Strats - To Deck or Not To Deck.

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by travisvwright, Sep 23, 2010.

Dismissing tuning and vibrato, which SOUNDS better?

  1. Decked

  2. Floating

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  1. Schroedinger

    Schroedinger Member

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    I float it, and I never use the tremolo. I just like the sound better that way. It's got a spongier tone that sounds like I want a strat to sound like. It has less sustain, but for the kind of music I do I actually prefer it. My tuning is dead stable; stays in tune just as well as my Les Paul. Not sure what I'm doing right, but it's never been a problem for me. I follow the setup steps in Dan Erlewine's book exactly.
     
  2. coldinWI

    coldinWI Member

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    I just did that Carl Verheyen (please excuse spelling) think by adjusting the claw. The G is a minor 3rd on the pull, B is a whole step, and the E is 1/2 step. That guitar (garden variety Strat) has never stayed in tune better. Plus, the trem is so much more fun. Fuzzbox and feedback!
     
  3. Help!I'maRock!

    Help!I'maRock! Member

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    that's why i bring 2 guitars.
     
  4. kurt1981

    kurt1981 Supporting Member

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    Hey guys, been wanting to float the bridge on my anderson, but it seems to go out of tune, very very slightly if I tune like the guy suggests in the vid, by only pushing the bar down, when I pull up, it changes slightly on the G and B strings. Same thing if I pull up then tune, if I push down, it'll go out slightly. Also, it's a two point trem, where do you guys set the screws, should the bridge be parallel to the body, or should I screw it down more so the front is lower than the back?
    Thanks, sorry for the ignorance, this guitar never goes out of tune if only pushing the bar down.
     
  5. mockchoi

    mockchoi Member

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    This IS the answer, not that Fruda video method (which does work btw, unless you bend a string, or put a whole bunch more work into the guitar than the average guy could ever do). But setting the claw in this way works perfectly, the guitar WILL not go out of tune, and...it's such a musical tremolo this way. You can't do 'extreme' things with it, but you can do such pretty ones.
     
  6. FredW

    FredW Member

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    Same here. Did it to all my strats and have a noticable increase in harmonic content as well. Stays in tune too
     
  7. corn husk bag

    corn husk bag Silver Supporting Member

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    I am going to have to give it a try. Thanks for the encouragement.

    Kind regards,
    Steve
     
  8. marsos52

    marsos52 Member

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    not a big trem user ,,so i decked my trem blocked,, didnt take long to see my strats lost something.. so i floated them and got my strat tone back,,

    i saw how carl v sets he trem and tried that and thought i really liked it,, yes the trem worked so well, but again i felt the guitar just didnt feel as it should..

    went back to stock way of floating and im not changing it any more
     
  9. Badfrog

    Badfrog Member

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    I decked mine not long after I got it. I do a fair amount of string bends and got tired of chasing notes while doing a whole step bend (double stop bends.... ugh). I get tons of sustain out of my strat (enough that I don't long for a Les Paul). I like the tone of my strat as well so all and all I'm a happy camper with a decked strat.

    I was going to deck it so that I can still do some dives but it felt too herky jerky/stiff to me. Obviously my tuning is wonderful with the decked trem.
     
  10. Daka3

    Daka3 Member

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    +1 for the Verheyen setup. Just works beautiflly, and I'm a big fan of both subtle strat shimmer as well as Jimi-approved whammy antics. wouldn't have it any other way, that's all part of the strat magic to me. Oh yeah, and my strats stay in tune perfectly with this setup and some big Bends nut-sauce on all points of contact.

    Another key to strat tuning and whammy succes is to not stray between different string sets. Pick a gauge, pick a brand, and stay there. Really. For me D'addarios 11-49 set does the trick.

    If you experience tuning hassles with your strat, set it up like Carl, stay with a specific string set and lube. Then, you're be golden. Forget about the locking nut trip, had a Kahler once and it thoroughly killed my tone.

    Country bends and string breakage does shoot the whole thing out of whack, though, naturally. Enter the backup tele! :)
     
  11. big jilm

    big jilm Member

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    For me, it's got to float. My Strat is a Mexican made 70's Strat, and I used to have a friend that was a luthier for a super high end boutique guitar builder. He set it up for me. I use my trem a lot, and stays in tune all night. I'm used to compensating while bending, etc.

    It's all in the setup, it seems.
     
  12. DRS

    DRS Member

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    Daka3 is the only guy in 4 pages that realizes steel guitar licks, compound bends, Mick Taylor's licks, etc. don't work with a floating bridge.

    I have a Hipshot Contour and it stays in tune great floating and returns back to tune faithfully and I love the tone of a floating bridge. But country licks and compound bends are part of my style - so I deck the bridge.
     
  13. David Garner

    David Garner Gold Supporting Member

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    This is my take as well. Mine now stays in tune either way, but the decked trem allows me to do bends that stay in tune when bending more than one string. I realized this most clearly when I had to switch to the Tele while recording because one part kept going out of tune in a bad way. I'm thinking of using 9s on mine and decking it to get the softer feel and the tuning stability when bending multiple strings.

    I prefer the feel of the Strat when floating, but honestly, I prefer the tone and stability (when bending multiple strings) decked. So my vote is decked. Ideally I'd like to have one set up each way, but there are too many songs we play that I prefer the tone of the Strat but need the stability when bending multiple strings, so with just one Strat in my quiver, I think it will be decked.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2011
  14. kevinhifi

    kevinhifi Member

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    Yeah, for me and the way I play, the advantages of the floating trem (another Verheyen setup fan here) greatly outway the disadvantages. Sure, it's annoying when I try to do a double note bend or drone the D string while bending notes on the G string, but I can deal with it.

    Someone made the suggestion (possibly in this very thread) of lightly pulling up on the whammy bar during those parts to put the bridge back to its proper position. It's not the easiest move to pull off, but if you get good at it, you can nail those tricky bends with a fully floating bridge. Watch some videos of David Torn playing, and you'll likely see this trick in action. If not, it's still fun to watch how he uses the bar.
     
  15. David Garner

    David Garner Gold Supporting Member

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    That sounds like a nut issue, honestly, but it's odd that it stays in tune when decked and not when floating (mine works either way).

    Try going down a half or full string gauge and see if that helps. Mine wouldn't stay in tune floating with 10s but does fine with 9.5s.
     
  16. sabby

    sabby Member

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    Once you learn to keep a floating-bridge Strat in tune with multiple string bends, it becomes an incredibly expressive instrument. It's almost like playing with a slide. It took me a few years, but there are lots of rewards for the effort.
     

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