Graphtech saddles to help Strat warble?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Mjh36, Oct 26, 2020.

  1. Mjh36

    Mjh36 Strat-Talk Member

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    Ya I like a blocked trem, I go back and forth between blocked and floating depending on how stratty I feel like playing. Good call though I feel like something weird is happening there like you said. Burr, etc... something, but I can't find anything.

    I will say the one thing that seemed to help was pieces of paper in the saddle grooves, that calmed the notes down. However, the new saddles didn't help, but I'm getting warmer. If I had extra bridges and necks to swap around I'd do it, and I think that would narrow down the problem.
     
  2. Mjh36

    Mjh36 Strat-Talk Member

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    UPDATE:

    So sent Graphtech saddles back and took it to a tech/luthier for a few days. He said it's my hot bridge pickup magnetic pull, that I use too much gain, and that I'm being too picky. He suggested taking my humbucker out and try that, since I tried removing the single coils.

    So here's with no humbucker and heatshrink wrapped around a few strings at the ball end and up thru the baseplate just as an experiment. Warble persists.

    Listen ya'll I'm no tech, but remove bridge pickup and I'm too picky? Single coils almost always have more pull. The G string sounds horrible! Other strings sound horrible 12th fret and up! I recorded albums several years ago with this guitar, no way could I record with the warble it has now.

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    Last edited: Nov 12, 2020
  3. Mjh36

    Mjh36 Strat-Talk Member

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    Another clip:

    G string only, clean and distortion
    Open note and frets 12-15
    Humbucker is removed
    Using Neck pickup
    Picking and fretting cleanly, not bending the string

     
  4. 3bolt79

    3bolt79 Most Honored Senior Member

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    @Mjh36 have you considered that the strings might be hitting the frets. Have you developed a ski jump at the bottom of the neck. Some of what it sounds like to me is that the strings are hitting the frets beyond frets 12 through 15. Does it make the sound when playing notes at the highest fret? And can you hear it when playing the guitar acoustically. The way the notes decay though sounds magnetic to me though, the way the sustain dials down like turning the volume down. If you can hear it when not playing through your amp, pull the other pups out and see if the sound goes away. I think you’ve eliminated just about all the possibilities already.
     
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  5. longboard blues

    longboard blues Senior Stratmaster

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    Agreed - if something is happening now that wasn't happening before, then something by definition has changed.
     
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  6. himijendrix

    himijendrix Senior Stratmaster

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    I haven’t had the patience to read through all the preceding posts so apologies if this has been discussed.

    I recently changed the tuners on my US standard strat for locking ones, keeping the single string tree in place initially. I got a horrible droning sitar sound on my top E string, both fretted and open. I tried all sorts of things to find the cause, I finally removed the string tree (redundant in any case as the new tuners are staggered), and, yep, problem solved.

    I can only think that some sort of harmonic vibration was set up between the nut and string tree, but I don’t see how changing the tuners caused it.
     
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  7. Mjh36

    Mjh36 Strat-Talk Member

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    Thanks man, so stressful. But yeah I removed the 2 single coils last week, it's back in the earlier posts. Same thing.

    It happens on the highest fret even yes. No high frets or sloping, strings clear all frets going up the neck one fret at a time.

    Hard to hear acousitcally but it's there. Blows my mind.
     
  8. Mjh36

    Mjh36 Strat-Talk Member

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    Hey thanks man very long thread I know. But no string trees on this guitar they are staggered tuners. Harmonic vibration is exactly what I've been thinking but I can't find it if it is there.
     
  9. Mjh36

    Mjh36 Strat-Talk Member

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    The only thing I can think of is all the adjusting I've done with the bridge and saddles. While they look fine under a magnifying glass even, something just feels fishy about the saddles/plate/trem block area. Even though I can't hear or see anything. Maybe all the adjusting has the strings seated in different microscopic wear patterns on the saddles. But then new Graphtechs didn't help. I'm lookin into a new bridge assembly I guess.
     
  10. adrianb

    adrianb Strat-Talk Member

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    I thought i'd chime in.

    I get this kind of sound on different positions on all strings on my Squier. They mostly occur above the 7th fret as far as i can tell. For most, sustain is also affected.

    I don't let this bother me too much because:

    1) this is my own fretwork; it's not perfect but it's my own. I've refretted my Strat three times over a period of 13 years and i like to think i'm getting better at it. After my most recent refret, i ended up with a few dead-ish spots on the higher positions. My takeaway from this is that i might need to add a little fall-away, and i intend to do this on my next string change.

