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Got Some Stupid Questions


Tim37
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Well i was crusin the pawn shops today and found a mexi strat for 150 bucks so i picked it up the frets are a little warn but not too bad but i do have some stupid questions and pleas don't think i didn't do a search

First off this is my first tremolo guitar so this my be a stupid question the back of the bridge is raised about 1/8" i don't think that is right so what do i need to do adjust the claw, add springs, or replace the bridge? (that wouldn't hurt my feelings i don't like the looks of the sadles theres nothing to keep the string centered and it has a little rust on it.)

my second quesiton are parts for this guitar the same as an american or are they like a squire? things like the nut pickgaurd bridge

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my second quesiton are parts for this guitar the same as an american or are they like a squire? things like the nut pickgaurd bridge

Chances are the sizes will be closer to Squire specs than to MIA specs. But I believe the MIM guitars have their own specs. Easy enough to find parts for them on ebay though. The nuts should be pretty much standard though. And you don't need to replace the entire bridge, just the saddles.

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Yeah i was thinking of trying a couple of different sizes of string 10's and 11's and mayber heavier but first off i want to get it set up right the action is really high and i havent went out to the shop to get a allen wrench i may just make up a order and get some springs and saddles before i play with it too much and get this thing set up right

btw i adjusted the claw and it brought the bridge down a lot but not completely. i also want put some pickups in it right now it has a duncan performer (baiscaly korean seymoure duncan) hot rail in the bridge and im not loving that im wanting that bluesy strat sound.

when you mean the bridge is raised, do you mean its tilted up so pitch can be lowered and raised?

some prefer it fully floating, i read richie blackmore has his set at 45 degrees

yeah thats whats going on but when its raised the action is raised and like i said i have always had TOM's and if i had got this new i would have gotten a hardtail but it was the right price. any way it jsut seems that with all the complaints about the trems not staying in tune having it floating would just cause it to be even wrose about staying in tune. i may be wrong

and do they even go up to 45 degrees?

Edited by Tim37
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Some people prefer to have traditional trems set with a little bit of a gap at the rear, maybe a few 16ths. Others like it flat against the body. If you prefer hard tails you can always block the trem so it can't move and just unscrew the arm. Plus I think there is a hard tail that will mount right in the holes for a trem if you are replacing the bridge, but I don't remember where I saw it and which country origins it fits.

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Personally, I blocked the trem on my strat soon after I bought it. I mean, I know there are people out there who somehow magically manage to keep the thing in tune, but I don't know how they do that. And then there are all the other issues with the trem, like the problems with string bends, and the disaster that happens when you break a string...

So I just blocked mine with a piece of wood cut to the right shape and size, and fitting the bridge flat against the guitar. At this point, the springs (just 3 of them) serve only to hold the block in place. I also changed the saddles (which were worn out ) for Graphtechs.

I switched out the trem on my Stratobastard for a Trem King, that does a much better job of staying in tune (not perfect though--I should take the time to complete the full adjustment, at which point, it probably would), and you can do string bends, and not worry as much about breaking the strings (and has Graphtech rollers built into the stroller). Of course, it costs almost as much as you paid for your guitar!

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Keep in mind that if you replace the saddles with non-metal saddles, you will notice a difference in attack and tone - it will sound a bit like a little treble roll-off.

If you block the trem, then screw those 6 screws down tight - but if you ever un-block it again, remember to loosen them again or you'll be bending them or the front of the bridge plate (or both) whenever you dive-bomb.

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when you mean the bridge is raised, do you mean its tilted up so pitch can be lowered and raised?

some prefer it fully floating, i read richie blackmore has his set at 45 degrees

yeah thats whats going on but when its raised the action is raised and like i said i have always had TOM's and if i had got this new i would have gotten a hardtail but it was the right price. any way it jsut seems that with all the complaints about the trems not staying in tune having it floating would just cause it to be even wrose about staying in tune. i may be wrong

and do they even go up to 45 degrees?

It may have been 30degrees actually, he went on to say Leo Fender designed the trem to sit up that high and having it any other way was a compromise, I've yet to see one that high though.

I have 5 springs and the claw fully tightened to make my strat a hardtail, i was too lazy to make a block up :D

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well i think i am gonna do like Borge and just max out the springs until the brigde is down then if i decide to use the trem i can always use it

The graphtech sound nice i may try them and if it isn't bright enough make up with it when i buy pickups but im not one of those guys that has to have a ultra bright guitar.

Any way thanks for all the great advise guys.

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if i bend 2 steps the other strings go about 1/8 step flat which isnt a problem for me, but depending on string tension/spring strength/how sensitive your ears are etc it may be too much for you.

