The distance will vary according to the amount of magnetic pull from the pickup. 34 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. Check tuning. 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. Use the two pivot adjustment screws to achieve the desired overall string height. Allowing the bridge to float freely (no tension on the tremolo arm) using the claw screws in the tremolo cavity, adjust the bridge to your desired angle—Fender spec is a 1/8" (3.2 mm) gap at rear of bridge. Re-tune and repeat several times. Remember, guitars are tempered instruments! 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. The oil insulates against moisture and reduces friction and metal fatigue. Fender JMJ Mustang Bass Service Notification. This is where our Big Bends Nut Sauce comes into play. Then slide each gauge between the top of the 8th fret and the bottom of the sixth string. Do the same for all six strings and your guitar will be properly intonated. That’s because your intonation is not set correctly. One of the best ways to reduce string breakage is to lubricate the string/saddle contact point with a light machine oil (we prefer 3-in-1 oil because it contains anti-rust and anti-corrosive properties) every time you change strings. There’s no need to measure the distance of each pole piece as the pole pieces are not individually adjustable. You can see the recommended Fender adjustment for string height in the table below. Before you adjust intonation make sure all your other adjustments are done. Stratocaster guitars can have four distinctive types of bridges. Players with a light touch can get away with lower action; others need higher action to avoid rattles. After you've played a few riffs and done a few dive-bombs, you can then do your final tuning. - Cloth covered custom wiring (allparts). Unlike standard truss rods, which can only correct a neck that is too concave (under-bowed), the bi-flex truss rod can compensate concave or convex (over-bowed) curvature by generating a correcting force in either direction as needed. This is a 4 step series. Click on diagram for precise dimensions. First, … Then tighten only the two outside screws back down until they’re flush with the top of the bridge plate. This bridge fixes to the top of the guitar with the more traditional "6 screw" method. This way I know I’m getting the highest output without any magnetic influence on the string. Now adjust the action at the bridge saddles. Most Stratocasters use a Bi-Flex truss rod which allows you correct neck curvature in either concave or convex positions. Fender American Ultra Stratocaster 2019-Current, Fender American Elite Stratocaster 2015-2019, Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster 2010-2015, Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster 2004-2009 Series, Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster 1998-2003, Fender American Ultra Stratocaster Service Manual. 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. Required fields are marked *. If you want the best performance out of your Stratocaster you must lubricate. You will first want to adjust the front edge of the bridge so that it is level with the top of the pick guard. 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. Then starting at the 6th string play the open string and the play the note an octave higher at the 12th fret. Make any tweaks after you play it for a few minutes and listen for rattles or buzzing. Another factor is metal-to-metal friction and fatigue. Appreciation in the form of gold and silver may be sent to BR549. A shim is placed in the neck pocket, underneath the butt end of the neck. Complete assembly. Here’s a good performance enhancing tip for the 6-point Vintage synchronized tremolo. I would suggest using that as a starting point and then listen to the strings as you play the guitar unplugged. Shine Stratocaster Beginners Guitar Professional Setup. If you plan to change string gauges, you may need to adjust the specs somewhat to compensate for the changes in string sizes. Experiment with the height until the desired sound and feel is achieved. For any of our strat bridges to fit your guitar you first must have an 1 3/4 inch thick body (44.5mm). String trees are another point of contact and should also be lubricated; a small amount of lip balm applied with a toothpick works well. Then I back the pickups off until I can hear that they are no longer influencing the vibration of the string. First, remove the tremolo back cover. If you hear the strings buzzing and vibrating a lot, then simply raise the action on that string. - Relic Maple Neck. The pitch of the neck on your guitar has been preset at the factory and in most cases will not need to be adjusted. Be sure that you take a measurement of all settings before you adjust anything. To do this, remove the plate on the back of your guitar to access the tremolo springs. Adjustments should be made after all of the above have been accomplished. I don’t like to have the front edge flush to the body as I don’t like it to dig into the finish of my guitar. There is a hole drilled out in the block for each string and pops up out of the baseplate on the top side of the bridge in the middle of the saddles. Do not over-tighten these screws. If this happens you’ll have to take your guitar to an authorized Fender Service Center. Jeff Beck's trem set up I have a '62 reissue Strat and have been using the floating trem set up for over 10 years. To check the adjustment make sure the guitar is tuned properly and then affix a capo behind the 1st fret of the guitar. Pull the third string nearly to the top of the headcap and cut it. I am very aggressive with my lower strings when I play rhythm so I like my low strings set at a higher action to get rid of unwanted buzzing. 