Meet the Lightning Bar, the new Gibson Les Paul mod that might have just settled the top-wrapping debate once and for all

Lightning Bar
(Image credit: Future / Dave Burrluck)

If you’re into your guitar forums, you’ll have definitely seen a debate or three on the benefits of ‘top wrapping’ your Les Paul’s stud or stop tailpiece over sticking with the standard string-through method. Does it really make any difference? 

Well, plenty of people have strong opinions on both methods. While the string-through method is by far the most common, author Robb Lawrence in The Early Years Of The Les Paul Legacy: 1915-1963 states that “originally these items [the stud or stop tailpiece] were depicted in the catalogues and shipped normally with the strings over the top of the tailpiece (the way it was designed).” 

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Dave Burrluck
Gear Reviews Editor, Guitarist

Dave Burrluck is one of the world’s most experienced guitar journalists, who started writing back in the '80s for International Musician and Recording World, co-founded The Guitar Magazine and has been the Gear Reviews Editor of Guitarist magazine for the past two decades. Along the way, Dave has been the sole author of The PRS Guitar Book and The Player's Guide to Guitar Maintenance as well as contributing to numerous other books on the electric guitar. Dave is an active gigging and recording musician and still finds time to make, repair and mod guitars, not least for Guitarist’s The Mod Squad.