Which Trem Bridge?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Watersilk, May 18, 2018.

  1. stratwilly

    stratwilly Tele-Meister

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    I have the AMB 5050-S on my strat. Standard vintage correct hole spacing but narrow string spacing. Both strats already has a refret and therefore I like the narrow variant more. I noticed no effect regarding the pole pieces.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. awasson

    awasson Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I would think the narrow string spacing would be better for keeping the strings from getting too close to the edges.

    I’ve also seen Strat bridge pickups with a slightly wider pole spacing to accommodate the vintage string spacing whereas the middle and neck poles are the normal spacing we see on most Strat pickups.
     
  3. S-arm

    S-arm TDPRI Member

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    I get people who prefer the vintage aesthetic of a traditional 6 point trem.
    Some even say they hear a difference in a vintage trem.
    If vintage is what your after get a Wilkinson 6 point or Callaham.

    If you plan on getting the most functionality from your trem and maybe use it for more dive-bomb VH style stuff I would go for a two point trem.

    I recently put together a partscaster and chose a Gotoh ns510 fe-1.
    It’s a narrow string spacing same as Gibson which keeps the high and low e strings away from the fretboard edge. Perfect for the narrower MIM fender neck.
    I love this trem.
    It is perfect for my uses.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Watersilk

    Watersilk Tele-Meister

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    For your Burny: I find the choice of metal for ABR1 bridges really quite fascinating. I think it has something to do with successful pairing with the tonal frequency and sustain/attack of the neck and body.

    I used a Callaham Steel bridge paired with an ABM aluminium Stoptail for my Gibson R7, which has a very heavy dense body and thick neck, but the Japanese Tokai just didn't have the warmth and depth of tone that the R9 had, so a Callaham steel bridge/stoptail set was completely wrong! Really a complete disaster! Whereas the ABM bell brass set added some missing warmth and harmonics and was absolutely bang on.

    [​IMG]

    ABM give you the choice of bridges in bell brass, aluminium or stainless steel and Stoptails in bell brass and aluminium; while Callaham have the mild steel option. Actually, I can't imagine using the ABM stainless steel or Callaham steel on any guitar; they are incredibly bright; but I do try to keep an open mind on this.

    What is your Burny's neck and body like, heavy, light, warm, bright? I think that helps guide the choice of metal?

    By the way, thank you so much for the ABM Trem recommendation :) I did notice that the "Stratwilly" on the ABM Trem is made of stainless steel, that's a nice touch!
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2018
  5. Zepfan

    Zepfan Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    I have a 6 screw steel block Wilkinson trem in my partscaster, best bang for the buck vintage style trem IMO.

    Lots of cavities on a Strat that need to be lined up correctly, make sure you get good templates. Neck pocket can be done without the need of a shim if you pay enough attention to detail and string angle.
     
  6. Watersilk

    Watersilk Tele-Meister

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    Wooo... I must check this, the body already has the bridge holes pre-drilled... Ive overlooked this detail! If this is so, the Wilkinson bridge will not work. I guess that the pre-drilled holes are for a vintage Fender bridge, I will have to check.

    [​IMG]

    This is their '60's body, I will need their 'Vintage' body which is larger in some way, so I will have to check the bridge hole spacing on that.

    Thank you for pointing this out!
     
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  7. Watersilk

    Watersilk Tele-Meister

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    I believe in giving recognition where it's due.

    Oh Nick, building that guitar was such an amazing experience! Up till that point, all my guitars were Gibson, if not by name, by design; the Telecaster was a completely new concept to me.

    If you have a Tune-o-matic bridge, there's no choice, you have to throw money at it, really because the thing is so complex, with a poorly-made one, the saddles are lose, trying to adjust the intonation is horrible.

    The Telecaster is just so ingeniously simple. I remember giving you a hard time because I was still wearing my gibson hat, Nick I'm so sorry for that. I thought you had to spend a lot of money to get that perfect Tele bridge.

    The body is around 4lbs, just under 2 kilograms. I just love the clarity of those Tonerider Vintage Plus pickups, both yours and my favourites from the Tonerider line. I took her to my Luthier, Feline Guitars in Croydon, they make high-end beauties, the technician picked up my home-made budget Tele, he played it for a long time, far beyond the 'play the customer's guitar to make him happy period', He played Zeppelin One riffs, he was clearly enjoying the experience!

    Now, was he thinking, 'at last, a real Tele with authentic twang!' ???

    The funny thing is, of all the fancy guitars I have, I can't put this one down!
     
  8. Watersilk

    Watersilk Tele-Meister

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    Yes, I can believe that! It's more complicated than a Telecaster. Oh, how do i tell you this, I'm cheating, I'm going to buy a ready-made body, I don't have a workshop yet, and all the tooling necessary to make a body and neck; one day, I really want to do that!

    Which Wilkinson do you have? Korean or Japanese?
     
  9. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Poster Extraordinaire

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    You could go with something like a Callaham or Wudtone, but the improvements you'd get are minimal at a much higher pricepoint.
     
  10. stratwilly

    stratwilly Tele-Meister

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    On my main strat there is no part that I have not changed, therefore I have some experience and know what I am talking about.

