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 Post subject: string height adjustment on American Deluxe
PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 7:55 pm 
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I've done my own setups before on my les paul so I know the concept. I just bought a ‘07 American Deluxe Stratocaster S-1, SCN pups and 2-Point Synchronized Tremolo this weekend and I've just finished the intonation but now realize that I probably should have adjusted string/bridge height first. The manual is not clear on how or whether to set string/bridge height using the pivot posts for overall string height when you have the 2-Point Synchronized Tremolo. This makes sense to me but it only mentions the string height adjustment using the bridge saddles. I know the recommended specs are 5/64” High E (string 1) and 3/32” Low E (string 6) at the 17th fret

Q: When adjusting string height, do you “FIRST” adjust the overall string height using the bridge pivot posts and then “SECOND” adjust each saddle?

Q: Or should I adjust each saddle using the .05” Allen wrench for individual string height and ignore the pivot posts from the 2-Point Synchronized Tremolo? When would you adjust the pivot posts?


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 8:03 pm 
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First, you set the bridge to your liking; either flat against the face of the body, or "floating" with a 1/8" gap between the rear of the trem and the face of the body. This adjustment takes some fiddling with the studs.

Then you can adjust the height of the strings using the height adjustment screws in the saddles.

Enjoy: it's a great guitar. :

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 8:11 pm 
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Yeah, no. The posts aren't like ones on an LP. They're only there to adjust the trem. Saddle height is where your string height is adjusted. Joelski is correct in that the trem/pivot screws should be adjusted first. So yeah, I second that.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 8:24 pm 
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THe manual talks about adjusting the bridge angle 1/8" gap using the two claw screws. Does not mention the pivot post or studs, so when do you adjust the studs?.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 8:31 pm 
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From Fender:
TREMOLO
•Stratocaster guitars can have four distinctive types of bridges. The most well­known
bridge is the vintage­style "synchronized" tremolo. The other three are the
American Series bridge, which is a modern­day two­pivot bridge; the non­tremolo
hardtail bridge; and a locking tremolo, such as the American Deluxe or Floyd
Rose® locking tremolos.
•First, remove the tremolo back cover. Check your tuning. For a vintage­style tremolo bridge,
a great way to enhance its performance is to pull the bridge back flush with the body
using the tremolo arm. Then loosen all six screws located at the front edge of the bridge
plate, raising them so that they all measure approximately 1/16" (1.6 mm) above the top
of the bridge plate. Then tighten the two outside screws back down until they're flush
with the top of the bridge plate. The bridge will now pivot on the outside screws, leaving
the four inside screws in place for bridge stability. For a two­pivot model such as the
American Series bridge, use your tremolo arm to pull the bridge back flush with the body
and adjust the two pivot screws to the point where the tremolo plate sits entirely flush at
the body (not lifted at the front or back of the plate).

•Allowing the bridge to float freely (no tension on the tremolo arm) using the claw screws in
the tremolo cavity, adjust the bridge to your desired angle—Fender spec is a 1/8" (3.2
mm) gap at rear of bridge. You'll need to retune periodically to get the right balance
between the strings and the springs. If you prefer a bridge flush to the body, adjust spring
tension to equal string tension, while the bridge rests on the body (you may want to put
an extra 1/2 turn to each claw screw to ensure that the bridge remains flush to the body
during string bends). Caution: Do not over­tighten the springs, as this can put
unnecessary tension on the arm during tremolo use. Finally, you may wish to apply a
small dab of Chapstick® or Vaseline® at the pivot contact points of the bridge for very
smooth operation.

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-Kirk

GUITARS
'12 Sonoran Acoustic - black (dated 10/31/12)
'13 Standard Strat
AMP
Vox ac4c1-bl
PEDALS
Compressor
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Vox Stomplab 1G
Carbon Copy Delay


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 6:49 pm 
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I know you didn't ask but you really should check your neck relief before you check string height. If the neck relief (straightness or bow in the neck) is upbowed then you are going to get string buzz when you set the height to specs.

Here's a quick and easy way to check your relief.

Fret any string (one at a time) at the first fret. Then fret the 17 fret of the same string with your pinky. You have effectively made a straight edge to check your relief. Now stretch out that right hand (picking hand for us righties) and take your index finger to fret the string at the 9th fret. This is about half way between your first fret and the 17th. You can visually see how much play there is in the string to see how much relief, or lack thereof you have.

If you had a third hand you could measure the space between your fretted first and 17th to get your relief measurement. But I've seen a good luthier get a pretty good feel for the amount of space he's looking for. For low action, obviously there should be a small amount of distance between the fret and the string at that 9th fret. That space is .004 - .012 (inches) Grab a feeler gauge and you can then see what amount of space you are looking for.

Some very good players will play with even lower than .004 which is seeing that string at the 9th virtually laying on the 9th fret. Most of us humans are annoyed by the fret buzz so we set it higher. Some players like an even higher action depending on their style of play.

One thing is sure though, if the relief is off by any substantial amount, then your string height will be off. So much so that your action will vary greatly across the fret board. If your neck doesn't fall within those specs or to your preferred "action" then you will need to make some truss rod adjustments. (that's another thread all together)

Sorry for the detraction but I thought it would be helpful for folks looking to understand how all this stuff reacts to one another.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:14 pm 
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Thanks for the neck relief tips. The guitar is relatively new from the store and I did check the neck for relief and it looked fine. The main thing with the guitar was the string height and the intonation. With the info on this post and adjustment made for the setup, my guitar is much happier and plays beautifully! I could tell by looking at the strings with my naked eye that the strings were too high for my liking. On my Les Paul, I have a very low action but I set the Strat to recommended specs for now and I will tweak as I play it more. Thanks everyone.


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