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Bridge Angle - Blocking off a Strat Tremolo Bridge

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  • comstox
    replied
    Re: Bridge Angle - Blocking off a Strat Tremolo Bridge

    Wow guys... GREAT info! I was hoping you guys would chime in. I think I have a solid plan now.
    Thanks again to all who contributed!
    Glen

    Leave a comment:


  • playas
    replied
    Re: Bridge Angle - Blocking off a Strat Tremolo Bridge

    I loosened the trem cavity screws enough to have the trem flat on the body when strung.

    I had to do it due to intonation problems with the trem on my strat copy...after discovering that the trem was actually slightly curved instead of flat...so moving the trem was always introducing a wobble.

    I find it the easiest to avoid detuning if a string breaks.

    Btw if you had left the other thread open I'm sure an admin would have moved it to the guitar shop

    Leave a comment:


  • ItsaBass
    replied
    Re: Bridge Angle - Blocking off a Strat Tremolo Bridge

    The bridge posts can be adjusted wherever you want them, in order to get your general string height where you want it, while allowing a good range of up or down adjustability with the individual saddles. The bridge doesn't need to be "on the deck" when you block it. But the bridge plate probably should be parallel to the deck, because ideally, you want your vibrato block parallel to the rear wall of the vibrato rout, so that your wood block is held in there with a good fit. Slack your strings a little bit, so the bridge leans backward. Then start trying pieces of wood at different thicknesses, and retuning your strings with each one. The block that causes your bridge plate to lie parallel to the top of the guitar is the right thickness of block. One good method is to start with a slightly undersized block, and then insert shim after shim until you get the right total block thickness.

    You don't need a block in front; that does nothing, unless you are a problematic "vibrato leaner," chronically pressing down on the vibrato with your palm. String tension will hold the wooden block in place.

    You don't need springs, but sometimes it can be hard to get solder to bond with a vibrato block. In that case, it's an easy fix to simply leave the claw and at least one spring in, and keep the stock ground wire connection to the claw.

    I have had my first guitar blocked for its entire life in my possession (almost 30 years now). All I have ever had in there is a piece of redwood scrap from one of my uncle's construction jobs. It first had EMG SAs, so there was no ground wire required. Later, I put in CS '54, which require a string ground. I tried and tired, but I couldn't solder to the vibrato block, so I put the original claw and springs back in, in order to let me solder solidly to something. Now this is no longer an issue with the guitar, as it has a Kahler, the EMGs are back in it, and the spring cavity has been converted into a battery compartment (no more pulling the guard up to change the battery).
    Last edited by ItsaBass; 02-22-2019, 09:29 PM.

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  • JB_From_Hell
    replied
    Re: Bridge Angle - Blocking off a Strat Tremolo Bridge

    Originally posted by comstox View Post
    One more thing: Do I NEED to use the springs if I block it off well?
    There's a ground wire typically attached to the claw. You'll have to move it to the bridge if you remove the springs.

    Also, your guitar is going to sound noticeably different without the springs and with the blocks. Not saying better or worse, just different. I have one Strat that's always been blocked with 5 springs super tight. I love how it sounds like that, but think it's super thin without the blocks. My other Strat is usually set to float pretty high with 3 springs, but it sounds dead blocked.

    Leave a comment:


  • comstox
    replied
    Re: Bridge Angle - Blocking off a Strat Tremolo Bridge

    You know what they say?.... a PICTURE is worth a thousand words!
    Thanks man!

    Leave a comment:


  • GuitarStv
    replied
    Re: Bridge Angle - Blocking off a Strat Tremolo Bridge

    Originally posted by comstox View Post
    One more thing: Do I NEED to use the springs if I block it off well?
    Nope. You just want the bridge to not move. You can do that by blocking one side and using springs, but wedging in some chunks of wood on both side, or by casting the whole thing into a block of concrete (makes changing strings more difficult, but very effective).

    :P

    Leave a comment:


  • comstox
    replied
    Re: Bridge Angle - Blocking off a Strat Tremolo Bridge

    One more thing: Do I NEED to use the springs if I block it off well?

    Leave a comment:


  • GuitarStv
    replied
    Re: Bridge Angle - Blocking off a Strat Tremolo Bridge

    Originally posted by comstox View Post
    Why UNDER the springs? - Do you mean down in the trem cavity, or do you literally mean, under the springs?

    Thanks again!




    This picture they've got the trem with wood on both sides, but really if you put 5 strong springs on with only the piece of wood under the springs you've blocked your trem perfectly well.

    Leave a comment:


  • comstox
    replied
    Re: Bridge Angle - Blocking off a Strat Tremolo Bridge

    Originally posted by GuitarStv View Post
    Why not just cut a wooden shim and place it under the springs, between the block and the body?
    Why UNDER the springs? - Do you mean down in the trem cavity, or do you literally mean, under the springs?

    Thanks again!

    Leave a comment:


  • comstox
    replied
    Re: Bridge Angle - Blocking off a Strat Tremolo Bridge

    Originally posted by GuitarStv View Post
    Why not just cut a wooden shim and place it under the springs, between the block and the body? No need to tighten the screws at all, and your setup doesn't get changed.
    Also good advice!
    Thank you too!!

    Leave a comment:


  • comstox
    replied
    Re: Bridge Angle - Blocking off a Strat Tremolo Bridge

    Originally posted by Jacew View Post
    Basically you want to jam the bridge down position from block and tighten screws lightly to hold but not too tight.
    Ahhhh... I see that now!

    Thanks!

    Leave a comment:


  • GuitarStv
    replied
    Re: Bridge Angle - Blocking off a Strat Tremolo Bridge

    Why not just cut a wooden shim and place it under the springs, between the block and the body? No need to tighten the screws at all, and your setup doesn't get changed.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jacew
    replied
    Re: Bridge Angle - Blocking off a Strat Tremolo Bridge

    Originally posted by comstox View Post
    If I block off a standard Fender Strat Trem Bridge System, do I want the bridge FLAT on the body, or just a tipped up a bit?

    I'm leaning towards putting it flat because I want the front screws that hold the bridge to be tightened all the way. Is this good logic?

    let me know,
    Glen
    You can't tighten strat trem screws all the way. In 6 scres trem there's slope behind plate to allow bridge tip forward so if you set them too tight it lifts up. Basically you want to jam the bridge down position from block and tighten screws lightly to hold but not too tight.

    Leave a comment:


  • comstox
    started a topic Bridge Angle - Blocking off a Strat Tremolo Bridge

    Bridge Angle - Blocking off a Strat Tremolo Bridge

    If I block off a standard Fender Strat Trem Bridge System, do I want the bridge FLAT on the body, or just a tipped up a bit?

    I'm leaning towards putting it flat because I want the front screws that hold the bridge to be tightened all the way. Is this good logic?

    let me know,
    Glen
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