    My Les Paul is a different animal. I play it rarely but I love it. I bought and still own it just because of the lemon drop body - I saw it and felt in love :rolleyes:.
    It's not a "speedy" and bright one, its more mellow jazzy...maybe time for some experiments... lets see and time will tell.
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Watersilk

    Watersilk Tele-Meister

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    Yes, I understand, the bridge would be most affected because the strings are draw closer together the closer they are to the nut, because the nut spacing will be narrower than the bridge, saddle spacing.

    My telecaster has a wide-spaced bridge, I really like it at the bridge end, because I can get my fingers in there to finger-pick, however, ha! My silly fretting fingers sometimes slip the high E string off the edge of the neck, which really irritates me; I'm left thinking, Leo, why didn't you make the fretboard a bit wider!
     
  12. Watersilk

    Watersilk Tele-Meister

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    Ahh! I knew there was something in the air. Yes, I absolutely agree with you mr Lumbergh, it's the law of diminishing returns! Buy a well designed part, that's cheap, and you are almost there for very little money.
     
  13. Watersilk

    Watersilk Tele-Meister

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    Woooo! Are we allowed to show these things on the Strat forum, this is almost pornography!

    She looks lovely! A kind of Lemondrop at the bottom with a hint of cherry at the top. This is close to what I'm trying to achieve with a Korean Tokai Love Rock ALS48 rebuild. I completely messed the body and neck's back up, I think I will take the cowardly option of letting a professional redo the Cherry finish there, but the top is coming on nicely! Your Burny has a lovely dark fretboard too!

    Mellow and jazzy... mmm, try the Callaham bridge, it locks to the posts, pair it with an Aluminium ABM Stoptail. That should give you a little more sustain, but let the mellow jazzy thing come through. If the Steel bridge robs too much mellowness, then you might have to swap the aluminium Stoptail for ABM's bell brass model; expensive experiments!

    Yes, Stratwilly, I believe you, in bringing up the ABM option, I could see immediately that you have some experience here. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to lecture you, I just found to my surprise, just what a huge impact different metals can have upon tone, sustain and attack.
     
  14. richbike

    richbike Tele-Meister

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    Hi,
    I put a Wilkinson 6 point in my westone ST. Unfortunately the steel blocks in their cheaper trems are rather brittle and the thread for the Grub screw which tightens the trem arm stripped in a couple I've had. I got an upgraded milled steel block from Vanson on eBay and the combination is excellent. I prefer the modern style bridge with wrap around brass back to hold the intonation screws and solid stainless saddles. Really nice to Palm mute with and if you float the trem you can do vibrato without the arm in with the heal of your hand.
     
  15. Watersilk

    Watersilk Tele-Meister

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    Yes, the strings look like they are right over the pole pieces; it looks lovely!

    You have convinced me! I think I will go with this model, thank you!
     
  16. Watersilk

    Watersilk Tele-Meister

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    Yes! I watched a youtube video, the complaint about the Wilkinson bridge was exactly that grub screw thread, it striped! It's good to know that you can replace the block with a Vanson one; thank you!

    Which modern style bridge is that exactly?
     
  17. Zepfan

    Zepfan Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    I'm not really sure if it's Japanese or Korean, I bought it on EBay a few years ago and didn't know about the different spacings(USA, Asian & Mexican) at the time. If you end up needing a shim, get the full pocket ones from Stewmac or other supply site, they have them in 1 degree and 5 degree. The better the fit in the pocket, the better it will be. Also, a Tusq nut or unbleached bone nut would be a good thing to have as well.
     
  18. Watersilk

    Watersilk Tele-Meister

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    I had not considered that. Do trem bridges differ in height? I think the Telecaster neck is horizontal (no angle) to the body, is it not the same for a Stratocaster, or are they angled? If the Strat neck is also horizontal to the body, is a shim used just to rectify a badly-cut neck pocket? Sorry, I have heard of shims being used, but I never understood the reason.

    I had planed to use a bone nut, I hadn't considered bleached or unbleached, would you also recommend using locking tuners because of the Trem? I think Gotoh make a traditional locking tuner.

    Thank you for the feedback :)
     
  19. stratwilly

    stratwilly Tele-Meister

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    Hi again,
    I never had any problems regarding the height adjustment with different tremolo systems on my strats (vintage spec). The adjustment of the height of every single string is a standard feature of the mentioned trems.
    The height also varies and depends of the overal trem adjustment (strenght and count of the springs in the back). I usually adjust it that way, that I can trem in both directions and about a semitone upwards).

    Using a shim is a standard method to correct the neck angle. Fender also uses this method "ex factory".
    If you are unsure or if you want to make a test prior to spend a lot of money for a Callaham or ABM trem, I can check my junk box - I am sure there must be a "Standard Wilkinson"...
     
  20. mistermikev

    mistermikev Tele-Afflicted

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    i bought a babicz and some grover tuners for a recent strat build. graph tec tusc nut. I don't know which is working more for me but I can tell you that thing stays in tune like a floyd. literally dive bomb it and hit a chord and perfect. granted it's not setup floating. the cams are very comfy to rest on.
     
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