Replace 2-1/16" bridge with 2-1/8". Will 1/16" wider be a problem?

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by Overthere, Oct 9, 2021.

  1. Overthere

    Overthere Strat-Talker

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    I have a cheap Chinese Strat clone. It has a 6-point trem bridge with 2-1/16" (52.5mm) string spacing, E-to-e. I want to make the following modification, but am concerned about the E strings slipping over the fret ends and off the fretboard while playing.

    I would like to plug the six existing bridge-mount holes, and redrill for a 2-point tremolo bridge. My choice is the Japanese-made Gotoh VS100N, which enjoys a good reputation. But that bridge does not measure 2-1/16" E-to-e. It measures 2-1/8" (54mm). So it's 1/16" (1.5mm) wider.

    I can buy the less expensive Korean-made Wilkinson WVS50IIK version, which does measure 2-1/16" E-to-e. That would avoid altering my string spacing. But there's very little information online about that bridge, and what info does appear is confusing. Apparenlty the design has been through multiple revisions starting with VS-50, then VS50I, then VS50II and now WVS50IIK (K for Korea). I don't understand what each revision achieved, and some online remarks say the earlier versions were made of junk metal. Apparently the knife edges that engage the steel pivot posts deform, and maybe that defect applies to the current incarnation, too. And there seem to be competing versions of this product from multiple countries of origin. Ugh. The one I would buy is from MusicLily via Amazon for $54, but there are no meaningful reviews and MusicLily is a Chinese parts source (sometimes mfr, sometimes supplier/retailer) with mixed reviews.

    Some guitar manufacturers use the Wilkinson WVS50IIK, but I can't tell whether they're using one made in "a good country" or "a bad country." Or maybe they're ALL made by the same Korean source...(?) Very confusing.

    So I'd rather spend $40 more, buy the Japanese Gotoh VS100N and avoid the headaches. BUT...the Gotoh string spacing is slightly wider.

    See two pics below.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It looks to me like there's still enough space from the strings to the fretboard edges, but I want to hear from you guys. My fret ends are not rounded over, so I have the maximum fret width possible. And I don't expect to play beyond the 15th fret. Also, the second image shows the fret-22 string spacing at a full 1-15/16", but geometry suggests the spacing would be slightly less wide at that point.

    One other factor: With this tremolo bridge set to FLOAT, I won't be BENDING strings (because all other strings go flat when you bend). So I might be able to get away with having my E strings this near the edges.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2021
  2. The_Whale

    The_Whale Strat-Talker

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    I thought you'd run out of issues with your guitar to open threads about.

    But I was wrong.
     
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  3. Impulsive guppy

    Impulsive guppy Strat-O-Master Gold Supporting Member

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    Before you go down this road.
    Check the thickness of the body.
    There can be an issue with the trem block.
     
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  4. stevierayfan91

    stevierayfan91 DEEPLY SHY.

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    It may create another set of difficulties with the bridge.
     
  5. Overthere

    Overthere Strat-Talker

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    Yes, you were.

    Life's Rich Pageant
     
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  6. Overthere

    Overthere Strat-Talker

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    Thanks, @Impulsive guppy. One of the reasons I'm willing to put time and money into this guitar is that it has a full-depth Strat body. 1-3/4" thick, so no worries about a 40mm trem block projecting beyond the trem cavity.
     
  7. grumpah

    grumpah Strat-Talker Silver Member

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    The Gotoh NS510TS-FE1 is a two point bridge with a 2-1/16" string spacing.
     
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  8. Overthere

    Overthere Strat-Talker

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    Thank you, @grumpah. I failed to mention this, but I would very much like to have the locking saddles as employed by the VS100N and Wilkinson WVS50IIK.

    One reason is this conversation between StewMac's Dan Erlewine and Trevor Wilkinson. If possible, I'll get one or the other.

    I appreciate you digging that Gotoh NS510TS-FE1 up for me.
     
  9. Wound_Up

    Wound_Up CUSTOM USER TITLE Silver Member

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    Indio guitars aren't the piece of ****s you're making them out to be. I don't understand why you feel the need to call it "cheap, Chinese" every time you mention it. If you have such disdain for that guitar, why the f do you even still have it?
     
  10. The_Whale

    The_Whale Strat-Talker

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    My guess is the tuners will be the topic of your next thread.
     
  11. Overthere

    Overthere Strat-Talker

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    What advice would you give a guitarist...today?
    Calm yourself.

    Email and other forms of typed online discourse are tone deaf. You're reading what I write in whatever tone your perception superimposes. I like my guitar, enough to work on it, put money into it and suffer a lotta nonsense from some on this board. So I'm not denegrating it; I'm establishing a baseline for further discussion.

    "A cheap Chinese clone" is an accurate description of my guitar, and you know it is. I paid $100; that's cheap. It's Chinese. It's a Strat clone. That description is just shorthand for what I have; it's not a Fender or Squire anything. It's a cheap Chinese clone, and the remainder of the thread will make sense if we all take that into account.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2021
  12. Overthere

    Overthere Strat-Talker

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    Bought Fender locking tuners with staggered 3-tall, 3-short. First purchase. Seemed like a good choice within my budget.
     
