strings touching the back of the bridge

Discussion in 'Tonefreaks' started by 5F6-A, Aug 22, 2007.

  1. 5F6-A

    5F6-A Senior Member

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    My guitar has the nashville bridge. My strings do not clear the back of the bridge as I use a B7 bigbsy. My question is if whether or not there is consensus on the negative impact of strings touching the back of the bridge.

    Thanks
     
  2. BCRGreg

    BCRGreg V.I.P. Member

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    It's not a great idea, friction at the contact points will affect the strings returning to pitch. I usually put a washer between the felt and the base of the Bigsby, so that the strings BARELY clear the bridge and the whole shootin match looks stock. A bag of 1/2 in diameter washers is a buck at Lowe's or Hope Depot, and you will probably like the guitar a little maore afterwards.

    Also, lube the nut slots and saddles with a touch of Chapstick. It's cheap, readily available and keeps the sweat from collecting between the string and the bits, so you have a lube that prolongs your string life. I do it to Sylvain Sylvain's Gretsches( I tech for the New York Dolls on occasion) and that boy WRENCHES the Bigsby arm and the guitar stays in tune. I just did the same for Earl Slick, and he didn't retune once onstage.
     
  3. 5F6-A

    5F6-A Senior Member

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    cheers!
     
  4. mmcquain

    mmcquain V.I.P. Member

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    As a general rule you don't want the string touching anything part of the bridge except the saddle notch.
    However, sometimes it seems you can't avoid it completely. Nashville bridges are worse than ABR bridges
    for this problem it seems. On my CS-356 (ABR bridge) the strings clear by as little as a medium guitar pick
    thickness to close to 1/8" depending on the string (outer strings are closer to bridge). On my Les Paul
    Custom I've got the low E string touching the edge of the Nashville bridge but have never broken a string
    there. Attempts to raise/lower the bridge mess with where I like my action set. Moving the saddle back
    (so string would clear) isn't an option if I want it to intonate correctly. So I just live with a slight touching
    and it is really a none issue.

    CS-356 with ABR (all strings clear):

    [​IMG]

    Les Paul Custom with Nashville (low E doesn't clear completely):

    [​IMG]

    Les Paul Classic Antique with Nashville (all strings clear - some just barely):

    [​IMG]
     
  5. LoKi

    LoKi V.I.P. Member

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    Techically the only part of the string that matters is between the nut and the saddle. There won't be any vibration down there to affect your tone, but if the strings are touching it will cause wear on your bridge eventually. If you are noticing string breakage in that area it could be a concern, but its nothing that you'd hear.

    Lube on the saddles and the slots in the nut is very important. I use Graphit-all, but you can use Nut Sauce, or even lead from a pencil. Makes tuning much easier and you'll notice your strings lasting longer *friction causes breakage*.

    I do the 'wrap-around' on the stoptail piece. That allows me to sink the stoptail all the way down to the wood and not have as extreme an angle on the string between the bridge and tail. I haven't broken a string in almost 11 years now... but it will wear off the chrome or gold on your stoptail...
     
  6. 5F6-A

    5F6-A Senior Member

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    thanks again to you and all the others!!

    BTW, did you mean half an inch diameter? ( 12.7 mm ) ??
     
  7. Satch0922

    Satch0922 Senior Member

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    I do the same thing however I purchased a "ToneTail" for my LP and I have one sitting here for my SG (just waiting to change strings to install it).

    Tone Tail Replacement Guitar Tail Pieces
     
  8. WCR

    WCR V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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    I've even seen where guys just file a notch in the bridge positions where the contact is taking place so the string clears.
     
  9. LoKi

    LoKi V.I.P. Member

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    Thats pretty cool! Is it chromed, or plated? I wouldn't want to spend 60 bucks on the thing just to have it look as ratty as the ones I've already got. haha
     
  10. Satch0922

    Satch0922 Senior Member

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    Not sure if they are chromed or plated to be honest. Can you tell just by looking?
     
  11. 5F6-A

    5F6-A Senior Member

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    that option did cross my mind....

    I'm going to plug those holes in and install a proper ABR-1 , me thinks...
     
  12. LoKi

    LoKi V.I.P. Member

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    I guess you'd find out if it flakes off or gets badly damaged after a few months of use... But I really like the idea! I want to upgrade my Standard with a nicer bridge and stop tail, put Schaller locking tuners on it and a Brass nut. I've got 2 or 3 Gibson brass nuts around here somewhere...

    Yea, yea. Go ahead and start with the 'brass nuts' jokes... I get em all the time... but I swear by the things! :lol:
     
  13. Satch0922

    Satch0922 Senior Member

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    My gold ToneTail on my Studio has been there for over a year. No flaking or oxidizing.
     

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