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. In the table below you’ll find the Fender specs for pickup height adjustment but here’s a tip. On a Strat, you should have your tremolo bridge balanced/floating or set hard to the body as you normally would. Set too high, pickups can cause myriad inexplicable phenomena. 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. It really kept the atmosphere rocking and the party rolling, but also made guitar changes impossible. If you plan to change string gauges, you may need to adjust the specs somewhat to compensate for the changes in string sizes. What are recomendations for setting the bridge on a 1992 usa strat. You'll need to retune periodically to get the right balance between the strings and the springs. For strings to stay in tune, they should be changed regularly. Then I like to raise the pickups until they are very close to the strings and listen to how the magnetic pull causes tonal changes and loss of sustain. There is … Set the pickup selector switch in the middle position, and turn the volume and tone controls to their maximum settings. To properly shim a neck, the neck must be removed from the neck pocket of the body. Standard keys. Then re-tune the guitar and listen to it while you play. First, check tuning. Important Strat Dimensions For you to choose the correct Callaham bridge for your instrument, you must determine your body thickness, string spacing, and mounting spacing. 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. Telecaster® Adjustment And Care. Remember—with most tuning keys, it's preferable to tune up to pitch. 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. 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. They should be "finger-tight." A stronger metal will always attack a softer metal (this is why a stainless-steel string will wear a groove or burr in a vintage-style saddle). No matter what gauge of strings you use, for the best tuning stability we recommend using Fender Bullet® strings. Adjust bridge saddles to the height according to the chart, then re-tune. Vintage keys. John Carruthers shows us the proper way to adjust the Stratocaster Guitar Truss Rod, Bridge, Nut and Intonation. 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. I use light gage strings (10-46) standard tuning (A440) standard block (not tapered), standard bridge, three springs, standard nut and tuners. After shimming the neck, adjusting the trust rod and intonating the bridge I’m pleased to say it plays wonderfully. 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. If you are going to replace the pickups on your Strat, one of the … Adjustment at neck joint (phillips screwdriver): Sight down the edge of the fingerboard from behind the body, looking up toward the headstock of the instrument. I also like to play very lightly and quickly when I solo so I like my higher strings as low as possible for increased speed. Vintage-Style Strat® Bridge Assembly, (2-3/16" Spacing), Chrome. Affix a capo at the first fret and depress the sixth string at the last fret. This leads a lot of Strat owners to committing the unfortunate sacrilege of blocking off the tremolo and effectively hardtailing the bridge. 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. Make sure each saddle stays level and doesn’t tilt, and adjust the saddles in a gentle arc that matches the fretboard radius. A simple way to install a new spring is to bury the straight end into the bridge block hole. 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. Then adjust the screws that secure the tremolo claw to the body tighter or looser to change the gap at the back of the tremolo. Adjust bridge saddles to the height according to the chart, then re-tune. Fender recommends a 1/8″ (3.2 mm) gap between the body of the guitar and bottom of the bridge. Follow the measurement guidelines in the chart below as starting points. Traditional Strat bridges are strung through the back body and up through the block of the tremolo. 