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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

Can I move bridge to prevent neck dive?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Honza992, Sep 25, 2017.

  1. trev333

    trev333 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    I find after playing other guitars..the tele is just perfect... everything is exactly where it should be... the headstock has the least mass of any make of guitar.... apart from a steinburger...;)

    I play sitting a lot... when you put the bottom curve on your right thigh... close your eyes and flop your right arm down to where you think a bridge should be your palm falls right on the top corner for palm muting with your inside forearm on the top corner of the body for support..... grab for the neck with your left hand and it falls in just the right place to be comfortable on the top half of the fret board... no stretching or awkwardness.....

    it feels so right.... :)
     

  2. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    57
    Mar 2, 2010
    Maine
    Creating numerous new problems while trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist?
    Sounds like a great idea!

    But seriously, the Telecaster is superbly balanced and brilliantly ergonomic, yet still remains deceptively simple.
    While there are lots of imaginative basses, and maybe that root fifth problem makes bassists crave something different, I would say either build a straight up Tele that takes Tele parts and works the way a Tele works, or start from scratch and build something new.
    If you do build a squashed Tele like blob with some absurdly massive cutaway to get access to frets in the middle of the body, do yourself a favor and don't tell your friends it was to fix the neck dive problem!

    Now if you have some cool ideas about the reverse Firebird I'm sure we're all eyes and ears!

    A note on making the body thinner, 38mm being about 1 1/2", IMO you will lose some function and performance, and could even find that it doesn't work properly.
    Take away the 1/4" from the back and you end up with a thin weaker neck joint. Take it from the front and you need the saddles and pickup raised very high to a point where the pickup may be at its limit before being the right height. Bass pickups generally are further from the strings, but the wire strings need the bridge pickup pretty high.

    Too much from me already carry on!
     
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  3. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    57
    Mar 2, 2010
    Maine
    I play bass and guitar, and I'd say that the very different technique used on guitar would be less comfortable if the bridge was moved back toward the butt end.
    Move the bridge back far enough and your right arm would be in a very uncomfortable position.
     
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  4. trev333

    trev333 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    I'm a bass player as well... though I prefer the short scale Basses...
     
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  5. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    57
    Mar 2, 2010
    Maine
    OK so the Strat is just a very different guitar from the Tele, and the arm and belly cuts take away some of the players ability to keep it in place.
    Strats slide around more on me.
    But Leo was building a new product, not just upgrading an existing product.

    When I play bass I am comfortable with my RH back near my right hip, hanging straight down in a relaxed comfortable playing position. This works well with Fender basses. I can move my RH forward also.
    On a guitar I could not perform all the RH duties with my hand back there, because I am not doing bass playing RH techniques on guitar.
    On guitar my RH likes to be right in the middle of my body, just forward of where the bridge falls on a Tele. Sometimes we need to pick right over the bridge saddles, and the Tele bridge is in just the right place to comfortably do everything one needs to do to play an electric guitar.
    Move the bridge back and some of the RH technique might get uncomfortable.
    I can already feel my shoulder cramping.

    My Teles naturally hang with the neck quite a bit higher than the bridge.
    Bodies mostly weigh less than 4lbs.
     

  6. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    57
    Mar 2, 2010
    Maine
    I had a great old Hagstrom short scale bass, amazing action, but wicked bad neck dive!
     

  7. hopdybob

    hopdybob Tele-Meister

    354
    May 28, 2008
    netherlands
    please don't get me wrong, but in my opinion the biggest problem you have to tackle is: don't make you sensitivity your daughters sensitivity.

    if you do, here freedom of picking up and play any guitar will disappear when it will be a bad balanced instrument.
    nothing is perfect ore will ever be, the prove of that are all those topics here on tdpri where people walk in to a problem and try to fix that, finding another problem
    take pickups, i want P90, single coil and humbucker sounds in one guitar.
    maybe its there, but mostly with some kind of compromise.

    its a grand idea to cherish the thought that your father builds you a guitar, that alone is a grand thing and leaf here the part we all have to deal with.
    playing that thing ;-)
     
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  8. Honza992

    Honza992 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    47
    42
    Aug 6, 2015
    Nottingham, UK

    Hey thanks so much for drawing this out.....though unfortunately it's not quite what I meant. I meant to shift the neck just one inch to the left, so the upper horn strap button is approximately level with the 13 th fret. Not placing the bridge one inch from the other strap button. As your drawing shows that would be a monstrosity! And probably completely unplayable. Guitars are strummed, basses are not, so your arm is in a different position.
     
