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Tension in top-load vs string thru

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by xtelesquirex, Oct 6, 2020.

  1. Jim622

    Jim622 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I have both. I don’t think about it. Just play
     
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  2. Thebluesman

    Thebluesman Tele-Holic

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    the 'feel' overall steers,guides the fret fingers etc.no good trying to 'mimic' a gtr hero,his set up etc..=you are not him etc.one plays by the end result the 'feel'...a set up that suits you may not suit another etc etc and a few thou'' maybe all that 'separates' in the difference here..every player is and will be unique etc=so will the 'musical set up preferences' be also .
     
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  3. otterhound

    otterhound Poster Extraordinaire

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    So , you reluctantly agree that there would be an increase in tension . This entire thing resolves to the opposite end points of a string . A top loader places the end point of a string demonstrably closer to the headstock end point than a through body mount .
    Since I like to poke the bear now and then , I am going to request your input on this setup and ask you to state where the break angle resolves to .
     

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    Last edited: Oct 6, 2020
  4. ben smith

    ben smith Tele-Afflicted

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    I have three tele's and all can be strung either way and my conclusion is that 1.a shimmed neck with top loading sounds and feels no different to a string through with no shim as the break angle is pretty close 2.the bridge position and how far back the saddles are can make string through feel very tight if like one of my tele's the saddles are on top of the bridge screws breaking strings happens more often which is why on that tele i have the high E top loaded. every tele is different some need a shim for break angle or just to get the saddles screws flush so they don't dig into the hand, i shim all my tele's for this reason and some need a thicker shim than others. i can imagine a tele with a shallow break angle would not play that great top loaded as the tension would be too little. anyway i would say top loading is a nicer feel with a good break angle for me but, the string wind at the ball end would be over the saddle on one of my tele's so i have to string through. have i waffled on too much? probably, terribly sorry!
     
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  5. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    You have 2 completely different Teles. Setup completely differently. Top load is but one of many, many factors.
     
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  6. Thebluesman

    Thebluesman Tele-Holic

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    otterhound-are you implying the actual overall string length is a contributing factor...it being longer on a string thru because of the strings being inserted at the body rear 'v' shorter length of string being inserted through the holes on a top loader.

    i'm only saying..string thru..if changes are made in the brake angle itself,from the strings exit point only,on the body front to where the string then makes contact at the saddle peak etc...[the angle here].
    =changes the string tension etc.a steeper angle increases the tension.less acute decreases etc.same applies on the top loader...the angle here..from ball end to when it contacts the saddle peak..its angle here being less= the tension changes etc.
    the gibson tune-o-matic and its adjustable tailpiece[its height].-the brake angle of the string can be decreased here because the actual tailpiece's height can be adjusted..=decreasing the brake angle etc.
     
  7. Thebluesman

    Thebluesman Tele-Holic

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    otterhound; are you focussing upon where the string exits from the rear of the string slot at the nut..to the tuner etc.yes...the string slope here assists maintaining string tension etc.
    are you combining both etc the slope of the string,at the headstock and at the saddle..the brake angle here combined etc.
     
  8. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Friend of Leo's

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    I'm responding not from experience but just some thoughts about physics.

    - A given string with a given mass/unit length and length between the support points will require a certain tension to get to a given pitch.

    - Suppose you have 5 feet of string behind the bridge and the string can slip over the bridge. Compare that to one with only one inch of string behind the bridge and I bet you that the one with 5 feet behind is easier to bend because the tension does not increase as quickly. It would also take a bigger bend to get to any given pitch for the same reason.

    - The friction at the bridge support point will impact ease of bending.

    - I think that the biggest difference between through body and top loader is that through body presses the bridge against the body, while top loader wants to lift it up - or at least press forward against the screws holding it in place.

    - There's also increased friction on the through body string where it goes around the bend, so practically speaking, this might tend to reduce the impact of having a slightly longer string to bend.

    - any tests really want to be done with identical strings, not just identical gauges, as mass/unit length will depend on the material.

