Tale of Two...tail pieces?

Discussion in 'Gibson Les Pauls' started by xmacvicar, Jul 21, 2017.

  1. xmacvicar

    xmacvicar Junior Member

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    I have two LP's

    A Traditional Sunburst & Traditional 1960 Zebra both 2011. I am a huge fan of Les Pauls, but truth be told I am just starting to really get into them from a historical and technical standpoint. I picked up the Les Paul manual by Terry Burrows and I do alot of my own setups, etc.

    Last night I tried top wrapping - wasn't really a fan so today I switched back to the regular setup. That is what has prompted me to make this post. My Traditional zebra is able to get the tail piece completely in/flush with the body and still maintain clearance against the bridge.

    IMG_3047.JPG

    My sunburst (with the 50's style neck) is NOT even close. For me to clear the strings from the bridge I need to get the tail piece way off the body.

    IMG_3048.JPG

    I find it humorous that there is such a huge difference between the two. Can anyone give me some tips or explanations as to why? I know not all Paul's are made the same, but that much of a difference seems extreme!
     
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  2. mudface

    mudface Senior Member

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    A photo of the bridge from the side ( E to the e ) of both guitars might help. I am kinda think'n that the bridge is leaning ever slightly toward the neck on the sunburst. The neck pitch may also be considered.
     
  3. xmacvicar

    xmacvicar Junior Member

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  4. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    Position of intonation/saddles........done.
     
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  5. PierM

    PierM Premium Member

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    Intonation is different and also you have a thicker stud insert hat, on the bottom guitar, which means that bridge is higher than the top one, so I guess you also have a delta between the two neck angles (assuming you have same action on both).
     
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  6. mudface

    mudface Senior Member

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    The saddles are reversed and the GT saddles seem taller, one of these bridges is a Tone-pro bridge (the sunburst) and one is not (the GT).
    As it looks to me anyways.....
     
  7. guysmiley

    guysmiley Senior Member

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    Different hardware different angles. Also, different break angles. I always found the shallower angel easier to bend.
     
  8. xmacvicar

    xmacvicar Junior Member

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    I only have the low E reversed here because I ran out of 'space' when intonating. All the other saddles are in the normal position
     
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  9. xmacvicar

    xmacvicar Junior Member

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    Hey can you elaborate on this? I am not sure what else I can do to get the tail piece down without getting into top wrapping. I mean, the strings are literally a bee's dick above the bridge here :p Maybe in this case I 'DONT need to get the tail piece down?
     
  10. PierM

    PierM Premium Member

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    Why you want the TP down? It's not an ABR1 so it's hard to make it all down without getting strings touching the back of the bridge.
     
  11. xmacvicar

    xmacvicar Junior Member

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    I guess its not that I want to really...just seeing in next to the goldtop with the bridge all the way down got me wondering what the fundamental difference is. You always read online about tone purists thinking the tail piece should be right into the body for better tone/sustain, blah blah blah

    I looked at the official Gibson specs and it states my Goldtop is a "tune o matic" bridge and the Sunburst traditional is a 'nashville tune o matic"
     
  12. PierM

    PierM Premium Member

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    That is the point about saddles/intonation difference between the two, affecting the clearance at the back of the Nashville;

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. xmacvicar

    xmacvicar Junior Member

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    I can see how you would think that from the side, but its just the 1 saddle - the low E. All the others are the same direction on both guitars
     
  14. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    Its not the angle of the saddle he (and myself) are pointing out, but the position of the fulcrum/saddle top in relation to the rear of the bridge. It stands out to my luthiers eye as incredibly obvious, and the whole reason behind the difference with the t/p heights.
     
  15. Christosterone

    Christosterone Premium Member

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    Here's your problem:
    The tailpiece is the wrong one :naughty:

    [​IMG]

    -Chris
     
  16. Cjsinla

    Cjsinla Premium Member

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    These guitars are not all made the same. The necks are fit in by hand. If you watch a video, the luthier is actually shaving bits off the tenon off the neck to fit the joint. There will be differences from guitar to guitar. Slight variance in the neck angle will cause the difference you are seeing with tailpiece height. What you see is not a problem, it is a "feature."
     
  17. mudface

    mudface Senior Member

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    This is very true, the slightest angle of pitch will result in overall bridge height and intonation, this is why these pieces are adjustable.
    Even Fender guitars are relatively flat, they do perform better with a little neck pitch. Paper thin shims are used on older Fenders as today they have a pitch adjustment screw via an allen wrench.
    Replacing the bridge with Faber ABR might solve your issues.
     
  18. gball

    gball Senior Member

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    Yeah, I purposely keep mine a bit higher as they seem to feel a bit slinkier. I also call BS on having them all the way down improving the tone - IME it either makes no difference or if there is one the higher tailpiece sound better, more "open."
     
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  19. kakerlak

    kakerlak Senior Member

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    A lot of variables here -- I think position of the saddles (and not the direction the saddle is installed) is a big difference, as ARandall pointed out (cool gif, BTW!). It's tough to tell whether the bridge is much higher on the sunburst guitar, but that doesn't look too different. One more thing that's possible is a difference in top carve. If the top stays flatter under the tailpiece on the goldtop, that could be contributing some. If the sunburst one's top carve starts to curve away more under the tailpiece, then its tailpiece would sit a lot lower, relative to everything else, when it's screwed down tight.

    That one's tailpiece is sitting so tall I'd be tempted to top-wrap it.
     
  20. xmacvicar

    xmacvicar Junior Member

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    You know. I did that last night. I'm not sure I was a fan. I found when I did aggressive pull off's on the high E like 3-5-0 for example, I was pulling the string off the fretboard and hearing that clink/ping. Actually even with the strings back to normal, I find my guitar is still kinda doing that!
     

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