Yeah, but what I don't like is how the strings really fight against you in order to do that. Just my personal thing.

It's true the Graphtechs will take a bit off the high end, it's something you'll either like or hate. Of course, they claim it 'reinforces the midrange' in their adspeak, which I suppose is also true in its way.

Anyway, $150 for the guitar is pretty great deal, definitely worth fixing up.

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yeah i figure i can put another 150 or so in it and still be ok i am just gonna have to be careful where i put my money i am looking at graphtech saddles nut and string tree, then bumping up the springs and some pickups

doesn any one have experence with the fender tex mex pickups they look nice but how do they sound i know they are the right price.

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yeah i figure i can put another 150 or so in it and still be ok i am just gonna have to be careful where i put my money i am looking at graphtech saddles nut and string tree, then bumping up the springs and some pickups

doesn any one have experence with the fender tex mex pickups they look nice but how do they sound i know they are the right price.

Well, in that case, you can replace the trem with one of the new alternatives -- there's a Floyd Rose-type that retrofits, actually looks kind of cool. Someone had posted a link to it in another thread, maybe someone can post the link here. The Trem King works well too, like I said. Although both might max out your budget.

Of course, if you're going for a hardtail, then there's no need for either. Cutting a block is easy, by the way. Between that and the strings, you'll be fine.

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doesn any one have experence with the fender tex mex pickups they look nice but how do they sound i know they are the right price.

Tex Mex are pretty warm as strat pickups go.

Pickups are where you can really make an upgrade on a MIM (which, if set up properly, will play just as well as even a custom shop strat); you can spend more on the pickups than the guitar, and it will sound as good as any Strat out there. Personally the best Strat pickups I've ever heard are DiMarzio Area '58 in the bridge, and Area '61s in the mid & neck positions. I installed a set for a guy in his MIA Strat, and best I can describe it - they take the entire Strat vibe (all pickup selections) and make it more obvious and up-front. Almost like all those characteristic Strat freqs are boosted throughout the spectrum. I have Lace Holy Grails in mine, and I like them, but the 58/61 combo is better. Very nice.

Go to the Fender forum and look for posts by a guy named SMark - he's tested them all and posted all his results.

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yeah i figure i can put another 150 or so in it and still be ok i am just gonna have to be careful where i put my money i am looking at graphtech saddles nut and string tree, then bumping up the springs and some pickups

doesn any one have experence with the fender tex mex pickups they look nice but how do they sound i know they are the right price.

I set my strat bridge flush with the body with 4 springs (i use 11s) and its bsically a fixed bridge but will dive when I want it to!

then I lost the arm! :D currently using a screw driver!

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  • 5 weeks later...
Well i was crusin the pawn shops today and found a mexi strat for 150 bucks so i picked it up the frets are a little warn but not too bad but i do have some stupid questions and pleas don't think i didn't do a search

First off this is my first tremolo guitar so this my be a stupid question the back of the bridge is raised about 1/8" i don't think that is right so what do i need to do adjust the claw, add springs, or replace the bridge? (that wouldn't hurt my feelings i don't like the looks of the sadles theres nothing to keep the string centered and it has a little rust on it.)

my second quesiton are parts for this guitar the same as an american or are they like a squire? things like the nut pickgaurd bridge

Since you got it so cheap you can certainly afford to do some upgrades. I put a stainless block in mine and think it sounds much better than before. I'm going to put some stainless saddles on it too since mine are wearing and the screws won't stay tight anymore either. Go to Callaham Guitars and check out their Mexican Strat upgrades.

And like others have said, changing the pickups should be very easy and fairly affordable too. Good luck to you.

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Mine has Highway One upgrade pickups in the neck and middle and an SD Hotrails in the bridge. Electronics are CTS, tuners are schaller locking, nut is bone, and I got it for free(well, free as in I traded a $300 Epiphone and and Epi Valve Jr Head for it)

I like it better than any other guitar I've tried, especially after sanding the neck to satin with scotch-brite. Glossy necks feel so cheap.

Also blocked the trem and got an aluminum pickguard for it: http://www.sharp-concepts.com/Anodizing/An...0Dia.%20SSH.JPG

Never take off the neck though; what you see in the neck pocket of a MIM strat cannot be unseen.

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All these trem haters...the fender trem is perfectly good for a whole host of players from Hank Marvin to Jeff Beck...it can stay in tune, it can even resist the string bending breaking problems if set up right. If you have one that works, you miss it when it's not there...

Of course, it is a temperamental thing to set up...but not as bad as a floyd in my opinion.