    These are just nose in the air theoretical argument points so feel free to rip them apart.
     
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  9. 66 Esquire

    66 Esquire TDPRI Member

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    I use 9.5 to 44 on my Esquire 66. BUT the action is ridiculously low... if I raise the action it FEELS looser to play. It's about the overall setup working together that makes the difference plus there is a subjective difference between string through and top loader.
     
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  10. Terrygh1949

    Terrygh1949 Tele-Meister

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    No reason to ever go above 10s
     
  11. Fred-paris

    Fred-paris TDPRI Member

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    I feel less tension when I play a Top loader bridge. Usually it's more like 10s feel like 9s. That being said, I own a few Teles with regular string-through bridges on which 10s feel like 9s. The action is usually the same. Could be the angle of the strings at the saddles that are different.
     
  12. jimi00

    jimi00 TDPRI Member

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    I couldn’t agree more with those who feel a difference between top and through loaders. I have had to mod my current telecaster for top-loading in order to get the right feel. It’s probably because of the rear break angle since all other things being equal, I can both top and through-load on this instrument. The difference felt is more than 1 gauge. I would say an 11 through-loading feels like a 13 top-loading.
     
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  13. FraKo

    FraKo Tele-Afflicted

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    Honestly and humbly, I doubt this. I've got both, with same strings (10's), but different radius (12" the toploader, 9.5" the string-thru). I hardly believe that - unless you're Shrek - when bending you let the string slip over the saddle: so strings should go to A (nut) to B (saddle) always staying on the same pivot point, and on the same string segment. We don't play a guitar with a floating bridge. In general, we should bear in mind that our guitars are made from different trees, and the alchemy of each instrument as a whole is one of a kind. In this case, the only noticeable difference IMHO is that a reduced break angle may cause some string rattle on a toploader bridge. That's why I mounted a set of threaded 60's style saddles to fix that unwanted phenomenon. Plus, I also shimmed the next so to lift the saddles and increase the break angle.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2020
  14. Marblatx

    Marblatx TDPRI Member

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    From a physics standpoint I suppose break angle and tension on the saddle could have an effect but on a string that's approximately 25" long saddle to nut it wouldn't be much.
     
  15. xtelesquirex

    xtelesquirex Tele-Holic

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    Well, that is counterintuitive. My assumption has always been lower action would feel looser.
     
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  16. Ian T

    Ian T Tele-Afflicted

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    I always build my parts casters so I can do either and usually prefer top loading.

    I don’t know if it makes the strings slinkier. I do notice that I break less strings on the top load.

    The key is that the saddles have to be high enough and the top load string holes low enough that you get adequate break angle. If saddles are too low and/or holes too high, tone suffers.

    I prefer her not to shim the neck so guitars that have lower saddles I string through.

    Also when buying a top loading bridge, I always look to make sure that the holes for the strings are drilled all the way at the bottom.
     
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  17. waynereed

    waynereed TDPRI Member

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    There is one difference not mentioned here. I doubt this would account for a difference between .009's and .011's. But there should be some difference . . .

    Scale lengths are the same for both, but string length is different. Longer string length = more tension.
    The active string length is the same for both, but the string length is about 2" longer on a through vs. top load.
     
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  18. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    ?
     
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  19. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Same here. I had a dual loader that was strung through the body and a top loader. The top loader was more lively sounding and the string through was dead in comparison. Both with brand new GHS boomers of the same gauge (.10s). I restrung the dual loader to be top loaded to see if it made a tonal difference - zilch, nada. No tonal change at all that I could perceive, but it did feel a little slinkier, which I did not anticipate at the time.

    To shorten the story, it was a bad set of strings - dead out of the package. Switched to Ernie Ball Slinkys on both and they are both lively now - in fact the one that was dead with the bad strings is actually a bit brighter than the other.
     
  20. Jim622

    Jim622 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Wow - you threw me. That took some cyphering.
     
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