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Fender Strats... Floating, Blocked or decked... Curious about opinions

Stratman68

Axe-Master
For argument sake, I put floating in the title. But it is irrelevant to my question. I have , are you ready, NEVER used the tremolo, vibrato, whatever you care to call it, on my Strats. Been playing them for many, many decades. So floating is NOT in this conversation, please.

I have always decked the bridge, never used a block of wood, ala clapton, etc. So, I have a new Strat 2020 model and decided to surf youtube for opinions, etc.
Really did not get any help here.
The reason I started this quest is because if you block (piece of wood) the trem while it's floating you do not change anything as in string height and length or intonation.
Decked, for me anyway, necessitates the need for adjustments. One youtube vid I watched the guy said decking the trem does NOT change anything. I say BS. I have 30+ years with it and it most certainly does. I also feel that I get more sustain and magic with it decked. I usually use 5 springs, "the old raw vintage" Fender Strat springs because they have less tension. That's just a personal preference with magical thinking.

Anyway, was wondering, what do you guys think is a better way if you do not plan on using the tremolo ever (like me). Thanks

BTW, NO,a Hard Tail Strat is NOT A STRAT,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,for me
 

OrganicZed

Experienced
I liked the blocked rather than decked if it is a modern 2-point trem that is designed to float parallel and above the body. As you said, this allows the bridge to remain in the zero position and does not change the break angle or height of the strings (which will require adjustments to be made to saddle height and possibly intonation to compensate).

As to whether or not it increases sustain or tone, I can't say that I've heard a difference.
 

Stratman68

Axe-Master
This video I found is not for me but I assume most of you know this guy, killer guitar player. His take on the tremolo (Vibrato) is extremely cool. Meticulous. BTW, if you don't know this guy, you should. Great guitar player.

 

unix-guy

Legend!
This video I found is not for me but I assume most of you know this guy, killer guitar player. His take on the tremolo (Vibrato) is extremely cool. Meticulous. BTW, if you don't know this guy, you should. Great guitar player.

I'm sure @Andy Eagle will be along shortly... I've seen this video before and there has been a thread or two before about it. Let's just say it's "controversial" :)
 

guitarnerdswe

Fractal Fanatic
I'm sure @Andy Eagle will be along shortly... I've seen this video before and there has been a thread or two before about it. Let's just say it's "controversial" :)
It's not controversial. He is just plain wrong in his understanding of physics and guitar setup ;)

Back to the original question: I don't own any six screw tremolos, but I always run my two point trems with a minor third pull up on the g string. It's probably the Beck/Lukather influence.
 

mistermikev

Inspired
This video I found is not for me but I assume most of you know this guy, killer guitar player. His take on the tremolo (Vibrato) is extremely cool. Meticulous. BTW, if you don't know this guy, you should. Great guitar player.

when I saw your post this is the first thing I thought of. honestly, it doesn't make sense to me that this should work as the tension should be a sum behind the two posts or six screws... but this has worked for me time and again so can't argue with results. changed how I do my 6 screw bridges. not gonna stay in tune like a floyd but it's as good as it gets w/o imo.
also, yes, carl - amazing player.
 

guitarnerdswe

Fractal Fanatic
when I saw your post this is the first thing I thought of. honestly, it doesn't make sense to me that this should work as the tension should be a sum behind the two posts or six screws... but this has worked for me time and again so can't argue with results. changed how I do my 6 screw bridges. not gonna stay in tune like a floyd but it's as good as it gets w/o imo.
also, yes, carl - amazing player.
It's going to work exactly the same if you angle the claw the other way, or parallel. The way the notes relate to each other when pulling up is dependent on other things than the claw angle. The claw angle makes zero difference and plays no part in it, since the base plate moves the same and therefore the strings also do.
 
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mistermikev

Inspired
It's going to work exactly the same if you angle the claw the other way, or parallel. The way the notes relate to each other when pulling up is dependent on other things than the claw angle. The claw angle makes zero difference and plays no part in it, since the base plate moves the same and therefore the strings also do.
that has not been my experience.
 

favance

Power User
I love a fully floating Strat! I guess it must be my Ventures/Jimi Hendrix/Jeff Beck influences! When you get it right, it's magic...
 

