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Thread: Best practices for a floating bridge

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    Best practices for a floating bridge

    Most of us have resigned ourselves to the Pros and Cons of living with a Floyd Rose type bridge but the six point bridge can be made just as functional if one has the patience. I'm going to expose what I've learned in this thread to see if others have noted the same. Let's look at some key differences:
    1. A six point bridge can float properly at any angle where a Floyd Rose likes a flat straight mount.
    2. A six point bridge is less stressful on the body.
    3. A six point bridge has more configuration options.
    My personal preferences for mounting a six point are a 30 degree angle forward mount with an 8mm screw head height. This usually gets me close to a minor third shift that stays in tune in either direction. How do you guys set yours up?

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    I remove the strings and springs then slacken all 6 screws so the bridge plate sits flat on the body. Then carefully tighten the first screw until the rear of the plate just begins to lift, then I slacken it a little until the plate just settles back on the body, then do each other screw in turn. Most of my customers with a 6 point bridge just need a little trem wiggle rather than a more trem-technique style of playing.

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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dulles View Post
    Most of us have resigned ourselves to the Pros and Cons of living with a Floyd Rose type bridge but the six point bridge can be made just as functional if one has the patience.
    Really? Ok, that's simply impossible. I'm pointing it out because of that. But I'll give it a pass because I think I understand the sentiment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dulles View Post
    How do you guys set yours up?
    I set it up with the springs tight and never use it. Or I set it up on a shelf after I've routed my guitar for a floyd

    Ok, A little dip on chords can be cool. And who doesn't love Jeff Beck? But really, there is so much that guitar trems are about anymore that the Fender trem falls far short. The only exception being that it has the right construction, mass and peripheral mounting requirements like springs, etc. to sound exactly right for vintage Stratocaster tone. For that it's perfect. As a tremolo, not so great. That doesn't mean it doesn't work at all or that it can't be "tuned" in to work at it's relative peak performance. But as good as a heavy blocked, fully locked at both ends Floyd Rose? Nope.

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    "In fact when I run into problems working on electronic circuirts, there are so many times that when I finally track it down, the source of the problem is located between my soldering iron and my seat." SoulFetish

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    There is no doubt that a Floyd Rose is superior regarding range and tuning stability as well as from a purely mechanical POV.This said, I much prefer the SOUND AND FEEL of a vintage type vibrato (I refuse to use the wrong term "tremolo", because tremolo means amplitude modulation. Fender mixed it up all the time.)
    Actually I never played or even heard a Floyd Rose equipped guitar that sounded interesting to me. No doubt, I am addicted to a vintage strat tone a la Hendrix or SRV.

    My personal preferences for mounting a six point are a 30 degree angle forward mount with an 8mm screw head height. This usually gets me close to a minor third shift that stays in tune in either direction. How do you guys set yours up?
    I use the vibrato bridge mainly for a slight and even chord wiggle (e.g. SRV's "Lenny" or Hendrix's "The Wind cries Mary") or sometimes to produce an up-slide effect. Up-bends I do with my fingers. So I set the baseplate rather flat, the tilt producing a gap of no more than say 2mm above the body.

    The problem I see with a strongly tilted baseplate (30) is that finger-bending notes will cause much more de-tuning of the other strings than with a flat setting. So double-note bends will be almost impossible or at least sounding flat. Also the more tilt, the wider your finger bends will have to be as the bridge unit's yielding counteracts the string bending.

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    Last edited by Helmholtz; 11-10-2019 at 07:32 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmholtz View Post
    The problem I see with a strongly tilted baseplate (30) is that finger-bending notes will cause much more de-tuning of the other strings than with a flat setting. So double-note bends will be almost impossible or at least sounding flat. Also the more tilt the wider your finger bends will have to be as the bridge unit's yielding counteracts the string bending.
    Is this because of the crown of the saddles?

    I would also think that with a 30 tilt there would be a tendency for the saddles to start floating with much more tilt.?.

    As far as keeping them in tune...