  13. rmackowsky

    rmackowsky Strat-Talker

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    FWIW, I installed the WVS50IIK from Amazon on a partscaster with no issue. I haven’t played it extensively so I can’t testify to durability, but it seems like a solid piece. Also, my cheap strat copy had 50 mm string spacing, so the 52.5 on the Wilkinson was wider. Worked out fine, no issues. As long as you take your time and center it perfectly. I used a laser pointer. You can also use the laser to show the string position. 75F86340-6CF1-4CD1-AD55-DE7C65152A04.jpeg

    If you think about it, you are mostly bending the e string upward, so catching fret end is not really an issue. And E gets far less bending, and it’s easy to pull down away from the fret end.
     
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  14. The_Whale

    The_Whale Strat-Talker

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    I am looking forward to the thread.
     
  15. greezy strings

    greezy strings Strat-O-Master

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    I think that's me you are thinking of!
     
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  16. greezy strings

    greezy strings Strat-O-Master

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    I have a 1-5/8 nut with the vs100 and no problem.. I was uncertain and concerned strings would run to close to the edge but no prob.. I also have both trems.. the Gotoh is noticeably better quality... the WVS50IIK works fine.. but has lower tolerances all the way around.. screws.. knife edges etc.. all lower quality... but works fine once set up and your are not heavy handed on torquing screws and not forgetting to loosen the saddle screws before adjusting saddle heights and intonation. As well as making sure there is n tension on the trem when adjust the two pivot screw so you don't damage the knife edge on trem plate.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2021
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  17. Overthere

    Overthere Strat-Talker

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    Thanks for helpful suggestions, @rmackowsky. I put a link in my original post wherein the guy claimed he had to file the two knife edges and then temper the steel with a welding torch and oil quench. Sheesh. I have a MAPP torch and I know how to temper steel, but I don't want to go through all that on a delicate, brand new guitar part. =O

    Is that your Cort project? Too good. =D If I buy the 54mm Gotoh I'm adding just 1.5mm to the string width. You added 2.5mm and still didn't suffer problems. That's encouraging.

    I think you're right. I don't bend much on acoustic, so I'll take your word for it. Using a laser pointer is a GREAT idea. In your picture, is that laser spinning, like it would on a construction site to establish a constant level or plumb line? I have a laser sight (doesn't spin) that I might be able to adapt temporarily. If I can get that same level of accuracy in centering the new bridge, I might try to shift it just slightly toward low-E.

    Thank you for introducing these ideas.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2021
  18. Overthere

    Overthere Strat-Talker

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    Without new threads, there's no discussion.
    Without discussion, there's no forum.
    If you don't like this forum,
    maybe you'd like to read a book.
    Or practice playing your guitar.
    Or maybe read a book about how to play the guitar.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2021
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  19. Overthere

    Overthere Strat-Talker

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    Thanks for answering my questions, @greezy strings. That's exactly what I'm hoping to hear.

    I think the lesser Wilkinson would probably be fine for me, and your remarks confirm that, but I intend to have just two Strats; one set up with a floating trem and the other as a hardtail (blocked trem bridge). If you were building your one-and-only "tremolo Strat", would you spend the extra $40 to get the Gotoh instead of the Wilkinson?

    Thank you. There's a link in my original post about a guy who claims the Wilkinson baseplate metal is soft junk. His knife edges deformed badly, but maybe he's wrong about WHY. Maybe he failed to take care in the ways you describe above. I'm very glad you explained (for my benefit and the benefit of all readers) how to avoid damaging a brand new 2-point tremolo bridge.

    Thanks.
     
  20. Jimbo99

    Jimbo99 Strat-Talker

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    I'm quite content with the sub $ 100 Indio Tele (Blonde) that I have, so much that I'm getting a 2nd one (Sunburst). Nothing noteworthy for inferior quality to swap out on it really. Cheap is a perception, $ 100 for the Indio, as well as it's constructed & plays is quite & remarkably "affordable" as a better description. I have several guitars, Epiphone to Squier that are constructed similarly and play no better than a standard issue OEM Monoprice Indio. When they're adjusted properly for a set up, I have no reservations reaching for the Monoprice Indio Retro Classic TL style.

    Looks like your's sb good to go with the 1/16 wider string spacing. I think your math might be off though ? 2 1/16 vs 2 1/8 is 1/16 of an inch in total. Theoretically, each E string would be 1/32 wider at each end ? It all depends upon where the difference is distributed, it might be over the entire 6 strings and end up accumulating at the last string, be it the low or the high E string ? If it's the fat E string, are you bending that thicker wound cable even ?

    Another issue is that the strings may not align perfectly over the pickup poles ? You're action item from this post is, to post a photo of those as directly over each E string as you can from the bridge & saddles to the fretboard last fret. That way we can see what's going on with this guitar, before & perhaps after. Maybe still not the same as being there, but any photo is better than theoretical discussions.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2021
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