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Old May 16th, 2011, 04:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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"designed to float"

I was asking my local tech why I can't have the bridge on my MIM flat to the deck and use the trem arm as normal...( the trem arm winds in squint now that it's decked)

He told me that my strat is designed to be floating so that's why my trem arm is now angled..

Can anyone tell me if this is the case on your mexi strats...

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Old May 16th, 2011, 04:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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by angled do you mean this?

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Old May 16th, 2011, 04:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I mean if I were to turn the trem arm, the plastic handle would almost scrape the body as it turns.

it's still playable but the end of the trem arm is closer to the body than it was before.
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Old May 16th, 2011, 04:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It was designed to float, giving up and down movement as all trems did.
I don't know why people deck them, other than to negate the effects of string breakage.
You can, of course, bend the arm to to compensate, or block the tremolo as per Eric Clapton.
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Old May 16th, 2011, 04:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monstermagnet85 View Post
I mean if I were to turn the trem arm, the plastic handle would almost scrape the body as it turns.

it's still playable but the end of the trem arm is closer to the body than it was before.
the arm is like that so you have clearance when you dive the trem
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Old May 16th, 2011, 04:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by STRAT'71 View Post
It was designed to float, giving up and down movement as all trems did.
I don't know why people deck them, other than to negate the effects of string breakage.
You can, of course, bend the arm to to compensate, or block the tremolo as per Eric Clapton.
vintage strats originally came with 5 springs and a decked trem and some people would pull 2 of the springs to allow the bridge to float
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Old May 16th, 2011, 04:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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OK so it's probably normal, nothin to worry about...

thanks anyway;)
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Old May 16th, 2011, 04:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I believe some tremolo blocks are made with the hole bored at an angle, rather than straight in, making the trem arm come out straighter when the bridge is floating above the body. Problem is, when a bridge of this type is decked, the trem arm would be at an angle, with the arm aiming close to the body, opposite of what stratophobic's photo shows. This sounds like what the OP is describing.
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Old May 16th, 2011, 04:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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That's exactly what I was trying to describe joey..thanks.
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Old May 16th, 2011, 04:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by joeybsyc View Post
I believe some tremolo blocks are made with the hole bored at an angle, rather than straight in, making the trem arm come out straighter when the bridge is floating above the body. Problem is, when a bridge of this type is decked, the trem arm would be at an angle, with the arm aiming close to the body, opposite of what stratophobic's photo shows. This sounds like what the OP is describing.
that trem is decked. the trem arm hole is drilled at an angle away from the pickups and that's why it's like that.
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Old May 16th, 2011, 04:34 PM   #11 (permalink)
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So all I need to do is set it up floating again and all is well.
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Old May 16th, 2011, 04:39 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stratphobic View Post
vintage strats originally came with 5 springs and a decked trem and some people would pull 2 of the springs to allow the bridge to float
My 71 Strat came with 5 springs fitted and floating. The strings fitted were heavy gauge with a wound third and the five springs were needed, believe me.
I removed two strings much later on, when lighter springs became available.
If you look a Leo's patent, it was for a floating trem.
Artists of the time, like Buddy Holly, may have decked the trem for practicle reasons, and Buddy didn't appear to use the trem anyway.
I have a DVD of the Buddy Musical where a string breaks on 'Buddy's' guitar,
which would have been disasterous but for the very slick guitar change.

If you don't want it floating, block it. Easy to do.
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Old May 16th, 2011, 04:57 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stratphobic View Post
vintage strats originally came with 5 springs and a decked trem and some people would pull 2 of the springs to allow the bridge to float
This is incorrect. vintage strats were always set to float, with 5 springs. That was Leo's original design.

A little Fender Strat history for ya:

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Old May 16th, 2011, 05:00 PM   #14 (permalink)
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The trem block in my Aerodyne is drilled at an angle. If the arm is back towards the back strap button it almost touches the body.
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Old May 16th, 2011, 05:24 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stratphobic

vintage strats originally came with 5 springs and a decked trem and some people would pull 2 of the springs to allow the bridge to float
I'd appreciate knowing the source of this claim...
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Old May 16th, 2011, 05:33 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I'd appreciate knowing the source of this claim...
someone that is afraid of strats
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Old May 16th, 2011, 05:44 PM   #17 (permalink)
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If it bothers you, just bend the trem arm a little. No big deal.
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Old May 16th, 2011, 05:52 PM   #18 (permalink)
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You guitar tech should do whatever you ask him to...it's your guitar.I set all my Strats with the bridge set flush against the body...the way S.R.V. had his set for example.It gives a more solid tone since there is full contact with the bridge plate and body...more transfer of string vibration.Tuning stability is enhanced and since I don't use the tremolo all that much I prefer it that way.I add 5 springs and set them just tight enough to where bending strings is still easy...not too tight(the bridge will move slightly forward when a string is bent).
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Old May 16th, 2011, 06:49 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Make sure you haven't accidentally bent the trem arm. I almost broke one off on my first strat because I had the springs too tight and tried dive bombing. Fortunately I got the thing out before it snapped off.
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Old May 16th, 2011, 08:09 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
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vintage strats originally came with 5 springs and a decked trem and some people would pull 2 of the springs to allow the bridge to float
I don't think so. They had 5 springs because the standard strings were a lot heavier gauge back then. The trem was always adjusted to float. I have a reissue with the reproduction manual which tells about how to set it.

Most people do pull out two (like mine for a total of 3 springs) and that seems to work well with regular strings (10-46 or 9-46).
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