The Perfect Stratocaster Trem / Vibrato Setup [Floating, Flat Or Blocked?]
Published 11 Aug 2023
Six-saddle and two-post Fender Stratocaster vibratos - here are three ways to get them working as you want
Welcome to the show! Something a bit different this week as Dan and I ease into a little bit of summer vacation time. A different headspace, if you will.
Now then, I know this has been done to death online but we still get asked for it a lot: just how do you get your traditional Fender Stratocaster vibrato to work (or not work) and stay in tune?
Thusly, this is a personal take on how to approach it, gleaned from years of learning from professional players and techs. It’s highly unlikely there’s any new information here, but I’m taking it slow and doing it in real time so you can see exactly what happens with every adjustment of spring, screw and post.
These methods work for me, I hope they help you and your guitar!
The sounds today are various combinations of the Dan Drive Secret Machine, Kingsley Juggler Mk3, Free The Tone Future Factory Delay, Chase Bliss Audio CXM1973 Reverb and my Two-Rock Classic Reverb Signature head and 212 cab.
I mention Trev Wilkinson a lot - find the company’s wares here: https://wilkinsondirect.com/
Enjoy the show…
And please visit That Pedal Shop https://www.thatpedalshop.com/
Interesting bits and go-to sections
0:00 Intro & welcome
1:07 The three setups today
1:49 Pros & cons of the three setups
6:10 The two types of vibrato bridge explained
7:55 How it works and component parts
9:50 Differences between six-screw & two-post
11:42 Should the two-post vibrato touch the guitar?
13:06 Set up to float
19:45 The main problem of the six-saddle bridge
21:52 Front height of the two-point bridge?
23:46 String up & stretch
25:53 How many springs?
27:13 Back height of the bridge?
28:10 How to get it to balance
37:50 Action & intonation?
38:55 Mechanical sympathy
40:07 A note on the two-point
40:45 Set up to down-bend only
46:34 Set up for no movement
47:35 Block it off?
49:05 Hear the springs?
50:35 Arm length & fit?
53:00 Final thoughts - the right way?
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