Personally, I think before you go off into parts acquistion...see if you can't get the thing to play well as it is and work from there. I believe there are different specs between MIM, MIA and squier, so watch for that.

It is often normal for the trem to be raised 1/8" at the back...this allows the trem to raise the pitch as well as lower it. If you want to comprimise, add more springs and or...screw the spring claw as far forward as possible so that the bridge sits hard to the face of the guitar...I have even seen people add a coil or spacer under the bridge...EVH has this kind of set up for only down bends. If tight enough, it will resist even string break.

Personally, I prefer a floating action on a strat.

There are ways of stringing that lock the strings at the tuner and I have done this on all my guitars for 30 years now. It means threading through the hole twice and making sure that it overlaps with the first wind...and minimizing the number of winds...or get some locking tuners. As for string trees, roller ones work well, but you can also loosen up the trees with a bit of a spacer so it rocks a little...they are really there to stop vibrations behind the nut on the higher strings on a fender peghead as much as putting pressure on the nut. With less down pressure on the nut, there is less wear and friction...also helping with tuning. You can also find some pluming pipe washers (typically copper) that can go behind the tuners to make a staggering effect...this can work surprisingly well and adds a little extra mass to the headstock as well. Lossen the bridge mounting screws as well...some people even remover all but two and is the origina of the two post design I suspect...SRV drilled out some of his inner bridge screw holes I think to cut friction...so only the outer ones were providing the pivot effectively.

Anyway...there are lots of tricks to the fender trem and it has stood the test of time...some of the tricks have become a part of the newer hardware (staggered locking tuners and two post pivots)...but as a testament to the design...it is basically what PRS is using and many others.

Anyway...I'd be getting the guitar to play right as it is...get the action and as good as you can and assess the fret wear...if these need work, it could cost a bit. Often though, these guitars are cheap because people don't bother to learn to set them up right and trems get a bad name because people go silly with them...every thing in moderations and you will not only be a more tasteful player, but a convert to what the trem can add to your playing. Not that with a good set up you can't use it extensively....Jeff becks style is based on a lot of trem work with extreme up and down bends and harmonic work that requires the guitar to stay in tune...it can be done if you put your mind to it.

Also, take some time to get used to the fender style...it can feel a little odd if you play a les paul style bridge as the strings are a lot closer to the body generally, hardly any neck tilt and of course the longer scale length...but you can get to love this too after a while...I played an LP for 20 odd years before I crossed over, you'll be glad you did...now a telecaster, that's even harder to get used to!

pete

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Thanks for the advise

and Pete what you have said makes a lot of sense There is a reason that the strat is one of the most copied guitars in the world so there is no doupt that it can be made to work. i really want new saddles where the strings rest and the screws are rusted i think the rest of the bridge can be cleaned up nice i also want to do a new pick gaurd nothing worng with the one on it but its white on a black guitar and how many of those are out there im thinking a tourtise shell pick gaurd with black covers and knobs but enough of the pretty stuff. i am content with the tuners they seem like decent tuners so they will stay. and the bridge i just don't like the idea of blocking the trem it just doesn't seem right to have something like that and not have it functional. my main problem right now with the guitar is money or rather my lack of it but i am hoping after the new year things will start to look better.

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Never take off the neck though; what you see in the neck pocket of a MIM strat cannot be unseen.

You mean all the damn stickers on the neck heel ?

I usually try to get the owner to let me get rid of them. Sometimes one of them will have some serious poly over the top of it, in which case I might just level the finish if it's creating a big bump. Sometime they just have a light poly coat and I cut the poly and get the sticker off. I'll keep the stickers with finish on 'em cause they help me *try* to dial in a matching amber tint on test boards. (even with such help, my tint matching skills leave a little to be desired)

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Never take off the neck though; what you see in the neck pocket of a MIM strat cannot be unseen.

You mean all the damn stickers on the neck heel ?

I usually try to get the owner to let me get rid of them. Sometimes one of them will have some serious poly over the top of it, in which case I might just level the finish if it's creating a big bump. Sometime they just have a light poly coat and I cut the poly and get the sticker off. I'll keep the stickers with finish on 'em cause they help me *try* to dial in a matching amber tint on test boards. (even with such help, my tint matching skills leave a little to be desired)

Actually, no. There were a few stickers, but they were nice enough to leave everything unfinished in the neck pocket. I guess 1998 was a good year. But there were all these damn holes drilled everywhere. Probably from their manufacturing process? There were like 3 screw holes that seemed randomly placed, and a big routed-out circle in the middle. Thing still sustains well though.

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