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Setting up Floating Bridge


ikwtif
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I'm planning on redoing my whole floating bridge setup again because I need to for intonation anyway and I want to set up the floating bridge for intervals.

I'll be mostly just following this video

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7luUzgDwwcs&feature=iv&src_vid=1dEZxBykRto&annotation_id=annotation_189335671

 

But my question is, in what order should I do everything, since I'll be checking action height, intonation etc again too. Do I do these things best before setting up the tremolo intervals, or afterwards? Or does it even matter? 

 

Also, is it better to just set all the saddles in a standard position to start off? And completely start off the setup from there or do I just adjust what I have now? 

 

This is the bridge I will be setting up

 

http://www.fake58.co.uk/images/SB_5310-002%20Wilkinson%20VS100.jpg

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If it's not perfectly parallel to the body it's done wrong. if it's pointing up, you have too much tension on the string side and not enough on the counter part (the heavier gauge the higher tension you need on the opposite side for a same tuning). If it's pointing down it's the counter part that is too powerfull compare to the string tension.

 

It's hard to find the perfect balance between both part and need a lot of time to get it right. Trial and error is your best friend.

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If it's not perfectly parallel to the body it's done wrong.

 

I tought you can't really get it perfectly parallel with this method anyway (even tough it was way over) Unless you are supposed to change the springs on the back to counter the tension, or I'm just doing it horribly wrong. since it's based on the interval. But I already have 3 springs pulling on the bridge so I don't see how I would even be able to fix that issue.  I got it flatter by raising the anchors of the bridge tough even tough that's probably not the right way to do it.

 

 

I also seemed to have no problem with the intonation, wich completely changed after a few days for some reason so I'll redo the setup again when I put new strings I guess, or maybe sooner. Because I must have done something wrong since shifting the saddles changed the intonation very little and I just can't get it right around the 5th frets either with the notes being off on G and B string by 10 cents. Very annoying. Specially because everything was fine when I did the setup. Everything just seem to be shifted after a couple of days

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Rising the anchor can be a solution but that might ends up giving you a really action (high between the strings and the fret) which can lead to some other issue.

 

Also you might be trying to put really heavy gauge on a setup that wasn't meant for it (you should be able to add tension on the spring by adjusting the distance with the screw at the back of the guitar) and that makes it harder to get a good setup but i'm just telling you some general information about it all.

 

New string take some time to stretch out a bit which can mess up the setup don't hesitate to redo it the day after putting on the new string.

 

It's complicated cause there's many variable to work with so move one see how it goes and adjust another one if you need to correct something, and bit by bit, you'll get there (and tuning will change how everything interact cause you change the tension of the whole system!)

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Yeah I know most of how to set it up properly and the many factors, I just tought it was strange the intonation completely changed after a few days. I would have expected it to change up to the next day, like you said, not a few days later. Guess I'll just redo the complete setup again. Like you said, to many facters to know what caused it.

 

I have .10 strings, I think the guitar had originally had .09 strings on but I also added an extra spring on the bridge when I changed gauge so I don't think that should be a problem.

 

I don't know if you watched the video I added to the first post? But to me it seems like his bridge is also not horizontal anymore after the setup, so I'm wondering if it's even possible to keep horizontal with that method. I might just descide to keep the bridge locked to the body for now so I have an easier time and less variables to work with until I'm more comfortable with it.

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In a normal setup you want to have room to move the bridge in both direction if you are already too much in one direction you might find yourself short (or put too much pressure on the string if you go crazy and break some).

 

I've blocked my bridge to get rid of the biggest parameter and it allow me to change gauge without any second thought (and the tuner don't hold the tuning properly but that's another issue :) ).

 

He seems to not be perfetly horizontal at the end of his setup but it doesn't seems that much but it's hard to have a good idea, anyway the closer you can get the better but at one point no need to go crazy for a little difference. But horizontal should be what you aim for.

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Have to disagree with you @@firekorn when you say if the trem isn't parallel to the body it's done wrong. There's nothing wrong with having the trem floating at an angle to the body (assuming you're doing it on purpose to allow for bigger up travel)

The video linked above is a great method of doing just so, I had my strat set up using his method for a while, but in the end I went back to floating parallel to the body because I only use the bar for light vibrato.

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Unless you are willingly making it not horizontal to allow for a certain direction to have more room (but there's already a lot of room in both direction when you are horizontal). And having more room to actually putting more tension on the string can lead to breaking strings if you go a bit crazy on the whammy bar which is not really something you would want.

 

That's why parallel should be the main goal at first, then if you feel like you need more room in a direction for any kind of reason you can adjust but i'm not sure it's really needed by anyone. and that doesn't mean the bridge should be really upward or rely on the body at all and that i'm sure we would agree it's wrong :)

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