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strings touching TOM bridge is bad? Gibson vs Fender bridges and break angles

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  • strings touching TOM bridge is bad? Gibson vs Fender bridges and break angles

    I've read that having the strings making contact with the back edge of a TOM bridge (e.g. from having the tailpiece too low) is bad... however on string through guitars like teles and strats the strings break over the bridge plate as part of the design.

    what's the deal? Why is one part of the instrument's design and the other A Bad Thing? I've had strings break on strats and teles at the break point of the bridge plate but a little vaseline usually prevents this.

  • #2
    It's been a while since I've owned A ToM equiped guitar, but it surprises me that you could get the strings got angle-down so steeply that they touch the back rim of the bridge. I guess if you bridge was rather high, and your tailpiece very low, I could see it happening.

    As far as to whether it's a problem, the way I see it is that any unnecessary contact with the strings is a potential friction/tuning problem. Also, if your strings aren't making very firm contact where the touch the back of the ToM, then rattles can occur, that you can hear.

    I'm interested in what real ToM owners have to say.
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    • #3
      ^^ That's what I would have said. Just raise the stop bar up a hair if that's happening (assuming you don't want the bridge any lower).

      I believe it's good to maximize the downward angle since the law of physics will tell you that puts more downward pressure on the bridge and then possibly better coupling with the tone-wood. All of that is debatable of course; but yeah, I wouldn't hesitate to raise the stop-bar just a hair for the reasons mentioned above.
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      • #4
        I don't see where it'd be an issue. At worst it just transfers vibration more to the bridge than the tail piece. It doesn't affect the string between the bridge and nut except for overall taughtness. If you don't hear any issues with it then it's fine. That said, I would question the bendability of your strings due to how low your tail piece is set. Again, depending on the guitar and your preferences it could be just fine.

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        • #5
          My les paul had the low E and a few others touching the back of the ToM bridge since 1981, when I bought it. I just changed the strings and did the reverse wrap around the tailpiece thing to try that. I don't notice the guitar plays any "slinkier" or easier, or sounds different, but I do like having the strings there to rest my hands on. Tuning stability, which has always been rock solid is still rock solid.
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          • #6
            I top wrap. Why? Because the extra pressure on the back of the TOM will eventually cause it to lean forward.
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            • #7
              thanks for the advice.

              I don't actually have a TOM + tailpiece, its a classic player jazzmaster with a TOM style bridge and jazzmaster trem. I would like to get a trem plate made with no trem assembly, just string anchor points. I'm trying to find out if I can put them closer to the bridge (around 2 inches, similar to my SG) or whether they'll have to be further away to avoid strings touching the back edge of the bridge. I'd like to have them closer to the bridge than they currently are to cut down on behind the bridge noise.

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