Tune-O-Matic Vs. Wraparound Bridge

Tune-O-Matic Vs. Wraparound Bridge: Exclusive Comparison! ( final)

Do you know the critical differences between a Tune-O-Matic vs. wraparound bridge and why they’re essential? In today’s guitar world, various bridge types are available. Some guitars feature Tune-O-Matic bridges, allowing you to quickly change the guitar’s tuning. Other guitars have wraparound bridges, which allow you to adjust the string spacing between the strings. While both types of bridges are important, fundamental differences can affect a guitar’s quality and playing ability.

Each type of guitar bridge has its pros and cons. Finding the right one for you is the key to making the best decision for your guitar. This article will provide an overview of each type of bridge, how they affect the guitar, and tips on which one may be best for you.

Guitar Bridge Comparison

Do you know the critical differences between a Tune-O-Matic vs wraparound bridge, and what are their characteristics? There is a comparison of the essential characteristics of Tune-O-Matic and Wraparound Bridge given below in a table.

UsedCommonly on Gibson & SG guitarsOn some Gibson & PRS guitars
ConstructionTwo-piece bridgeOne-piece bridge
Tuning StabilityGoodGood to excellent
IntonationMoveable SaddlesCompensated bridge & Allen screws
Re-stringingCan be challengingEasier
Palm MutingLess comfortableMore comfortable
Tremolo ArmCan be addedIt cannot be added without
significant modification

Which Guitars Have These Bridge Types?

Tune O Matic Bridge

Ted McCarty, who invented the Tune-O-Matic bridge, is considered one of the most influential in the history of guitars. He created the first fully-adjustable bridge on some of Gibson’s most famous instruments. The tune-o-matic bridge inventor was responsible for the first fully adjustable bridge used on a Gibson guitar in 1954. The bridge is still in use today.

Abridged or open-back bridges are standard on guitars like the Les Paul, SG, ES-335, Explorer, and Flying V. These bridges allow the strings to vibrate more freely and produce a higher-quality sound. Today, there are many third-party choices available when it comes to guitars bridges. Some people prefer the Tonepros Tune O Matic bridge because it offers a well-maintained, high-quality experience.

Tune-O-Matic Vs. Wraparound Bridge

Others find that other bridges provide better sound and feel than the Tonepros. Wraparound bridges are found on some Gibson Custom Shop and Les Paul Junior guitars. They have also been used on Epiphone and PRS hardtail (non-tremolo) guitars. A wraparound bridge is an excellent option for those looking for a more premium option for bridging choices. The construction of these bridges keeps the action low and allows the guitar to have a high tone register.

Wraparound Bridge

Wraparound bridges are found on some Gibson Custom Shop and Les Paul Junior guitars. They have also been used on Epiphone and PRS hardtail (non-tremolo) guitars. A wraparound bridge is an excellent option for those looking for a more premium option for bridge choices. The construction of these bridges keeps the action low and allows the guitar to have a high tone register.

What About Fender Guitars?

Fender guitars are not made with the classic Tune-o-Matic or wraparound bridges. It is valid for only one-off custom shop models, and Fender Jaguars and Jazzmasters come in various models, each with a unique sound. One of the most popular models is the Fender Jaguar. It has a wide range of sounds, from rockabilly to jazz. While it may not be able to touch the sound of an actual Gibson guitar, it does have its proprietary tremolo stop-piece with a Tune-O-Matic bridge.

Tune-O-Matic Vs. Wraparound Bridge

Allows for a more flexible and versatile tone. Most Fender guitars have standard bridge designs. Kurt Cobain’s 1968 Fender Jaguar had two Tone-O-Matic bridges installed on it, giving rise to the now-familiar Fender Jag-Stang guitar. His instrument has a one-piece tremolo system, making it so unique. Other than its unique design, the Jag-Stang also features a Tune-O-Matic tailpiece. Allows you to change the tuning of your guitar with just a few clicks of your fingers.

Tune-O-Matic Vs. Wraparound Bridge

Anatomy Of A Tune-O-Matic Bridge

A Tune-O-Matic bridge is a type of bridge that relies on a tune to function correctly. There are various parts to a tune-O-Matic bridge, and each part is essential in the bridge’s overall functioning. The different parts of a Tune-O-Matic bridge are the keystone, the chords, the span, and the saddles.