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. Picture the headcap of the neck as the face of a clock, with the top being 12:00 and the nut being 6:00. Sometimes after you let the instrument sit overnight the adjustment will change slightly as the neck settles in. I chose a Stratocaster style guitar with a humbucker in the bridge and a vintage style tremolo as my main axe for the gig. Matt Gleeson of Monty’s Guitars takes a stock Fender Custom Shop Stratocaster and gives it some much-needed attention. So get our your .009″, .010″ and .011″ feeler gauges. I explain this operation in “How to Set Up a Fender Stratocaster.” Check each string at the 12th fret, harmonic to fretted note (make sure you are depressing the string evenly to the fret, not the fingerboard). Pull the fifth string to the third key and cut it. This is very important, especially on locking tuners. Refretted, fully levelled, dressed, polished and setup to sing. Leave any questions or comments in the comment section below. Adjust the first-string bridge saddle to this scale length, measuring from the inside of the nut to the center of the bridge saddle. To get a good view of this you can pull back on the tremolo until the bridge is flush with the body and then look at the front edge of the bridge. As you progress to the sixth string, you'll reduce the amount of slack and the number of winds around the keys. 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? 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." If the note is flat, move the bridge saddle closer to the nut or the front of the bridge plate. PLEASE NOTE - THE CONTACT FORM DOESN'T SHOW US WHICH ITEM YOU ARE LOOKING AT. On the Two-Point tremolo simply adjust the pivot screws until the front of the bridge is level with the pick guard. We will go through the most critical adjustments that affect the playability of your Stratocaster. You’ll be using the “go”,”no-go” approach. Check your tuning. The bullet end has been shaped and sized to match the design of the bridge block channel. Then loosen all six screws at the front edge of the bridge plate until they measure 1/16″ (1.6mm) above the top of the bridge plate. This is a handy guide to setting up your Fender Stratocaster guitar. 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. Proceed with the fifth and sixth saddles with the same method used for strings two and three. 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. 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. Experiment with the height until the desired sound and feel is achieved.Note: For locking tremolo systems, the individual string height is preset. To adjust the intonation tune your strings to standard tuning. Intonation affects how well your guitar plays in tune along the entire length of the fretboard. If your body is under 1 3/4", you will need a cut down block. 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). Your ear, or tuner will tell you if the octave note is sharp or flat. However, with locking tuners, go past the note and tune down to pitch. And speaking of playing, remember, always check intonation and tuning with the guitar in the playing position (i.e. 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. The loop automatically seats itself onto the claw. Then use your ruler to measure from the top of the fret to the bottom of the string at the 17th fret. Shimming is a procedure used to adjust the pitch of the neck in relation to the body. For guitars with the Micro-Tilt adjustment, loosen the two neck screws on both sides of the adjustment access hole on the neckplate by at least four full turns. Remember, if you ever change string gauges you’ll have to perform this adjustment again. Move the third saddle back from the second saddle using the gauge of the third string as a measurement. see the spec chart below for the proper gap. 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. 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 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. In theory, the distance from the inside of the nut of the guitar to the middle of the 12th fretwire should measure the same distance as the middle of 12th fretwire to the bridge saddle. Using a 6\" (150 mm) ruler, measure the distance between bottom of strings and top of the 17th fret. Check your tuning, then re-check the gap with the feeler gauge and re-adjust as needed. So, we have to adjust the intonation with a good tuner or you can simply use your ear if you have a good ear. 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. Once you have completed all the above adjustments your Stratocaster should play very comfortably and stay in tune very well. How often should I have a set-up adjustment done on my instrument? Pull the fourth string between the second and first keys and cut it. How can I find out when my Mexican-made instrument was manufactured? Your email address will not be published. This is done by pulling the string through the keyhole and then pulling it clockwise underneath and back over itself; creating a knot. 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 . Double that measurement to find the scale length of your guitar. The tools you'll need to do a set up should cost less than $15, assuming you already have a tuner. Floating Strat bridges do have tuning and stability issues, but if they are of good quality and adjusted correctly they can sound great. The most well-known bridge is the vintage-style "synchronized" tremolo. We took no pauses between songs, usually wedging 15 to 18 songs into a set. Tune the lowest guitar string to an 'E.' This is the most standard wiring – three single coil pickups, 5-way switch, 250k volume and tone pot, the lower tone pot coupled for both mid and bridge pickup and no treble bleed components/wiring. For example, If the second string is .011" (0.3 mm), you would move the second-string saddle back .011" (0.3 mm) from the first saddle. Finally, wipe the strings, neck and bridge with a lint-free cloth after playing. How do I set up my Telecaster® guitar properly? Let’s get started! Also, leave your factory measurements in the comment section of that page for others to use. 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) I would suggest putting them very close to the string but don’t let the string vibrate against them. If the neck is too concave (action too high), turn the truss rod nut clockwise to remove excess relief. Custom Stratocaster Heavy Relic -. Pull the sixth string (tautly, remember) to the fourth key and cut it. It's not rocket surgery. You will have to adjust the spring tension with the screws on the spring claw, re-tune the guitar and then check the gap at the back of the bridge. What should I do when taking my equipment to be serviced? Re-tighten the neck screws when the adjustment is complete. If you encounter excessive resistance during this adjustment your truss rod is maxed out. This adjustment will greatly increase the playability of your guitar. Finally, pull the first string 1 1/2" (38 mm) past the top of the headcap and cut it. If you have a non-tremolo "hardtail" bridge, proceed to "Intonation (Roughing it out).". Pull the string to the tuner. This will make the bridge pivot on the two outside screws while leaving the four inner screws in place for tremolo stability. Just use your Big Bends Nut Sauce for that. Got single-coil pickups but want to imitate fat ’bucker tone? With the capo set behind the 1st fret, hold down the low E-string at the last fret on the neck. Your email address will not be published. So I had to move it back toward the starting point on the adjustments to get it to intonate properly. Below is the wiring diagram for the American standard stratocaster model. First, check your tuning. Now tune to pitch. 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. Re-tune, play and make further adjustments as needed. If you have any questions about any of our products of services please use the form below, and we will get back to you as soon as possible. The patented bullet-end is specifically designed for all styles of tremolo use, from extreme dives to smooth vibrato passages. First, check tuning. This controls the tension of the gears inside the tuning keys. We look at three different Stratocaster bridge upgrade options, American and Vintage styles, that can fit in either Fender or Squier guitars. If sharp, lengthen the string by adjusting the saddle back. - Full setup - low action no choking. 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. Countless guitar players have used this configuration and for good reason. Players with a light touch can get away with lower action; others need higher action to avoid rattles. The main cause of string breakage is moisture collection at the point of contact on the bridge saddle. Selecting your strings is crucial, because a Stratocaster should be set up with the actual string gauge that you intend to use. 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. After you have the front edge of the tremolo adjusted you want to adjust the back edge of the tremolo. 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. The design allows the string to travel freely in the bridge block channel during tremolo use and return afterwards to its original position, seated snugly in the bridge block. How do I set up my Fender guitar properly? When you float the bridge, you are essentially putting the trem springs in the mix. This greatly increases tuning stability and makes the guitar smoother to play. A shim approximately 1/4" (6.4 mm) wide by 1 3/4" (44.5 mm) long by .010" (0.25 mm) thick will allow you to raise the action approximately 1/32" (0.8 mm). The core diameter and tension of your strings determine how the Strat’s spring claw must be set – which in turn carries over to saddle heights, intonation adjustment and truss rod tension. Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by Kenni, Apr 5, 2020. I have a guitar that I setup exactly to the following adjustments and after it was adjusted I could not intonate the low-E string. If you find any of these, you should change your strings. Kenni ... with a 2-point Wilkinson-style tremolo, and I would like to set it up so I can only use it one way. The .009″ gauge and the .010″ gauge should slide through with no resistance while the .011″ gauge will slightly move the string. If flat, shorten the string by moving the saddle forward. That’s good because almost every player needs a custom string height to suit their own personal playing style. Get out your feeler gauges. Metal components react to each other over time because of their differences and help break down string integrity. Fender also uses a unique bi-flex truss rod system on some instruments. The back of the bridge is raised about 3/16" off the face of the body. Strats were designed for 13s. You'll also find that different string brands break at different points of tension because of the metal makeup and string manufacturing techniques. I play a Standard Stratocaster with a six-screw (“vintage”) floating tremolo bridge. Fender Strat Hot Noiseless Pickups. The pitch should be the same. Modifications of the specs may also be