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Stopbar height?

roadhog96

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Apr 21, 2006
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I've seen a lot of stopbars set with the screws adjusted in the up position to raise the stopbar to lessen the string angle over the saddles. I haven't seen anything covering this topic before. I'm not totally convinced that because the screws are long enough to raise the stopbar that this makes it correct, I could be wrong. There is a lot of tension on the stopbar, raising it would increase the stress on the threaded inserts and scews that support it. I'm not saying it would break or become loose by doing this but I would like to know what was the intension of this design and how it was intended to be used. To be mounted in the lowest postion or to be adjusted to correct string break angle. Anyone know anything about this subject?
 
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ashbass

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Jan 13, 2003
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Nutshell: the original incarnation of the stop tailpiece was required by design to sit above the guitar face with the screw posts exposed. Again, that is how it was designed and used for two years until the implementation of the tunomatic bridge which necessitated moving the stop tailpiece back further away from the fretboard.

So, it was designed to be raised. With the 'new' bridge, however, it no longer *has* to be raised. Raising it or lowering it will provide a different feel when playing and a different sound when listening, all depending on who is playing and who is listening. There are many many many threads about this here. If you use Search from the front page of the forum you will find more opinions.

Stopbar height

Stop tailpiece height
 

Progrocker111

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Dec 10, 2003
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I like the stopbar to be fairly high. The angle of strings on the bridge is the same as on my headstock (i have Norlin era Custom, which does have lower headstock angle). The strings are lighter to bend to me and the sound is more detailed and fat with some honk.
 

Bluespower

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Feb 26, 2003
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It's up to you. Set it where you like it (as long as the high E doesn't touch the back of the bridge.) the maple top is hard wood and shouldn't be effected by higher or lower stop bar placement.

Raising or lower the stop bar will have a noticeable effect on the string "tension" which probably can change tone somewhat, but I can't hear much of a change.
 

DonP

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Having a high bridge with a low stopbar is asking for trouble. Either the ABR-1 or the Nashville bridge will bow under too much string pressure.

So if you have a bad neck angle (5+), you are stuck with a high bridge and should have a high tailpiece (or topwrap).

Historic LP's have a correct neck angle (4) and so have a lower bridge, and that lets you mount the tail flush with the body.
 

smirk

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Jun 1, 2006
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I like the feel of the strings with it raised up a bit, 1/4 to 1/2", makes bending easyer
 

Wilko

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The stop bar was designed and marketed as an adjustable tension device.
 

roadhog96

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Apr 21, 2006
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With the stopbar all the way down strings clear the bridge on all strings. The angle of the strings from the saddles to the stopbar is sharp. Should the stopbar be adjusted to follow the angle of the bridge with one side higher or should it sit parallel to the top of the guitar. The hight E side of the bridge is much lower than the low E side because of clearances.
 
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bluesjuke

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Feb 6, 2005
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There is a sweet spot that is different on every guitar.
Experiment with yours for comfort in playing & tone.

roadhog96- It doesn't really matter what the height is from side to side.
I try to keep my stopbar parallel to the body if that works for what I mentioned above. What matters more is having clearance of the bridge with your strings.
If the angle is very steep I would fool with it & see how you like it raised a little. There will be less stress on your bridge.
 
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J T

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Oct 20, 2005
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Here's where necks get twisted. The stop bar is a tension device. Uneven tension from side to side will cause strings on one side of the neck to be tighter than the strings on the other side of the neck if the stop bar is higher on one side than the other.

If the stop bar is causes uneven tension across the neck, over time, the strings will pull the neck in the direction of the tighter strings. You will see the nut and headstock "dipping" in the direction of the tighter strings.

The same effect will happen to a guitar with an even tailpiece but strings not tuned to pitch evenly.

Guitars that have been stored a long time with missing strings on one side and tight strings on the other will do this. That is when it is time to go to the repair shop.

So find the sweet spot and keep checking the neck relief to look for signs of high and low spots.




EDIT : Here is the D'addario research and has the Physics behind String Tension.
String tension
 
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bluesjuke

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Feb 6, 2005
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When I say uneven doesn't really matter I mean a half or one turn of the screw- not a major difference.

