Originally Posted by moff40
The OP did say YMMV and the post was his\her opinion only, so I'm not going to argue. What I will do is take a shot at it from a cold, scientific, logical point of view.
From a pure physics standpoint, string tension is string tension; it doesnt matter what end of the string you tighten or loosen. A string that is to produce a given note must be stretched between two points (in this case the nut and the bridge, AKA the "speaking length"), to a specific number of pounds of tension. That number will be the same, regardless of whether the tailpiece is up or down, or if the strings are threaded in the standard fashion, or top-wrapped. If you raise the tailpiece, you decrease that tension, and you have to compensate by "tightening" the string at the machine head. Lowering the tailpiece tightens the string and requires a commensurate "loosening" of the machine head to return to pitch. But after all is said and done, it's still the same tension.
Since the string tension required is a constant, there should be no difference in "feel", regardless of whether the strings are threaded normally, or top-wrapped. Same note, same tension, same feel.
There is some discussion about whether there's any noticeable difference in tone if the tailpiece is flat down to the top or lifted. Hard call. Because the tailpiece is under tremendous tension when the guitar is tuned to pitch, it is already making good contact through the stud bushings to the body of the guitar. It's hard to see how lowering the tailpiece so that its studs touch the top of the bushings would make any difference in the amount of contact. But still some players swear by it.
The height of the tailpiece and the angle at which the strings cross over the bridge (or nut, but that's another discussion) MAY result in a difference in the tone or clarity of notes. If the tailpiece is too high, notes may sound duller, choked, or even buzz, because the down-pressure across the bridge is not sufficient to ensure the "speaking length" of the string is sufficiently isolated. If the tailpiece is too low, it causes too great a break angle, and can result in chronic string breakage or a "collapsed" bridge. Top-wrapping allows a player to slam the tailpiece down, while reducing the break angle of the strings across the bridge to an acceptable amount.
So, that's the answer from a scientific point of view.
From a practical standpoint, I've never noticed a discernible difference between the two, other than I really don't like the feel of the top-wrapped strings against the edge of my hand.