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  9. LooseJack

    LooseJack Tele-Meister

    217
    Feb 4, 2017
    transit lounge
    Agree with previous poster that Levy's cotton strap is an easy answer.

    Just now I took out my SG and put a cotton strap on.

    I then adjusted it to nearly vertical, horizontal, and everywhere in between. It stayed put at any angle.

    My Tele is currently in bits but given it has a massive heavy body and a tiny headstock, I cannot imagine any other result.
     
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  10. Honza992

    Honza992 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    47
    42
    Aug 6, 2015
    Nottingham, UK

    I'm pretty sure this is right. The bridge is there, in the middle of the body, because that's where it needs to be for acoustic guitars, and guitar players, being a conservative lot, don't like to change things up too much. Not to say that the bridge should be at the edge of the body, as Maxvintage has admirably shown above, but to me it makes sense to shift it an inch to the left from it's current position to help with balance.

    I know you lot keep on saying balance isn't a problem, but as far as I understand Leo designed the Strat specifically to make the Tele more comforatable - so he added elbow and tummy cutaways and extended the upper horn to the 12th fret to ensure the guitar balanced properly.

    While Wiki is wrong in many ways, this is a direct quote from their Stratocaster page:
    "The Fender Musical Instruments Corporation has continuously manufactured the Stratocaster from 1954 to the present. It is a double-cutaway guitar, with an extended top "horn" shape for balance"

     

  11. Honza992

    Honza992 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    47
    42
    Aug 6, 2015
    Nottingham, UK
    And of course those of you who have suggested I just go to a shop and try one out are of course right......but then I wouldn't have had the fun of meeting the tdpri community would I?
    :D
     

  12. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Age:
    58
    Mar 16, 2003
    Arlington, VA

    Look you can't shift the neck without moving the bridge too, because it won't play in tune.

    There's an extremely simple answer: put weight in the control cavity. In the US you can buy square flat stick on weight that kids use for "pinebox derby" races. But there's room in there for more than enough to counterbalance the neck dive which, we all repeat, you are unlikely to have. Below is a thread where I added weight to a bronco bass that tended to neck dive. If you have space on the control avity, you can use ordinary fishing sinkers.

    Pimp my bronco

    But you want to make this harder because you want to thin the body, so the control cavity possibly won't be deep enough. So here is a very easy solution, if there is neck dive which there probably won't be:

    1. drill a one and a half inch hole where the endpin goes. Make it, say, two inches deep
    2. cut a two inch length of 1.5 inch iron bar stock
    3. epoxy it into the hole
    4. tap it for a machine screw
    5. use the machine screw to hold the endpin in place

    Hey presto--no neck dive, and the modification is close to invisible when a strap is attached. no dicking around with moving the neck and the bridge and the pickups: the well considered and effective geometry of the tele remains in place
     

  13. Honza992

    Honza992 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    47
    42
    Aug 6, 2015
    Nottingham, UK
    I build basses from scratch, so I understand scale lengths etc. My plan is to shift the bridge one inch to the left from its standard position. That means that the whole neck needs to be shifted one inch to the left (to preserve the scale length). This means that the upper strap button would be level with the 13th rather than 15th fret. This will have a subtle but noticeable effect on balance.I know this because I understand the physical laws of levers and because I use the same technique when I build a bass.

    You rightly point out that a more simple solution would be two extend the upper strap button by one inch. In fact you don't need to do anything as complicated as your suggest with bar stock. My first bass was a Fender Highway One Precision. It is very light weight, just over seven pounds and so suffers from neck dive. I removed the upper strap button and replaced the screw with a longer one. I then used a series of plumbers rubber spacers to extend the strap button. Hard to explain, cost virtually nothing and was very effective. Its still my main bass. I'll post a photo when I get back to the UK (on holiday at the moment).

