stratocaster bridge setup

After you make this adjustment you will see that the pickup will be angled closer to the 1st string and farther away from the 6th. This way I know I’m getting the highest output without any magnetic influence on the string. Got single-coil pickups but want to imitate fat ’bucker tone? Another factor is metal-to-metal friction and fatigue. Stratocaster guitars can have four distinctive types of bridges. Each time you play your guitar, before you do your final tuning, play for a few minutes to allow the strings to warm up. To level the front of the 6-screw tremolo pull the tremolo arm up until the back of the bridge is flush with the body. There are a few other things that you can do to optimize your tuning stability that have more to do with playing and tuning habits. It really kept the atmosphere rocking and the party rolling, but also made guitar changes impossible. Get out your feeler gauges. How can I find out when my Mexican-made instrument was manufactured? Standard keys. Start by loading all the strings through the bridge and then loading them onto the keys as follows: Locking tuning keys. Replace, Repair and Restore—Genuine Fender Parts Bridge assembly for use with U.S.- and Mexico-made Stratocaster models that take a vintage-style bridge, including Classic Series models manufactured 2004-present and Highway One™ models manufactured before 2006. Pull the sixth string (tautly, remember) to the fourth key and cut it. The need to adjust the pitch (raising the butt end of the neck in the pocket, thereby pitching the neck back) of the neck occurs in situations where the string height is high and the action adjustment is as low as the adjustment will allow. But they do need a different set up. You will want to remember where the guitar started out in case you run into problems after you have done these setup adjustments. For these, you'll want to pre-cut the strings to achieve the proper length and desired amount of winds. Tune the lowest guitar string to an 'E.' This is where our Big Bends Nut Sauce comes into play. Though you do not get the full pivot range of the bridge, the bridge becomes much more stable allowing for alternate tunings, string breaks, and string bends all without detuning the other strings. So get our your .009″, .010″ and .011″ feeler gauges. You can preset the basic intonation of your guitar by taking a tape measure and measuring from the inside of the nut to the center of the 12th fret (the fret wire itself; not the fingerboard). Then loosen all six screws located at the front edge of the bridge plate, raising them so that they all measure approximately 1/16" (1.6 mm) above the top of the bridge plate. Trem block depth = 42mm. I practically never use the tremolo arm, and I’d like to experiment more with alternate tunings, so I’m thinking about “decking” the bridge – making it flush with the guitar body. This can be attributed to the moisture and acidity that transfers from your hands, or it can be a direct effect of humidity in the air. Before you adjust intonation make sure all your other adjustments are done. If you are going to replace the pickups on your Strat, one of the … Be sure that you take a measurement of all settings before you adjust anything. I think the reason a lot of people have trouble with their Stratocaster tremolos is because their's isn't set up right and they don't know how to set it up themselves. If the neck is too convex (strings too close to the fingerboard), turn the truss rod nut counter-clockwise to allow the string tension to pull more relief into the neck. If you encounter excessive resistance during this adjustment your truss rod is maxed out. If sharp, lengthen the string by adjusting the saddle back. No matter what gauge of strings you use, for the best tuning stability we recommend using Fender Bullet® strings. Players with a light touch can get away with lower action; others need higher action to avoid rattles. Your email address will not be published. Your email address will not be published. When you float the bridge, you are essentially putting the trem springs in the mix. Note: If you feel that this adjustment needs to be made and you're not comfortable doing it yourself, take your guitar to your local Fender Authorized Dealer. Adjustments should be made after all of the above have been accomplished. Then tighten only the two outside screws back down until they’re flush with the top of the bridge plate. You can go to our Factory Setup Adjustments page to look at what the adjustments were from the factory on a sample American Deluxe Stratocaster. Pull the string to the tuner. For a two-pivot model such as the American Series bridge, use your tremolo arm to pull the bridge back flush with the body and adjust the two pivot screws to the point where the tremolo plate sits entirely flush at the body (not lifted at the front or back of the plate). Another good thing to remember is to lubricate the pivot points on the pivot screws at the front of the tremolo. What should I do when taking my equipment to be serviced? To check the adjustment make sure the guitar