Have you used the micro-tilt and why?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by dscottyg, Oct 28, 2021.

  1. Danny D

    Danny D Strat-O-Master

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    Yes I've used it and love the feature. Tone loss? That's a ridiculous notion.
     
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  2. Connecticut

    Connecticut Strat-O-Master

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    No actual problem Just getting things set and the action to my liking. Scalloped have a different feel to them. It felt very high off the fret board and the string change made it feel worse
     
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  3. chuckygm

    chuckygm Strat-Talk Member

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    Been playing three bolt tilt neck since ‘87… never once have I touched the micro tilt.
     
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  4. keys88

    keys88 Strat-Talker

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    Ironically, I've never had to alter the neck angle on a Strat that had a micro tilt. But I have a couple other guitars (not Strats) that definitely needed a neck shim and I wished THOSE had a micro tilt feature. I thought about ordering the full-size wood shims from Stew Mac but I didn't know what size/angle I needed. A couple strips of credit card and some trial and error did the trick.
     
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  5. SPS Strat15

    SPS Strat15 New Member!

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    I was thinking about using it on my tele since although the action is good the grub screws stick in my palm when muting.
     
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  6. thomo5150

    thomo5150 Strat-Talk Member

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    If you are using shims use a full lenght shim like stewmacs, the sand paper and business cards will put a ski jump on your fretboard. Easy to see, put a straight edge on the heel of the neck hold it up to the light and check the gap. Micro tilt does the same take longer. We always sand the neck pocket to correct neck angle or use a shim if the owner wants neck stamps and date left in the neck pocket. Scan pic of the neck showing the lump created by this shim 20210821_093018.jpg IMG_20210821_094611_537.jpg IMG_20210920_094150_127.jpg
     
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  7. dbluesmi

    dbluesmi Strat-Talk Member

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    It’s actually a cool invention. Everyone complains about 70’s Fender 3 screws -but- If you notice it’s not three neck screws, there’s a decent sized machine bolt/screw used for stability. The neck tilt feature does work & works well. On the ash necks used then, I doubt it would create a problem. For softer woods, I’d use a full size shim. Other than some perhaps poor QC on the neck pocket fit during that time, I found I actually preferred the micro-tilt… Is it ideal? Probably not as ideal as a full length wood shim, but for quick adjustment without owning a woodshop, it works.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2021
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  8. Doc538

    Doc538 Strat-Talker Silver Member

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    Playing cards work well
     
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  9. SatinNeck81

    SatinNeck81 Strat-Talker

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    I have it on my 2013 Strat. Never used it and I'll ask my tech but I doubt it. How exactly does it "tilt" the neck? Sorry trying to start working on my own guitars and know very little. Before I had any guitars with trem systems, setups were very rarely needed on my hard-tail set neck guitars.
     
  10. Rickola

    Rickola New Member!

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    I have used one for the last 40 years as a golf ball marker. It cured my problem of fumbling for a coin and it has not affected the tone of my Ping putter at impact.
     
  11. Guitar Hobbyist

    Guitar Hobbyist New Member!

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    Fender University has a video on YouTube on how and why to use the Micro Tilt adjustment. I don’t have it on my Strat but it is on my ‘76 Jazz Bass. The three bolt neck plate was poo-poohed by the four bolt crowd because for some the neck moved in its pocket. I believe you’ve got to loosen the three bolts first before making any Micro Tilt adjustments. Maybe the the loosened bolts weren’t secured tightly enough afterwards.
     
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  12. Slartybartfast

    Slartybartfast Strat-Talker

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    The micro-tilt leaves a big air gap between the neck and body. That has no choice but to wreck your tone. remember, these came along in the '70's Strats when everybody started with the whole "they don't sound as good as the old ones" thing. People tried to blame all kinds of things, like the absence of the fourth bolt, the pickups, even some weird new finish material. The new zinc trems of the time didn't help, but I think the biggest offender is a giant air space in your neck joint. Most Tele models back then didn't have it but my '71 Thinline did. I just backed out the allen screw, cranked in the large mounting bolts (at the time three) and tightened the allen screw just enough so it didn't fall out. And it set up fine without a shim. If you really need to change the neck angle use the Stew-Mac shims. They leave no gap in the pocket so you won't end up with a good ol' fashion "tongue rise" years down the road.
     
