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Top wrapped stop bar and action at the nut


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I have owned my SG standard for 2 years, and have recently experimented with "Top wrapping" my strings through the stop bar when I did my last re-string 3 days ago.I then moved the stop bar right down to the body.


I tried this firstly: because the top E was firmly touching the back of the bridge, and has been breaking more often since I increased the height of the bridge, secondly: out of plain curiosity to see if I liked the more "spongy" action that people who do this report.


All in all, I like the new action.(I had to tweak the truss rod a little bit afterwards to get the neck relief back to where I like it (just over 1 64th of an inch at the 7th fret )). I have discerned a slight improvement in sustain and palm muting is easier, as are bends.


The only draw back at the moment (I'll see if the top wrapping eats into the stop bar when I next change my strings),is that towards the nut open chords now sound damper with less kerrang!


I suspect this is just the downside of an adjustment that has otherwise provided a very welcome,more responsive action higher up the neck and I'll just have to decide if the trade off is worth it.However, Is there anything I can do so that I enjoy the best of both worlds here??

1) My initial thought was that the nut might be cut too low?- but I have checked it and it conforms to the standard spec at the 1st fret. I know that some people get their nut "shimmed" but I'm not convinced that this is right for my situation.

2) Perhaps I should raise the stop bar a little? But then I would lose some of the benefit elsewhere on the neck.

3) My action height at the bridge is a high-ish 6 64ths of an inch for the bottom E, and 5 64ths for the top E, which is probably why the top E hit the back of the bridge in the first place. When I bought the guitar it was at the standard 5 64ths and 3 64ths, it didn't suffer from fret buzz, but lacked attack all down the neck, so I raised the action. Perhaps I need to go right back to the beginning and get a tech to look at the neck/frets? and do a complete re-set up from there?-Maybe you just can't have it both ways, but I like to play a mixture of stuff.


Any suggestions would be very welcome!! I've left details below about how my guitar is set up at the moment, in case you think the lack of a propper professional set up is my problem


-Truss rod relief-Currently at just over 1 64th of an inch.

-Bridge height-Currently at 6 64ths of an inch for the bottom E and 5 64th's of an inch for the top E,.

-Nut height-Currently at 2 64th's at the bottom E and 1 64th of an inch at the top E.(Top E tends to slip of the fretboard if I'm not too carefull).

-Stop bar- Currently screwed right down and top wrapped.

-String guage- 11's.

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My thought has always been that it is best to have a good luthier to make significant adjustments.

Good luck...


Thanks, I'm certainly considering it, the top E dropping of the fingerboard is infuriating for a start, and though it was worse on the SG special I owned previously (presumably down to how the nut is cut) ,but thats another topic altogether I suppose.

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i hate to have to ask this but what is top wrapping



It may be that the term I used was wrong. Basically I'm talking about when instead of threading your strings directly through the back of the stop bar towards the pickups (as most people do), you thread the strings through the front of the stop bar away from the pickups out the other side of the stop bar,then over the top of the stop bar-and then restring as usual.-Apologies if you knew this already but were thrown by the term I used!

People tend to use this method if the angle the strings take downwards from the bridge to the stop bar is too steep.If the steep angle causes the strings to rest tightly against the back of the bridge on theor way down they tend to break more often, and cause intonation issues. By wrapping the strings over the top of the stop bar you reduce the angle.Additionally you then have more scope to screw your stopbar way down to the body which can moderately enhance sustain -So the theory goes.


I have noticed that not everybody thinks that it's a good idea. Often it seems to be the height of the bridge action that causes the bridge/stop bar angle to be steeper .Seemingly identical guitars seem to require a higher bridge to achieve the same "action",so possibly the bridge need not be set so high in the first place if issues like uneven frets were to be properly addressed.


I haven't reverted back to the traditional stringing method yet, I'll give it some time, as on balance I'm happier after the change.In the meantime I'll ponder over whether it would be worth visiting a skilled professional!

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