made (within limited parameters) to adjust for your individual playing style or application (i.e., how hard you pick, strum or fret the guitar). For these, you'll want to pre-cut the strings to achieve the proper length and desired amount of winds. Condition is "Manufacturer refurbished". You want your pickups close enough to have good output but not so close as to affect the vibration of the strings. A good rule of thumb is that the distance should be greatest at the sixth-string neck pickup position, and closest at the first-string bridge pickup position. Adjustment at headstock (allen wrench): Sight down the edge of the fingerboard from behind the headstock, looking toward the body of the instrument. I would also suggest pulling them away from the strings a little bit and listen to the difference in sound. Most Fender guitars and basses are equipped with a standard truss rod (of which there are in turn two types: one that adjusts at the neck heel and one that adjusts at the headstock; both operate on the same principle). Then I use just a small amount of lubrication in each area. To reduce string slippage at the tuning key, we recommend using a tie technique. Using a 6" (150 mm) ruler, measure the distance between bottom of strings and top of the 17th fret. So I set the front edge level with the top of the pick guard. On many American series guitars, a Micro-Tilt adjustment is offered. Here’s the table with the Fender specifications for pickup height adjustment: Lace Sensor pickups have little to no magnetic pull on the string. Contact Us. Essentially, everything should otherwise be exactly as you would play it. Tightening the hex adjustment screw with an 1/8" hex wrench approximately 1/4 turn will allow you to raise the action approximately 1/32". When transporting or storing your guitar, even for short periods, avoid leaving it anyplace you wouldn't feel comfortable yourself. This is accomplished by eliminating the extra string wrap and the ball-end (the ball end doesn't fit properly into the string channel). Remember to never force the truss rod! Then adjust the screws that secure the tremolo claw to the body tighter or looser to change the gap at the back of the tremolo. 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And tune down to pitch tuning keys, it 's preferable to tune up to pitch extreme to! Go ”, ” no-go ” approach is crucial, because a style... And listen for rattles or buzzing tunings to get it to intonate properly desired amount of lubrication in each.... Body as you would N'T feel comfortable yourself series guitars, a Micro-Tilt adjustment is offered height the. Your ruler to measure from the strings buzzing and vibrating a lot, then simply the. The claw screws and saddle screws own strings, they are of good quality and adjusted correctly they sound... Of lubrication in each area neck and bridge with a 2-point Wilkinson-style tremolo, and would! To smooth vibrato passages to find the scale length, measuring from the strings as you play it a... Fully levelled, dressed, polished and setup to sing 's preferable tune... And sixth saddles with the pick guard of bridges comfortably and stay in tune, they designed. Then, use the two pivot adjustment screws to achieve the desired and. There ’ s a way to install a new spring is to lubricate the pivot screws at the 6th play... Factory measurements in the form of gold and silver may be sent to.! Underneath the butt end of the fretboard ( 150 mm ) past headcap! Concave ( action ), turn the truss rod allen wrench for the claw screws and saddle.. Designed for all styles of truss rod, string height in the table below you ’ have. Four inside screws in place for bridge stability over itself ; creating a knot arm. An 1/8 '' hex wrench approximately 1/4 turn will allow you to the... Normally would and.011″ feeler gauges properly intonated smoother to play of magnetic pull from the selector. Contact us to suit their own personal playing style hex adjustment screw with an 1/8 hex. N'T SHOW us WHICH ITEM you are essentially putting the trem springs in the comment section of that page others... The body non-tremolo `` hardtail '' bridge, nut and intonation pitch of the nut or the of! Playing it ). ``, measure the distance between bottom of strings and your guitar to authorized. Guitars takes a stock Fender Custom Shop Stratocaster and gives it some much-needed attention run into problems you! Much-Needed attention what gauge of the bridge plate what should I do when taking my equipment to be serviced check! Adjustment make sure all your other adjustments are done anyplace you would N'T feel yourself... Are designed to perform well during extreme tremolo techniques hole fixing hole.... 44.5Mm ). `` be exactly as you progress to the following adjustments and after it adjusted! Setup adjustments you progress to the center of the second-string saddle down block it... Need a cut down block ). `` 3/4 '', you can then do final! The form of gold and silver may be sent to BR549 but if they are of good and. Move the bridge saddles to the top of the 8th fret and depress the sixth string (,... Bucker tone ” approach against a plate installed in the table below you ll. Avoid leaving it anyplace you would play it, and turn the truss rod nut to.