#1
I've got an Epi Explorer that I'm about to change the strings and adjust the intonation on, but I was wondering how well wrapping the strings over the stop bar works out. The stop bar is as low as it can go, but it's touching the back of the bridge, so that won't work, and I really don't wanna raise the stop bar. I was thinking of putting some electrical tape over the top to protect it from scuffs and increase sustain, mandolin style. Either that or some kind of cloth. I'm just kinda worried because I got a pack of hybrid strings (46-9) and I currently enjoy the 10s I have on my guitar. I know that top wrapping lowers the tension a bit and I don't wanna feel like I'm playing loose spaghetti.

EDIT: I'm also worried that the squareness of the stop bar might increase chances of the string breaking
Last edited by Velcro Man at Sep 7, 2013,
#2
Assuming that your bridge/tailpiece arrangement is the typical Gibson version, you should have no problems. I doubt that it will help in any way, but it will not hurt, either. Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top has been doing this for decades. He doesn't seem to break strings any more than the average guy.

Your stop bar should not be square-shaped, if it is a Gibson/Epiphone. The top should be somewhat rounded. You also state that the stop bar is actually touching the back of the bridge. As you can see in the picture, since there is normally about an inch between the stop bar and the bridge, how is that possible?



Covering the top of the stop bar is not necessary, and it will not aid in sustain. Your sustain is almost entirely located between the nut and the bridge saddle. Also, the tape will serve to dampen any string vibrations transferred to it. And the glues in the adhesive tape might be as damaging to the plating on the stop bar as would be the strings.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#3
I meant the strings are touching the back of the bridge because the stop bar is so low. Anyway, killing extra string vibrations outside of the nut/bridge increases sustain, part of the reason why electric guitars shouldn't be made of wood, but I digress.

The top of the stop bar is round, but the bottom is not, and it will be wrapped around that. I can't imagine it being an issue on the thicker strings, but that high e is what worries me...kink that damn thing and *SNAP*

Also, holy shit, that Epi Explorer has E Coli tapping (how in the **** did they make that typo and not notice it?)
Last edited by Velcro Man at Sep 7, 2013,
#4
Yes, I was wondering about the typo, too.

As for the acute angle at the point of wrap, it really is not as severe as it looks because the strings - even under tension - are not completely pliable. There is a "rounding" effect because of the characteristics of the strings:



Like I said, I have never heard of this causing an increase in string breakage. And if you are worried, you can probably get a more rounded stop bar for this purpose. I've seen a number of variations on the stop bar design ever since PRS took to using a stop bar/fixed bridge combination unit, so they are out there.

Good luck!
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#5
Ok, that picture is a pretty helpful...I was literally going to string it through normally, then wrap it under, that way is much better >_>

Now I feel like an idiot...wrapping for sure.