1. A proposal is now up as a poll to change the guidelines of TGP to only allow member self-deleting of post/threads for up to thirty days of the original posting it. We are now watching the poll here. Click here to view the thread.

    Dismiss Notice

I am moving to a floating bridge setup

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by cram, May 16, 2011.

  1. cram

    cram Member

    Messages:
    13,542
    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2006
    Location:
    Southern NH
    I have a 2001 American standard strat and have (nearly) exclusively been flat against the deck with 5 springs. The bridge only lifts when I try to demo with a lot of force. I have been in this setup because I got so sick of playing with floating bridges I had played through the 90's. My goal is to attempt to gel with this setup from several fronts -


    • Tuning stability
    • Setting bridge height from poles and from the saddles
    • Finding the right combination of springs and tension between this and the strings.

    Current setup:
    2 pole trem - this will not change.
    5 Springs
    Claw still has room to travel - meaning the screws have never needed to be tightened too far for spring my setup.
    .012 detuned a half step.

    Questions -
    How do most of you have the bridge set?
    Is it just a matter of loosening the tension in the claw/springs?
    If I only take tension away, the hump I've arranged on the saddles' height would have to change, I think - right?
    For those with the same bridge, do you also unscrew the poles to lift off the face/deck of the guitar?

    I guess I don't need to have that much travel for my bridge upward, but it would be nice to pull a half step up for most strings. I've seen how some like Verheyen set there's and tried experimenting with it on another guitar to see if I could get the tuned travel he does - I almost got it, but not really there...

    So if you've done this or do this for people as a luthier, I could use some suggestion or coaching.

    Much thanks.
     
  2. BigViolin

    BigViolin Member

    Messages:
    1,556
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    West, facing East
    I float, G string can be raised a maj 3rd.

    Loosen claw then retune. Repeat until desired float (you might have to go back and forth a few times), then re-adjust saddle height.

    I use a six screw so not sure if you'll need to change the height of the studs (poles).
     
  3. MightyGuru

    MightyGuru Member

    Messages:
    6,966
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    I set my bridge about 1/8th" off the body or high E string raises up half step, B string a whole step and G string minor 3rd. I use 3 springs. Nut should be spot on as well. I don't use string trees. Try the Kluson staggered.

    Also...check out the Tremel-No....very interesting.
     
  4. RocksOff

    RocksOff Member

    Messages:
    7,466
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2009
    Once you move there, are you planning to buy or rent?
     
  5. cram

    cram Member

    Messages:
    13,542
    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2006
    Location:
    Southern NH
    The only floating bridge I know of is the 520 bridge in seattle. I need air and cannot live underneath this structure.
     
  6. cram

    cram Member

    Messages:
    13,542
    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2006
    Location:
    Southern NH
    Thanks for the digits. I will be playing tonight and will see if I can report satisfaction in the morning.

    Great - thanks!
     
  7. marsos52

    marsos52 Member

    Messages:
    2,006
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Location:
    south jersey
    my strats are two point trems..i use 5 springs they are the raw vintage trem springs
    they are very lower tension and work great, befreo i switched to them i used 3 stock springs.. with 10's and standard tuning my trem is about a 1/8 in off the body.

    this gives me a whole step on the strings and 1 1/2 on the g string

    tuning is no problem. just the pateince of getting it set right,,
     
  8. Marty DiBergi

    Marty DiBergi Member

    Messages:
    923
    Joined:
    May 27, 2010
    Location:
    SoCal
    I much prefer a floating strat bridge to a decked one...

    I've used a method described by Erlewine with much success.

    You'll need a shim/block of some sort... doesn't have to be wood... I've used a stack of business cards sized to do the job in a pinch.

    To do this, you'll need to start by setting the trem claw looser (further from it's mounting surface) than you will ultimately have it set... Strings will pull the back of the bridge higher than desired at the end.

    Set the base of the bridge at the back end about 3/32" to 1/8" (a little high for my tastes) above the body of the guitar with the block/shim. Get tuned up (or down) to pitch... the string tension will pull the bridge block against the shim (unless the trem claw wasn't loose enough to begin with, in which case loosen more).

    Tighten the trem claws screws until the shim falls out... this will be at the point of balance between string tension and spring tension and when the shim falls out the bridge will float exactly where you set it with the shim. Viola!
     
  9. Mike9

    Mike9 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    10,574
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Location:
    Ghent, NY
    A trick to tuning a floating trem is to tune each string while diving the bar. When it returns to pitch each time that string is in tune. Your nut has to be cut perfect and lube baby lube - all contact points.

    I have several Strats that stay in tune for days and sometimes weeks. If a string goes sharp I hit the bar and it returns to pitch - tells me the nut needs lube again. :aok
     
  10. cram

    cram Member

    Messages:
    13,542
    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2006
    Location:
    Southern NH
    I've played around with this and perhaps my nut contact wasn't perfect, but if I bent a string up a whole step, some would come out of tune. Bending the bar would get it back most of the time.

    The implication or theory here is that you're letting the bar pull it up to pitch over the nut. It just seemed to me if there were error or abrasion on the nut, bends would add tension back on the headstock side of the nut.

    You have none of these issues though?
     
  11. cram

    cram Member

    Messages:
    13,542
    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2006
    Location:
    Southern NH
    Thanks for the reminder. I have two versions of his books. One I bought last year because I couldn't find the one I got in the 80's, but magically found days after receiving the new one. I'll page through it to see if there is more elaboration on what you've mentioned here.

    My switch away from the float -

    One of the things that got me away from floating bridges was from playing with all my right hand fingers and thumb. I routinely fret and bend notes while playing other or open strings which would dip in pitch - sounding different than the acoustic or hard tail bridges I played.
     
  12. localmotion411

    localmotion411 Member

    Messages:
    3,394
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2006
    Location:
    Madison, MS
    I have had mine on my '60RI CS strat decked for a few months. I tried going back to floating and immediately switched back to decked. I vastly prefer the predictability of the feel of a hardtail over the float of a tremolo, although I really like using a whammy bar.

    Not sure if there is a good way to have it floating and still be able to do in-tune double stops and that type of thing, so it looks like mine will remain decked.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice