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Old January 6th, 2007, 10:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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convert a MIM std Strat trem to vintage spec?

Just wondered if anyone has put a vintage spaced (2 7/32") tremolo bridge in one of the MIM Std Strat bodies , that bridge is spaced at 2 1/16".
I know Callaham makes a replacement block but it would be much cheaper to find a used Fender or Fender spec part.
It seems like you could just fill in the existing holes with some Bondo or epoxy and drill new holes for the replacement bridge. The bridge will cover it all up anyway.
Any thoughts?
Thanks

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Old January 8th, 2007, 11:01 AM   #2 (permalink)
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A six hole vintage bridge

will drop right in and likely not require any plugging or drilling. Remember the vintage string spacing is 5/32 inch wider and sometimes (sometimes) this causes the "E" strings to lay too close to the edge of the fretboard in the upper registers of the neck. If you are just looking for more mass you can upgrade the trem block using one from GFS.
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Old January 8th, 2007, 06:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Does anyone have any idea WHY Fender decided to have a different string spacing on MIM standard stats than on USA ones?
I can't see the point.
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Old January 8th, 2007, 10:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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re Vintage bridge drop in ...

A std spec vintage spaced bridge will fit but the mounting screw holes are different, that's why I had the suggestion to fill the old holes and redrill new ones.
I don't know why Fender does the narrower string spacing on the MIM Strats, a lot of the import Strats other than MIJ also have the narrower spacing, I had a nice Fernandes Strat last year and it had the 2 -1/16 spacing.
FWIW the Am Std Strat bridge also has the narrower spacing, but it has the 2 posts not the six mounting screws.
As far as replacing the trem block , the only place I've seen that offers a replacement block for the MIM trem is Callaham.
I have seen some Gotoh replacement bridges with a steel block that are supposed to fit the MIM Strats, but again I can buy a used vintage spec Strat bridge for much less.
Anyway thanks for the thoughts, but I'm thinking that surely someone out there has actually done this to a MIM Strat?
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Old January 11th, 2007, 04:58 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Id just get a nice steel block and be done with it.

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Old January 11th, 2007, 05:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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What is the string spacing and trem block on the mex 50's reissues like? I was thinking about one of them and upgrading the pick ups and such like. thanks
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Old January 11th, 2007, 10:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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re 50' RI's tremolo bridge

the MIM 50's, 60's and 70's RI Strats all have a full size trem block , it's not steel though, it is the std vintage Strat spacing 2 7/32".
I could just buy a steel trem block but I can get a whole used bridge with a steel block for what the replacement trem block costs, another option is a Gotoh replacement bridge, I'm checking into that now, it has a steel block.
The std MIM Strat bridge also uses a metric thread trem arm, so a std arm won't fit.
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Old January 12th, 2007, 03:16 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Measure the string spacing on a MIM with a metric scale. At a guess, I would say that Fender imports the trems for the MIM and therefore it's actually a metric spread.
I second the motion to install a upgradeed steel block for the MIM bridge. I did once install an Am Std. bridge in a Mex Std. standard. It's been a few years since I did it, but as I recall the diffrence in the string spread over the MIM neck was't terrible.....
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Old January 15th, 2007, 09:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Get the Callaham block, less trouble, the used American Fender bridges with a steel block seemed to be over $70. The Callaham block sells for $60 shipped.
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Old January 15th, 2007, 09:54 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I'd go the Callaham route... I upgraded my '82 US Strat with a Callaham bridge and block... turned an already nice guitar into the most beautiful sounding Strat I have ever played. Worth every penny and then some... IMHO etc...

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Old January 15th, 2007, 10:35 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I'd go the Callahan route also. I have a lefty standard strat that I wish I could upgrade to his steel block. Unfortunately he doesn't offer a lefty block. I've considered going the vintage route also. I don't have a problem plugging and drilling to install it, but I'm not sure how the wider string spacing will affect playability on a standard neck. Has anyone done this.
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Old January 15th, 2007, 11:19 PM   #12 (permalink)
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re wider spacing

I wondered about that too, but we're only talking about approx 1/8" difference, unless the MIM necks are narrower and I don't believe that they are, the spacing at the bridge shouldn't make any real difference.
It's a moot point for me as I've found a Classic Player 60's Strat and I'm selling off the MIM but I still would like to know if anyone has done this, installed a vintage spaced bridge on a MIM std Strat.
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Old January 16th, 2007, 09:56 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Yes

I purchased one solely because I wanted the "fat" trem block. The 6 screws DID NOT line up and, the string spacing put both of my E strings on the outer edje of the fret board. BUT- if you go to eBay at this link:
http://cgi.ebay.com/2006-NEW-Fender-...QQcmdZViewItem

you can get an '06 vintage trem (2 1/16) with the fat trem block, I did!

Good luck!
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Old January 16th, 2007, 10:33 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I wonder if just the block is available.
Don't need the other stuff.
Pretty good price, though.
For a few bucks more than the Callaham block, you get the whole shebang.
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Old January 17th, 2007, 11:34 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Hey Fendermojoman
I was watching one of those trems on ebay also. I read that it's still an alloy block, not steel like the American trem. Was there a big improvement over the standard Mexican block?
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Old January 17th, 2007, 12:20 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Reply to Matt T

Guys-
I've gone the whole gamutt that you're talking about with Callaghan, etc. All I ever wanted was a fat trem block for my Lefty MIM Strat. Couldn't find one anywhere, I then purchased a 2 7/32 Vintaged system off ebay from a 68 re-issue. It didn't fit: the 6 holes did not line up and you couldn't swap the block because the holes wouldn't line up either. The I noticed that somtime in 2005 the MIM's started getting Trems
(2 1/16)with fat blocks. I saw one posted like the link above frome Craze ace and purchaed it. It was perfect!
This link I posted Tuesday is the same one I bought 2 months ago, it's like all 2006 MIM's with vintage Trems get and worked out great AND . . . the sustain is better on mine now. BELIEVE ME . . These things are rare and hard to find!!!!!
Good Luck!
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Old January 17th, 2007, 01:37 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Thanks Fendermojoman,
My MIM strat is a lefty also, so options were limited pretty much to re-drilling the body for the wider vintage spacing. All I really wanted was a better block anyway, so I'll probably try one of the 2006 blocks (if I can find one).
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Old January 17th, 2007, 05:04 PM   #18 (permalink)
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another reply to Matt T

Matt-
I bought mine December 15th 06- I'm "Proscene" on eBay reviews (company name).
As I mentioned finding these "06 Trems" ain't easy. You can't just go down to a Fender dealer and order them! Even my 50th AM Deluxe Anniversary Leftie's Trem block isn't this thick. It weights about 4.5 oz and really made the sustain better. I believe this one is steel
I have a friend with a Right hand Strat that spent $200 for a Titanium block to replace his factory thick steel block and he was dissapointed it didn't sound any better than the steel block! For me, buying the eBay complete Trem from crazeace was a bargain.
here it is again:

http://cgi.ebay.com/2006-NEW-Fender-...QQcmdZViewItem
[Happy Tones!
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