Same guitars, different bending

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Glen1990, Jan 13, 2022.

  1. Glen1990

    Glen1990 New Member!

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    Hi folks.
    I would need advice. I have two fender guitars. Fender vintera classic 60s and Fender Classic 70. Guitars have the same 25.5 scale, same vintage frets,same radius 7,25, same Strings daddario EXL110 Nickel Wound, the same height strings over 12 fret, same tremolo setup (Decking) and 5 springs. Nevertheless, it is easier for me to bending on Vintera. Bending on classic 70 it's too hard. As if the used different string thicknesses on Vintere and Classic. The only difference is that the Vintera has a pau ferro fingerboard and a classic 70 maple. Can you advise me? Thanks
     
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  2. Lucius Paisley

    Lucius Paisley Strat-Talker

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    Same neck shape? Same number of frets?
     
  3. wooders

    wooders Strat-Talker

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    Heavy strings are harder to bend. I used to have 11s on my old Les Paul. Dropped to 10s now. Much easier.
    Set up, set up, set up.
    All bar one of my guitars have level, polished frets and a proper 'luthier' set up. This makes a huuuuuuge. Difference.
     
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  4. jrbirdman

    jrbirdman Senior Stratmaster Platinum Supporting Member Silver Member

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    Interesting, maybe different fret polish levels?
     
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  5. Malurkey

    Malurkey Senior Stratmaster

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    Are the frets the same size?
     
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  6. Davono

    Davono Strat-Talker

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    Different spring tension on the trem?
     
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  7. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon

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    Different set ups, different feel.
     
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  8. Believer7713

    Believer7713 The Pink Bunnyman Frankenstein Silver Member

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    I know you said the string height is the same. Have you checked the relief on the necks to see if they are the same?
    Make sure the nut is properly cut for the strings so they slide properly when stretching during a bend (though that will normally give tuning issues).
    Are the string trees the same on each guitar? Are they the same height? (Affects break angles)
    How about the number of winds on the tuning pegs? This affects the break angles at the nut too.
    Are the sustain blocks on the back of the bridge the same? Does one have deeper anchor holes for the end of the strings? This affects the overall length of the string and can make it feel slinky it stiff.
    How about the distance of the saddles from the back of the bridge plate, are they the same? This affects break angle which affects the way the strings move on the saddles.
    Not trying to sound sarcastic at all. These are all the things I would start looking at if they were my guitars. If the frets weren't polished the same I would normally feel that when the string moves across the frets. Number of springs shouldn't really make it stiff feeling either. I have several hardtail guitars that bend as easy as my floaters. In fact, they are easier to bend to specific pitches because the bridge isn't giving way to the tension changes so I don't have to push the strings as far.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2022
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  9. Lovnmesomestrat

    Lovnmesomestrat Senior Stratmaster

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    Hi @Glen1990 , some great advice given already, I just wanted to say welcome to the group!! :thumb:

    LMSS
     
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  10. Glen1990

    Glen1990 New Member!

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    Thank you guys!
    I'll check the whole tremolo and nut. When I changed the strings I added a little bit graphite to nut. Vintera uses one string tree and Classic 70 uses two string tree. I've already thought about it and tried to remove one (string D G) but the result was the same. The frets on the classic 70 are a bit worn out, but I don't think that's the problem. I measured the scale with the meter and it is the same on both guitars. I'll check distance of the saddles from the back of the bridge plate and I'll write if I found out anything.
    Thanks again to everyone for help
     
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  11. ibdrkn1

    ibdrkn1 Senior Stratmaster

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    For me fret height is all the difference. If the one with bending issues is the one with worn frets that's likely it. The taller the fret the easier to grab hold of the string for big bends.

    IMO the Maple board also plays a part. On a 70's Classic that'll be a gloss finish which I sometimes feel can get sticky.

    My first guitar was a 50's style Strat, Maple board, vintage frets and radius. It was a chore to do big bends in comparison to my new Les Paul (obviously now I know there was more at play than just Maple). I steered clear of Maple boards for decades.

    Now my favorite Fender neck is a Maple board, but it's a satin finish and taller frets.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2022
  12. Guithartic

    Guithartic Strat-Talker

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    Wow, I hadn’t thought of all those other things. They make sense. The only one I was thinking of before I read your reply is the height of the saddles causing different break angles.
    To the OP: You can have two guitars with the same action but different height on the saddles because some necks sit down in the pocket a little deeper than others, even on identical models.
     