Tune-O-Matic Vs. Wraparound Bridge

Tune-O-Matic Bridge Characteristics


Construction of a Tune-O-Matic bridge is relatively simple. The stop-tail piece is made from a beam, and the adjustable bridge is attached at one end can adjust bridges to create the desired tone. The Tune-O-Matic bridge is an adjustable bridge that allows the player to vary the string angle at the back of the adjustable bridge. This allows for a more customized and comfortable playing experience.

Adjusting the saddles, thumbwheels, and other elements individualized the bridge for each player, resulting in an adjusted string height that produces the desired sound. Finally, their construction is solid, making them ideal for long-term use.

Tuning Stability

The tuning stability of an adjustable bridge is generally reasonable. This is because the adjustment range is vast, and adjusting the bridge e quick and easy.


Adjustable saddles allow for a wide range of intonation, making it easy to achieve excellent results. The saddles are also easy to take on and off, making them ideal for any instrument.


You can do a few things to help speed up re-stringing your guitar if you want to clean it. One is to use a Tune-O-Matic bridge. This type of bridge allows you to remove all the strings simultaneously, which can be challenging if you want to do this quickly. If you have ever had to re-string your guitar, then you know that it can be a quick and easy process.

However, if you do not apply the downward pressure when winding the string around the thumbwheel, you can inadvertently turn the wheel without having any effect. You must adjust the guitar’s action (string height) to get the desired sound.

Palm Muting

For guitarists, palm muting is an invaluable technique to add a unique sound to their playing. It involves placing the side of your picking hand near or on the strings and manipulating the volume of your notes accordingly. Many players find this technique comfortable, but some can feel discomfort from resting their hands on the adjustable bridge saddles for extended amounts of time.


The stop-tail and adjustable pieces of a guitar bridge are two essential components that contribute to the instrument’s sound. Combined, these two pieces offer a warm-sounding tone that many players prefer over the wraparound bridge.


Regarding guitars, sustainability is an important quality that guitarists consider when selecting the right instrument. Sustain is a term that describes the length of time a note or chord rings out after being played. The bridge configuration of any given guitar plays a vital role in determining the amount and sustain that the instrument produces.

Tremolo Arm

The Tune-O-Matic bridge is an electric guitar bridge commonly found on the Gibson SG guitar. It provides excellent stability to the strings, allowing for reliable intonation and tuning up and down the neck. The configuration also allows a tremolo arm (whammy bar) to be attached, allowing greater control over the string’s pitch. Gibson SG guitars are often equipped with a Maestro Vibrola tremolo arm, allowing players to introduce vibrato and other subtle nuances into their playing by pushing or pulling on the whammy bar.

Guitarists who want to use a tremolo arm on their instrument may be surprised to learn that converting many models with a Tune-O-Matic bridge is possible. This conversion can give the player an incredible range of expressive possibilities. However, due to the complexity of the process, it is strongly recommended that this modification only be attempted by a professional guitar technician.

“Top Wrapping” A Tune-O-Matic Bridge

Top Wrapping A Tune-O-Matic Bridge is a technique some players use in guitar and bass setups. The method involves wrapping the strings over the top of the stop-tail piece instead of through it. The tuning of a guitar is one of the essential aspects of creating a great sound. One way to fine-tune your guitar is to use top wrapping around the Tune-O-Matic bridge. This type of string placement gives the guitar a tighter sound and more sustain because it increases the string length in contact with the stop-tail piece.

Tune-O-Matic Vs. Wraparound Bridge

You get the sound of a wraparound bridge with warmer overtones. This technique involves wrapping the string around the Tune-O-Matic bridge rather than passing it through.

Tune-O-Matic Vs. Wraparound Bridge

That results in a more mellow tone while maintaining the sustain and intonation of a wraparound bridge. A Tune-O-Matic bridge for guitars in which the strings are inserted through the back of the stop-tail piece without being wrapped around the top. This method is technically known as “top wrapping” and is often used by guitar players who want to modify their instrument’s sound.

Wraparound Bridge Types

Wraparound bridges are an excellent option for those who want to add unique style and stability to their guitar. These bridges come in various shapes and sizes, offering different levels of adjustability to suit the needs of any player. The most common type is the traditional wraparound bridge, which consists of two metal plates with an Allen set screw on each end that can be adjusted to move the bridge toward or away from the strings. This simple yet effective design makes it one of the most popular.

Classic (Intonated) Wraparound Bridge

Few can deny its timeless design and iconic look regarding the classic intonated wraparound bridge found on early Gibson electric guitars. This bridge is integral to the classic Gibson sound and has been featured on countless albums since the 1950s. The original wraparound bridges were designed with a unique curved top shaped to properly intonate each string, allowing for precise and accurate tuning across all strings. Few can deny its timeless design and iconic look regarding the classic intonated wraparound bridge found on early Gibson electric guitars.

