Strat vintage spacing ideas

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by dcarroll, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. dcarroll

    dcarroll Member

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    Hi All,

    I have a John Mayer Stratocaster with the vintage fender bridge and saddles.

    When I got it, a few of the saddles had really loose screws (bad threads?) and would move / collapse really easily. As in they would move a bit when bending strings. The high E was also a too close the edge of the fretboard for my taste.

    I ordered some graphtech saddles (2 3/16 spacing) as a replacement.These work great, but they are a bit too narrow, and there are gaps between the saddles. The high E is now aligned correctly through. These work, but the looks bug me a bit as they are not lined up straight and have gaps between then.

    Any ideas on really what the correct thing to do here is? Or what the correct spacing on this should be. I would love to have a fender style saddle that fit properly and didn't go off the edge of the neck.

    BTW: the neck pocket is perfect so I can't really shift the neck to favor one side.

    Cheers and thanks,
    D
     
  2. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    Even though the neck pocket looks "perfect", I've never seen a Strat where you couldn't loosen the 4 neck screws slightly and slightly rotate it in its pocket to center the strings on the fretboard. It doesn't take much. Have you tried it? I'd rather have a slight gap/misalignment in the neck pocket rather than the strings not centered on the fretboard.
     
  3. dcarroll

    dcarroll Member

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    Hi,

    Thanks for the response

    Yes I did try to move the pocket and re-tighten. It just didn't make much difference. It seems that the strings are aligned with the polepieces. Just that the high E is off.

    Does Callaham sell a bridge / saddles with different spacing that I could drop it?

    Cheers,
     
  4. cranqued

    cranqued Gold Supporting Member

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    I've used Carl Verheyen's trick to bring the bridge saddles closer together using a bit of wire wrapped around them. He does this to improve tone. I honestly can't say that I've noticed a difference tone-wise, but I love the "side effect," no pun intended, as it does pull the E strings away from the edge of the fretboard.
    http://carlverheyen.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/another-strat-trick/

    Quoting Mr. V.:
    "I have found the tone on my guitars improves slightly when the saddles are compressed together and not "splayed apart." For this reason I get a small piece of wire and tie it around all six saddles. Stringing it under the saddles and then running it over the top, but under the strings enables me to tie it off and crimp it tight. It's this final crimping that draws all the saddles together tightly and in my estimation improves my tone. The six pieces of metal become one and vibrate together transferring more vibration into the wood. I notice more improvement with the six screw bridges instead of the two screw bridges, but both are improved by this method."
     
  5. telewacker

    telewacker Member

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    The Callaham V/N bridge has the vintage spec 2 7/32" mounting spacing with a narrower 2 1/16" string spacing. Premium quality trem that solves the problem of one or both E strings being too close to the edge of the fingerboard.

    http://www.callahamguitars.com/partsstr.htm
     
  6. burningyen

    burningyen Vendor

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    If you don't want to spring for the Callaham, the current Highway 1 bridge, Allparts Wilkinson-by-Gotoh bridge, and Bladerunner also all have narrower string spacing and are compatible with the vintage mounting screw spacing.
     
  7. spookyelectric

    spookyelectric Supporting Member

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    Do those all have the full size trem block? I don't think the Hwy 1 bridge does, does it?

    How expensive are the other 2 compared to the Callaham?
     
  8. dcarroll

    dcarroll Member

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    Great thanks, I ordered the HW1 bridge, I'll let you know how the install goes.
     
  9. burningyen

    burningyen Vendor

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    Looks like it to me:

    [​IMG]

    Dunno the exact prices but google does.
     

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