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  13. rlongnt

    rlongnt Strat-O-Master

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    I can relate, I have two 2014 American Standards that are identical other than color. Both set up the same. Blindfolded I couldn't tell which was which unless I bend then I can. Not enough to be a big deal but enough to notice. Probably a smother finish on the frets on one.
     
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  14. Wrighty

    Wrighty Dr. Stratster

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    I know of others who find bending more difficult on a maple board. All I can think of your sliding the string and your finger over laquer rather than wood. I do find bends a tad easier on my friend's rosewood board Strat than on my maple.
     
  15. Pandamasque

    Pandamasque Strat-O-Master

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    My bet is the 70s Classic has low vintage-style frets while Vintera has "narrow tall". The result is more of your finger comes in contact with the fretboard, which happens to be sticky gloss maple, and you're having to rub against it as you bend. Not only unfinished pau ferro is less sticky, but taller frets make sure your fingers barely touch the wood at all.
     
  16. ibdrkn1

    ibdrkn1 Senior Stratmaster

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    In my experience there's also no such thing as the same guitars.

    The middle and left guitars are the same model of guitars with the same strings, set up by me the way I like it. One is Black and one is Red. That should be the only difference but the Red plays better. There's some microscopic difference that just makes that one play better. It could be the way I've worn in the neck but I think it feels like a slightly different profile.

    Both are awesome, but one is awesomer!
     

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  17. bluejazzoid

    bluejazzoid Strats Amore Silver Member

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    In my experience I've found that truss rod tension can also have an affect on the slinky-factor of strings.

    Even with everything else being as "equal" as possible, every neck is different ---because they are made from wood--- so the amount of tension on the truss rod for each usually is different, for otherwise similar setups.
     
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  18. dirocyn

    dirocyn Most Honored Senior Member

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    There are two potential differences--tension and slinkiness.

    First, tension. The distance between nut and saddle makes a real difference in the tension. With 10s and starting with a 25.5" scale length, a difference of 0.1" (2.5 turns of the saddle screw) increases the tension at which the string tunes to pitch from 17.8 to 18.0. If the guitars have radically different action, the point at which the saddles intonate correctly will be different. If the intonation isn't set, then obviously that'll be different too.

    Whether this sort of issue crosses the threshold of "noticeable" depends on the player. I personally don't notice a difference in tension between strings unless it's more than about 3 lbs

    Next, slinkiness--how easy or hard it is to push the string sideways. This is effected by:

    Action--if you have to push the string further (harder) just to fret the note, it'll take more force to bend.

    Friction at the nut--if the string is impeded from pulling through smoothly, it will feel harder to stretch. A locking nut blocks it completely, a roller nut allows the string to pull through very easily. With a regular nut, the more the break angle, the more friction. Note that Gibson-style headstocks have a compound bend at the nut, with a greater angle on the middle two strings.

    Friction at the saddle--Note that on stoptail bridges the bridge break angle is adjustable--either by top wrapping the strings or by raising the stop bar. This changes how easily the strings slide across the saddles and some players swear it makes bending easier. It should also (theoretically) make it easier for the strings to return to pitch after a bend.

    The length of string behind the nut or saddle. If the string is free to slide past nut and/or saddle, the whole string stretches when you do a bend. Instead of just the "speaking length" that's between nut and saddle. It makes it easier to push the string a certain distance across the fretboard--although the same increase in tension is required to bend up to a particular pitch.

    And also--how flexible the neck, and whether the bridge moves when you bend.
     
  19. 3bolt79

    3bolt79 Dr. Stratster

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    ‘Is the neck relief the same? Is the nut height correct, and are the necks different profile?
     
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  20. Davono

    Davono Strat-Talker

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    I am not much of a guitarist. Bit I am a hell of a bassist, and a good double bassist to boot. Playing a fretless hollow body instrument with 4 foot strings teaches you a thing or two about landing on a pitch.

    The things are so big, temperature, atmospheric pressure, altitude and humidity can alter how well it stays in tune. As a result, sometimes the notes ain't where you expect them to be, and you have to find em bends are like playing fretless in that you have to arrive very near the note then come on to it before the apex of the note. So, when you bend, you should not rely solely on muscle memory. You bend till you feel a certain resistance and then stop, you will very easily go sharp or flat.

    If the bends are different, use your ears, and then use your brain to 'override' the feel so the note is right.
     
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