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stratocaster bridge setup

How do I set up my Stratocaster® guitar properly? First, check your tuning. Floating Strat bridges do have tuning and stability issues, but if they are of good quality and adjusted correctly they can sound great. The fourth-string saddle should be set parallel with the second-string saddle. They should be "finger-tight." Modifications of the specs may also be made (within limited parameters) to adjust for your individual playing style or application (i.e., how hard you pick, strum or fret the guitar). Arrives before Christmas Only 18 left in stock - … Note: For locking tremolo systems, the individual string height is preset. Stratocaster guitars can have four distinctive types of bridges. Allowing the bridge to float freely (no tension on the tremolo arm) using the claw screws in the tremolo cavity, adjust the bridge to your desired angle—Fender spec is a 1/8" (3.2 mm) gap at rear of bridge. Then insert a flathead screwdriver into the loop and place the flathead on the far side of the claw and move the handle toward the neck. Look closely at Photo 2 to see that the holes aren’t really lining up with the screwholes on the bridge. No matter what gauge of strings you use, for the best tuning stability we recommend using Fender Bullet® strings. © 2019 Musicians Institute All rights reserved. Check tuning. Ruler with 1/32″ and 1/64″ increments or 0.5 mm increments. There is definitely a tone in that. Plus, the ability to pull back on the arm is a beautiful thing when doing light vibrato. As close as desired (allowing for string vibration), Set of automotive feeler gauges (.002-.025) (0.05–1 mm), 6" (150 mm) ruler (with 1/32" and 1/64" increments) (0.5 mm increments), Light machine oil (3-in-1, toy locomotive or gun oil). A shim approximately 1/4" (6.4 mm) wide by 1 3/4" (44.5 mm) long by .010" (0.25 mm) thick will allow you to raise the action approximately 1/32" (0.8 mm). For these, you'll want to pre-cut the strings to achieve the proper length and desired amount of winds. Allowing the bridge to float freely (no tension on the tremolo arm) using the claw screws in the tremolo cavity, adjust the bridge to your desired angle—Fender spec is a 1/8" (3.2 mm) gap at rear of bridge. The standard truss rod can counteract concave curvature in a neck that has too much relief, for example, by generating a force in the neck opposite to that caused by excessive string tension. With a feeler gauge, check the gap between the bottom of the string and the top of the 8th fret—see the spec chart below for the proper gap. $29.99 2 colors Modern Style Telecaster® String Ferrules. Kenni ... with a 2-point Wilkinson-style tremolo, and I would like to set it up so I can only use it one way. $12.82 $ 12. Vintage-Style Strat® Bridge Assembly, (2-3/16" Spacing), Chrome. $79.99 Vintage-Style Strat® Bridge Assemblies. Lubrication such as Big Bends Nut Sauce. This is accomplished by eliminating the extra string wrap and the ball-end (the ball end doesn't fit properly into the string channel). If you plan to change string gauges, you may need to adjust the specs somewhat to compensate for the changes in string sizes. After you've played a few riffs and done a few dive-bombs, you can then do your final tuning. After making these adjustments, you can put the guitar back up to pitch. This Standard Stratocaster Wiring Diagram features a Neck tone (0.02mfd) and a Bridge & Middle tone (0.02mfd). 6:56 AM-- September 12, 2019. The problem appears when you try to install the bridge. Then loosen all six screws located at the front edge of the bridge plate, raising them so that they all measure approximately 1/16" (1.6 mm) above the top of the bridge plate. Here are the steps we will go through to set up the tremolo: 1. If the neck is too convex (strings too close to the fingerboard), turn the truss rod nut counter-clockwise to allow the string tension to pull more relief into the neck. Adjustments should be made after all of the above have been accomplished. The following setup procedures and specifications are for your Telecaster as equipped with the strings that come on the instrument as standard equipment from the factory. This is just as wrong as when we say a Fender amp’s “vibrato channel”. One of the best ways to reduce string breakage is to lubricate the string/saddle contact point with a light machine oil (we prefer 3-in-1 oil because it contains anti-rust and anti-corrosive properties) every time you change strings. Standard keys. On many American series guitars, a Micro-Tilt adjustment is offered. If flat, shorten the string by moving the saddle forward. A Strat Bridge setup and modification that will make your bridge pivot better and return to pitch more accurately. Most Fender guitars and basses are equipped with a standard truss rod (of which there are in turn two types: one that adjusts at the neck heel and one that adjusts at the headstock; both operate on the same principle). How can I find out when my Mexican-made instrument was manufactured? Strings that have lost their integrity (worn where pressed against the fret) or have become oxidized, rusty and dirty will not return to pitch properly. This allows the strings to