This bridge is integral to the classic Gibson sound and has been featured on countless albums since the 1950s. The original wraparound bridges were designed with a unique curved top shaped to properly intonate each string, allowing for precise and accurate tuning across all strings. This classic (intonated) wraparound bridge design is not only the most primitive but also gives off a unique and timeless sound.

Compensated Wraparound Bridge

Many musicians turn to compensated bridges for more accurate intonation when replacing a guitar’s bridge. This type of bridge is designed with compensated areas that are generally easier to intonate than the classic wraparound. The compensated wraparound bridge has some advantages over other types of bridges since it can help with exacting tuning accuracy and bring out the best sound quality from your instrument.

The design of a compensated wraparound bridge allows string tension to be evenly spread across each saddle, creating an even response and reducing discrepancies between notes on different strings. This means that when you play chords or melodies, all the notes will be in tune and create a pleasant sound.

Wraparound Bridge With Adjustable Saddles

The wraparound bridge with adjustable saddles is becoming increasingly popular among guitar players because of its versatility and reliable intonation. This type of bridge features individual saddles that can adjust to raise or lower the pitch of each string, allowing for precise tuning. This design provides superior sustain and clarity in the sound compared to other types of bridges.

The wraparound bridge also makes setting up the action on the strings easy, resulting in smooth playability and improved comfort while playing. Some players have noticed that this bridge type’s sound can be thin, mainly when used on a thinner-body guitar like a Gibson SG. This thin sound could be because the bridge comprises two parts: an adjustable wraparound tailpiece and individual adjustable saddles.

Wraparound Bridge Characteristics


The wraparound bridge is a modern solution for guitar players looking to upgrade their instrument’s sound. This type of bridge has several characteristics that set it apart from the classic Tune-O-Matic bridges. One key feature of this design is its simplicity and compactness, as the entire bridge is one piece. The wraparound bridge provides excellent sustain due to its tight contact with the guitar’s body. The increased string vibration allows for more resonance and better overall sound quality.

Tuning Stability

The importance of tuning stability must be balanced when playing the guitar. The guitar must remain in tune while playing; a bridge can help ensure this happens. A bridge with excellent tuning stability is one where the strings go directly from it to the nut. This configuration helps keep tension on the string and minimizes any shifting or problems within the system.

This type of bridge will also prevent slippage of strings which can cause the guitar to go out of tune quickly, especially when using different techniques such as tremolo picking or extended bends. The improved performance achieved using a direct-to-nut bridge configuration can result in better intonation, clarity, and sustainability for all styles.


Intonation is a musical phenomenon that refers to how sounds are produced about one another. It can be problematic when it comes to bridging design, which has the potential to affect overall sound quality. Bridges with adjustable saddles and a compensated design have better intonation than the classic wraparound bridge.

A wraparound bridge is essential to intonation when setting up a guitar. It enables strings to be mounted more precisely and accurately, allowing for better sound quality. To properly fine-tune the intonation of your instrument, each side of a wraparound bridge has an Allen set screw that can move that side closer or farther from the nut. This allows precise adjustments to tailor your guitar’s tonal characteristics to best suit your playing style.


Re-stringing a guitar can be a tricky process. But compared to the classic Tune-O-Matic bridge design, it can be much easier with the single-piece wraparound bridge. This type of bridge is becoming increasingly popular among guitarists who want quick and easy re-stringing when changing their strings.

Palm Muting

Palm muting is a technique used by guitarists to give notes a more muted, dampened sound. It can be tricky to master, but with the right bridge design, it can be much easier and more comfortable. Wraparound bridges without individually adjustable saddles provide smoother tops than Tune-O-Matic designs, making palm muting far less challenging. For those players, wraparound bridge designs without individually adjustable saddles can make palm muting more comfortable.


The tone is an important consideration when choosing a bridge for your guitar. Wraparound bridges are known for their bright tone with more attack than the Tune-O-Matic style. This type of bridge balances brightness and clarity, producing crisp notes that can cut through any mix. The wraparound design also allows for easier string bending and vibrato, making it the preferred choice for some players.

If you want the perfect tone balance between warmth and clarity, a wraparound bridge might be the way to go. A wraparound bridge is an upgrade from the traditional fixed bridge and is specifically designed to help add clarity to a guitar’s sound. Using a wraparound bridge can help counterbalance the tonal qualities of humbucker pickups – which tend to give a warmer sound.