    Standard practice is to use graphite on the nut slots (or a graphite nut). Make sure the nut slots are filed correctly. Keep the string tree as shallow as practical. Use as few string wraps on your tuners as you can get away with (or get locking tuners). Stretch your strings well before final tuning.

    Notice that none of that has anything to do with the bridge itself. The bridge is what it is. Limited, but not unusable. If your mounting screws aren't misaligned badly and there are no glitchy moving parts on the saddles then that's about the best you can do regardless of the of float height or angle. Some guys solder the wraps near the string ball ends to reduce slacking. I doubt it actually does much though. If I used my vibrato (not tremolo, Helmholtz is absolutely right) I might try using a little Loctite or CA on the saddle screw parts (assuming the guitar is set up and adjusted already). Also may not help much.

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    "In fact when I run into problems working on electronic circuirts, there are so many times that when I finally track it down, the source of the problem is located between my soldering iron and my seat." SoulFetish

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    Is this because of the crown of the saddles?
    Maybe a little. But the main reason is the lever principle. The more parallel the strings and the baseplate are, the more force/tension is necessary to tilt the bridge.

    A practical example: Suppose you want to lift up one end of/erect a heavy pole lying on the ground, via a rope attached to its upper end. How would you pull the rope? Surely not along the axis of the pole. The least force is required when pulling at right angles.
    (Hope you're getting my point in spite of the awkward English.).

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    Last edited by Helmholtz; 11-10-2019 at 05:45 PM.
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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    I understand that principal with no trouble. For some reason I simply hadn't considered it here. Makes sense.

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    "In fact when I run into problems working on electronic circuirts, there are so many times that when I finally track it down, the source of the problem is located between my soldering iron and my seat." SoulFetish

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmholtz
    Also the more tilt the wider your finger bends will have to be as the bridge unit's yielding counteracts the string bending.
    It's not the tilt, any floating vibrato, Floyd Rose included, exhibits the same problem angled or flat. Bending increases the tension load on those strings which causes adjacent strings to go flat. Double locking limits it a bit but if you're going to do country style bends, use a hardtail or consult Jeff Beck

    All good points being made but 30 is fine for the saddles except for when they are flat on the plate (ie: no screw height). In those cases, I would drop the angle 5. The reason I angle is the get an even pitch variation in each direction. The right angle centers the pitch delta. The screw height dictates the amount of the delta. When I'm centered by angle I turn the screws to increase or decrease the sweep limit. It's a pain to do but it works, eventually. Some set up in hours, others take days, sometimes weeks to get just right.

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    The Kinman site has some good strat set up tips that I find very helpful (and refer back to occasionally) https://kinman.com/perfect-guitar.php specifically https://kinman.com/perfect-guitar.php#stayingInTune onwards.
    May need to create account and log in for some stuff.

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    It's not the tilt...
    I agree that there are other influencing factors like saddle height and position (distance from the pivoting screws) but generally more tilt increases the detuning issue. Just use your tuner to verify.
    I understand your arguments for the 30 angle, but your set-up won't do for me. Of course there is always room for different preferences/opinions. What else do you want to hear?

    I have been tinkering with different whammies and set-ups since I bought my first strat in 1970. Also studied pros' set-ups and made adjustments to them in my shop.

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    Last edited by Helmholtz; 11-11-2019 at 04:37 PM.
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    One more point: With a 30 tilt the pivot screws need to be slackened quite a bit because of the flat bottom of the traditional screw heads. This bears the risk of an undefined/moving height position of the baseplate. To avoid this I would recommend using countersunk head pivot screws.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmholtz View Post
    One more point: With a 30 tilt the pivot screws need to be slackened quite a bit because of the flat bottom of the traditional screw heads. This bears the risk of an undefined/moving height position of the baseplate. To avoid this I would recommend using countersunk head pivot screws.
    Needed another for this one.

    Something I've done is to use modified screws. You can use a Dremel to put a recess just below the screw head and remove the inner two screws. It's not hard to align the remaining four. I used four because I figured that was enough for the tension, two was not (just one at either end) and six was just complicated overkill. Having the bridge "seat" itself on the screw heads makes life a lot easier too in the long haul for adjustments and use.