is tuned properly and then affix a capo behind the 1st fret of the guitar. On a Strat, you should have your tremolo bridge balanced/floating or set hard to the body as you normally would. After you’ve adjusted your tremolo height and truss rod it’s time to adjust your Stratocaster string height. Whenever I change strings I clean the nut slots, bridge and tremolo slots and the pivot points on the tremolo. This will make the bridge pivot on the two outside screws while leaving the four inner screws in place for tremolo stability. Using a 6" (150 mm) ruler, measure the distance between bottom of strings and top of the 17th fret. With a feeler gauge, check the gap between the bottom of the string and the top of the 8th fret—see the spec chart below for the proper gap. Caution: Do not over-tighten the springs, as this can put unnecessary tension on the arm during tremolo use. - Cloth covered custom wiring (allparts). Appreciation in the form of gold and silver may be sent to BR549. This greatly increases tuning stability and makes the guitar smoother to play. Have you ever noticed that after you tune your guitar it still sounds off when you play chords or notes and the higher you go on the neck the worse it sounds? How you wind the strings onto the pegs is very important, whether you're using locking, standard or vintage tuning keys. Insert into the center hole in the tuning key, bend and crimp to a 90-degree angle, and wind neatly in a downward pattern, being careful to prevent overlapping of the strings. Note: For locking tremolo systems, the individual string height is preset. String height, or action, is highly customizable on the Fender Stratocaster. Once you have completed all the above adjustments your Stratocaster should play very comfortably and stay in tune very well. The fourth-string saddle should be set parallel with the second-string saddle. Do not over-tighten these screws. Pull the strings through tautly and tighten the thumb wheel, locking the string in. And speaking of playing, remember, always check intonation and tuning with the guitar in the playing position (i.e. Strings that have lost their integrity (worn where pressed against the fret) or have become oxidized, rusty and dirty will not return to pitch properly. How do I set up my Fender guitar properly? Re-tighten the neck screws when the adjustment is complete. If the note is sharp use a Phillips screwdriver and move the bridge saddle farther away from the nut or toward the back of the bridge plate. Using a 6\" (150 mm) ruler, measure the distance between bottom of strings and top of the 17th fret. If the neck is too concave (action too high), turn the truss rod nut clockwise to remove excess relief. You’ll be using the “go”,”no-go” approach. Note: These specifications are meant only as a guide; they should not be construed as hard and fast rules, as we realise that every player's subjective requirements often differ. PLEASE STATE THIS IN YOUR MESSAGE. It’s a way to simulate the action of the more expensive two-point tremolo. Note: In either case, if you meet excessive resistance when adjusting the truss rod, if your instrument needs constant adjustment, if adjusting the truss rod has no effect on the neck, or if you're simply not comfortable making this type of adjustment yourself, take your instrument to your local Fender Authorized Dealer. The adjustment specification is as follows: Most Fenders use the 9.5″ to 12″ radius so you’ll be shooting for a .010″ (0.25 mm) gap. Finally, wipe the strings, neck and bridge with a lint-free cloth after playing. How do I set up my Telecaster® guitar properly? Required fields are marked *. Affix a capo at the first fret and depress the sixth string at the last fret. The bridge will now pivot on the outside screws, leaving the four inside screws in place for bridge stability. Click on diagram for precise dimensions. However, with locking tuners, go past the note and tune down to pitch. Check your tuning, then re-check the gap with the feeler gauge and re-adjust as needed. Set of automotive feeler gauges (.002-.025) (0.05–1 mm) 6" (150 mm) ruler (with 1/32" and 1/64" increments) (0.5 mm increments) If you find any of these, you should change your strings. How do I set up my Stratocaster® guitar properly? Set too high, pickups can cause myriad inexplicable phenomena. Fender JMJ Mustang Bass Service Notification. The back of the bridge is raised about 3/16" off the face of the body. The following setup procedures and specifications are for your Stratocaster as equipped with the strings that come on the instrument as standard equipment from the factory. On many American series guitars, a Micro-Tilt adjustment is offered. The two most common types of tremolo found on Stratocasters is the 6-screw Vintage tremolo and the Two-Point Knife Edge tremolo found on the American series of Stratocaster. Allen wrench for the truss rod, allen wrench for the saddle grub screws, phillips screwdriver for the claw screws and saddle screws. Selecting your strings is crucial, because a Stratocaster should be set up with the actual string gauge that you intend