Staytrem bridge -- is yours radiused properly?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by WilburBufferson, Jun 18, 2019.

  1. WilburBufferson

    WilburBufferson Tele-Afflicted

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    Hey gang, I recently had my 60th Anniversary MIM Classic Jazzmaster setup by my trusted tech. I had already installed a Staytrem bridge (9.5" radius, presumably the same as the fretboard, as per Fender spec), so the task was to dial things in a bit more. He thinks that the Staytrem is flatter than 9.5" and shimmed some of the individual saddles to compensate for this. The guitar now plays excellent, but I am wondering whether any of you have noticed the same thing? As you know, the individual saddles do not allow for individual height adjustments.

    I've recently got my hands on a Mastery bridge that will likely be swapped in to replace the Staytrem, but wanted to get some experiences before I did that.
     
  2. scelestus

    scelestus Tele-Meister

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    I think Staytrem stopped making the bridges for direct replacement of TOMs, but I think I remember that when they made them they were at least available with a flatter radius. Maybe yours was made for a 12" TOM instead of a 9.5" one.
     
  3. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    How did he check the radius? With steel gauges? Under or over the strings?

    I don't understand why there's a need to shim the saddles unless a player likes a custom setup--plains up a little higher, etc. A 10" radius would be close enough in my book, all things considered.

    I've owned several Staytrem 9.5s, and I never thought to check them myself, but they also gave me no problems with setup. All my setup issues would be easily solved by adjusting the bridge post screws/overall bridge height.

    We need pics and measurements.
     
  4. WilburBufferson

    WilburBufferson Tele-Afflicted

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    I can't answer the first three questions, and like you, I never thought to question the accuracy of the Staytrem. Jazzmasters are inherently a little plinky and noisey, so I wasn't being to fussy with respect to setup instructions. My tech does like to measure things up though. I like this about him, unlike others who didn't do a thorough assessment, if you get what I mean.

    Pics to follow...
     
  5. WilburBufferson

    WilburBufferson Tele-Afflicted

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    Actually, I'm certain it's 9.5 as that is what is stamped on the bottom.
     
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  6. WilburBufferson

    WilburBufferson Tele-Afflicted

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    Now that I'm looking at this more closely the shims appear to be on the bass side of each saddle, which makes me wonder why not just raise the bass side at the post?[​IMG][​IMG]

    Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk
     
  7. TelePunkJCM

    TelePunkJCM Tele-Meister

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    That is bizarrely bad work imo. Maybe the pics are misleading.

    My quibble with Staytrem is twofold:

    - the saddle radius is wrong
    - the string contacts too much saddle surface area on their design.

    But then I also think Mastery is not a better mousetrap.

    I’m the odd cat who thinks that the best design was — Leo’s original JM Bridge. Throw on some 11s, dual it in, lube the saddles and nut, l and it offers the best package of tone, sustain, tuning stability and strings staying in place.

    YMMV.
     
  8. scelestus

    scelestus Tele-Meister

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    Good to hear you have a definitive answer.

    I'd think the only reason to angle the saddles like that would be to avoid string jump, but the way it's shimmed it would only work if the bridge were on backwards or on a lefty guitar. On top of that, string jump should NOT be a problem with a Staytrem.
     
  9. WilburBufferson

    WilburBufferson Tele-Afflicted

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    Well, he was advocating for a buzz stop to increase the break angle, but from my own research, I don't think it's necessary and doesn't it remove the behind-the-bridge harmonics that are part of the JM sound?
     
  10. Fluddman

    Fluddman Tele-Meister

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    From the picture it looks like the shim is there to lift the string up so it doesn't touch the back edge of the bridge (near the adjustment screw).

    Has it been shimmed with wood? Wouldn't that have a dampening effect?

    Cheers
     
  11. zippofan

    zippofan Tele-Afflicted

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    I have two 9.5" Staytrem bridges, one on my son's VM Jag and one on my newly acquired VM Jazzmaster. My luthier likes the idea of a non-rocking bridge and set my son's Jag up for the skinny top heavy bottom strings he likes for down tuning, and he doesn't use the trem that much on it or his Strat.

    I left my Staytrem floating with standard 10's and it stays in tune pretty well, though I will install a bone or Tusq nut one of these days.

    I had no trouble dialing in my preferred action (4/64 across the board) with the Staytrem. I looked at the Mastery, but they're out of my price range and both offsets play nicely. In fact, my Jazzmaster is one of the better playing guitars I own.
     
  12. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I like the stock bridge too, but it’s not so great with 10s and shallow neck pitch. Get the neck up to 2-3 degrees though and it’s business.

    Why do you think the saddle radius is wrong? Each saddle is curved, and the radius is dependent on proper saddle height, but the witness point still seems sufficient to keep the strings properly suspended, no?
     
  13. WilburBufferson

    WilburBufferson Tele-Afflicted

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    He said it was to fine tune the radius. None of the strings touched the back edge before the setup. And yes, I thought the same thing about using wood.
     
  14. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    This looks all kinds of wrong. You’d think if the Staytrem was a flatter radius one would shim only the 4 central saddles, not just one side. Instead it was made even flatter on one side only.
     
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  15. WilburBufferson

    WilburBufferson Tele-Afflicted

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    I would agree with you. Yeah, not sure what to say... I did like the stock bridge when I got the guitar, threads and all, but then a used NOS staytrem came up for sale here at a good price, so I nabbed it. Apparently they don't ship outside of the UK anymore, so I felt lucky to get my hands on one as the cheaper alternative to the Mastery. At that point, however, I had not played the guitar live (i.e., aggressively) so it didn't get the full test before the swap. Now, same sitch: a "fully-tweakable" Mastery for peanuts is in my hands.

    I agree, however, with the shim issue -- never really seen this before in any thread. Going to take them out and adjust accordingly and report back.
     
  16. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    IME, saddle radius very rarely perfectly matches fret radius when one adjusts for the best feel to the hands. Shimming or notching is standard procedure on saddles with fixed heights...if a very good setup is done. None of my Gibson bridges are notched to a 12" radius. None of my Fender bridge saddles are set to the same radius as the fretboard. When I finish this Mustang project I'm working on, I doubt I will like the stock radius-matching bridge saddles, and will likely be shimming for the best possible setup.
     
  17. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Offset guys can hate me but I sold all my Staytrems for the money—they are close to being as expensive as Mastery, even though a new one can be had through forwarding services. I didn’t gouge though, I kept it sensible and quick. But, with the AmPro bridge being out there, and the new Classic Vibe bridges to shortly follow in the aftermarket parts sales (yes its 9.5”, I checked), I no longer saw a need to hold on to them. I also like the Tele hybrid design. I made one for myself and if I had a machine shop I’d be all over fine tuning it for State side. Oh, I like Mastery more—locking posts are the way to go for trem abuse, but the Staytrem looks traditional.

    Oh yeah, I guess I am a ‘offset guy’ lol.
     
  18. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Very true on 7.25” boards, IME, where I actually flatten the radius to get a bigger bite at the strings. If I had to shim a Mustang style bridge though, I’d use cut up feeler gauges in proper thicknesses, not wood. My Mustang played very well with low action with a straight up 9.5” Staytrem, good feel etc.
     
  19. TelePunkJCM

    TelePunkJCM Tele-Meister

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    On the Staytrem bridge you mean? I just found the radius of the 9.5 model to be a poor match to the radius of my 9.5 guitar. Could have been an anomaly.
     
  20. lammie200

    lammie200 Tele-Afflicted

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    FWIW, I have a Staytrem 7.25 on my 7.25 fretboard. It works perfectly. No angles, no shims.
     
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