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How do I set my Tune-O-Matic bridge's tailpiece height?

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Quick tip for you!

A little known fact is that you can set the tailpiece badly by accident. You find this Tune-O-Matic bridge design on Les Pauls, SGs, some Telecasters, Fender Toronados and many other types of guitar too. There's 2 classic designs the ABR-1 and Nashville type but they both have the chrome tailpiece/stop bar to anchor ths strings.

Setting your Les Paul's Stop bar at the right height is important

As you can see setting the height of a tailpiece or "stopbar" affects the "break-angle". Setting it too high will make the strings not touch the 6 saddles properly resulting in buzzing

Setting it too low can put unnecessary pressure on the bridge causing it to collapse over time. Actually quite common!

Having the break angle set somewhere between the two extremes is right. It makes bends easier as well because the string can slip between the saddle slot easier with the reduced down pressure and friction.

Give it a try and see how the guitar feels for bends after!

Here's a 90's Gibson Les Paul with a collapsed bridge

Click to enlarge

collapsed tune o matic bridge   collapsed tune o matic bridge   collapsed tune o matic bridge

This collapsed bridge means that the G and D strings are held closer than they should. The A and B strings would also be held a little closer than they should. No surprise then that this Les Paul had buzzing G and D strings!