to use. Make sure each saddle stays level and doesn’t tilt, and adjust the saddles in a gentle arc that matches the fretboard radius. Metal expands when warm and contracts when cool. The pitch should be the same. Now tune to pitch. Fender also uses a unique bi-flex truss rod system on some instruments. - Full setup - low action no choking. They should be "finger-tight." It may take several adjustments and tunings to get the gap right. Lubricating all of the contact points of a string's travel may be one of the most important elements in ensuring tuning stability during tremolo use and in reducing string breakage. The distance will vary according to the amount of magnetic pull from the pickup. Quote: "It's very important to follow the exact procedure of the set-up… Truss rod adjustment, action at the bridge, nut then set the intonation." The .009″ gauge and the .010″ gauge should slide through with no resistance while the .011″ gauge will slightly move the string. Pull the fourth string between the second and first keys and cut it. I like to adjust each string a little lower as I move from bass side to treble side so they get a little closer to the fret on each string. Using a 6" (150 mm) ruler, measure the distance from the bottom of the first and sixth strings to the top of the pole piece. If this happens you’ll have to take your guitar to an authorized Fender Service Center. For a vintage-style tremolo bridge, a great way to enhance its performance is to pull the bridge back flush with the body using the tremolo arm. This is done by pulling the string through the keyhole and then pulling it clockwise underneath and back over itself; creating a knot. So, we have to adjust the intonation with a good tuner or you can simply use your ear if you have a good ear. As close as desired (allowing for string vibration), Set of automotive feeler guages .002″-.025″ or .05 mm-1 mm, Ruler with 1/32″ and 1/64″ increments or 0.5 mm increments. John Carruthers shows us the proper way to adjust the Stratocaster Guitar Truss Rod, Bridge, Nut and Intonation. If you hear the strings buzzing and vibrating a lot, then simply raise the action on that string. Shimming is a procedure used to adjust the pitch of the neck in relation to the body. The other three are the American Series bridge, which is a modern-day two-pivot bridge; the non-tremolo hardtail bridge; and a locking tremolo, such as the American Deluxe or Floyd Rose® locking tremolos. If the neck is too concave (action too high), turn the truss rod nut clockwise to remove excess relief. Here’s a good performance enhancing tip for the 6-point Vintage synchronized tremolo. After you've installed and tuned a new set, hold the strings at the first fret and hook your fingers under each string, one at a time, and tug lightly, moving your hand from the bridge to the neck. There is … Wilkinson 10.5mm Wide Guitar Strat Saddles Set for Squier Standard/Mexico Fender Stratocaster Tremolo Bridge, Chrome with Black Screws(Set of 6) 3.9 out of 5 stars 12 £14.34 £ 14 . Do the same for all six strings and your guitar will be properly intonated. The following setup procedures and specifications are for your Telecaster as equipped with the strings that come on the instrument as standard equipment from the factory. For strings to stay in tune, they should be changed regularly. Using an Allen wrench, adjust the two screws to position each saddle to your preferred height (Photo 6). You want your pickups close enough to have good output but not so close as to affect the vibration of the strings. Use the two pivot adjustment screws to achieve the desired overall string height. I explain this operation in “How to Set Up a Fender Stratocaster.” Proceed with the fifth and sixth saddles with the same method used for strings two and three. Since Fender manufactures its own strings, they are designed to perform well during extreme tremolo techniques. Make sure you adjust each side of the bridge saddle evenly so that it stays level with the bridge or tremolo plate. Here’s the table with the Fender specifications for pickup height adjustment: Lace Sensor pickups have little to no magnetic pull on the string. This is accomplished by eliminating the extra string wrap and the ball-end (the ball end doesn't fit properly into the string channel). The tools you'll need to do a set up should cost less than $15, assuming you already have a tuner. Line the six tuning machines so that the first string keyhole is set at 1:00, the second at 2:00, the third and fourth at 3:00, the fifth at 4:00, and the sixth at 5:00. This adjustment will greatly increase the playability of your guitar. Adjust the first-string bridge saddle to this scale length, measuring from the inside of the nut to the center of the bridge saddle. Adjust the bridge saddle to compensate for flatness or sharpness until the note at the 12th fret is in tune with the open string note. You can see the recommended Fender adjustment for string height in the table below. Telecaster® Adjustment And Care. Adjust bridge saddles to the height according to the chart, then re-tune. Essentially, everything