pull the block forward and float. For this type of bridge, the front edge of the bridge should make contact with the top of the body while the back edge (under the saddle intonation screws) is lifted off of the body about 1/16”. As you progress to the sixth string, you'll reduce the amount of slack and the number of winds around the keys. You should choose saddle heights that match the radius of your neck, while allowing the strings to be low enough to be played comfortably and high enough that they don't buzz against the frets. Each time you play your guitar, before you do your final tuning, play for a few minutes to allow the strings to warm up. If the neck is too concave (action too high), turn the truss rod nut clockwise to remove excess relief. The patented bullet-end is specifically designed for all styles of tremolo use, from extreme dives to smooth vibrato passages. If your tuning keys have a screw on the end of the button, check the tightness of the screw. Metal components react to each other over time because of their differences and help break down string integrity. This is amp tremolo, by definition. Re-tune, play and make further adjustments as needed. Line the six tuning machines so that the first string keyhole is set at 1:00, the second at 2:00, the third and fourth at 3:00, the fifth at 4:00, and the sixth at 5:00. How do I set up my Telecaster® guitar properly? I think the reason a lot of people have trouble with their Stratocaster tremolos is because their's isn't set up right and they don't know how to set it … Move the third saddle back from the second saddle using the gauge of the third string as a measurement. Vintage-Style Strat® Bridge Assemblies. The other three are the American Series bridge, which is a modern-day two-pivot bridge; the non-tremolo hardtail bridge; and a locking tremolo, such as the American Deluxe or Floyd Rose® locking tremolos. Lubricating all of the contact points of a string's travel may be one of the most important elements in ensuring tuning stability during tremolo use and in reducing string breakage. If sharp, lengthen the string by adjusting the saddle back. This can be attributed to the moisture and acidity that transfers from your hands, or it can be a direct effect of humidity in the air. This is very important, especially on locking tuners. Phillips Screwdriver. If just one of these holes is out of alignment, like the G string hole shown here, it’ll mess up the function of the bridge. 82. Insert into the center hole in the tuning key, bend and crimp to a 90-degree angle, and wind neatly in a downward pattern, being careful to prevent overlapping of the strings. The need to adjust the pitch (raising the butt end of the neck in the pocket, thereby pitching the neck back) of the neck occurs in situations where the string height is high and the action adjustment is as low as the adjustment will allow. Since Fender manufactures its own strings, they are designed to perform well during extreme tremolo techniques. A common “Fender-style” bridge on a Stratocaster. Start by loading all the strings through the bridge and then loading them onto the keys as follows: Locking tuning keys. Remove back cover 3. For example, If the second string is .011" (0.3 mm), you would move the second-string saddle back .011" (0.3 mm) from the first saddle. This is my basic process to set up two-point floating trem systems on all my guitars, and it works pretty well. The most well-known bridge is the vintage-style "synchronized" tremolo. You'll also find that different string brands break at different points of tension because of the metal makeup and string manufacturing techniques. Here is a pickup manufacturer that will need little … Selecting your strings is crucial, because a Stratocaster should be set up with the actual string gauge that you intend to use. If you are adjusting a Fender Strat-style guitar with a floating bridge, this is the point at which you will balance the trem so that the strings will pull the bridge base off of the body. Floating Strat bridges do have tuning and stability issues, but if they are of good quality and adjusted correctly they can sound great. Experiment with the height until the desired sound and feel is achieved.Note: For locking tremolo systems, the individual string height is preset. The most common Strat bridge has 6 steel saddles with each one holding a string. The bridge will now pivot on the outside screws, leaving the four inside screws in place for bridge stability. We look at three different Stratocaster bridge upgrade options, American and Vintage styles, that can fit in either Fender or Squier guitars. If the neck is too concave (action too high), turn the truss rod nut clockwise to remove excess relief. The following setup procedures and specifications are for your Stratocaster as equipped with the strings that come on the instrument as standard equipment from the factory. Don't miss out! Road Worn® Strat® Bridge Section Kit. Affix a capo at the first fret and depress the sixth string at the last fret. Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by Kenni, Apr 5, 2020. Adjust the truss rod to add relief to the neck, if that's what the player prefers. Shimming is a procedure used to adjust the pitch of the neck in relation to the body. The oil insulates against moisture and reduces friction and metal fatigue. Remove tremolo arm 2. After you've installed and tuned a new set, hold the strings at the first fret and hook your fingers under each string, one at a time, and tug lightly, moving your hand from the bridge to the neck. The trem should properly float at that action height. You can preset the basic intonation of your guitar by taking a tape measure and measuring from the inside of the nut to the center of the 12th fret (the fret wire itself; not the fingerboard). Unfortunately, acoustic guitars present a far more challenging situation. Check each string at the 12th fret, harmonic to fretted note (make sure you are depressing the string evenly to the fret, not the fingerboard). There are two styles of floating Strat bridges: six-screw or blade-style. Place a capo on the first fret. Then go through the process of adjusting the saddles with the bass side at 5/64” and treble at 4/64”. You will need to go back and forth re-tuning the guitar and either letting out the spring claw or tightening it until the bridge base plate is floating correctly. Check your tuning, then re-check the gap with the feeler gauge and re-adjust as needed. First, remove the tremolo back cover. Finally, pull the first string 1 1/2" (38 mm) past the top of the headcap and cut it. Set too high, pickups can cause myriad inexplicable phenomena. 4.4 out of 5 stars 553. This leads a lot of Strat owners to committing the unfortunate sacrilege of blocking off the tremolo and effectively hardtailing the bridge. Vintage keys. If your Strat’s bridge has 6 screws, raise the middle 4 so that they aren’t affecting the height of the bridge, now set the outside two screws like I … How often should I have a set-up adjustment done on my instrument? Seymour Duncan California ’50s Strat Pickup Set. To adjust a floating trem, you will essentially copy the steps of the hardtail bridge up until the last step. I would recommend either adding a removable wedge-shaped block behind the trem block or tightening the spring claw behind the guitar. Pull the third string nearly to the top of the headcap and cut it. Remember—with most tuning keys, it's preferable to tune up to pitch. Where can I take my instrument and/or amplifier to be repaired? $24.99 American Vintage Strat®-Tele® Saddle Height Adjustment Screws (12) $5.49 Vintage-Style Bass Bridge … Now adjust the distance of the second-string saddle back from the first saddle, using the gauge of the second string as a measurement. Appreciation in the form of gold and silver may be sent to BR549. Do not over-tighten these screws. This is done by pulling the string through the keyhole and then pulling it clockwise underneath and back over itself; creating a knot. Note: If you feel that this adjustment needs to be made and you're not comfortable doing it yourself, take your guitar to your local Fender Authorized Dealer. If you find any of these, you should change your strings. The design allows the string to travel freely in the bridge block channel during tremolo use and return afterwards to its original position, seated snugly in the bridge block. Metal expands when warm and contracts when cool. Compare Clear All. If you have a non-tremolo "hardtail" bridge, proceed to "Intonation (Roughing it out).". The other three are the American Series bridge, which is a modern-day two-pivot bridge; the non-tremolo hardtail bridge; and a locking tremolo, such as the American Deluxe or Floyd Rose® locking tremolos. A shim is placed in the neck pocket, underneath the butt end of the neck. The setup for both of these styles is almost the same, with the exception of step 5 (below), which will be clearly defined when the time comes. Experiment with the height until the desired sound and feel is achieved. Then tune again. If you block the trem or tighten the claw, you will essentially turn the guitar into a hardtail until you start to balance the trem. Adjust bridge saddles to the height according to the chart, then re-tune. Adjustment at headstock (allen wrench): Sight down the edge of the fingerboard from behind the headstock, looking toward the body of the instrument. Now tune to pitch. 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Of tuning and stability issues, but if they are designed to perform well during extreme tremolo.... Tune down to pitch distance will vary according to the neck must be removed from pickup. Tightness of the body good tone compensate for the changes in string sizes neck and with... They should be set parallel with the guitar back up to pitch unnecessary tension on end! Saddle should be set up my Fender guitar properly, neck and bridge with a cloth... Full contact bridge offers impeccable stability and increased sustain tremolo systems, the string! Telecaster® string Ferrules depress the sixth string ( tautly, remember ) to the body periodically to get right... Differences and help break down string integrity however, with the fifth string to the third as. Especially on locking tuners strings need changing, run a finger underneath the string.., it 's preferable to tune up to pitch as soon as,... 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