I've got a strat warmoth body with a fixed original floyd. I already have a guitar with a fixed bridge, so i figured i could turn this one into a floating one.
Since the floyd isn't recessed, and the neck pocket doesn't have that 2 degree angle that non recessed floyds needs i figured i would have to do something about it. First of all i would remove the little metal plate that touches the body when in base position, which now would give me about 1,5 mm or so to pull the bar up(how high u can get with that i dont know). If i decide to not do anything about the non angled neck pocket, i would get even less than 1,5 mm in order to get low string action.
Im not sure whats the smartest thing to do in my position, anyone ?
Hmmm...as always...a picture or two would really here!
The floyd is 'fixed'...does the body have the spring cavity and such, got a locking nut of some kind, springs, claw, the rest of the parts?
As to floating trems, have a look at the angle my standard strat bridge is at 'jeff beck style'...
This would generally be regarded as a little extreme. It is not so bad as I am used to them and this guitar also has a tremsetter in it. Remember that EVH's style is to have his bridges go down only...there is a lot of merit in this, for one it allows him to use his 'D-tuna' to lower the E string without going out of tune!
I'm not sure of these 'rules' nor overly experienced with floyds (not my fave personally).
However, remember that if you need more space, a bolt on neck allows for shimming and it does not take much to affect quite a large gain at the bridge in terms of height...there really is no need to modify the body at all and this would certainly be a preferable strategy IMHO regardless. You seem to be considering this and there is no harm in shimming at all so don't fall for the old 'ruin your tone' propaganda'...
A fully floating trem does have a slightly different feel than more conventional ones, but beware, aggressive string damping and such will bring your guitar sharp...never a good sound.
Otherwise, no, it does not take much of a gap to make quite a bit of a string pull in pitch. There is only so far I'd want to pull the things before the strings snap right off the guitar! Remember also that when you are raising pitch on a fulcrum like trem (like a strat, but as opposed to something like a kahler or old bigsby styles) you are pulling hte strings closer to the fretboard and will bottom out depending on your action which is likely the real limiting factor regardless. Vai's lion claw thing is admittedly mostly for 'show'...like a monkey grip LOL.
Anyway, a few pics and an outline of what you are trying to achieve might yield better or at least more advice!
Always consider the way you play and what you are trying to achieve. If you are heavy handed or even pick hard, you can affect the pitch on a fully floating trem (I am a light player generally)...if you want extreme up pitches, the EVH method and a lot of players is really a technique thing, they lower the pitch and sound the harmonic of note required and release into it generally...this ensures you get to the pitch you want and not risk snapping strings. Few players up bend that much really, JB does occasionally with his 'harmonic melody' things...but this is a bit of an anomaly. With some float, you can move the note around the pitch, but generally 'sharp' notes sound a bit sour and flattened notes more 'sweet' to my ears.
hope that helps a little there
Mr D.I.Y. Sustainer ;-) [/IMG]New Project...'jazz strat' ... Seagull project and mini PA amplification
thanks for the reply. as i already have an EVH wolfgang(fixed bridge) i thought that i could turn this one into a floating bridge. i dont have any experience at all with floating bridges, but sometimes i wish i could pull up on the bar.
nice looking guitar btw, mine doesnt look too different. i just oiled the body and the neck, no clearcoating here!
anyways, what im thinking of doing is to sand the neck pocket and just put a brass plate that covers the whole pocket, which will also make the guitar more high profile because the bridge will end up even higher. time is not of the essence and to be honest im a bit of a perfectionist:p
right now im in the middle of a move so ill try to get the pictures as soon as im done, might be tomorrow or later this week.
Post by JFrankParnell on Oct 10, 2011 11:00:04 GMT -5
are you thinking you'll need to shim the neck? is that what you mean about the brass plate in pocket? (Pretenders reference intended!)
What I found, (with fch bridge, geometrically similar to standard Fender 6 hole) was that I needed a shim only with the bridge in 'dive only', because with the bridge sitting lower, I dint have enough adjustment on the saddles to get the strings high enough. Eventually, I floated the bridge and took out the shim.
(edit) and btw, for a shim, I used a piece of plastic from my insurance card, much thinner than a credit card.