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  13. albala

    albala Dr. Stratster

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    I've seen my wizard use it on 8 of my Fenders and they sound delicious.
     
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  14. Jim Havins

    Jim Havins Strat-Talk Member

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    installing a micro tilt only takes about 10 minutes and cost only a couple of dollars. I buy the parts in the hardware and electrical sections at Home Depot. The plate mounted to the neck is simply a knockout plug from an electrical junction box. The rest is found in thre hardware section, I install them on every Fender type guitar I have. I use them to fine tune the string height during set up without having to adjust every saddle height individually over and over to get the optimum string height on each guitar. I find that every guitar is slightly different when fine tuning depending on the radius and if it has fall away.
     
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  15. Joe R

    Joe R Strat-Talk Member

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    Fender, as a company, is quite expert at cost saving measures, and then making it seem as if they are doing all players a favor. Companies that build guitars with set-in necks have to get them in perfect alignment. Often they will use shims to get the fingerboard at the right angle. Of course, these can't be seen. Fender chose not to go to all the trouble of setting the necks at the proper angle. So they "invented" the micro-tilt neck. So the correct angle becomes a do-it-yourself kit for the player. When you loosen the two rear bolts on the four-bolt plate, and tighten the Allen screw, the neck no longer fits flush in the pocket. It is now resting on three points. Does this have an effect on tone or sustain? The answer is yes. I've done a test with Strats that do and to not have the MicroTilt. On those with shims or Microtilt necks, the entire body of the instrument resonates. It can be felt through the back of the instrument. On those WITH the Microtilt necks, there was much less body resonance. Players who say it doesn't effect tone, will then turn around and say that a rosewood fingerboard sounds different from a maple board, or ash sounds different than alder, or string gauge, or scale length affect your sound. The answer is ALL of these items have an effect. Sometimes it's large, such as string or pickup change, and sometimes it's smaller, such as full-body resonance with a shim instead of a Microtilt neck.
     
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  16. Vermoulian

    Vermoulian Strat-Talker Platinum Supporting Member

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    Fun fact: Peavey had tilt adjustment on some of its instruments back in the early days. The manual for the T-40 bass (and, I would guess, the T-60 guitar) actually directed the player to use the micro-tilt to adjust string height, not the saddles.
     
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  17. keys88

    keys88 Strat-Talker

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    To be honest I never thought to install one myself. Do you countersink the plate under the neck and the sleeve in the body for the hex screw? I don't mind drilling holes, but I definitely don't have the tools to countersink a metal disk so it's flush with the wood surface.
     
  18. Dik Ellis

    Dik Ellis Strat-Talker

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    Nope, never used it.
     
  19. rmiller3545

    rmiller3545 New Member!

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    I have the micro-tilt on both my 1983 Strat and my 1994 Peavey Predator, which is a very good Strat copy. I would never use the micro-tilt unless I had to do a quick and temporary set up. The proper way to modify the neck angle is to insert a hardwood wedge, like those from StewMac, that fills the pocket in the body. You can get various angles, or you can simple put a flat piece of material in to raise the neck without changing the angle. I'm speaking from my personal experience with a Fender Prodigy, which was shimmed with a small piece of cardboard under the front two wood screws (bolts) and caused the guitar to develop a ski jump rise at the end of the fingerboard. It took me years to gradually get that corrected. Any time you put pressure on only one end of the neck and screw it in tight, you're leaving a space between the neck and the body that will cause even rock maple to warp over time. It doesn't do much for your tone, either, because the contact area between the neck and body is now very small. I put a 1/2 degree shim from StewMack in a very good Tele copy I practically stole, then installed Fender pickups. Killer!
     
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  20. aleamparo

    aleamparo Strat-Talk Member

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    My 1985 MIJ has micro-tilt adjustment. After 36 years I still haven't used it.
     
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