Another reason for fixed strat bridge vs. floating (Do you agree?)...

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Ben R, Mar 28, 2008.

  1. Ben R

    Ben R Member

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    Hi, guys. I realize that many have argued each way for leaving a strat tremolo fixed or left floating (either a little or a lot). One of the main reasons I prefer to block them or leave them straight against the body is because when you play more than one note at a time and bend a string, the other note (or notes) take(s) a dive and goes flat. To test this, pick a note (say) on the "b" string. While that note rings, tug the "g" string above it with your other hand. You'll hear the note you're playing on the "b" string go a little flat. This really effects bluesy type licks. when you bend a string on a floating bridge, the balance is immediately thrown off and all notes get deeper. Conversely, the intonation stays true and in tune with a fixed bridge when you play multiple notes while bending strings. I've never heard this point made in these debates. It's really the only reason I've considered not letting them stay floating. Is this a factor for anyone else besides me?
     
  2. mike80

    mike80 Member

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    Exactly the reason I go for fixed bridges now. I do a lot of double-stop bends when I solo, and tremolo systems just don't work for me. I have a guitar that is Floyd Rose equipped. Loved the guitar, hated the Floyd Rose. So now it's getting blocked.

    FWIW, I would rather do vibrato with my fingers rather than with a tremolo.
     
  3. bluesrules

    bluesrules Member

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    Yep...I only have one strat that's not unblocked that I use for "Sleepwalk" and similar tunes. My next strat WILL be a hardtail!
     
  4. Ben R

    Ben R Member

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    Having said all that (in the beginning of this thread), I still wonder whether or not people are right about losing overall strat tone & "ring" by fixing the bridge. There are those who claim that when you lock it to the body, the sound resonates more off of the guitar & not off of the tension springs under the bridge, dramatically altering the guitar's tone.

    I created this thread because sometimes I'm torn... What's worse to have happen? Losing the overall "strat" tone of the guitar for double stops & bent strings that remian in tune better? ...or, having chords & notes take a dive in pitch when you bend a string by floating the tremolo so that you can maintain that overall tone?

    Bah!!!! I think I've settled on fixing the bridges, but I can't say with 100% certainty that it's the right decision.
     
  5. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    Sorry, that point is always made. It's the same thing with breaking a string, the bridge moves because the tension for the bridge is changed, and the tuning is whacked.

    The bend thing is just part of a strat's thing though. Like when doing unison rock bends with a floating trem. You learn to vibrato it a certain way, and make it sound good, or you learn to palm the bridge and keep the other note steady on a double stop. When done well it's part of what makes a strat sound so good.
     
  6. bullet69

    bullet69 Member

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    I agree with budda its just one of those things that you for without even thinking about. weather its slightly bending the flatting? string during double stop bends or using your palm on the bridge to apply pressure you learn to work it out.
     
  7. playon

    playon Supporting Member

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    I always block the trem & I think the guitar sounds fine that way. But I do think a standard trem blocked sounds better than a real hardtail setup. The steel block is a big part of the strat sound.
     
  8. DejavuDave

    DejavuDave Member

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    You are correct. But I prefer floating trems. I can express more musical ideas with a floating trem, pulling up as well as down. My particular way of playing is complimented by this, but I see your point that it can cause problems for certain other ways of playing. You've made a very good point; their are considerations beyond tone for blocking a trem.
     
  9. GuitslingerTim

    GuitslingerTim Member

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    The pitch of the strings changes due to movement of the trem while bending notes. A properly set up Tremsetter stabilizes the trem, and diminishes the warbling effect considerably, without sacrificing the use of the trem, or the groovy tones a floating trem can provide.
     
  10. hogy

    hogy Member

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    You control that with the side of your right hand resting on the trem and stabilizing it.
     
  11. woof*

    woof* Member

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    i just tighten the claw up to within 1/4 inch and use all five springs, and i make sure every contact point that the strings make on the guitar, from end to end are lubed. i never have tuning issues or problems. i dont like it when the trem is actually blocked aka clapton.. i think the springs are a big part of a strats tone.
     
  12. HHB

    HHB Member

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    I like a down only trem for this reason
     
  13. Glowing Tubes

    Glowing Tubes Gold Supporting Member

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    For me, part of what makes a strat a strat is the trem. A properly adjusted trem will stay in tune well and bends can be done with a minimum of having the other strings go out of tune. Its a beautiful thing... a strat with a trem.
     
  14. scottlr

    scottlr Member

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    Hipshot makes a little device called a Trem-setter that 1) keeps the other strings from going out of tune when you bend, and 2) returns the trem to the exact position it was when you release. I have yet to buy one (I'll need 4), but I intend to do so.

    http://www.hipshotproducts.com/cart.php?m=product_detail&p=115
     
  15. RvChevron

    RvChevron Member

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    I suggest you buy just one and try out to see first.

    The tremsetter will keep other strings from going flat once it's adjusted right.

    However, the tremsetter will dramatically change the feel of the trem.

    It'll make it stiffer (depends on how the trem originally was set up) and when doing trem downs, it will have kinda two step/click instead of smooth contiuous action due to its design.
     
  16. scottlr

    scottlr Member

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    Yea, I have heard that. I think I could get used to it. All of my Strats don't feel exactly the same anyway
     
  17. playon

    playon Supporting Member

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    It's clever but all that brass on there plus the graphite that the strings sit on, means that it might not sound exactly like a real strat. A huge part of the strat sound is the steel saddles... but I guess some people will sacrifice that tone in order to have a working trem that really stays in tune.
     
  18. bluesjuke

    bluesjuke Disrespected Elder

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    Never had a problem with a good set up trem.
    Playing with a floating trem is something you adjust too inasfar as the other strings going flat on you is concerned.

    I think it's a subconciuos thing that comes with time and experience with the Strat.
     
  19. zenfreud

    zenfreud Member

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    If it's practical, why not make a recording of your Strat, get the trem blocked, and make another recording. I'm truly curious about what tonal differences you will experience. But I admit that I'm skeptical that your guitar will sound dramatically altered. This coming from a guy who bought a Callaham trem, can't say I heard a difference. But I didn't do before & after recordings, is hard to recall what, if anything, changed.

    I know what you mean about the strings going flat during a bend on a trem-equipped Strat. It would probably drive some people crazy, I just work around it. And fwiw, I rarely screw the trem arm in, I'm a hack at using it, but I like to rest my picking hand on the bridge for subtle vibrato on chords. In fact, I've grown pretty dependent on the sound, I think it's gorgeous.
     
  20. MartinC

    MartinC Member

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    What you're talking about can be a pain in the neck, but for me it's worth living with in order to get the good stuff that can be had from a fully floating vibrato bridge.

    I do think that you can get used to it and compensate for it ... as has been pointed out.
     

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