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Thread: Upgrade a Stratocaster Roadworn bridge?

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    Upgrade a Stratocaster Roadworn bridge?

    I just got a Roadworn strat from 2018. It has slider pickups and electronics. Should I change out the bridge, block and saddles or leave the factory ones on? I want a custom shop vintage vibe but will it make that much of a difference? And if so what do you guys reccomend? Thanks

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    Forum Member phantomman's Avatar
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    Re: Upgrade a Stratocaster Roadworn bridge?

    A steel trem block is mandatory for my purposes.
    "When injustice becomes law then rebellion becomes duty."

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    Forum Member Offshore Angler's Avatar
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    Re: Upgrade a Stratocaster Roadworn bridge?

    If you like it the way it is, leave it as it is. If you don't like, flip and find one you do.
    "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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    Forum Member Don's Avatar
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    Re: Upgrade a Stratocaster Roadworn bridge?

    I'm a big fan of steel trem blocks and Raw Vintage springs. The steel trem block can add sustain and I like what it does for the lower strings. The Raw Vintage springs are soft and give a good feel. I use a full set of five with .009 strings with the bridge floating a tiny bit.

    But... these things won't make it so you like a guitar that you don't already like. They just make an already good guitar just a little better.

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    Forum Member Offshore Angler's Avatar
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    Re: Upgrade a Stratocaster Roadworn bridge?

    Five is a lot of springs for 9's! I use three for 9's, 4 for 11's. If you put in too many springs they become coil bound and you pick up rattles and a lot of unwanted artifacts in the sound, especially live when the amps are cranking. Or even worse, with too many springs if you use the wiggle stick the springs will fall out of the trem block.

    Other experiences may be totally different, but I've never heard a difference in trem blocks through the sound system. Maybe unplugged, but not when actually playing live. I upgraded a Strat to a Wilkinson years ago, it was not as bright unplugged but there was virtually no change with the amps running. But I did enjoy the pop-in trem arm. That's the only reason I would change out a Stratocaster trem block. That screw-in arm is still a giant PITA and they will all eventually break or strip the treads.
    Last edited by Offshore Angler; 03-06-2023 at 11:18 AM.
    "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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    Forum Member Don's Avatar
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    Re: Upgrade a Stratocaster Roadworn bridge?

    Quote Originally Posted by Offshore Angler View Post
    Five is a lot of springs for 9's! I use three for 9's, 4 for 11's. If you put in too many springs they become coil bound and you pick up rattles and a lot of unwanted artifacts in the sound, especially live when the amps are cranking. Or even worse, with too many springs if you use the wiggle stick the springs will fall out of the trem block.
    It is, but Raw Vintage springs have a very low spring rate. The feel is awesome. I can't say that they affected the guitar's tone.

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    Forum Member Offshore Angler's Avatar
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    Re: Upgrade a Stratocaster Roadworn bridge?

    Quote Originally Posted by Don View Post
    It is, but Raw Vintage springs have a very low spring rate. The feel is awesome. I can't say that they affected the guitar's tone.
    Cool, I suspect my Strats take a wee bit more of a beating than yours do too, mine have a hard life, usually out two or three times a week getting thrashed.

    I add springs if the bridge starts to lift excessively on a hard bend. Nuthin' more irritating than bending one string and the others go way flat while you do it. Yech, that's a bad sound. So you have to fret with one hand, pick with the other and lift on the bar. I'm not that coordinated, lol. I'll just get irritated and grab the Les Paul for the rest of the set.

    Chuck
    "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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    Forum Member Don's Avatar
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    Re: Upgrade a Stratocaster Roadworn bridge?

    Quote Originally Posted by Offshore Angler View Post
    Cool, I suspect my Strats take a wee bit more of a beating than yours do too, mine have a hard life, usually out two or three times a week getting thrashed.
    For sure! I'm a jam session guitarist. A night out with the guys once a week- sometimes two. That's been my musical goal since I was 15 years old- I never wanted to be a pro. I've played less that 200 gigs total over the past 45 years- so take what I say as the experience of a hobbyist.

    The bridges on my Strats are set to float the thickness of a heavy guitar pick off the body. I've gotten pretty good at stabilizing the bridge during double stop bends (I don't lift the bar, but hold the bridge with the side of my hand). If I break a string the song is all over (I suppose I could jam a pick in there)! The bridge on my Music Man Cutlass is decked per the owner's manual. That thing stays in tune!

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