Strat Bridge set-up help needed

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by iMatt, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. iMatt

    iMatt Member

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    I have read a bunch of stuff on this, I know a lot of people look for help on strat set-up, and this is a frequently occurring question. Maybe I am just being dense, but there is something I just can't seem to get straight in my head.

    I have a Fender Custom Deluxe - two pivot trem. From day 1 the shop set the bridge flush with the body and tightened the claw so the bridge won't move - this is how I asked them to do it (just like another start I own). Now, a year on, I fancy floating the trem on this one (and keeping the other fixed as it is).

    Now, adjusting the claw (and re-settng intonation and possibly action) is fine - I know what I need to do with this. The thing I am not clear on is whether I need to adjust the pivot screws to allow the bridge to move freely, and if so how to make sure they are set properly.

    Of course one thing I don't know is whether they are currently exactly where Fender set them, which means they are fine as they are, or whether they were adjusted by the shop when fixing the bridge to the body (screwed down perhaps??). So I am effectively starting from scratch, as if I was fitting the bridge for the first time I guess.

    Fender's own set up guide makes no reference to adjusting the pivot screws when adjusting the bridge ( as far as I could see), but some other sources do. I have even seen references to using this screws to adjust the overall action of the guitar following tremolo adjustment.

    Seems to me that if the screws aren't "in" enough the bridge will sit too high making action set-up tricky. On the other hand, I worry that if it is too low then the front edge of the bridge will dig into the body when "dive-bombing" which doesn't seem a good thing.

    So, I am hoping there is a definitive answer to this and that one of you guys has it.
     
  2. itstooloudMike

    itstooloudMike Member

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    Knoxville, Tennessee
    Yes, on a two point Strat trem you can (and should) adjust the pivot screws. You want the trem plate to be about 1/16" above the top of the body (depending on action preference and neck angle), and parallel to the top of the body. You get the front edge at the proper height by adjusting the pivot screws, and the back edge in position by adjusting the trem claw screws. Hopefully that makes sense.
     
  3. iMatt

    iMatt Member

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    That does make sense - thanks.
     

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