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Thread: Decking the bridge and sustain

  1. #1
    Forum Member Sérgio's Avatar
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    Decking the bridge and sustain

    I don't use trem arms. Ever. Never did. All my vibrato is in my fingers.

    Nevertheless, I like the quack, the springy sound that Strats do. That's why I don't deck the bridges on my strats.

    Now, I was wondering if decking the bridge will noticeably increase the sustain.

    Experiences?

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    Forum Member Offshore Angler's Avatar
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    Re: Decking the bridge and sustain

    Quote Originally Posted by Sérgio View Post
    I don't use trem arms. Ever. Never did. All my vibrato is in my fingers.

    Nevertheless, I like the quack, the springy sound that Strats do. That's why I don't deck the bridges on my strats.

    Now, I was wondering if decking the bridge will noticeably increase the sustain.

    Experiences?

    Nope.
    "No harmonic knowledge, no sense of time, a ghastly tone, unskilled vibrato, and so on. Chuck is one of the worst guitar players I know" -Gravity Jim

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    Re: Decking the bridge and sustain

    The most noticeable quack comes from switch positions 2 and 4 for me. The sustain on a played note will not be noticeable; where it will help is in the area of harmonics. There are natural harmonics on the neck that are easy to get like on the 12th fret. I have experienced better harmonics up and down that neck after decking. I like the look and feel also. It's just my opinion and something I prefer. Now, I deck it by using the springs and the screws on the spring claw and not by jamming pieces of wood screwing in plates. I play using 9 gauge strings, and it only takes 3 springs to hold it. With that in mind I can still use trem arm as an effect.

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    Forum Member Don's Avatar
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    Re: Decking the bridge and sustain

    I like my bridge to float just a bit- I set it up by trapping a guitar pick between the bridge plate and the face of the body. I use .009-.042" strings an 5 Raw Vintage springs (they pretty soft). That allows me to add gentle vibrato to chords. I have not noticed a big difference when setting the bridge tight to the body. I think the tone of a Strat is more affected by the mass of the block than other bridge features.

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    Forum Member DanTheBluesMan's Avatar
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    Re: Decking the bridge and sustain

    i like my bridge to float a bit. I used to not even use the trem arm and employ the picking hand palm to add shimmer to chords. I need to get a workbench set up somewhere and work on my strat. It got unplayable over the winter and now another winter will soon be upon us. I've been all about the Gibson lately and my fenders are gathering dust.

    oops, did I just say that on a Fender Forum?

    please don't ban me
    "Live and learn and flip the burns"

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    Forum Member WoundUp's Avatar
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    Re: Decking the bridge and sustain

    When mine was decked using just the springs & claw screws, it wouldn't stay in tune when I used the trem arm. Soon as I floated it, tuning became much better and it actually stays in tune, now. That's all I needed. It's staying floated.


    What is this so-called quack I keep hearing about? And why doesn't my guitar make this sound? Nothing it does sounds duck-like <shrug> so why does everybody say this?

    And to be banned over talking a out a Gibson? That's almost as bad as brand-loyal car guys that think anything other than *insert their favorite mfg* is garbage. In this day and age, everybody makes good cars. To be so blindly loyal that you automatically call everything else junk is ignorant in 2020. Same goes for guitars. If you're so loyal to Fender that you'd ban someone over talking about a Gibson in 2020, you've got other issues lol
    Last edited by WoundUp; 04-05-2020 at 06:03 AM.

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    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
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    Re: Decking the bridge and sustain

    He was kidding about being kicked out because of mentioning a Gibson. Many of us on these pages came here first through the Les Paul forum.
    Guitar freaks of the world unite!

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    Re: Decking the bridge and sustain

    For 20 years I decked the trem on every Strat I owned. It did, in fact, add sustain in almost all of them. I'd always do a first run-through with the guitar as purchased, then, on all of them, I'd deck the trem, wire-swap the switch so the middle tone pot was just for the bridge, and then add a single-coil sized humbucker. It's just my thing with Strats.

    We're talking about 15 or so Strats over the last 20 years, and, I have to say, there were probably three or four that seemed to gain no increase in sustain from decking. All the others definitely did.

    However, the few times I would use the trem arm here and there, just like mentioned above, I'd have to retune immediately. In the last year or so, I started letting them float a bit so I could play a bit more with tremolo, and increased sustain or no, I've liked it better. YMMV.

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    Forum Member Don's Avatar
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    Re: Decking the bridge and sustain

    Quote Originally Posted by WoundUp View Post
    What is this so-called quack I keep hearing about? And why doesn't my guitar make this sound? Nothing it does sounds duck-like <shrug> so why does everybody say this?
    It's the bell like tone that you get with a Strat type of guitar when you combine the middle pickup with the neck or bridge pickup. People hear it as "quack", "cluck", "out of phase" (it's not out of phase, btw), etc...