    JM2C (Dremel skills are up to the individual )

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    "In fact when I run into problems working on electronic circuirts, there are so many times that when I finally track it down, the source of the problem is located between my soldering iron and my seat." SoulFetish

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

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    Theres a bit of alchemy and luck involved. I wore out my favorite Strat that had a very stable Trem. I had it re-fretted. In the process they replaced the nut. Ive never got it to be the same since. Im in a band with a guy that uses a Floyd on an Ibanez with EMGs. One thing about a Strat.. you are consciously aware of using your Trem. This guy just hammers that Floyd at the end of every song with a ton of distortion... drives me nuts.

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    Something I've done is to use modified screws. You can use a Dremel to put a recess just below the screw head and remove the inner two screws. It's not hard to align the remaining four. I used four because I figured that was enough for the tension, two was not (just one at either end) and six was just complicated overkill. Having the bridge "seat" itself on the screw heads makes life a lot easier too in the long haul for adjustments and use.
    To achieve something like this ?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I tried all this stuff over the decades and always came back to the original hardware (Fender Vintage, Callaham, Gotoh) because I liked the sound and feel best.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmholtz View Post
    To achieve something like this ?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I tried all this stuff over the decades and always came back to the original hardware (Fender Vintage, Callaham, Gotoh) because I liked the sound and feel best.
    Very much like that. It figures that someone makes them. I used countersink heads and my groove was a continuation of the slope on the bottom of the head. I was worried it would be too tight but it worked out well. I like those screws better though.

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    "In fact when I run into problems working on electronic circuirts, there are so many times that when I finally track it down, the source of the problem is located between my soldering iron and my seat." SoulFetish

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    I looked them up and they're made for PRS guitars as well as being available from aftermarket vendors. Just *oogle stratocaster tremolo screws grooved.

    One thing that I especially like about the grooved screws that the standard screws won't do is allow for a raised parallel bridge plane. That means you can pull up or push down and the physics regarding string bends and detuning that Helmholtz discussed could still be idealized (not to mention that it looks better). If you need a lot of pull travel for your tricks and techniques you can always add a tiny tilt to the neck so that the screws could be raised a little without detriment to action height

    The image on the left is how I did my screws. On the right is just a sketch of what I'm talking about in this post. Same pull travel as the tilted bridge with the stock screws, but now you can have the bridge parallel to the body.

    Also demonstrated would be Dulles 30 tilt. As you can see, it's pretty extreme and I think Dulles may even reassess his commentary and agree that this isn't what he's doing with his guitar. Especially since it seems physically impossible to keep the bridge saddles on the bridge or add enough tilt to the neck and adjust the rest of the guitar at this point without excessive action height and pickups well below the strings.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Chuck H; 11-11-2019 at 07:02 PM.
    "In fact when I run into problems working on electronic circuirts, there are so many times that when I finally track it down, the source of the problem is located between my soldering iron and my seat." SoulFetish

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Ok... More on the 30 tilt.

    As it happens, my vintage style bridge stays in tune better than I remember. But then I don't play a lot anymore and my strings are old and well stretched out, the nut is well worn at any edges since the last time I used that vibrato and I guess the same could be said for the bridge itself. I built it twenty five years ago. So I guess it's settled, played in and otherwise worked out for itself a few problems. What I learned...

    My vibrato does not have the vintage style block. It has a later style block with the taper that allows for more dive travel in the route pocket. The majority of strat bridges certainly have the typical, straight, vintage type block. I can only get about 30 tilt at full dive. No way you could do it with the more common block. That said, I don't know what block Dulles has.

    Then there's the control arm. With the bridge at 30 the control arm couldn't even be installed unless it was bent severely. Much less used to depress the bridge. And no mention was made about this above, which I find suspect.

    This combined with the other things I mentioned in my previous post have me convinced that either Dulles is in error with the 30 figure or we are being messed with and Dulles is waiting to see how we manage this information that has already been determined discordant. To what end goal I can't say, but I have my guesses.

