Life too short for long YouTube videos? Please see the ‘Interesting bits and go-to sections’ information below.
In this video I pick up from Part 1 where I decided that I’d subject my favourite electric guitar to a couple of major changes. Blue’s American Vintage Syncronized Tremolo unit gets swapped out for a Callaham Vintage S Model Strat Bridge Assembly – this one: http://www.callahamguitars.com/strat_bridge_vintage_catalog.htm
Can I hear much difference? Well, a little bit perhaps. Can I feel the difference? Oh yes!
I put new strings on the guitar, play some phrases… then swap the bridge and document that process, with a few tips on setting action and intonation along the way. Then keeping the exact same settings on the pedals and amp, I go back in with the new bridge and play the same passages again so it can edit into an A/B comparison.
That was all done 23 December 2018. After three weeks of playing, filming TPS shows and one gig, I reflect on the bridge change experience.
NOTE ON THE ‘CORRECT’ WAY TO SET STRAT BRIDGES
Okay, so I don’t have my Strat bridge floating… which is the traditional, ‘correct’ way that many people like, and indeed how they come out of the factory. I don’t like that because the guitar detunes when you bend strings, and tuning/bridge stability in general is less reliable for the way I play. The way I like mine is set flat on the body and poised so it will down-bend relatively easily… but not so easily that string bending will make the other strings go flat. Hope that makes sense. Fender has a good guide to setting up a Syncronized Tremolo in the ‘correct’ manner on its website, here: https://support.fender.com/hc/en-us/articles/212774786-How-do-I-set-up-my-Stratocaster-guitar-properly-
Interesting bits and go to sections…
- Intro: 0:00
- The bridge change happens: 2:17
- Comparing the old and new bridge before it goes in: 9:40
- New one goes in: 11:23
- Springs? 15:30
- Action and intonation prep: 18:00
- Intonation adjustment: 19:40
- Mick's action measurements: 25:10
- Arm tension? 25:35
- The sound comparison: 28:42
- Post-playing thoughts and observations: 39:40