As well as the standard way of stringing an hardtail guitar with a stop tailpiece, there is another way that some players really like. This is a completely revisable mod that you can do, although you might find that the strings could scuff up the top face of your tailpiece, so you might want to buy another one – just in case!
The process of Top Wrapping is very straight forward. All you need to do is to lower the posts of your tailpipe right down against the body. When you are restringing your guitar, feed the string down through the tailpiece holes the opposite way from normal. So that the strings feed in at the pickup side and come out facing down the guitar body. Pulling the string tight so that the ball end seating into the end of the recess, pull the string over the tailpiece and then restring as normal.
Top Wrapping has two main benefits
With the post wound tight don to the body, the vibration transfer between the strings and the body is great increased. This increases the overall sustain of the instrument but also can increase in bottom end response too.
While this sound initially like a bad thing, it can actually be more comfortable to play. The process of Top Wrapping gives you a shallower break angle over the bridge saddles. The shallower break angle allows the strings to move more freely when the player bends.
One thing to think about when employing this method is the ball end wrapping on your chosen string set. Some strings have quite a bit of reinforcement winding which may well be longer than the thickness of your tailpiece. This can lead to the strings either not wrapping over the tailpiece correctly, or leaving you with a sharp bend which will sometimes cause the string to fail, but more likely just accidentally cut your hand when you forget it’s there!
The solution for this can be found with your old strings. Specifically the old ball end section. Threading the old ball end onto the new string will act like a washer. When you feed the string through the tailpiece the old ball end will seat first, giving you a little extra space to keep all that reinforcement winding inside the tailpiece.