So, I've known about top-wrapping for years now, as well as its supposed benefits, but for whatever reason, I've just never bothered trying it. Many times when changing strings, the thought of top-wrapping my Stop tailpiece had crossed my mind. Well, today was finally the day. This morning I restrung my 1968 SG Standard with my favorite .010-.046 Fender Pure Nickel 150R strings (utter sacrilege on a Gibson, I know) and I couldn't believe what a difference it made. Top-wrapping is supposed to offer "better tone", more clarity, better harmonic overtones, as well as rainbows, unicorns and fairy dust, etc. It's also said to give your guitar's strings a "slinkier" feel (i.e. easier to bend notes, finger vibrato, etc.), because of the reduced angle of the strings going over the back of the Tune-O-Matic bridge, due to the top-wrapping of the strings on the Stop tailpiece. Before I tried it though, I actually decided to be diligent and took a bit of an objective approach to any supposed benefits it might have. Before I top-wrapped my guitar, I put fresh strings on and restrung it normally (non-top-wrapped) with the same .010-.046 Fender Pure Nickel 150R's and played it a good while to get a good sense of what it sounded like with a fresh set of strings on it. After a good couple hours of playing, I stripped them off and put a new set of strings on (the same kind), but top-wrapped the Stop tailpiece. Well, after trying the top-wrap today it most certainly made a difference with this guitar. I have Wolfetone Marshallhead P.A.F.-style pickups in it, and I always found them to be a little on the dark side, but with the top-wrap, it seems to have livened the sound up a bit. I was a little skeptical beforehand, but there seems to be something to it. To my ears, surprisingly, it now has slightly more harmonic overtones and note definition, notes seem to be a little more articulate, and the harmonics are more pronounced and complex. I believe this is partly due to the lower tension and reduced string angle going over the back of the bridge that allows some of the strings behind the bridge to vibrate and resonate, adding to the overall tonal complexity. However, a few other interesting things have happened as well. First, is the amount of sustain the guitar now has. I would say the sustain has actually nearly doubled in comparison to the way it was normally strung. Honestly. Notes just seem to bloom and hold on much longer now, which was an unexpected surprise considering how it always seems to be said that a steeper string angle and added tension over the bridge is supposed to offer more sustain and vibrational transmission into the body. Secondly, is the amount of actual physical vibration the guitar now has. The neck now vibrates like a tuning fork, and with certain notes, the body vibrates so much that it vibrates my organs! At one point I actually had to adjust playing my guitar with a different angle against my body, because after a large meal the vibration was making me nauseous! I know that sounds totally insane, but seriously! lol And thirdly, the tonality of the midrange oddly seems to have shifted upward slightly. The Wolfetone pickups I have in this guitar always had more of a darker, lower-mid sound to them, but now they have an almost mid to upper-mid focus to their sound, as well as a slight bit more treble. The shift in the tonality of midrange is the most surprising thing about this experiment, and was quite unexpected. The midrange also has an ever so slightly more "vocal" quality to it now as well, which I actually like, but I am still getting used to the overall shift in its midrange tonality. The interesting thing about this experiment is that top-wrapping is also supposed to give the strings a looser, more "slinky" feel to them, but for whatever reason I found it to be the exact opposite! This guitar is actually slightly stiffer and more difficult to play now! It's the oddest thing. One would think that the decreased string angle and lower tension would created a looser feel, but for whatever reason, that just hasn't been the case. Again, yet another odd and unexpected result from top-wrapping the Stop tailpiece on this guitar. In addition, as mentioned, the decreased string angle and tension on the bridge has caused some of the strings behind the bridge to ring like a harp. While this seems to add harmonics to notes and chords, the downside is that it has also added an unwanted, sympathetic ringing in certain unplayed strings while playing, which has taken a bit of an adjustment to get used to and compensate for. My dear old 1965 SG Standard (that I regretfully no longer have ) had similar issues due to the lower string angle of its Lyre vibrola, but not quite as much as this guitar after top-wrapping it. Also, after top-wrapping this guitar, it seems to have a little less pick attack, which I don't like. Pick attack is quite an overlooked and misunderstood part of the tonal puzzle, and for me, is also a big part of my overall tone. Anyway, to sum up, for me, this experiment has been a mixed bag of results... Things I like: - More sustain - Slightly better note definition and articulation - Accentuated and more complex harmonic overtones - Better transmission of string vibration into the body - Slightly more "vocal" (honky) quality of the midrange Things I don't like: - Sympathetic vibrational ringing of unplayed strings - Stiffer string action/slightly harder to play - Slightly softened sense of pick attack What I am not sure of: - The upwards shift in the overall midrange tonality. I am still very much getting used to that aspect of this experiment. It sounds like a bit of a different guitar now and only time will tell if I truly like it or not. Anyway, what about you guys? What have been the results of top-wrapping your guitars? Did you see drastic results like I did? TBH, I didn't think it was going to make a huge difference at all. Some aspects I like, but some I don't. I like the added sustain and slight rise in clarity, harmonic complexity, and midrange "honk", but I don't like the ringing of strings behind the bridge, stiffer action and softened pick attack. I would still like to perhaps mess around with different strings and string gauges, and whatnot, but only time will tell what they will do to perhaps "enhance" the tone of this guitar. Regardless, this has been an interesting experiment, and is one that is still very much something to tinker with. I would encourage any of you reading to try top-wrapping if you haven't tried it already to see what it does to your own guitar, if anything at all. My results may be more on the more extreme end of what can be expected(?), but you should give it a go to see what it does for you. After all, experimentation is the fuel for discovering tone, so give it a shot.