Strat tremolo installation trouble

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by Yngve, Jan 3, 2008.


  1. Yngve

    Yngve Member

    Messages:
    11
    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Hi,

    I ordered and received a beautiful S-63 style body in 3-tone nitro sunburst with light relicing to replace the body of one of my stratocasters. I must say that I'm very pleased with the weight, paintjob and selection of the body.

    However, I ordered the body predrilled for all holes except for the pickguard. Now it seems that the predrilled holes for the tremolo don't seem right. I've installed several necks and pickguards on this body just to try, and the tremolo is angeled and aligned wrong with all of these. I've attached some pictures for you to look at with the tremolo installed. As you can see from both the front and back of the guitar, it doesn't align properly. The pickguard won't fit nicely with the bridge, and I've tried several pickguards so there's nothing wrong with these. From the back you can see that the installed tremolo is far from parallell with the body.

    I've come to the conclusion that the predrilles holes for the tremolo aren't drilled in the right way. By actually measuring from the middle of the holes to the edge of the tremolo cavity, it's off.

    Do you have any suggestion of what I can do with this? I think drilling new holes will be difficult--- Sorry for the bad quality of the pictures; I used my cell phone.[​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    Santa Barbara, Marin, Chico, CA
    Well, judging from the pics (and I'm dismayed to agree with you) I think you're right - the bridge mounting holes are not in the right place.

    The only thing you can do is drill 'em, fill 'em, and re-drill 'em. To be frank, it's an amatuer job on the locating and drilling. I'd want all my money back and a new, correctly done body.

    No offense to the person(s) who did that job, but they blew the bridge portion of the event in a big way. In my opinion, that's probably the single most important part of the job - getting the bridge in the right place.

    Well, hang on a sec. You shouldn't measure from the trem cavity, you should measure from the base of the neck when it's mounted, or better, from the nut with strings on. It could be that the trem cavity is what's out of line, not the bridge. Either way, it's a bogus job though - either the trem cavity is routed in the wrong place, or the bridge is. You can't have it both ways - one or the other is off, and BOTH should be exactly right.

    I'm sorry for you - that's a drag. It's critical that the the bridge be mounted exactly perpindicular to the plane of the strings else the trem arm won't work right. If the trem cavity is not routed plumb it's a drag, but it won't dramatically affect the guitar mechanically. If the bridge itself isn't plumb, the guitar will never play right.

    In my opinion from what I see in the photos, you have a legit complaint. Dana O.
     
  3. Yngve

    Yngve Member

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    May 29, 2007
    Thank you for your answer. I haven't measured from the nut, but when installing several pickguards the bridge won't fit right with either of them. I will measure from the nut just to be sure, but I'm almost sure the tremolo cavity isn't the problem. Haven't got any answer from the manufacturer yet.
     
  4. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    Not only is the bridge wrongly located, it looks like the holes were drilled by hand - there's an extreme amount of 'wander' as they pass through the body... look at where they've broken through into the trem cavity. There is usually a little wander even with jig-drilled holes using a drill press, because the wood grain (especially in ash) is actually hard enough to bend the fairly thin drill bit slightly - but not that much.

    That's just a very amateur job and not acceptable on a commercially-marketed body IMO.
     
  5. Yngve

    Yngve Member

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    May 29, 2007
    Actually, the holes weren't drilled all the way into the trem cavity, but almost. What you see is the mounting screws passing all the way through.

    The body is made from a highly regarded manufacturer in strat replacement bodys, and the quality of the body is very good except from the trem mounting holes. I hope they'll help me. This isn't acceptable.

    EDIT: Now I see what you mean... Yes there's a lot of wander!
     

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