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    "In fact when I run into problems working on electronic circuirts, there are so many times that when I finally track it down, the source of the problem is located between my soldering iron and my seat." SoulFetish

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

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    or we are being messed with and Dulles is waiting to see how we manage this information that has already been determined discordant. To what end goal I can't say, but I have my guesses.
    LOL really?
    He probably meant 3 deg.

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    Last edited by dmartn149; 11-12-2019 at 05:07 AM.
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    8mm screw height would allow a much higher angle than is usual.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick Bailey View Post
    8mm screw height would allow a much higher angle than is usual.
    True, but without using grooved pivot screws the bridge will tend to wander up and down for several mm. Even with grooved screws most strats will require neck shims to restore good action.
    But it seems we lost the OP anyway.

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    Understood - I'm not endorsing this, just an observation that the OP may well be talking about 30 degrees and not 3.

    To me there's a purity and elegance with a Strat that pushing the design gets away from. I like my Floyd Rose for different reasons to why I like a Strat trem, or a Steinberger, or Parker. They don't compete - they're different systems for different reasons and for different players with different tastes.

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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    I think I made it obvious early on. If I'm wanking on a trem (vibrato) then it's a Floyd type. I'm 51 so I was playing in bands between about 1984 and 1997. It's just where I come from But to concur with Mick, I built my Warmoth strat with the standard Fender bridge and never even thought about changing it.

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    "In fact when I run into problems working on electronic circuirts, there are so many times that when I finally track it down, the source of the problem is located between my soldering iron and my seat." SoulFetish

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

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    I was convinced that "decking" my S-type trem gave guitars better sustain, but after understanding that what is heard in the sustaining note through the pickups is about minimizing damping, and after a long discussion on some forum about it, I tried raising it off the body and heard a more open high end quality. I think wood fibers actually absorb more string vibration than the springs. I eventually tried using a small door bolt in the trem cavity, because I just don't like it floating. That may be a better solution than decking it.

    I also don't see how a 2 point system puts more stress on the body? It focuses the stress at two points, but the total fiber stress at those points has to do with how thick the posts are. The majority of stress will fall on 2 of 6 screws anyway, because it's impossible for the stress to be evenly distributed. Leo used a two point fulcrum system for G&L guitars for a reason...it just works better.

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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Spot on regarding the two point contact bridges. And to some degree, the float vs. decking for the bridge. But it all depends. Most strat bodies are made of alder, bass or ash (probably in that order). And alder and bass are soft-ish. But harder woods (like ash, maple, etc.) can actually offer a lower damping advantage over the spring load on lighter weight bridges. Since most trem (vibrato, for Helmholtz) systems incorporate a fairly heavy block for counter balance and spring attachment sustain becomes a non issue even for harder woods. But steel doesn't have any characteristic resonance like wood does!!! That's really what it comes down to with decking the bridge most of the time IMHO. And on that note sustain with electric instruments has more than one mechanism. If you decrease damping you improve sustain under all conditions by an equal margin, BUT, if you increase resonance you increase sustain more under conditions that instigate acoustic feedback at resonant frequencies. One reason the strat design (and it's many variants by other brands) is so popular is that it's typical body mass and woods are prone to resonate at useful frequencies at volume levels where acoustic feedback can happen. This resonant dependent quality at volume can add to the musical nature of an instrument when at it's best by allowing the desired sustain at volume while also adding desirable timbre that a heavy, floating, steel bridge cannot. At it's worst it can be wolfy or too isolated at only certain frequencies to be versatile musically. This is the difference between a good instrument and a bad one, in general. Interestingly, the best players can find the musical properties in almost any instrument and exploit them.

    JM2C on this.

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    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

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    Yes, it's hard to say if decking to the body damps more high end when you consider wood hardness, or even the finish hardness and thickness. I'm not sure what you are saying about resonance though. Any guitar resonances will drain string energy. It can't possibly increase volume of the resonant freq in the string or it would become a perpetual motion machine, init? How that sounds compared to damping is again hard to say. My belief is that damping will generally drain energy more quickly than resonance. Depends how much energy is damped vs how much resonance, I guess.

