remembering some probably-apocryphal tale about this maximizing the sustain.

 

But OTOH, I'm now thinking it's adjustable for a *reason.* What might those reasons be?

 

What effect does raising or lowering the tailpiece have? Why might one want it higher (other than string breakage, for example)? :confused:

band link: bluepearlband.com

music, lessons, gig schedules at dennyf.com

 

STURGEON'S LAW --98% of everything is bullshit.

 

My Unitarian Jihad Name is: The Jackhammer of Love and Mercy.

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Well, you'll get easier bending with less of a breaking-angle there; too much and you'll feel a tightness during bends, too little and you'll lose some tone and attack sustain.

 

Imagine you're in a tug-of-war with someone, and they can get down low over a wall, while you've got to keep the rope straight across that wall. When you try to pull more to your side, it's gonna be harder than if they had it level, right?

 

I prefer to lower my stop-tail all the way down as far as it will go on both sides, and insert the strings from the bridge side and wrap them over the top of the tailpiece to the bridge saddles. This gives me a good enough breaking angle with just enough tension to preserve the attack and tone, while letting bends feel silky-smooth with .011" through .050" strings! Plus, the tailpiece is down out of the way, feeling very comfy to my picking-hand.

 

I've seen pictures of Billy Gibbons, Duane Allman, and Michael Bloomfield with their Les Pauls set-up this way, too. I must be doing something right!

 

I've experimented with setting the tailpiece high and low, so this isn't just speculation on my part.

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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the over the top trick that caev mentioned is a cool thing, i used to do that on my sbg1000. it does lower the tension a bit. most Lp's have a sweet spot for tailpiece height and it isn't always as low as it goes.

Caevan , you recieve the cool setup trick of the day award! have a brewsky. :thu:

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Well, you'll get easier bending with less of a breaking-angle there; too much and you'll feel a tightness during bends, too little and you'll lose some tone and attack sustain.

 

Imagine you're in a tug-of-war with someone, and they can get down low over a wall, while you've got to keep the rope straight across that wall. When you try to pull more to your side, it's gonna be harder than if they had it level, right?

Uhh, well, yeah, I'd have a harder time actually PULLING them up the wall. But it wouldn't really make any difference in increasing tension on the rope, if you see what I mean. And increasing tension is all you're doing in pitch-bending, not actually dragging the string over the saddle or stretching metal.

 

And if that's the case, then what's the deal with guitars like juniors and specials with a combo stop-tailpiece-bridge? What controls the tension there? Should they be easier to bend? Harder?

 

I kinda think the tension for a given string diameter at a given pitch and given scale length between the nodes (i.e., the nut and the saddle) is gonna be the same regardless of what happens behind the nut or the saddle.

 

The only difference I can intuitively see is how much of the tension is traslated as a downforce against the nodes as determined by the break angle. And again intuitively, I'd think maximum downforce would translate to the most sustain, although as a practical matter, since both ends of the string are attached to the guitar somehow, all the string energy's gonna go there one way or another. So, like you, I tend to want to keep the break angle as high as possible.

 

But apparently there's more to it than that. :)

band link: bluepearlband.com

music, lessons, gig schedules at dennyf.com

 

STURGEON'S LAW --98% of everything is bullshit.

 

My Unitarian Jihad Name is: The Jackhammer of Love and Mercy.

Get yours.

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Uhh, well, yeah, I'd have a harder time actually PULLING them up the wall. But it wouldn't really make any difference in increasing tension on the rope, if you see what I mean. And increasing tension is all you're doing in pitch-bending, not actually dragging the string over the saddle or stretching metal.

 

Oh wait! I'm wrong!!

 

(It came to me while I was playing my gig tonight, for some reason).

 

Something is stretching/moving when you bend strings, 'cuz the effective distance is now greater. You're right!

 

So the greater the length between the anchor points (i.e. the string post and the tailpiece, the easier it should be to bend because you're changing the overall length of the path of the string by a smaller percentage.

 

Uhh, but on the other hand, you're changing the tension less, so you need a bigger bend to get the same pitch change. . . .

 

This shit is more complicated than I thought. But I'm enjoying the exercise!

band link: bluepearlband.com

music, lessons, gig schedules at dennyf.com

 

STURGEON'S LAW --98% of everything is bullshit.

 

My Unitarian Jihad Name is: The Jackhammer of Love and Mercy.

Get yours.

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