I don't buy into the tension device except in whereas the bridge is concerned.
I believe it to be a "perceived tension" difference- in other words how much resistance you hve in manipulating the strings from the angle over the bridge.
The reason why is that any given string must be tightened to a certain tension in order to acheive proper pitch.
For example; If you raise the tailpiece you tighten the string more to compensate., if you lower the tailpiece you slacken the string.

As I said I try to keep mine parallel & it is important to keep strings proper tension to avoid twisting.
 

Cheburashka

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Jul 8, 2005
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ashbass said:
Nutshell: the original incarnation of the stop tailpiece was required by design to sit above the guitar face with the screw posts exposed. Again, that is how it was designed and used for two years until the implementation of the tunomatic bridge which necessitated moving the stop tailpiece back further away from the fretboard.

So, it was designed to be raised. With the 'new' bridge, however, it no longer *has* to be raised. Raising it or lowering it will provide a different feel when playing and a different sound when listening, all depending on who is playing and who is listening. There are many many many threads about this here. If you use Search from the front page of the forum you will find more opinions.

Stopbar height

Stop tailpiece height

Too low and you'll collapse the bridge...
 

fancychords

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Jul 17, 2005
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Something I don't understand....I can see where lowering the stop tail would increase tension on the bridge,,,but how can it make the strings feel stiffer..a-440 in tension is a440 no matter what..isn't please explain if I'm missing something...
 

the_kingbee

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Jan 31, 2006
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I read somewhere a long time ago to use 17 degrees on the low E and 13 degrees on the high E. Works fantastic for me. Real nice tension and bending.
 

Wilko

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Something I don't understand....I can see where lowering the stop tail would increase tension on the bridge,,,but how can it make the strings feel stiffer..a-440 in tension is a440 no matter what..isn't please explain if I'm missing something...

The "tension" is the same, but there is flex because the breakover angle that allows the string to be "rocked" ov the saddle.
 

sidekick

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Jun 20, 2005
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Here's where necks get twisted. The stop bar is a tension device. Uneven tension from side to side will cause strings on one side of the neck to be tighter than the strings on the other side of the neck if the stop bar is higher on one side than the other.

If the stop bar is causes uneven tension across the neck, over time, the strings will pull the neck in the direction of the tighter strings. You will see the nut and headstock "dipping" in the direction of the tighter strings.

The same effect will happen to a guitar with an even tailpiece but strings not tuned to pitch evenly.

Guitars that have been stored a long time with missing strings on one side and tight strings on the other will do this. That is when it is time to go to the repair shop.

So find the sweet spot and keep checking the neck relief to look for signs of high and low spots.
Hey JT... Isn't there is an 'uneven' tension factor between/within a tuned E - E string range anyway? What about wrapover tailpieces, as these have to be used via the studs to determine the string height etc., and often one side is higher/lower.
See the point with long-term/missing string storage though and also have noted that raising or lowering one side of a stop-tailpiece causes subtle changes to the neck relief, which is perhaps why some like the 'feel' it creates... :salude
 

J T

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Hey JT... Isn't there is an 'uneven' tension factor between/within a tuned E - E string range anyway? What about wrapover tailpieces, as these have to be used via the studs to determine the string height etc., and often one side is higher/lower.
See the point with long-term/missing string storage though and also have noted that raising or lowering one side of a stop-tailpiece causes subtle changes to the neck relief, which is perhaps why some like the 'feel' it creates... :salude

If you keep you guitar tuned to pitch on all six strings you shouldn't have a problem. Guitars stored for long periods of time without all strings or the strings on one side of th neck all the way loose while strings on the other side tuned to pich will twist that neck. Keeping the guitar in the trunk of your car on a hot day will do funky things as well even with the strings evenly tuned
 

sidekick

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Jun 20, 2005
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.... Keeping the guitar in the trunk of your car on a hot day will do funky things as well even with the strings evenly tuned

I bet... :salude

:hmm... possible name for a new song: "I've Got the Hot Car-Boot-Intonation Blues"... :rofl
 
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