    Quote Originally Posted by WoundUp View Post
    And to be banned over talking a out a Gibson? That's almost as bad as brand-loyal car guys that think anything other than *insert their favorite mfg* is garbage. In this day and age, everybody makes good cars. To be so blindly loyal that you automatically call everything else junk is ignorant in 2020. Same goes for guitars. If you're so loyal to Fender that you'd ban someone over talking about a Gibson in 2020, you've got other issues lol
    As ch willie said, DanTheBluesMan was kidding. This place was borne out of the Les Paul Forum. We love all guitars here.

  10. #10
    Forum Member DanTheBluesMan's Avatar
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    Re: Decking the bridge and sustain

    yikes, I was just joking.
    "Live and learn and flip the burns"

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    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    Re: Decking the bridge and sustain

    Yeah, but talk about putting humbuckers on a Strat is near sacrilege, and might just earn you a ban.

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    Forum Member phantomman's Avatar
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    Re: Decking the bridge and sustain

    Gee, this Strat is humbucker-equipped......



    Perhaps I should be banned (it wouldn't be the first time).

    "When injustice becomes law then rebellion becomes duty."

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    Forum Member DanTheBluesMan's Avatar
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    Re: Decking the bridge and sustain

    Quote Originally Posted by phantomman View Post
    Gee, this Strat is humbucker-equipped......



    Perhaps I should be banned (it wouldn't be the first time).

    Is it, now? What pickup is it? Still uses 250K pots?
    "Live and learn and flip the burns"

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    Forum Member phantomman's Avatar
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    Re: Decking the bridge and sustain

    DiMarzio Virtual Vintage Noiseless -- DP414 Solo Pro (B), DP415 Area 58 (M), DP416 Area 61 (N) -- with standard 250KΩ pots and a .033 PIO tone cap. Visually, the upgrade is totally undetectable. But sonically, they outperform any noiseless Fender pickup in terms of traditional Strat tone and noise cancellation.
    "When injustice becomes law then rebellion becomes duty."

  15. #15
    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    Re: Decking the bridge and sustain

    Quote Originally Posted by phantomman View Post
    DiMarzio Virtual Vintage Noiseless -- DP414 Solo Pro (B), DP415 Area 58 (M), DP416 Area 61 (N) -- with standard 250KΩ pots and a .033 PIO tone cap. Visually, the upgrade is totally undetectable. But sonically, they outperform any noiseless Fender pickup in terms of traditional Strat tone and noise cancellation.
    Is that the same Strat as in your avatar?

  16. #16
    Forum Member Sérgio's Avatar
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    Re: Decking the bridge and sustain

    Derailing my own thread, but...

    Roger, just outta curiosity (I know this is highly personal), what makes you want a humbucker? I've fattened my strats by cranking up amps or stacking dirt pedals. The typical SSS configuration is one or the things that drive me into strats in the first place...

  17. #17
    Forum Member phantomman's Avatar
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    Re: Decking the bridge and sustain

    Quote Originally Posted by OldStrummer View Post
    Is that the same Strat as in your avatar?
    Indeed it is. Now twenty-two years old.

    The best thousand-dollar guitar I ever paid five-hundred bucks for.
    "When injustice becomes law then rebellion becomes duty."

  18. #18
    Forum Member phantomman's Avatar
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    Re: Decking the bridge and sustain

    Quote Originally Posted by Sérgio View Post
    Derailing my own thread, but...

    Roger, just outta curiosity (I know this is highly personal), what makes you want a humbucker? I've fattened my strats by cranking up amps or stacking dirt pedals. The typical SSS configuration is one or the things that drive me into strats in the first place...
    If that guitar as upgraded didn't sound like a Strat I wouldn't have bothered with it. I like the humbucking feature because I cannot stand hum, buzz, EMI, and all the rest of the audio effluvia associated with single-coil pickups. The guitar is as quiet as a church mouse -- ideal for both recording studio and live venues.
    "When injustice becomes law then rebellion becomes duty."

  19. #19
    Forum Member DanTheBluesMan's Avatar
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    Re: Decking the bridge and sustain

    Quote Originally Posted by phantomman View Post
    DiMarzio Virtual Vintage Noiseless -- DP414 Solo Pro (B), DP415 Area 58 (M), DP416 Area 61 (N) -- with standard 250KΩ pots and a .033 PIO tone cap. Visually, the upgrade is totally undetectable. But sonically, they outperform any noiseless Fender pickup in terms of traditional Strat tone and noise cancellation.
    good to know. I had a strat with noiseless pickups for when I still had a windows machine with a CRT. Those pickups were the only one i could use in front of that machine but dayum, i didn't like the sound at all.

    nowadays, not so crucial since LCD/LED monitors are far less noisy. At the moment the only single coils I have are my Tele's. Wish I could remember what it sounded like, it's been so long since I've played any guitar at all.
    "Live and learn and flip the burns"

  20. #20
    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    Re: Decking the bridge and sustain

    All this talk about noiseless pickups got me to pull out my EC Stratocaster. Vintage Noiseless on all three. It's one of the reasons it was my first Strat!


  21. #21
    Forum Member jrgtr42's Avatar
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    Re: Decking the bridge and sustain

    Quote Originally Posted by WoundUp View Post

    What is this so-called quack I keep hearing about? And why doesn't my guitar make this sound? Nothing it does sounds duck-like <shrug> so why does everybody say this?
    I presume you're joking at this point - but just in case, for a textbook example of 'quack', listen to Dire Straits Sultans of Swing.


