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Making an American-style Strat bridge float?

 
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grungerocker114
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Joined: 04 Dec 2010
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Location: Pawtucket, Rhode Island

PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 4:38 am    Post subject: Making an American-style Strat bridge float? Reply with quote

I've got a 2009 Squier Deluxe Stratocaster and it has an American-style tremolo bridge. I've seen examples of having the bridge float off the body a little bit.

How would I make the bridge float on my Strat? It has four springs installed and it's strung up with 10 gauge strings. Would I need to remove any springs and switch to a different string gauge?

Now if I were to have my guitar tech make the bridge float, would it do any kind of damage to the guitar (bowed/warped neck, action problems, going out of tune, etc)?

The only reason why I want to do this is because I'm a huge fan of Hendrix and how he used the Strat tremolo. And I want more options then just dive-bombs and I don't want to waste my time with a Floyd Rose...
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cur
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Joined: 18 Jan 2009
Posts: 7291

PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Take the back cover off. There are two screws holding the springs that hook up to trem block. To make the trem float, loosen them evenly and it will lift the back end up. This will allow the strings to pull up the trem. You will have to re-tune. Adjust and tune until you get it about 1/8 of an inch or so off. Removing a spring may help too if the screw adjustment does not help. YOu need to remove the tension on the block some.
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grungerocker114
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Joined: 04 Dec 2010
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Location: Pawtucket, Rhode Island

PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the help. I took one of the extra springs out and unscrewed the two screws a bit and the bridge was raised a little bit. Will this cause problems with the action and neck by any chance??
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Mages
súper crujiente


Joined: 26 Mar 2008
Posts: 7439
Location: MD

PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah, it raises the action a little bit so you might want to adjust the saddle height to compensate. also another adjustment to set it "floating" is, on that american style trem you can just raise the posts so the trem sits a bit higher. you're probably going to find yourself doing a combination of all the things mentioned to get it just right.
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cur
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Joined: 18 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course you have just opened up your life to guitar OCD. Screw with it. Make it worse. Screw with it some more. Think you have it just perfect. Play it in a week an realize you need to do some more tweaking. Rinse, lather, repeat.
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rlm2112
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Joined: 08 Jan 2010
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Location: Ohio (the blue part)

PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cur wrote:
Of course you have just opened up your life to guitar OCD. Screw with it. Make it worse. Screw with it some more. Think you have it just perfect. Play it in a week an realize you need to do some more tweaking. Rinse, lather, repeat.


Wow...I thought this was just me.
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cur
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Joined: 18 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 12:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rlm2112 wrote:
cur wrote:
Of course you have just opened up your life to guitar OCD. Screw with it. Make it worse. Screw with it some more. Think you have it just perfect. Play it in a week an realize you need to do some more tweaking. Rinse, lather, repeat.


Wow...I thought this was just me.


Don't even get me started on how every amp sounds like shit the moment I bring it into my house.
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cbandla
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Joined: 24 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 4:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're going to experiment with floating a strat bridge you should get prepared for the tuning problems that usually follow. This guy has a good explanation of the problems causes and ways to over come it.

How to keep your Strat tremolo in tune. Frudua Way
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benecol
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Joined: 25 Jan 2011
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Location: Westcountry

PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

^ I set up like that for a while (I'm a bit perverse in that I like setting strats up), but be warned that, while it's a fun method, any string-bending (or even just regular heavy-handedness) will bend your guitar right out of tune. Banging the bar against the body to return to tune is a neat trick, but a pain in the arse when you're having to do it every few seconds. Your best bet is to have a look at Dan Erlewine's setup guide; I use this (adapted a bit) to have the bridge floating a few mm, just enough that a full up-bend on the arm is a semitone bend at the fifth fret - stays in tune perfectly too. I'm quite good at strats.
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Dave
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Joined: 09 Jun 2008
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Location: UK - Southampton

PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm with Tim - Love setting up strats. Must admit I've never had much issue with strats going out of tune once I've fiddled with their bits. Mine has graphtec saddles though which *may* help. Whatever set up you do to the trem make sure you lube any surface the string will be pulled over - nut, tree, maybe saddles... This will help.
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