I remember every little thing...as if it happened only yesterday. I was barely seventeen, and I once killed a boy with a Fender guitar. I don't remember if it was a telecaster or a stratocaster, But I do remember that it had a heart of chrome and a voice like a horny angel.
If all you need to achieve is a 2% pitch for the floating FR, then a shim is the way to go. It's simple, changes little of the structure of the guitar and most guitars out there either have, or need a neck pocket shim anyway.
But the average shim is very thin, as in thousandths of an inch.
When you mention "sanding the neck pocket" the Red Flag Meter pegged out... A neck pocket is the most important part of the guitar body, and sanding it, either with a power sander or by hand, is a recipe for disaster.
You're never going to sand it flat or level enough to accommodate the neck back into the pocket as well as a router or CNC machine.
And the idea of using a brass insert to raise the neck will have multiple effects. First off you will lose most of your tone as the normal transition point from nut to bridge is going to have a big piece of tone absorbing brass in there. We tried this on a few basses back in the 70's after the Badass bass bridge came out. We figured brass nut, big hunk of brass for the bridge...why not a big honkin' piece of brass in the neck pocket. There's a reason why no one makes a neck pocket brass plate...it sucks the tone right out of your instrument...and it throws off the balance point of the instrument as well.
Secondly, the entire geometry of the guitar will change. Will your pickups adjust up enough after raising the bridge and the neck? Will your current right hand playing position work with the now higher strings?
It's your guitar, but I would have to recommend against taking this course of action. It's gonna be a lot of work and expense to modify a guitar to accept a piece of equipment it was never designed for and the final result may leave you with less of an instrument then you started with.
Shimming the neck is the fastest, simplest and most proven path to take. Strips of maple or oak veneer are a cheap, available at any home improvement store and a very effective way to accommodate your FR...and no tone will be harmed in the execution of this mod.
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I forgot to bookmark this thread for replies so missed the 'brass plate' and 'sanding the pocket' ideas...not the best IMHO
I concur with the other here and a lot of 'experts' out there. As C1 pointed out, most guitars like this have one, many should do. The 'shim' is particularly small too.
Her is a pic of my strat which is shimmed and clearly shows the 'gap' produced (only evident on the treble side, so only seen if you look for it).
I forget what I used for this ship, possibly wook, maybe a shaved down icey pole stick (ice cream...you know the things)...this is perfectly adequate, quite hard and will compress to shape a little (unlike brass and such).
But this guitar is an exception to most...the bridge...
Here is a new pic of the bridge which most people would consider to be an extreme float on a fender. It is much like the setting Jeff Beck uses and this guitar is devised for this kind of play. Also, because I had gotten quite used to the Kahlers which have even more range than a floyd, silky smooth, does not lift the string and will bend to any extreme should one wish...certainly more than any strings could possibly survive. The main cool thing you can do with the 'up bend' capacity is the 'flutter'...or some of satriani's things...the two string up bend in always with you, etc...
I could not find the JB set-up pic, Dan Erlewine features a complete measurement of JB and SRV guitars and others in his book and guitar player mag and elsewhere.
A more typical floating bridge on a strat is pictured below...
You really don't need a whole lot of room back there, your bridge block might even stop you before you get anything much further (my bridge block is tapered, but big up bends is not the reason to my set up).
Some people 'tune' their tremolo systems to...I forget the vid I have hear about that, but if you experiment enough with your gauge of strings and all that...you can get the B string to up say a minor third or something musically useful. Would take a bit of mucking about of course to get everything right, shim, saddles, height, intonation...but for many this is worth it. You can only really get this kind of thing with shims...at least to get to that stage.
If you want to do guitar work, this book is a gold mine..."Guitar Player Repair Guide" by Dan Erlewine (3rd edn)...not just for repairs but complete setups and a whole range of expert advice...
Ok..got the book out...lets see, page 163...
Shimming involves slipping a piece of thin cardboard, wood, or plastic between the neck and the cavity. Very little thickness makes a drastic effect in the action. Time proven shims have been made from playing cards, matchbook covers and flatpicks. I once even found the tooth of a comb used as a shim....etc, etc...
experiment, and remember hat screen door mesh not only keeps the neck in place, but makes a good shim, as well...etc...