    OP: I decked my Strat the day I brought it home, and kept it that way up till the past year or so (it's a 2000 I bought in early 2001.)
    when I un-decked it, I didn't notice any change in the sustain, but I did notice it sounds different - more like a Strat, if you get what I'm saying - it's hard to explain. I changed mine up, have 3 springs and set it to go up a half-step when yanking on the trem bar - before I had it with the 5 springs and decked hard enough it wouldn't budge with bending the G and D strings.
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    Forum Member Don's Avatar
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    Re: Decking the bridge and sustain

    Quote Originally Posted by jrgtr42 View Post
    I presume you're joking at this point - but just in case, for a textbook example of 'quack', listen to Dire Straits Sultans of Swing.
    WoundUp is new to guitar and probably doesn't know some of the weird terms used to describe sounds.

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    Re: Decking the bridge and sustain

    Quote Originally Posted by Don View Post
    I like my bridge to float just a bit- I set it up by trapping a guitar pick between the bridge plate and the face of the body. I use .009-.042" strings an 5 Raw Vintage springs (they pretty soft). That allows me to add gentle vibrato to chords. I have not noticed a big difference when setting the bridge tight to the body. I think the tone of a Strat is more affected by the mass of the block than other bridge features.
    I purchased a Mark Kay Strat from Wildwood way back and when the guitar came to me the bridge was set up to float and it is kind of nice as I don't need the whammy bar as I can gently use the palm of my hand to get a whammy effect.

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    Forum Member DanTheBluesMan's Avatar
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    Re: Decking the bridge and sustain

    Quote Originally Posted by El Gringo View Post
    I purchased a Mark Kay Strat from Wildwood way back and when the guitar came to me the bridge was set up to float and it is kind of nice as I don't need the whammy bar as I can gently use the palm of my hand to get a whammy effect.
    that's what I used to do, too. Back in '06, I bought a Closet Classic surf green '65(?) reissue that had the sweetest floating bridge setup I've encountered. I forget what I bought when I sold that guitar but I regret it to this day. I just hope it isn't parted out because it was the sum of the whole that made it so nice.
    "Live and learn and flip the burns"

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    Forum Member blackonblack's Avatar
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    Re: Decking the bridge and sustain

    Other good examples of quack, almost anything Steve Miller. Listen to Jet Airliner. Quack all over it.
    Mark

    Guitars: 79 Gibson Les Paul Std, Warmoth S Type, Godin Flat Five X, Duesenberg Starplayer TV, Gretsch White Falcon, Rickenbacker 360/12, Goodall Concert Jumbo, Guild 12 string, Guild Jumbo Junior, Lakland 55-02 Deluxe Ltd

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    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
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    Re: Decking the bridge and sustain

    Quote Originally Posted by blackonblack View Post
    Other good examples of quack, almost anything Steve Miller. Listen to Jet Airliner. Quack all over it.
    That's a great example. In fact, I wasn't satisfied until I found a Strat good at that tone.
    Guitar freaks of the world unite!

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    Forum Member Don's Avatar
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    Re: Decking the bridge and sustain

    Quote Originally Posted by blackonblack View Post
    Other good examples of quack, almost anything Steve Miller. Listen to Jet Airliner. Quack all over it.
    Lot's of Clapton too. "Bottle of Red Wine" is a favorite of mine. Robert Cray, too.

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    Forum Member WoundUp's Avatar
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    Re: Decking the bridge and sustain

    Quote Originally Posted by Don View Post
    WoundUp is new to guitar and probably doesn't know some of the weird terms used to describe sounds.
    That'd be it. Thanks. I didn't mean to come off like such a d-bag last time. Sorry about that, all.

  29. #29
    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
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    Re: Decking the bridge and sustain

    Quote Originally Posted by WoundUp View Post
    That'd be it. Thanks. I didn't mean to come off like such a d-bag last time. Sorry about that, all.
    Don't sweat it, man. It's okay. The funny thing is, you know so much about guitars in a way and so little in other ways that are more normal for a beginner.

    I mean, it's admirable for someone to find out so much in a short period of time. Keep the flame burning.
    Guitar freaks of the world unite!

  30. #30
    Forum Member WoundUp's Avatar
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    Re: Decking the bridge and sustain

    Quote Originally Posted by blackonblack View Post
    Other good examples of quack, almost anything Steve Miller. Listen to Jet Airliner. Quack all over it.
    Now this is weird. I went to YouTube and started playing this song. I look down at the list of recommendations/related videos and the very first video on the list is 'Dire Straights - Sultans of Swing' that can't be a coincidence. There's a reason the YouTube algorithm thinks that song is related to what I'm listening to. I just started laughing when I saw it

    I think maybe I'm starting to get it. Compare this song and the others to something like Duane Allman likely playing an LP on 'Loan Me a Dime' w/ Boz Scaggs and I can definitely hear a difference, so I think I'm starting to have a better understanding of what it is

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