Impressed with Callaham Strat bridge

JimmyR

Member
I recently rediscovered a parts Strat I had at the back of my cupboard - Warmoth hollow ash boady, Fender HR '57 neck, Kinman pickups - and snapped the vibrato arm off in the block! So I thought what the hell and ordered a bunch of stuff from Callaham for this guitar. So it now has a Callaham vintage Strat bridge with his shorter "64" arm, a parchment single ply scratchplate and backplate, and a few other little bits and pieces.

I am quite surprised at how much better the guitar sounds now. I had a Fender USA vintage bridge on before and it's pretty much the same thing as a Callaham. But it's wierd - the guitar does indeed feel more tactile now. The action is the same as before, although I am using an extra spring in the back - could that make a difference? The guitar sounds livelier now and feels amazing - really responsive. BIG sounds for sure.

My favourite thing is the shorter arm. It's much better - subtle to begin with but just sits where it should. It's more like using the Bigsby on my 6120 now, which is a good thing. It makes me wonder why we didn't do this before! It's great!

Has anyone else had a similar experience?
 

ddpphoto

Member
Same experience. The Callaham bridge and Kinman Woodstocks turned my ok '62 reissue Strat into a great guitar.
 

mcalldp

Member
The thing I like about it best is that there is NO play in the bar and you don't have to worry about using tape or springs or anything to keep it that way. I can not stand it when trem arms jiggle around in the socket.
 

Steeltoe

Supporting Member
You've convinced me that this is the fix I need for my
'02 Jeff Beck strat. I've always had tuning issues, especially when using the trem. I'm gonna take the
plunge and order the bridge assembly.
Thanks for the post.
 

Steeltoe

Supporting Member
I have had the new CG bridge on now since wed.
I was worried at first, because my tech had to do
some drilln'n'fillin' where the old bridge was, filling
the two post holes with dowel, and drilling six new
holes to accomodate the vintage style bridge.
I can tell
you that my worries were needless, as you can see no
signs of modification, and the CG bridge is miles
above the old stock fender bridge. Not only does it look much better, it plays with more boing and stays in tune much better. I used in at my bands' show last friday night, and it rocked. The vibrato arm is a pop in, and there is no slop like the old stocker had. What an improvement! Kind of like slippin' a Mercury tranny in that old amp.
Now, that the Jeff Beck is in top form, I am going to do the same with my ol' '86 american strat.
It really is "the final solution". I'm a Believer!
 

fusionid

Member
I recently rediscovered a parts Strat I had at the back of my cupboard - Warmoth hollow ash boady, Fender HR '57 neck, Kinman pickups - and snapped the vibrato arm off in the block! So I thought what the hell and ordered a bunch of stuff from Callaham for this guitar. So it now has a Callaham vintage Strat bridge with his shorter "64" arm, a parchment single ply scratchplate and backplate, and a few other little bits and pieces.

I am quite surprised at how much better the guitar sounds now. I had a Fender USA vintage bridge on before and it's pretty much the same thing as a Callaham. But it's wierd - the guitar does indeed feel more tactile now. The action is the same as before, although I am using an extra spring in the back - could that make a difference? The guitar sounds livelier now and feels amazing - really responsive. BIG sounds for sure.

My favourite thing is the shorter arm. It's much better - subtle to begin with but just sits where it should. It's more like using the Bigsby on my 6120 now, which is a good thing. It makes me wonder why we didn't do this before! It's great!

Has anyone else had a similar experience?
I dont doubt his stuff is top notch. I have to say that I have noticied a difference with different springs. Why I dont know. Probably more mass and different vibration frequencies and yes they vibrate when you strum and you can hear them.
I use 5 springs on my EJ strat. They are not the ones it came with though. They are the ones I bought from musiciansfriends, distributed by dimarzio. They come in a pack of 5. They are bigger and spongier. They also seem to have more shine, maybe more steel in them. who knows.
 

John Bell

Supporting Member
I have one on my latest strat.I really think it's a great sounding bridge and the workmanship is top notch.I never use trem so this one is blocked off.I can't tell you if it works better than other trems.
 

Trebor Renkluaf

I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse?
Silver Supporting Member
I've had Callaham bridges on a number of strats through the years - top notch stuff all the way.
 

pennylink

Member
I installed a Callaham trem block and "64" (shorter) arm in a MIM Strat recently, keeping the stock saddles and 3 springs. What an improvement in tone and sustain! Also, the arm has practically no play in the block, resulting in much more controllable and smoother trem action.

That, together with a set of noiseless Kinman Blues pickups I installed a few years ago, has turned what was a very average Strat into a great one.
 


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