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FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / Fun with my wang bar...

Mick Reid
Contributing Member
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Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Jul 13th, 2018 07:45 PM   Edit   Profile  

Okay... get your minds out of the gutter!

However I will apologise in advance for the length of my wang bar (post)...

In the past I have always blocked, decked (or both) the vibratos on all my strats. I just couldn't deal with the tuning instability particularly with the bridge floating.

Back in January I picked up a Squier Deluxe Strat (with a 2-point vibrato) (great guitar btw) with the intention of taking the time to set it up properly to use the vibrato.

Since I've been doing more nut work, set ups, building etc, I felt a new confidence that I could make that happen... and I have!

I did a couple of minor mods to reduce friction and get it to stabilise nicely, such as a graphite nut (which I cut), roller string trees and I shimmed the bottom of the bridge plate so it only pitches down.
I also cut the bar down to a shorter length that puts my right hand in a more comfortable and natural position.
*That* made a huge difference in playability for me.

As for playing with the vibrato... what a blast!
As with anything new, I'm working out when and when not to use it, but it's breathed some inspiration into my playing/learning that hasn't happened in a while.

I've now ordered a couple more nuts (Tusq PTFE) and roller trees to install on my other strats. Those all have vintage (6 screw) bridges, but I'm sure with the right tweaks and some Big Bends Nut Sauce, I'll get them working just as well.

Now, wang on dudes!!!

(please note that I never once used the word "tremolo" or "trem" in this post! That's become a real pet peeve of mine)

(This message was last edited by Mick Reid at 09:47 PM, Jul 13th, 2018)

vomer
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Jul 14th, 2018 04:31 AM   Edit   Profile  

Sounds like a result! Always good to breathe new life into one's geets.

"I shimmed the bottom of the bridge plate so it only pitches down."

Mick, do you find a difference or advantage with that over just having it decked?

Mick Reid
Contributing Member
*****

Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Jul 14th, 2018 05:15 AM   Edit   Profile  

Vomer,

The way I have it set up, it *is* essentially "decked" but with the shim making contact with the body rather than the metal bridge plate.
To try and visualise it, the bottom of the bridge plate is parallel to top of the pickguard. Make sense?

With the 2-point system, lowering the fulcrum point screws enough so that the plate contacted the body directly, I thought it would create other problems with saddle height, break angle and string action. So I opted to do it with a shim.

I may be wrong on those presumptions, but it's working this way.


009
Contributing Member
*********

USA

Jul 14th, 2018 05:25 AM   Edit   Profile  

I think I see how you do this, but when you do use your wang bar, what keeps the shim from falling out/off?

Leftee
Contributing Member
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VA

Jul 14th, 2018 05:26 AM   Edit   Profile  

He has a sticky wang shim so it doesn’t fall out.

009
Contributing Member
*********

USA

Jul 14th, 2018 05:29 AM   Edit   Profile  

OK, I probably am seeing this wrong. You may have to post a photo....

Leftee
Contributing Member
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VA

Jul 14th, 2018 05:35 AM   Edit   Profile  

I just made that up for the 6th grade comedic effect.

Mick Reid
Contributing Member
*****

Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Jul 14th, 2018 07:10 AM   Edit   Profile  

"...what keeps the shim from falling out/off?"

"He has a sticky wang shim so it doesn’t fall out."

Leftee is close. (snicker, snicker - I expected nothing less)

A couple small drops of CA between the shim and the bridge plate.
Holds it in place but can be removed if I need to for any reason.
I cut and shaped the shim out of a piece of old pickguard.

I can post a pic tomorrow.


Cal-Woody

USA/California

Why do I keep fixing things that work?
Jul 14th, 2018 07:48 AM   Edit   Profile  

So, does the shim allow the trem to sit lower in back and when used it comes up so that the string contact remains better on the saddles? I can see your point if this was your thought process on this. Because extreme downward pressure can cause the strings to lift off the saddles and become really loose and floppy. And with the shim, you gain a little more movement/retuning without the floppiness.
Just my thoughts on what you gained versus how it was originally.

Viera
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Jul 14th, 2018 08:46 AM   Edit   Profile  

A proper Strat must be set to float. :)

Yes, I do understand the need for some gigging Strat players to block or deck their Strats. I would only do it as a last resort.

vomer
Contributing Member
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Slow horses,

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Jul 14th, 2018 10:50 AM   Edit   Profile  

"I thought it would create other problems with saddle height, break angle and string action."

Gotcha.

Myself I like decked with enough spring tension to stop other strings going low during string bends. Decked seems to work OK. (And a short bar.)


Mick Reid
Contributing Member
*****

Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Jul 14th, 2018 05:20 PM   Edit   Profile  

I've posted a pic.

Hopefully what I've done will make sense now and you'll see why I didn't just lower the fulcrum point screws and bridge to deck it.

Yes, I could have and then raised the saddles and lowered the pickups etc, but... I chose to shim.
Six of one and so on...

As for "A proper Strat must be set to float."

The problem I have with floating is my right hand placement. I tend to rest the lower pad of my palm on the top part of the bridge.
With a floating set up, this habit sharpens the pitch unintentionally. And then there's the pitch chasing while bending.

Maybe that makes me a crap player, but it's what I do.

1 picture = 1000 words

Viera
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Jul 14th, 2018 06:28 PM   Edit   Profile  

Looks and sounds like a job well done Mick.

"And then there's the pitch chasing while bending."

I could see where that would drive a lot of players batty.

I'm just so used to playing a Strat set to float that pitch changing while bending doesn't bother me. It's become part of the charm and sound of a Strat.

FWIW, I'm just a hack home player. You're probably ten times the player that I am. Enjoy that Strat.



Cal-Woody

USA/California

Why do I keep fixing things that work?
Jul 14th, 2018 07:07 PM   Edit   Profile  

Well, it looks like you got the return to pitch idea kind of cured! Plus no more worries about resting your hand on bridge area.
Nicely done!

walshb
Contributing Member
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Manchester, TN

Ask me how I know!?
Jul 14th, 2018 08:13 PM   Edit   Profile  

One word....

Tremsetter!

Solved all my floating trem Strat problems.

Mick Reid
Contributing Member
*****

Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Jul 14th, 2018 09:53 PM   Edit   Profile  

walshb, the tremsetter looks interesting.
They cost about $60 here but that’s not too bad in the big scheme of things. Only a couple of retailers stock them.
Seem to get good user reviews.

009
Contributing Member
*********

USA

Jul 15th, 2018 05:29 AM   Edit   Profile  

Looks good. Thanks for the photo.

FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / Fun with my wang bar...




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