    2) i also suspect my fretboard is partly to blame. It has an uneven radius that, fortunately, i'm able to compensate for with the radiusing of the frets. Most likely there are also bumps in the wood here and there that show up only when under string tension.

    3) i don't really notice these anomalies anyway considering i play way too many notes for my own good and i vibrato each note (sorry for verbing "vibrato"). I try to emulate Yngwie with my vibrato. I play with high gain 95% of the time.

    If it helps any, i'm using Graphtech saddles, Graphtech nut, one Graphtech string tree, stock cheapo tuners, stock cheapo vibrato bridge, stock bridge springs.
     
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  11. adrianb

    adrianb Strat-Talk Member

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    I'm not sure if anybody else has said this, but maybe the staggered tuners don't create enough break angle over the nut.
     
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  12. adrianb

    adrianb Strat-Talk Member

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    @Mjh36 any news?

    I did some testing on my own Strat. Even with high gain, i practically can't hear the warbling sound on the neck pickup. The only way i can tell the "bad" frets is by the shorter sustain (the note dies out after a while -- no playing whole notes there! Or, say, half notes at 60 BPM). The bridge is a different story though; it's very obvious. But as i said, i vibrato all notes of long duration so i don't really hear it when playing.

    Played clean, it's hard to hear the warbling even when using the bridge pickup.

    When i get my new audio interface i can try recording my guitar to hear the warbling better.
     
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  13. BuddhaFingas

    BuddhaFingas Strat-O-Master Gold Supporting Member

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    May have been mentioned in the ensuing 7 pages (haven't read the whole thread yet)... but you really need a better measuring device than a tape measure. They are not accurate to the required degree when used in this way, because of the compensating tip.

    Get yourself a good machinist's scale or a quality guitar action gauge. Only a few bucks and worth their weight in gold when you are working to small dimensions.
     
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  14. Mjh36

    Mjh36 Strat-Talk Member

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    Good lookin out, I do have better tools etc. The tape measure was just close by, and I used it just to show the rough measurement of the pickup height.
     
  15. Mjh36

    Mjh36 Strat-Talk Member

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    Ya I do the vibrato as well, to cover it up or play around it. But I am waiting on a new bridge. I ordered a Gotoh 510T-FE1. Not the steel block one, but the FST one where the string doesn't contact the bridge plate. It comes in on Friday and I'll post pics and results.
     
  16. BuffaloHound

    BuffaloHound Strat-Talker

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    That sounds like mild fret buzz to my uneducated ear.
    I think you either need a second opinion, or to sell the guitar and buy something else.
    This would also be a good excuse to learn how to fret level/crown if this isn’t an expensive guitar.
     
  17. Mjh36

    Mjh36 Strat-Talk Member

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    If this new bridge doesn't work it may come down selling it, or part it out. I was even thinking of starting to piece together some warmoth parts, start with a new neck etc... but we'll see how the Gotoh works out. Not fret buzz though I've checked that out already, and I do my own crowning and leveling, last did it about 6 months ago maybe.

    Before and after:
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  18. adrianb

    adrianb Strat-Talk Member

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    If you ever find something that works please let us know. :)
     
  19. adrianb

    adrianb Strat-Talk Member

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    Very clean and shiny!
     
  20. Mjh36

    Mjh36 Strat-Talk Member

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    UPDATE:

    Gotoh 510 didn't work.

    At first I put just the bridge on without its hardware, and I thought I heard improvement. So proceeded to swap the bridge assembly hardware. I wanted to change everything, so the trem claw/screws, springs, bushing and studs all got put in.

    I could say there's a very tiny bit of improvement, but it's probably the new strings. Every note on the G string sounds like the previous clips, just as before. Also the a, d, b strings in that 12th fret and up still that shaky warble, as before.

    I will say the Gotoh bridge is pretty nice though. Fit perfect, just barely with zero filing. Tuning stability is better. It sounds good tone-wise. The slightly larger string spacing of 2 1/8" is barely noticeable and I like it anyway.

    So I'm left to think it's literally the body or the neck. I tapped up and down on the neck with my ear against it with no strings, and it sounds solid. I've done that all over the guitar trying to find something. But I can't help to think there's some sorta truss rod/neck/body resonance issue. I'll try and post an updated sound clip tomorrow.

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    Last edited: Nov 20, 2020 at 6:23 AM