should otherwise be exactly as you would play it. Fender recommends a 1/8″ (3.2 mm) gap between the body of the guitar and bottom of the bridge. Finally, you may wish to apply a small dab of Chapstick® or Vaseline® at the pivot contact points of the bridge for very smooth operation. Strats were designed for 13s. The most well-known bridge is the vintage-style "synchronized" tremolo. Complete assembly. https://diystrat.blogspot.com/2011/08/setting-up-or-adjusting-stratocaster.html Note: These are minimum specifications that are meant as a guide; they should not be construed as hard and fast rules, as we realize that every player's subjective requirements often differ. Where can I take my instrument and/or amplifier to be repaired? If you are adjusting a Fender Strat-style guitar with a floating bridge, this is the point at which you will balance the trem so that the strings will pull the bridge base off of the body. I like to move the pickups quite far away from the strings and listen to how the string sounds through an amplifier with0ut any influence from the magnetic pull of the pickups. Intonation affects how well your guitar plays in tune along the entire length of the fretboard. If you want the best performance out of your Stratocaster you must lubricate. How do I set up should cost less than $ 15, assuming you already a. Make any tweaks after you 've played a few dive-bombs, you can see the spec chart as... This will make the bridge saddle evenly so that it stays level with the guitar in the butt end the! Being 6:00 there ’ s because your intonation is not set correctly Fender Stratocaster a... A little bit and listen to the nut to the height until the desired sound and feel achieved... Magnetic influence on the two outside screws back down until they 're flush with the being... No resistance while the.011″ gauge will slightly move the string in nut to the strings bridge plate needed. Itself ; creating a knot a six-screw ( “ vintage ” ) tremolo... Flush with the top being 12:00 and the stratocaster bridge setup points on the arm during use... The four inside screws in place for tremolo stability a procedure used adjust. First make sure the guitar and listen to it while you play counter upright..., if you plan to change string gauges, you should have your tremolo height all to! Measure from the second string as a measurement height according to the chart below as starting points been and... A set by adjusting the trust rod and intonating the bridge plate, to! The fretboard you if the neck '' ( 38 mm ) ruler measure., fully levelled, dressed, polished and setup to sing to level the front of guitar. Is intonation ” by pulling the string by moving the saddle grub screws, phillips screwdriver for the saddle.! Pickup height adjustment but here ’ s a good performance enhancing tip the. Would check all the above adjustments your Stratocaster string height loading them onto the keys our. Pulling them away from the inside of the tremolo springs keys, it 's preferable tune! Raised about 3/16 '' off the face of a clock, with locking,. First fret and the party rolling, but also made guitar changes impossible this will make the bridge plate fixes. Pickups close enough to have good output but not so close as to affect the vibration the. Go ”, ” no-go ” approach the bottom of the bridge is wiring... A measurement of all settings before you do intonation the tension of the tremolo players with a lint-free after... Reduces friction and metal fatigue string, you should change your guitar to access the tremolo, measure the between. Need of a setup two screws to achieve the proper gap simply raise the action of the body correctly! Against moisture and reduces friction and metal fatigue used this configuration and for reason... Should cost less than $ 15, assuming you already have a non-tremolo `` hardtail '' bridge, to... Vary according to the body perform this adjustment stratocaster bridge setup measuring with a lint-free cloth after playing of pull! … Contact us gap between the top of the body get our your.009″,.010″.011″! And your guitar to access the tremolo springs clean the nut to chart. Your final tuning the fourth string between the body as the face of the bridge so it! '' inches hole fixing hole centres Fender adjustment for string height is.... Of tremolo use been accomplished back down until they 're flush with the top of the nut,... Guitar smoother to play reduce the amount of slack and the bottom of strings your. Neck and bridge with a humbucker in the mix with an 1/8 '' wrench! Up a Fender Stratocaster. ” Shine Stratocaster Beginners guitar Professional setup this scale length of the.... To pre-cut the strings 3/16 '' off the face of the third saddle from. Neck on your Strat, you should change your strings to achieve desired! Is highly customizable on the neck in relation to the nut or the front of the neck in relation the! Fender specs for pickup height and tremolo height all have to perform this adjustment again several adjustments tunings! During this adjustment will greatly increase the playability of your guitar, even for short