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ksl

BRIDGE FOR STRAT DIY....ROLLER SADDLES??

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Hey all~~ As I wait for my custom neck to be finished, I'm busy contemplating what bridge components I want to put together for a rather traditional Fender style whammy assembly, brass or steel parts & all. My question is are roller saddles really a tone/sustain/resonance 'killer' for any build? After all, I am going for the most resonance I can get even before I plug in. Some guitars w/good wood, ring for days, and I don't want to put any weak links into the chain. In keeping with very much a Stratty p/u setup, is a brass big block the way to go, and brass or steel saddles? I want as little friction with the saddles due to my Bigsby-like trem approach, & thinking rollers would help stay in better tune. No dive bombing here!! So, as for the 'roller saddles'.... or ? And other metals to consider?
Thnks~~

🕉

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Skip the roller saddles and get staggered locking tuners so you don't need string trees.  The locking helps a tad with tuning stability, and they make string changes so easy. No string trees helps a lot for tuning stability.

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If this hasn't been brought up already I'd also recommend a good quality nut. It will help with tuning stability. I like TUSQ but there are folks who prefer bone as well.

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22 hours ago, ksl said:

 I want as little friction with the saddles due to my Bigsby-like trem approach, & thinking rollers would help stay in better tune. 
🕉

When I build a guitar with a Bigsby, I use roller saddles. - it just doesn't make sense to drag a string back and forth across a knife edge.   I'm also totally impressed by Kahler bridges with their roller saddles.   I don't really care for locking nuts and prefer not to use them but Kahler specifies one to be used with their bridge.    

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Edit to add, be sure that the radius of what ever bridge you choose will work with what ever radius your fretboard is.   Also, of course, make sure that the geometry works with your neck angle, overstand, etc.

Edited by Freeman Keller

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If you use trad strat tremolo, why would you need roller bridge? The whole bridge/saddle assembly goes up and down, and no string drags over saddles as would be case with a TOM bridge/saddle. Correct me if I am wrong (as if you guys wouldn't! haha)

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11 hours ago, Emory said:

If you use trad strat tremolo, why would you need roller bridge? The whole bridge/saddle assembly goes up and down, and no string drags over saddles as would be case with a TOM bridge/saddle. Correct me if I am wrong (as if you guys wouldn't! haha)

I believe that if you read his first post, the OP says he is going to use a "Bigsby-like trem approach".   

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On 9/17/2019 at 9:54 PM, ksl said:

I want to put together for a rather traditional Fender style whammy assembly,

🕉

Yet he also wants a traditional Fender style Whammy assembly

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oops! Thanks Freeman, oh wait... thanks Gardo. Reminds me of "Walk Hard Dewey Cox story": "Doctor! he needs more blankets and less blankets!"

So how about getting a Bigsby handle/paddle machined so it can fit into std whammy hole and then put  blocks on assembly so up and down will be more limited. No dive bombing and all that. A whamsby? Bigsmy?

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You might be able to get a B5 Tele style Bigsby kit on a on a hard tail Strat. The kit uses a floating bridge much like a jag/mustang uses. The studs are set in a larger hole and the entire bridge move with the strings. 

 

 

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If the body is routed for a regular Strat bridge you're better off sticking with that in one form or another.  Kahler and Floyd bridges are an option but you wind up having to install a locking nut for those, or at least locking tuners.   I'm not a super fan of having that large huge chunk of metal on a guitar.  Locking strings systems don't last that long before they wear out and develop issues.  You need to be good at doing your own setups and maintenance. Even changing string brands using the same gauge can cause havoc with string intonation. 

What I dislike most about them is all that metal kills all the wood tone giving the instrument a generic tone. You can no more tell its a Strat from a cigar box.   At least a standard Strat bridge retains some wood tone so you know what kind of instrument you're hearing. 

I have an 80's made in Japan Standard Strat which had one of these bridges along with a locking Nut.  I used it for maybe 2 years before the tuners stripped out. I couldn't find anything to replace it so I wound up filling in the two stud holes and going with a standard bridge and nut.  Best move I could make. It actually sounded like a Strat after that. 

Someone mentioned you could do without string trees by using locking tuning machines.  Unfortunately that wont work on most Strats.  The reason for the string trees is to keep downward pressure on the nut. Without them the strings jump right out of the nut. Toiy could probably do without string trees depending on the type of locking nut you use, but  locking tuners only wont cut it on most Strat necks. The Break away is too flat on the upper strings. 

 

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2 hours ago, WRGKMC said:

Someone mentioned you could do without string trees by using locking tuning machines

The key word was staggered.  The posts on the higher strings are lower so you may get away without them.  If one is needed on the top two, avoid the stamped sheet metal type and get the tshaped ones.

Most of the staggered sets seem to be locking, so that's just an added bonus.  

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Yup - if you’re going to go string-treeless on a Strat (with a non-angled headstock) the trick is to use staggered-height tuners to help provide some down pressure over the nut. And as mrbrown said, most staggered tuners seem to be of the locking type. 

I have to agree with the string tree comments - the flat, stamped ones can catch the strings - and anything that catches or binds the strings can cause tuning issues with a trem. The newer style tree is rounded, which can help if your flat ones are causing issues. It’s been years since I have owned a guitar with staggered tuners, but when I had one, it did need a tree for the high B and E strings; they were a bit too dead and buzzy for my tastes when playing open strings without one... but I’ve played other guitars with staggered tuners that didn’t have one, and they played fine, so it may just be the way I prefer my guitars to be set up, or it may just come down to the individual instrument. If you go with staggered tuners, I’d try it without any trees first, and see what you think. You most likely won’t need one for the D and G strings, and if the high strings don’t have enough pressure over the nut, a tree can easily be added later if needed. 

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