1/4" of adjustment seems skimpy, especially on a known good-quality trem bridge...

Discussion in 'DIY Strat Forum' started by Overthere, Oct 15, 2021.

  1. Overthere

    Overthere Strat-Talker

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    I'm considering a Gotoh VS100N 2-point tremolo bridge. It's a respected Wilkinson design, licensed to Gotoh in Japan for manufacture.

    I've been experiencing intonation problems (asian strat clone) and want the maximum saddle adjustment travel possible. There's very little information online about Wilkinson bridges, so I wrote to Gotoh and inquired as to the maximum saddle travel for the VS100N. This is their reply:

    "The position where the intonation point of Hi-E is 4 mm from the end face of the plate is the closest to the neck, and from there it can be moved about 7 mm toward the body end. You can physically move it any further, but be aware that you will not be able to pass the strings through the block."

    I take that to mean:
    With the saddle as far forward as possible, the string breakpoint is 4mm behind the leading edge of the bridge plate. The maximum travel rearward from that point is about 7mm (about .275"). You can move the saddle rearward beyond that point, but beyond 7mm the trem block's string hole gets covered.
    • So the effective saddle travel is about .275"
    • I can get about .375" out of the no-name strat-copy saddle on my Chinese clone.

    QUESTION 1
    Is 1/4" of saddle adjustment the standard for strat bridges?

    QUESTION 2
    The VS100N costs about $100. Can you recommend a comparable saddle (2-point preferred, or a good 6-point) that would offer more saddle adjustment travel?

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2021
  2. stevierayfan91

    stevierayfan91 DEEPLY SHY.

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    Hi , @Overthere

    I think the issue is the neck pocket and bridge position not being the same as Fender or Squier.
     
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  3. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Dr. Stratster

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    I'm just going to say this. I wish I could get the thing in my hands. I would have been able to build it from the kit with no modification, setting the pickups really low, totally discarding the cheap strings it came with, getting some good D'Addario strings, stringing it up, setting up the bridge, then truss rod relief, then string height, then intonation.....all with the pickup covers barely a hair above the pickguard surface....And stretching the strings over and over for 10-15 minutes until the note never drops anymore, I forgot to mention that first before tackling the setup.....

    Plenty of people have put these kits together before with the stock parts. Intonation also doesn't have to be dead perfect on the low E if everything else is good. I mean, a lot of guitars have bridges where you can't even adjust the individual saddle heights or positions......and many people have played guitars with "close enough" intonation and a not too heavy touch.....since the birth of the electric guitar.....
     
  4. Overthere

    Overthere Strat-Talker

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    I deleted my comment
    because it reached the person for whom I intended it,
    and because personal BS is not appropriate here.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2021
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  5. dirocyn

    dirocyn Most Honored Senior Member

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    Loads of guitars have extremely limited intonation adjustment. The range of travel on a Tune-o-Matic is about .25". A regular Squier trem has about 9/16" of travel on the saddles if the springs are removed. But 1/4" is plenty IF the bridge is in the right place in the first place. 3/16 is enough with most string sets.

    @Overthere , you're talking to @Guitarmageddon , who is one of the top experts on all things Squier. He's on the autism spectrum and is going through some health stuff, please be kind to my friend.

    @Guitarmageddon , you're talking to a fellow who's obsessing over details trying to turn a cheap strat copy into the best guitar ever. The major issue is, the guitar he got cut the neck route too close to the trem route to be able to intonate with his chosen strings. He's been given loads of great advice--send it back, buy a Squier, use lighter strings, relocate the neck...and he's still grasping for the "perfect" solution. I'm no shrink, but I suspect some neurodivergence here too.
     
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  6. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Dr. Stratster

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    I believe you completely misunderstood my post. I was being 100% literal, wishing I lived near you and could offer in person hands on assistance.....it was nothing but friendly and feeling your own frustration through your words, and seeing all the threads and how tough this has been for you.....I had nothing but good intent and sympathy.....

    I am very very capable of hands on guitar work, but I am usually not able to translate it into proper words of advice for someone else, which is why I explained "if this were me, this is how I would approach it".....it was intended to help solve all of your issues.....and it still is.....

    @dirocyn
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2021
  7. CB91710

    CB91710 No GAS shortage here Double Platinum Supporting Member

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    Yes... 1/4" of adjustment is more than adequate for a properly built guitar.
    You can get another 1/8 by removing the saddle and flipping it around on the Gibson bridge, but in general, around 1/4" is pretty standard.


    bass-in.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

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  8. Antstrat

    Antstrat Dr. Stratster

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    Not being a spec person I pretty much have no clue as to what you are talking about.

    Having said that I measured a Strat with vintage saddles and 1/4 inch plus a wee bit is about right.

    I can’t help you with question #2 though.

    Hope this was of some help.
     
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  9. Ebidis

    Ebidis Providing the world with flat bends since 1985

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    Yes, 1/4 inch is normal.
     
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  10. Overthere

    Overthere Strat-Talker

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    I deleted my comment
    because it reached the person for whom I intended it,
    and because personal BS is not appropriate here.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2021
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  11. Antstrat

    Antstrat Dr. Stratster

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  12. Overthere

    Overthere Strat-Talker

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    I deleted my comment
    because it reached the person for whom I intended it,
    and because personal BS is not appropriate here.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2021
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  13. 3bolt79

    3bolt79 Dr. Stratster

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    ‘Sure…they all say that:D
     
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  14. Overthere

    Overthere Strat-Talker

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    Thanks, @C91710, and thanks for the helpful image. Years ago I did indeed flip the saddles on my LesPaul-ish guitar, and it solved my problem. Thanks for passing the information along.

    I appreciate your comments and the comments of others clarifying that 1/4" is normal. I'm nervous about locating and drilling the two 3/8" pivot holes. I won't get a second chance, so I want as much built-in adjustability as possible.

    I understand that trem bridge mounting holes (6 screws) and pivot point holes (2 posts) are typically located 25.25" from the face of the nut. I discovered a second method online (under the crippling influence of obsession and neurodivergence) that may provide a useful "second opinion" before "performing this delicate operation." Sort of a double-check:

    Advance the high-e saddle fully forward, then back it off about 10% to allow for any unexpected e-string intonation issues. Set that string break point directly atop your long-scale measurement (25.5" from the nut face). Set the bridge at that location. Hopefully the two methods will agree with one another.​

    Does that sound like a good approach?

    Does anybody want to suggest a better way?
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2021
  15. Overthere

    Overthere Strat-Talker

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    Thank you, @Ebidis.
     
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  16. Overthere

    Overthere Strat-Talker

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    Thank you, @Antstrat. It's exactly what I was hoping to hear, and it is helpful.
     
  17. Overthere

    Overthere Strat-Talker

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    LOL. The opposite of "That's what she said."

    =D
     
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  18. dirocyn

    dirocyn Most Honored Senior Member

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    This approach is good. It works because the high e needs little compensation from the scale length. If you place the bridge by this method, you should have about 1/4" travel for the low e. Which is enough unless you use unusually large strings. Like I said, the low e needs to go 3/16" further back than the high e if you use 10s.

    I appreciate that you are thinking outside the box, that is the only reason I'm still here. I do find it strange that anyone would consider putting a $100 bridge on an $80 guitar to attempt to correct a defect in the routing. Especially when you can buy a Squier that isn't defective for less than $100, and sometimes less than $80. I imagine replacing just the body of this guitar (which is incorrectly routed) with a Squier body would be less expensive and more likely to succeed. I guess I am thinking inside the box.