Thoughts on an unexpected quirk of playing a strat...

Messages
3,977
So, I've been playing this strat for about almost a month, a G&L SC-3. I like it a lot. I haven't restrung my PRS since I got it to A/B them, but I definitely notice some differences besides the expected ones from them having 2 different scale lengths, bridge systems and resultant string tensions. When you play a double stop with one note bending up and using vibrato, the bend and vibrato will pull the bridge up a tiny bit and the pitch of the sustained note falls. I can listen to my vibrato well enough to bend further up as the bridge gives a little slighly impeding the pitch's upward progress, but with two notes it'll be interesting if I'm bending up on the sustained note so it's pitch remains more stable.

Also bending the g and b string up a step together with your ring finger feels weird because the strings have different tensions- bending each creates a different amount of pull on the bridge and when you bend that g string it affects the tension of the b string faster since that string has less anyway...

My PRS McCarty has a one piece wraparound bridge. I really like this strat, but I don't think I could get rid of the McCarty (it's great), I'd miss the strings not interacting with eachother on at least one guitar.

There's a lot of cool stuff to the strat, though. No point in doing more than mentioning the cool pickups combinations/sounds, overall sound of the guitar, tremolo system and well placed volume control... just thought this was an unexpected aspect of the strat design. My first electric was an 80s Ibanez Roadstar II "vintage" style guitar. It had some tremolo problems- no vibrato bar fit in the hole at the shops and when you bent the g string up a step at the 12 fret but instead picked the low E string with your right hand, the low E would dive bomb down a step! (I used to have to tighten the pickup support screws every couple of days as the pickups were constantly sinking deeper and deeper into the pickguard!) I always just thought that that particular guitar was defective or hopeless in that respect. It was 10000x more ridiculous than the string interactions I hear with the G&L.

Anybody else notice this or do I need a tweak/setup on the guitar? I think I raised the action most all the way and it plays well, but it still frets out in some places on the neck....
 
Messages
12,053
I never paid that much attention to it-you might be one of those guys who just hears these kind of things....never paid attention to hear this kind of thing when I was playing my CE24 either.
 

candid_x

Member
Messages
9,667
G&L’s floating bridge makes bending double stops and such problematic, because when you bend a string, it pulls the whammy bridge downward, making the strings you’re not bending go flat. With down only trems, you can just add additional springs or tighten the claw. The only way I was able to solve the problem in my G&L trem guitars was to block it entirely from the back, using a wedge of wood. I don’t mind cuz I don’t use a whammy.
 

atquinn

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,749
Yes, the behavior you've noticed is because the guitar has a trem bridge. Any guitar with a trem bridge will do this (even bridges that are set to only decrease pitch) unless you have so many springs in the back the bridge is immovable or you block it. The advantages of a trem bridge far outweigh this "problem" as far as I'm concerned, but I do have 1 wraparound bridge (out of 4) for when I don't want to deal with such behaviour.

-Austin
 

leofenderbender

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,738
So, I've been playing this strat for about almost a month, a G&L SC-3. I like it a lot. I haven't restrung my PRS since I got it to A/B them, but I definitely notice some differences besides the expected ones from them having 2 different scale lengths, bridge systems and resultant string tensions. When you play a double stop with one note bending up and using vibrato, the bend and vibrato will pull the bridge up a tiny bit and the pitch of the sustained note falls. I can listen to my vibrato well enough to bend further up as the bridge gives a little slighly impeding the pitch's upward progress, but with two notes it'll be interesting if I'm bending up on the sustained note so it's pitch remains more stable.

Also bending the g and b string up a step together with your ring finger feels weird because the strings have different tensions- bending each creates a different amount of pull on the bridge and when you bend that g string it affects the tension of the b string faster since that string has less anyway...

My PRS McCarty has a one piece wraparound bridge. I really like this strat, but I don't think I could get rid of the McCarty (it's great), I'd miss the strings not interacting with eachother on at least one guitar.

There's a lot of cool stuff to the strat, though. No point in doing more than mentioning the cool pickups combinations/sounds, overall sound of the guitar, tremolo system and well placed volume control... just thought this was an unexpected aspect of the strat design. My first electric was an 80s Ibanez Roadstar II "vintage" style guitar. It had some tremolo problems- no vibrato bar fit in the hole at the shops and when you bent the g string up a step at the 12 fret but instead picked the low E string with your right hand, the low E would dive bomb down a step! (I used to have to tighten the pickup support screws every couple of days as the pickups were constantly sinking deeper and deeper into the pickguard!) I always just thought that that particular guitar was defective or hopeless in that respect. It was 10000x more ridiculous than the string interactions I hear with the G&L.

Anybody else notice this or do I need a tweak/setup on the guitar? I think I raised the action most all the way and it plays well, but it still frets out in some places on the neck....
Increase the springs in the inertia block...
 

Snakum

Member
Messages
813
I've been playing Strats/Legacys as my main guitar for years and I guess I've compensated so long I don't even notice it. If you like everything else about the axe ... it'll cease to be a problem after a while. If not ... block the trem or screw it all the way in.
 

RvChevron

Member
Messages
2,464
Two options, I've been using the first one since I encountered the same problem 15years ago.

- block the trem so it only goes down but not up and increase the spring tension just enough so that when you bend a sting, the other doesn't go flat enough to be noticeble.

- install one of those devices, for eg: Hipshot Trem-Setter or other similar device.
 

waxnsteel

Member
Messages
3,128
MOre and or tighter springs work, but they change the feel of the trem which may work for or against you.

Or,after awhile you will probably adjust to it. Even though it feels wierd now to bend the note you're holding, you'll start doing it unconsciously if your ear wants you to fix it. Just keep playing it.
 
Messages
3,977
MOre and or tighter springs work, but they change the feel of the trem which may work for or against you.

Or,after awhile you will probably adjust to it. Even though it feels wierd now to bend the note you're holding, you'll start doing it unconsciously if your ear wants you to fix it. Just keep playing it.
Bending the single note a little farther doesn't bother me much at all, since I'm listening anyway.

I've been getting the hang of bending both strings up to compensate for the two string double bends that cause the tuning issues (the string holding a same note goes flat as the string below it bends up to the same pitch). I am not going to sell the guitar or anything. It's just a weird obervation after not playing strats for so long...
 

Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
33,770
Two options, I've been using the first one since I encountered the same problem 15years ago.

- block the trem so it only goes down but not up and increase the spring tension just enough so that when you bend a sting, the other doesn't go flat enough to be noticeble.

- install one of those devices, for eg: Hipshot Trem-Setter or other similar device.
+1
Blocking to allow down only also improves tone and sustain, IMO.
But, the arm will snap back into place with a thud. It's a trade-off.
If it floats it WILL move with stretches.
 

LHanson

Member
Messages
7,759
Sometimes it helps to lower the bridges and raise the trem, so that the string break-over is nearer to the fulcrum points of the bridge itself. Floyd Rose knockoffs are terrible about the bend-detune thing.
 
Messages
3,977
I will have to try raising the trem and lowering the bridges, as I think putting the bridge pieces so high has thrown off my intonation slightly..
 




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