Tremolo String spacing

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MyNameisChris
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Tremolo String spacing

Post by MyNameisChris » Thu Mar 25, 2021 5:06 am

Hi,

I know this topic has been talked about here quit a lot, but I haven´t found exactly what I was hoping to find an answer to.

I assembled my partsmaster and have a Fender Japan tremolo. Unfortunately I didn´t know that the string spacing is very narrow on it ( I believe 50mm E to E).
I did buy an upgrade bridge, which has about 56mm string-spacing. Now obviously the strings don't sit well because of the side-drag. The E strings literally go out the groves when touching them lightly. To fix this I put on a buzz-stop, which works to keep the strings in place while playing, but I don't like it and it looks weird that the strings are pulled that much apart from the tremolo.

So, my question are:

1. Is the best option to buy an american vintage tremolo? What is the string spacing on it? Should I be able to set up the guitar with this and the bridge I already have, maybe shim the neck a little and not having to use a buzz stop?

2. Could I buy a cheap tremolo that has a wider string spacing, take out the part that holds the strings and put that on my japan-tremolo?

3. Would it be better to buy a bridge with narrower string spacing (52mm) and keep the japan tremolo?
Out of curiosity: How is the combination, if you have a vintage american tremolo and a staytrem, and the strings are pulled to the opposite side of what i describe above?

Thanks in advance for all help!

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jorri
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Re: Tremolo String spacing

Post by jorri » Thu Mar 25, 2021 6:30 am

1.- yes i did that recently and tbh felt like a new guitar (albeit i had quite a beatup MIJ). I didnt have slippage issues though. It did buzz less and feel better, resonate better.

Other options are a screw in arm variant, and the older classic player mim too. Or if there is no need for a lock there are tons, and even the squiers probably better than the mij.

2. I looked into it once, i think you can buy the plate. However is unlikely or difficult to know, at least whether the plate is actually interchangable.

3. It wont be pulling the strings outward with a narrower bridge. Remember how much the nut is narrower. It probably is just as much if not more of a straight line to have a bridge narrower than trem. Yet i think the MIJ trem would be still pulling inward on a staytrem, just a bit less!

New bridge or new trem?
-maybe need a bridge upgrade anyway? If you use the grooved saddles yiu may still have strings slip out after changing the trem.
-the MIJ is vastly inferior to even the squier trem imho. Any mia or mim trem is an upgrade. But if its because of string slipping out i blame the bridge, and sort that first.

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bjornsynneby
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Re: Tremolo String spacing

Post by bjornsynneby » Thu Mar 25, 2021 12:00 pm

I have done some experimenting with matching stringspacing. So here is what I found:
1. The AVRI tremolo works great with an upgrade bridge - at least if it is a mustang bridge. I went from MIJ trem to an AVRI with a mustang bridge and I had better tone.
2. Haven’t tried this but it should work fine.
3. If you like your japaneese tremolo buy a Staytrem bridge which will match (e-e 52mm). The staytrem bridge is really good. I love it. On my other jazzmaster I use it with a Hosco tremolo which I like very much.

Generally speaking, a good bridge like staytrem will work with most tremolo units.

Adding to this a shim can really help you out if don’t have one already. Puts preassure on the bridge.

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MyNameisChris
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Re: Tremolo String spacing

Post by MyNameisChris » Thu Mar 25, 2021 1:42 pm

Thanks for the answers!
The upgrade bridge I have looks like a mustang-bridge and is 9,5 radius for the neck I have.
I will try avri-trem first I think. Do you know the exact string spacing on it?
And is this one the right one? https://m.thomann.de/gb/fender_tremolo_jazzmaster.htm

Thx again

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bjornsynneby
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Re: Tremolo String spacing

Post by bjornsynneby » Thu Mar 25, 2021 1:58 pm

I think its 55mm. Yes thats the one!

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MyNameisChris
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Re: Tremolo String spacing

Post by MyNameisChris » Fri Mar 26, 2021 1:30 am

Thanks!

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Lost In Autumn
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Re: Tremolo String spacing

Post by Lost In Autumn » Fri Mar 26, 2021 1:40 am

shim your neck. this will increase string tension on the bridge, eliminate buzzing and string slide. I recommend the AM Pro bridge, at $80, its half the cost of bridges from Mastery, Staytrem and Halon and arguably equal to Staytrem in quality. It has 52mm string spacing.

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