Gibson Tailpiece Height

What is the correct height for a Gibson stopbar tailpiece?

The final answer is in each of our ears and that answer is personal. However, I am very happy with having basic starting points to use as reference when I'm setting up a guitar. Too, many players, new and experienced, may not trust their ears yet or may not have the ear that is necessary.

Here's my thinking on the "correct" starting point for the tailpiece:

The first LPs with tailpieces had the tailpieces raised off the body. They had to be up off the body because they were the bridge as well as the tailpiece and the strings were topwrapped around them. If the tailpiece was screwed down to the body on these guitars "to maximize sustain" then the string action would have been too low to be playable. Established: the original use of the tailpiece had it raised off the body.

It makes sense to me that when the ABR bridge came out and the tailpiece was moved back, that it was still screwed to the same height as before the ABR. THAT WOULD BE YOUR RECOMMENDED, OR BASIC, STARTING POINT OF REFERENCE. Then someone experimented and screwed the tailpiece down lower. Then someone experimented and screwed the tailpiece higher. "Huh," they thought, "couldn't do this before or it'd screw up the action. Pretty cool. Hey Bill, check this out."

So if you want a place to start, use the height of a tailpiece on someone's R4 or '53 Goldtop or '54 Goldtop. Below is my Historic 1954 Reissue for what its worth.

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