Strat Floating Bridge and Bends...

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by coldengray, Mar 11, 2015.

  1. coldengray

    coldengray Supporting Member

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    Yes, I did a search and found a lot of different answers and perspectives on this issue, but I wanted to lay it out clear as day: if I float my bridge I'm going to have flat notes on other strings when I bend?

    After figuring out why my new Strat was giving me flat notes I have set up my guitar the way Bill Callaham recommends: 4 springs, claw tightened only as much as needed to keep strings from being pulled flat when I bend. However, this setup requires much more trem effort than I would like...I can certainly live with it and adjust, but I liked the floating bridge feeling so much. I am coming from a Tele + Bigsby so this is new to me.

    :beer
     
  2. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    What you describe is still floating unless you mean decked or otherwise restrained from movement by a hard stop.
    You cannot have a soft float and stable bending. Spring tension has to be high enough to create a near rigid structure.
    Playing with neck shims to alter saddle height, hence, string pull leverage can help, a bit.
     
  3. murraythek

    murraythek Member

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    So is there no other way around this? New strat player myself and this drives me crazy.
     
  4. candid_x

    candid_x Supporting Member

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    This is what I've wound up doing as well, on my 2-pointers. Everything is a compromise; it's a matter of personal priority.

    On my 6-screw, I use 5 springs, deck it, can D tune and still dive with it if desired.
     
  5. Mandrax

    Mandrax Member

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    I used to float. When doing double stop bends you just get into a habit of bending the other note slightly to compensate.

    These days I deck my trem so don't have to worry about it, but it is something you naturally adjust to.
     
  6. coldengray

    coldengray Supporting Member

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    Thanks! I can still use the trem, just requires some effort and it's not as smooth yet. I'll work on it.
     
  7. JRC4558Dude

    JRC4558Dude Member

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    My thoughts exactly.
     
  8. David Garner

    David Garner Member

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    I had exactly the same complaints, and I agree with Mandrax -- you learn to compensate for it. It's also good for you in a sense, because it teaches you to let your ears lead your hands (i.e., you actually have to listen to your own playing to determine where to stop the compound bend). Otherwise, you'll end up out of tune doing the same bends on one of your hardtail guitars.

    My advice is if you prefer the feel of the guitar with the bridge floating, then float it and play until you learn to compensate. FWIW, my PRS DGT doesn't have this problem nearly as bad as my Strat. The biggest difference between the 2 is 5 springs in the DGT versus 3 springs in the Strat, so you might try loading the Strat with 5 springs and floating it and see if that reduces the effect.
     
  9. riscado

    riscado Member

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    I float my tremolo, even though I don't use the tremolo at all.

    I find that when I float the tremolo, the angle break of the strings and overall setup makes the strat have a slinky feel to it. With the tremolo decked it usually gets noticeably stiffer.

    I think I also prefer the tone a little bit more, there seems to be a bit more compression. Not entirely sure why.
     
  10. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    It's a non-issue for me. If you let an E or A string drone while you're bending strings you can hear it go a bit flat, but that's not something most people would normally do. If you're just bending a string, it's usually the only one you're playing so it doesn't really matter what the others do.
     
  11. TheoDog

    TheoDog Silver Supporting Member

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    This makes sense. When I bend a string it is deflecting far enough to mute adjacent strings.
    In a clinical setup environment, is it true that bending pulls the floating bridge. That is simply the physics of the situation. You can work the compromise in your favor with stiffer spring tension or lighter string tension (smaller gauge strings).
    But, to get the bridge to float at pitch, the pivot must move when the tension is manually increased by bending a string.

    Has the flattening open strings during bends been an issue in a band context?
     
  12. zztomato

    zztomato Supporting Member

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    That's part of the charm of a strat. They were meant to have floating trems. If the other notes going flat bother you, or you can't find a way to cope with them and make it part of your playing, then deck the trem. You are missing the point though. You don't play a strat the same way as other fixed bridge guitars.
     
  13. coldengray

    coldengray Supporting Member

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    Thanks for all the replies. I think I'm good with where I have it and will adjust. Good info!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  14. guitararmy

    guitararmy Member

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  15. henryjurstin13

    henryjurstin13 Member

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    I'd like to hear a little elaboration on this last part... what do you mean, specifically? You (personally, or all of us) should approach the strat with a different technique due to the feel/floating trem? i.e. - you have some guitars that you are heavy handed with & some that you change your playing technique (bends)?
     
  16. coldengray

    coldengray Supporting Member

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    You don't ever play another string when you bend?
     
  17. killerburst

    killerburst killerburstguitars.com Silver Supporting Member

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    I'm a floater. I like faux slide licks, shaking the chord a la SRV, glissando effects a la Holdsworth, bar vibrato at the end of a big bend a la Gilmour. So much expression possible. Jeff Beckisms, etc. Can't hang with a decked trem or hard tail for a main axe. That said, you can learn to compensate somewhat for a double stop bend when both notes are fretted.

    The show stopper for me is when I'm bending one note against an open string, I.e: Foo Fighters' My Hero or STP Interstate Love Song. It's gonna be at least a little bit ugly for a second. There are some creative solutions possible at times, but the law of diminishing returns kicks in pretty fast.
     
  18. cardinal

    cardinal Member

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    You just kinda have to deal with it/accept it. If the situation allows, I press my right palm against the bridge hard enough to keep the other note(s) in tune. But you don't always have time for that.
     
  19. Cgkindler

    Cgkindler Member

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    That's a good, real world solution.

    I love strats...it took me awhile to figure out that they are what I grew up on and what feels most comfortable.

    I've also got a Parker Fly Deluxe and it's got their proprietary trem system and it does FANTASTIC.
     
  20. monty

    monty Member

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    I agree. Takes time, but worth it.
     

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