The wraparound bridge is a popular choice for guitarists due to its ability to deliver a fuller and more sustaining tone than some alternatives. The wraparound bridge generally provides more sustain than a Tune-O-Matic bridge, even if it is top-wrapped. This makes it an attractive choice for those seeking an instrument with solid sustain characteristics.

It describes how long the strings vibrate after being struck, directly affecting the instrument’s tonal clarity and overall response. This is primarily because all the string vibration is transferred into the guitar body’s wood from a single bridge piece. The more sustain that can achieve, the more dynamic and expressive sound will be produced by an acoustic guitar.

Tremolo Arm

The wraparound bridge is a typical style of guitar bridge that has seen widespread use across many types and styles of guitars. However, the wraparound design only easily accommodates modifications for tremolo arms, making adding one to an existing setup difficult.

A tremolo arm is a device that works as part of a guitar’s bridge and vibrato system. It typically adds vibrato or pitch variation to the instrument’s notes. However, replacing the guitar’s bridge with a tremolo arm can be an expensive and complex task that may not be worth the expense for many players.

Tune-O-Matic vs wraparound bridge Which Bridge Is Better?

Each type of guitar has a unique sound and feel, and the bridge can make a massive difference in the overall tone. When deciding which bridge is better for your playing style, it’s essential to try out as many models and makes of guitars as possible before settling on one. When considering which bridge is better for a guitar, it’s essential to consider its style and playing technique. No one bridge type is the best choice for any guitar or playing style, as each bridge has its unique sound characteristics.

Its wide range of sounds and tones allows it to create various musical styles. However, the sound of a guitar is determined by more than just the strings; the body and neck tonewood, thickness, pickups, electronics, nuts, and tuning machines all affect its sound as well.

Are You Qualified To Make Guitar Adjustments Or Modifications?

It’s great to work on your guitars if you have many, but you should always be aware of your limitations. Adjusting things like an electric guitar’s string height (also known as action) or pickup height can be straightforward if you are familiar with the basics of guitar maintenance. Especially if you need to become more familiar with the process, knowing when and how to adjust a truss rod is one of the most important tasks for any guitarist to create their desired sound. However, some adjustments require proper training and experience, like adjusting a guitar’s truss rod.

Replacing a bridge can be a complicated process requiring much skill and expertise. It is essential to get the intonation right, as this affects how well the strings play in tune with each other. If you need help with your ability to make guitar adjustments, repairs, or modifications, it’s always best to bring your guitar in for professional help. A competent guitar technician or luthier will have the knowledge and experience necessary to ensure that any work done on your instrument is done correctly and safely.

Making modifications to your guitar can have serious consequences. Not only will it void the manufacturer’s warranty, but it can also cause permanent damage to the instrument if not done correctly. Before attempting any modification or adjustment to your guitar, ensure you are qualified and knowledgeable. Certain modifications are irreversible, and if the instrument is modified in a way that cannot undo, it can become stuck in its current state for good.

It can be frustrating for guitar players who desperately want to restore the instrument to its original condition. It can be daunting, but it’s possible with the proper guidance and knowledge. I learned the hard way until I did a three-year apprenticeship in a guitar repair shop. During this time, I gained valuable insight into adjusting and modifying guitars.

My experience taught me that minor adjustments could significantly impact guitars’ playability and sound quality. Learning to adjust intonation, bridge height, neck relief, and action is essential for anyone wanting to make repairs or modifications. My apprenticeship also gave me experience in more advanced techniques, such as fretwork and pickup installation.

Final thoughts About Tune-O-Matic Vs. Wraparound Bridge

The type of bridge a guitar has can make a massive difference in the instrument’s tone and playability. Both Tune-O-Matic and Wraparound bridge styles have distinct advantages and drawbacks, so it comes down to personal preference when deciding which is right for you. As with any guitar setup, experimentation is key. It’s essential to take your time to find what works best for your playing style.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Tune-o-matic bridge better?

The Tune-o-matic offers better intonation and tuning stability than many other bridge designs, making it attractive to guitarists who want to maintain their instrument’s sound quality over time.

I am Bushra Inam, a content writer with three years of experience. My main focus is on creating compelling and engaging content for web-based platforms. I have an in-depth understanding of the fundamentals of writing and knowledge of SEO optimization and keyword research. With my Bachelor's degree in Music Education, I bring creativity to my work which helps me create unique pieces that are both informative and aesthetically pleasing. I can break down complex topics into more digestible forms while retaining the original intended message.