Andy Eagle

Power User
The best way to set up a two post as a fixed bridge is to start by setting the post hight so that the bridge plate just touches the body at the side when the plate is flat on the body at the back. A tad high is better than the knife edges not lining up properly and not sitting against the posts at the right spot. I know we aren't actually using the trem but it needs to sit right or it will move about when you change strings . Now add all 5 springs and setup like a hardtail . On a two post too much down pressure will cause the trem to lift at the pivot so only have the springs tight enough to resist your bends without lifting. A wooden block pushed in behind is actually audibly detrimental to the string energy transfer to the body.
 

mr_fender

Axe-Master
Yeah a hardtail Strat has a different vibe. The springs add a little extra something. It's subtle but it's there.

If you adjust your trem post height, make sure you relieve all the string tension first. Doing at full tension is a quick way to ruin your trem plate's knife edge contact points. You'll grind in flat spots and cause all kind of tuning issues if you want it to float later. This goes for any two point knife edge style tremolo.
 

Stratman68

Axe-Master
The best way to set up a two post as a fixed bridge is to start by setting the post hight so that the bridge plate just touches the body at the side when the plate is flat on the body at the back. A tad high is better than the knife edges not lining up properly and not sitting against the posts at the right spot. I know we aren't actually using the trem but it needs to sit right or it will move about when you change strings . Now add all 5 springs and setup like a hardtail . On a two post too much down pressure will cause the trem to lift at the pivot so only have the springs tight enough to resist your bends without lifting. A wooden block pushed in behind is actually audibly detrimental to the string energy transfer to the body.
So, I will try this. I am hoping the factory set up already has the bridge where you suggest, but I doubt it. I know many here feel buying a Fender American Strat is a waste. We had some hard discussions about this in the past. I just happen to disagree, but that's what makes the world go round. I am a USA Fender Strat guy and I like it!
So I do wonder about my "starting point and end point" for the back end of the bridge? Not decked, ok. But same height as "proper floating bridge? Hmmmm?
Thanks Andy, I'll post back about my results. Seems pretty straight forward, he says with fingers crossed. :)
 
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Andy Eagle

Power User
Carl is a great player and I get that he set his G to pull up three semitones and the rest fell in to place. BUT the video doesn't explain it at all. In truth most Strats are close by just setting the amount of up pull on the G but the others following is down to strings action and intonation settings the guitar needs just to work correctly for the player. The amount of pitch movement is governed mostly by the exact distance between the witness point and the fulcrum . The amount of dead string played a part too. Go and look how a Steinberger TT does this. It adds a way of controlling the exact amount of travel of each string separately allowing them to work together musically. Anyone who has one of these knows that they don't calibrate exactly across all positions unless the strings are perfectly within tolerance and 9 to 42.
 

Stratman68

Axe-Master
Carl is a great player and I get that he set his G to pull up three semitones and the rest fell in to place. BUT the video doesn't explain it at all. In truth most Strats are close by just setting the amount of up pull on the G but the others following is down to strings action and intonation settings the guitar needs just to work correctly for the player. The amount of pitch movement is governed mostly by the exact distance between the witness point and the fulcrum . The amount of dead string played a part too. Go and look how a Steinberger TT does this. It adds a way of controlling the exact amount of travel of each string separately allowing them to work together musically. Anyone who has one of these knows that they don't calibrate exactly across all positions unless the strings are perfectly within tolerance and 9 to 42.
OK, I get all that. Thanks.
One question: In your text above original reply you say "Now add all 5 springs and setup like a hardtail". does this mean I should still have the bridge decked to the body?
Thanks again.
 

Andy Eagle

Power User
Yes the trem needs enough tension on the springs to stay decked even when you do a Pink Floyd bend. Don't overdo the tension though or the plate tries to jump out of the pivot points.
 
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