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  1. #1
    Romeo Delight Grateful Ed's Avatar
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    10.25.13 @ 11:05 AM
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    Default Strat bridge question

    Hi -

    So I finished "making" my first guitar. A tele-style kit that was more or less ready to assemble. It was a pretty good learning experience as I ended up having to resolder a bunch of stuff, and replace the three-way toggle switch that didn't work correctly.

    I'm on to my next project, and trying to do a bit more ambitious than snap together a largely pre-fab kit. I got an old strat style body from ebay, have a neck that I've had for ages, and was going to see what I could do. First problem was that I need to get a bridge. I don't want to use a trem bridge b/c I think it'd be too much for me at this point (plus unless you're going to go floyd, I think a trem is a waste of time!), but the body is routed for one.

    Questions are: Can I just mount a hardtail bridge where the trem bridge would go? If so, what type do I need? I was looking on the web and there are "top-loading", "back-loading", and "through-the-body-loading". I think I get the difference, but if the body is already routed for a trem, couldn't I use any type?

    Thanks,

    G.E.
    "what's that sign say?"
    "no fighting"
    "what's that mean?"
    "no fighting"

  2. #2
    Sinner's Swing! Zahzoo's Avatar
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    11.04.17 @ 06:01 AM
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    Default

    Odds are if you want to go hard-tail you'll have to fill that hole to get a bridge in the correct place for the proper scale. Best bet is just install a std strat tremlo in it and either block the thing down so it won't move or just crank the springs tight so it stays blocked and level. Leave the bar off and it'll hold tune just as well as a hard-tail.
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  3. #3
    Good Enough
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    03.30.13 @ 09:28 AM
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    Hey Grateful Ed. First off, that's the way to do it. Always good to see when someone takes the initiative to get in there and build their own. We've had a number of guys here do that and it teaches you how to deal with your instrument from the ground up. It makes things much easier to explain as well when you see each peice come together.

    Anyway, I agree with Zahzoo, in that if you're going to use that particular body you're best off just resting the trem bridge on the body.
    It'll be waaayyyy more trouble than it's worth to try and make a hard tail out of a body that's already been routed for a trem, besides which, you've already got that chunk of wood missing.
    Hard tail strats only sound noticably different when you're using certain body woods anyway(ash, mahogany, rosewood, korina, etc..), and I have never heard a noticable difference with an alder strat.
    Try using a fender USA vintage bridge(rolled steel block), with the bridge resting on the body. A good solid steel bridge makes a lot of difference. If the holes are drilled for the bridge it's easy to fit it. If not you have to get it dead on or the guitar will never intonate properly.
    The tone will be just as good with a good quality bridge resting on the wood. Again, way to go on putting together you're own.
    Let us know how the project turns out.

  4. #4
    Romeo Delight Grateful Ed's Avatar
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    10.25.13 @ 11:05 AM
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    Default

    Thanks guys. I appreciate the advice. As a long time player, I'm really enjoying learning about how guitars are put together and work. Of course, everything I do like this ends up taking 10x longer than I think...I start by changing a light bulb, and next thing I know, I'm running wires all over the house!!

    I'm unclear why you guys advise forgetting the hardtail. Is it a tone issue? I would have thought you could just screw the hardtail bridge right into the body over the hole that is routed for the trem. Would that not work b/c the route is too big, or will it just sound like shit? I don't have anything against doing the trem other than they're about 3x more expensive than a hardtail, and seem like a bigger pain in the ass to deal with - esp. if I don't plan on using it.

    Am I hoping for too much simplicity here? (see above comment about changing a lightbulb!!)
    "what's that sign say?"
    "no fighting"
    "what's that mean?"
    "no fighting"

  5. #5
    Good Enough
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    03.30.13 @ 09:28 AM
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    The main reason I was against the hardtail for that particular guitar is that the trem's already cut, which means if you screw the hardtail bridge over the hole you've already removed enough wood so that it won't make any real difference in tone.
    A good trem resting on the body will sound pretty much the same on an alder body.
    Other woods are avisable when it comes to hard tails, but woods like alder don't make a lot of difference. Alder's a great wood for strats, but a good trem block resting on the body will work well. Choosing a good neck will affect your tone much more.

 

 

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