    But then what sort of a builder would I be if I didn't design this in from the outset?
     
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  14. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Age:
    58
    Mar 16, 2003
    Arlington, VA

    Good luck to you
     
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  15. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    Tucson
    You will achieve the identical effect if you just build your tele with a 24 3/4" conversion neck. When you account for the moment arm change of the headstock and tuners being moved towards the body by 3/4" I predict the effect will be at least as great as moving the center balance point from the 15th to the 13th fret. Surprised nobody has chimed in on that suggestion I made a few posts ago. As a bonus, it'll be easier for the little one to play. I've only built one but it's my favorite neck. Diagram is on my other computer but I can re-post it when I get home.

    Cheers,
    Rex

    P.S. you can then always put back on a 25.5" scale neck any time you want.
     
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  16. Honza992

    Honza992 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    47
    42
    Aug 6, 2015
    Nottingham, UK
    Yes, changing the scale length would have roughly the same effect. I prefer a 33" bass which is approx 3% shorter than the standard 34" scale. Interesting the 24 3/4" scale that you suggest is also shorter by about 3% than 25.5. If I were to keep the bridge in the standard position that would have the effect of moving the upper horn strap button 3/4" as you say to approx the 13th fret.

    So the options are:

    1. Move the bridge one inch to the left from the standard position. The strap button would then be level with the 13th fret, improving (in my opinion) balance. The lower horn would need to be sculpted out by an inch or so to allow access to the upper frets.

    2. Use a 24 3/4 scale length while keeping the bridge in the standard position. The strap button would then be level with the 13th fret, improving (in my opinion) balance. The lower horn would need to be sculpted out by an inch or so to allow access to the upper frets.

    3. Just build a standard tele and see if it works. If it doesnt naturally sit at 45 degrees then I can add weight to the body (though I hate this option, I'm a better builder than that!).

    4. Just build a standard tele and discover that Leo actually got it right and I love it as it is. (Though I can't help thinking that even Leo realised that for some players the Tele wasn't perfect, hence the Strat.....).

    5. Stop bothering the good people of TDPRI, stick to the bass and deprive the world of the sound of tortured cats that would no doubt result were I to pick up a guitar.....
     

  17. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    Tucson
    No to #2 above (the part about changing the lower horn). The 24 3/4" neck bolts on to a normal tele body with no mods. So the headstock sits 3/4" closer to the bridge, but the body is normal. Fret access is unchanged. It's a straight conversion simply by swapping the neck. I'll post the pdf template in a few hours.

    Cheers,
    Rex
     

  18. Budda45ftw

    Budda45ftw Tele-Meister

    Age:
    37
    126
    Aug 21, 2017
    Rochester NY
    This thread for me thinking and in one of my current builds I'm going to put the neck in almost 2 inches father, it will come in at the 15th fret. Just to see if I like the feel, I'll be modifying the cutaway for access...
     

  19. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Apr 29, 2013
    near Arnold's
    Where did you get the idea Leo designed the Strat to prevent non-existent neck dive on the Tele?

    Leo needed new products to have differentiation and drive interest. To make a "futuristic" guitar with curves. To give or give the impression of more upper neck access by having two horns extend from the body.

    FWIW Teles sit better on me and balance better than strats.

    You have a solution in search of a problem and you seem wedded to it, so I wish you luck.

    What do you mean by "to the left"? Do you mean back to the butt of the guitar? Up towards the upper horn?
     
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  20. crossroader

    crossroader Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    60
    Sep 24, 2004
    Endicott, NY
    Yes, the Strat was developed as "the next step forward." And, yes, the upper horn was, at least in part, included with balance in mind.
    HOWEVER, I don't recall ever reading anything that indicated that Leo was addressing Telecaster neck dive with the Stratocaster design.
    I think you MAY be projecting a bit, there.

    But, hey, if you really want to build this thing, go for it.

    OTOH, if what you really want to do is play a few songs on the guitar for your little girl, go find a nice parlor acoustic and serenade away!
     

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