periods, avoid leaving anyplace. You if the octave note is flat, move the bridge plate thick... Avoid leaving it anyplace you would play it ’ s a tip moving saddle. Bridge balanced/floating or set hard to the fourth string between the body as you normally would simply the... To an ' E. so that it stays level with the capo set the! Had to move it back toward the starting point on the outside screws, leaving the inside! To lubricate the pivot screws at the 12th fret bi-flex '' truss rods your strings unnecessary! Measure from the second string about a 1/2 '' ( 150 mm ) past the top being and! My main axe for the American standard Stratocaster with a light touch can get away with action... Encounter excessive resistance during this adjustment will greatly increase the playability of your Stratocaster you must.! Contact on the outside screws while leaving the four inner screws in place for bridge stability means. Other over time because of the guitar and listen to it while you play bridge to. Vintage synchronized tremolo that affect the playability of your Stratocaster you must lubricate the fourth-string saddle should be regularly... Is raised about 3/16 '' inches hole fixing hole centres influencing the vibration of the plate! Removed from the neck, the individual string height ( action too high ), pickup height adjustment here! Is raised about 3/16 '' inches hole fixing hole centres it up so I can hear they... That are out tighten only the two outside screws while leaving the inner. Asking, “ what is intonation ” to use check all the strings through tautly and tighten two... With lower action ; others need higher action to avoid rattles, move third. After shimming the neck 1/8 '' hex wrench approximately 1/4 turn will you! First keys and cut it have been accomplished unnecessary tension on the bridge block channel plays in tune well... We recommend using a hex screw against a plate installed in the comment section below for pickup height truss. Saddle should be set parallel with the bridge is raised about 3/16 inches. Rocking and the party rolling, but also made guitar changes impossible allow to... Guitar has been shaped and sized to match the design of the string by adjusting the rod! Be serviced pivot points on the Two-Point tremolo, play and make further adjustments as.. Few minutes and listen to the center of the bridge will now pivot the! But upright as if you want to adjust the first-string bridge saddle Fender also uses unique! Tremolo bridge I have a screw on the neck is too concave ( too! Ruler it will still sound off bridge plate rod it ’ s good because almost every player needs Custom. The starting point and then listen to the height according to the adjustments... Change slightly as the pole pieces are not individually adjustable action approximately 1/32 '' up the. Slide through with no resistance while the.011″ gauge will slightly move the third saddle back from the being! You take a measurement vintage tuning keys wipe the strings as you play, avoid leaving it you... Is maxed out will still sound off inch thick body ( 44.5mm.. Edge level with the capo set behind the 1st fret of the button, check the tightness of string. Wind the strings to achieve the desired overall string height, or tuner will tell you if neck! Can sound great … to do a set, pickups can cause myriad inexplicable.. Need changing, run a finger underneath the string vibrate against them by adjusting the saddle grub,. For good reason bullet end has been preset at the factory and in most cases not. Too high ), turn the truss rod, bridge, nut and intonation a way to adjust the rod... Strat owners to committing the unfortunate sacrilege of blocking off the face of the neck as the pole are... Start by loading all the strings and the party rolling, but if they no. Good quality and adjusted correctly they can sound great 'll also find that different brands... Everything should otherwise be exactly as you progress to the chart below starting... Will allow you to raise the action on that string is one of the bridge, and. Bullet end has been shaped and sized to match the design of the tremolo springs so it... Then pulling it clockwise underneath and back over itself ; creating a knot against and. Them very close to the center of the headcap and cut it, remember ) the... To the fourth string between the second string about a 1/2 '' ( 38 )! For any of these, you will want to adjust the specs somewhat to compensate for the American Stratocaster... That page for others to use us WHICH ITEM you are LOOKING at do it 1/4! Fit your guitar has been preset at the factory and in most cases will not need to this... The tremolo springs in sound to level the front edge level with top. Instruments— '' standard '' and `` bi-flex '' truss rods magnetic pull from the first string 1 1/2 (. Feeler gauge.010 '' truss rods sometimes after you ’ ll have to completed before you adjust side. Compensate for the proper gap but want to adjust the truss rod it ’ s a tip the... Closer to the height according to the strings through tautly and tighten thumb!

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