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Mick’s Vlog – Blue Strat Gets A Callaham Bridge

Published on 15 Jan 2019

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:

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.

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:

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

Enjoy the video!

Pedals and amps used in this video…

• Keeley D&M Drive
UK & Europe:

• Chase Bliss Tonal Recall
No longer made

• Supro Tremolo
UK & Europe:

• TheGigRig QMX6
Two-Rock Classic Reverb Signature with Two-Rock 212 cab and TR 1265B speakers

Guitars in this episode:
• Fender American Vintage ’62 Stratocaster (2001): Watch Mick’s video at

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