Strat type geometry.... am I loosing my mind?!

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by WildTop, Mar 16, 2015.

  1. WildTop

    WildTop Member

    Messages:
    223
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    Thanks for looking....

    I'm struggling hard with 4 different S type builds...
    What i'm trying to understand is - assuming you do not have any problems with tremolo/saddle adjusting range, is there an IDEAL neck angle you should aim for to get best possible results in terms of tone/playability?

    Also, what is the best way to determine what is the angle on a strat?

    Any info would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. swiveltung

    swiveltung Member

    Messages:
    14,566
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Location:
    PNW
    I most often end up shimming the headstock end only of the neck pocket with a .005-.010 shim. The notes ring truer above the 12th fret. It's confusing why but it does work.
     
  3. WildTop

    WildTop Member

    Messages:
    223
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005

    Interesting... usually I read that people shim the other side of the neck pocket...
    Is there any effect on playability?
     
  4. philster

    philster Member

    Messages:
    809
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    northern california
    I am certainly not an authority but I do not think there is an intentional neck angle on a strat. Shims are fairly common and are placed depending on what you need to accomplish. Placing the shim near the headstock end of the neck pocket is something I have done when the pocket is not "deep" enough for the neck to get the action higher. If you are maxing out the saddle screws.
     
  5. Mrmarshallhead

    Mrmarshallhead Member

    Messages:
    594
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    I like the neck angle such that when the action is perfect, the bridge saddle screws are not poking out the top waiting to gouge the heel of my hand!
     
  6. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    33,419
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    This, but only with the short set of screws, 1/4" on the E strings and 5/16" on the middle four.

    Strats feel best, with the silkiest term action and the least trem deflection on bends, when the saddles are closer to the plate.
     
  7. K-Line

    K-Line Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,993
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    Location:
    St. Louis, Missourah
    Agree, I dropped the front edge of the pocket on my Springfield bodies. Keeps the saddles low but gives that heal up that makes the bends super slick.
     
  8. WildTop

    WildTop Member

    Messages:
    223
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    So if your guitar is sitting flat on a workbench the neck is slightly angled up or down?
     
  9. Jackie Treehorn

    Jackie Treehorn Member

    Messages:
    1,812
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    New Orleans, LA
    The optimum angle is, measuring from the face of the guitars body, for the string height to be 1/32 of an inch higher around the end of the neck pocket than the height coming off the saddles.

    That is the sweet spot.
     
  10. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

    Messages:
    25,071
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2004
    Location:
    Canada-GTA
    You have pocket depth and you have neck angle, which is relative to the body front surface.
    These can be balanced all over the place (high/low..positive or negative angle) and retain the same saddle height.
    The distance from strings to body will vary at the heel, though.
     
  11. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    33,419
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    +1, as someone who fixes rather than builds, i couldn't tell you any of those measurements; the only ones i pay attention to are the string heights off the frets and the saddle heights off the plate.
     
  12. WildTop

    WildTop Member

    Messages:
    223
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    So it's a positive angle? as opposed to an LP type guitar?

    And how if I may ask did you come to this conclusion?
     
  13. Eagle1

    Eagle1 Member

    Messages:
    8,678
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    Location:
    The Twilight Zone
    I like flat, no shims and a neck pocket depth that will give you the strings touching the last fret with the saddles pretty much flat on the baseplate. I then set the required action an trim the saddle height grub screws to a hair below the saddle tops. This strings of the body height when done on a typical strat trem is very comfortable and I replicate it with Floyd's by recess routing because I don't like angled neck pockets and the bridge high off the body. This messes with hand placement when picking.
     
  14. K-Line

    K-Line Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,993
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    Location:
    St. Louis, Missourah
    The heel is a tad higher, but because the front or top end of the pocket is a tad lower. Potato, potata. I get the result I want this way.
     
  15. Jackie Treehorn

    Jackie Treehorn Member

    Messages:
    1,812
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    New Orleans, LA
    Yes, the opposite of a Les Paul.

    I have a strat that I put together around 20 years ago that just happened to come together with that angle. That strat always sounded fantastic to me and others. I found that if I duplicated that geometry on my other guitars I could get them to sound just as good. If you go with more angle in that direction, it gets muddy/mushy and you lose the brightness on the attack. If you go the opposite way, it overemphasizes the attack and you lose the low end. It's also a pretty soft feel, easy bending. Generally, a set of 11's with medium string height still maintains comfortable playability.

    It's pretty much in line with what others are saying, low saddles. I've only tried it with vintage style bridges that bring the strings close to the face of the guitar. I've never tried just lowering the neck into the pocket, keeping it flat, either. The slight angle has always delivered the goods for me.
     
  16. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

    Messages:
    25,071
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2004
    Location:
    Canada-GTA
    Or, if high, enhances hand placement and the ability to mute effectively at the bridge. LP vs Strat.

    This is another big YMMV.
     
  17. swiveltung

    swiveltung Member

    Messages:
    14,566
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Location:
    PNW
    How do you measure that? pickguard off?
    For giggles I just measured one of mine (calculating the pickguard/trem plate offsets) My string is about .025 lower then the saddle.
     
  18. WildTop

    WildTop Member

    Messages:
    223
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    Still curious about this ...

    Would you be so kind to elaborate?
     
  19. Jackie Treehorn

    Jackie Treehorn Member

    Messages:
    1,812
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    New Orleans, LA
    Sorry, don 't look at this forum very often.

    I guess literally, I measure from the pick guard. As long as you're consistent on the two measurements, it won't make any difference.

    If you're curious, I suggest just giving it a shot. It doesn't take much of a shim to get that angle. In my guitars, I usually sand the neck heel to get the angle. But, I set up my cousins newer strat with just a shim a couple months ago and it came out well.
     

Share This Page