There is a section following on full sized shims. If you have a bench sander and the skills to do it properly, he show you how...he suggests mahogany, set the neck up with a conventional shim, measure that thickness, attach a thin piece of wood to another flat piece and use the sander to perfectly match the angle of the entire neck pocket, redrill and fit.
However, that is a lot of work really for something that you wont really see. Shimming the entire pocket with a flat shim is far more invasive that angling the neck perhaps 1mm at the back and far less of an effect.
But I have used all kinds of things for shims, typical shims are wet and dry sanding paper, perhaps folded one or twice and only on the body end of course...tilting the neck. Leo even considered this a feature of the guitar and eventually devised the ill fated 'micro tilt' mechanism (though not the greatest idea, a shim is better) so that it can be adjusted with a screw. Walmoth has a really neat side adjusting shim in some of their necks I believe.
Personally, though on fenders the effect is slight, I like a bit of a back angle to the neck. It is probably a result of playing a gibson for 25 years perhaps which has a significant neck angle and it took a while when I went to fenders to get used the their flatness and low bridge.
Out of 'interest' perhaps is my current project whcih might be considered an 'extreme' shim...
Of course as I am building this guitar, it does not need a shim as I am having to rebuild the entire neck pocket. The angled back bridge is to accommodate the arch-top bridge but not that different than you might find on a Les Paul. You can see I had a full sized lift of 5mm plus an angle of about the same at the back to get the required angle with a fender style neck. No normal guitar with matched parts would need anything like this.
Adding a full sized flat shim is not really teh way to go and there is no real benefit from using brass...though it is as good a materia- to make a shim out of. A very thin slice, say 5mm wide at the back is a fine shim. If you use a wider shim, it is likely to require shaping into a bit of a wedge.
While we are on shimming, often neck pockets are less than optimal and the sides of the pocket may benefit from some kind of 'shim' to make sure there is no possibility of movement. Dan's idea of screen mesh as both a shim and to provide grip is a good one. The use of sand paper has a similar effect, the grit will grip into the neck and prevent any movement once screwed down tight.
It is easy to convince oneself what is 'best' or 'perfect'...this is the bane of the perfectionist which I admit I suffer. That is not to say that there is not a few superior methods or solutions to problems or achieving goals. But it does leave many to the mercy of people pedalling their own ideas or products over an elusive and likely subjective notions...the guitar world is full of it of course...'tone' and all that.
An example is this very thing, by tilting back the neck, you will get a better break over the bridge saddles and potentially 'improve tone' and intonation and such. Don't forget that once any adjustments are made like shimming, you will need to totally re-intonate the guitar.
Many fender types are set up far to low and flat to get the bridge to work properly, but this could apply to any guitar.
But the thing is to experiment...this is one of the great things about fender type bolt on necks, you can do almost anything to them and it is reversible!
Clearcoating...lol..well, that is the factory finish. Again, don't be 'sucked in' tothe oiled finish is better thing. It can feel nice and certainly far easier (the main reason for it's popularit dressed up as being better) than painting to get a nice finish if you want that look. However, any finish that allows the wood to 'breath' as some tout this kind of thing, also allows the wood to absorb. A clear or painted finish will protect the guitar from absorbing moisture and if you think about it, intrinsically keep the wood inside 'dry'. An oil finish not only can allow moisture in...but itself is absorbed into the wood, deadening the air of the pores with a heap of 'gunk'..ooops, oil...LOL.
It's not a bad thing, but there is a lot of BS about it, largely to hide the real motive that a painted finish is difficult and to do well requires equipment, environment and skill to achieve.
My new guitars back and sides are plastic, so...no finish at all, must be good! The top will/has a clear finish that will look a bit like oil, but in reality is a clear varnish that is sanded back to look 'natural'. This will ensure that it is well protected, and if I could get inside the guitar, I'd be protecting that side too!
But hey, it is a nice look and really, these things make little difference. One of the nice things about this forum is that it tends to cut through a lot of the BS and fetishism that is an intrinsic part of guitar lore.
The wolfgang is a nice guitar, but what were you thinking getting a fixed bridge on an EVH guitar LOL. The fixed bridge thing, along with through body stringing and such is so 2000...I sense the trem is making a comeback...all those memebers who have blocked their trems might have to consider the kinds of mods you are doing here themselves...