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    But steel doesn't have any characteristic resonance like wood does!!!

    ??????????

    Like all solids steel has lots of characteristic resonances depending on size and shape of the part (e.g. steel tuning fork) just like with wood.

    In principle resonant frequencies of all solids can be calculated from shape, dimensions and specific material properties (elasticity, density).

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    Last edited by Helmholtz; 11-13-2019 at 10:20 AM.
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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmholtz View Post
    But steel doesn't have any characteristic resonance like wood does!!!

    ??????????

    Like all solids steel has lots of characteristic resonances depending on size and shape of the part (e.g. steel tuning fork) just like with wood.

    In principle resonant frequencies of all solids can be calculated from shape, dimensions and specific material properties (elasticity, density).
    Excellent point. I probably should have stipulated that a steel bridge akin to a Floyd Rose (being a large, non tuned hank of steel) isn't going to exhibit useful resonant characteristics. Maybe a little for a vintage strat bridge because of it's thinner materials? I think it's good that you pointed this out, but a little semantic. Anyway...

    Flouroscope5000, if you want an extreme example of how resonance can assist sustain just rig up an acoustic guitar at stage volume and set it in the stand without turning it down . Wood resonates and transfers that vibration to the strings. Which is amplified and in turn vibrates the wood. Round and round she goes. It's a resonant dependent feedback loop. Less pronounced in solid body instruments, of course. And it's a good thing too for the obvious reasons. But it's often enough resonance to generate sustain under high gain, at higher volume levels or both. Anyone whose played several different guitars at stage volumes will attest to the reality of this .

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    The independent lab measurements (using contactless Doppler laser vibrometer technique) of Acoustics Professors Fleischer and Zollner indicate that there is no significant vibration (vibrational energy) transfer (both directions) between strings and body of typical solid body guitars (Strat, LP, Explorer and others).
    Rather the small body vibrations are a consequence of the much stronger neck resonances/vibrations.

    Up to around 700Hz (corresponding to musical note F5, e.g. high e string fret #13) no bridge vibrations were found. At higher frequencies between 1kHz and 4kHz some absorptive bridge resonances showed that did change with different bridge saddles.

    From this I conclude that the bridge (and saddle!) type mainly influences higher string harmonics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmholtz View Post
    The independent lab measurements (using contactless Doppler laser vibrometer technique) of Acoustics Professors Fleischer and Zollner indicate that there is no significant vibration (vibrational energy) transfer (both directions) between strings and body of typical solid body guitars (Strat, LP, Explorer and others).
    At what volume level? Acoustic energy depends on the physical movement of air.

    Quote Originally Posted by Helmholtz View Post
    Rather the small body vibrations are a consequence of the much stronger neck resonances/vibrations.
    That wouldn't surprise me. Though I still think it's possible that at some relatively high level of acoustic transfer the guitar body makes a more significant contribution. I'll bet you've considered the body wood of your own strat with this in mind. Appearance aside, would you really consider subbing your strat body for one made of rubber or steel to have insignificant tonal affects? I think it's entirely possible to miss a critical aspect in a test requiring nebulous considerations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Helmholtz View Post
    Up to around 700Hz (corresponding to musical note F5, e.g. high e string fret #13) no bridge vibrations were found. At higher frequencies between 1kHz and 4kHz some absorptive bridge resonances showed that did change with different bridge saddles.

    From this I conclude that the bridge (and saddle!) type mainly influences higher string harmonics.
    This makes a lot of sense. Though I didn't figure the contribution would be measurably significant. Exceptions might be cheap "graphite" saddles that actually contain more plastic than carbon. If you remove those from consideration you're left with how vibration might be preserved by hardness and/or mass isolating it from the relatively softer body material. Again, this is a potentially nebulous set of criteria.

    I have no problem accepting this studies results under many criteria. In my real world (percieved) experience I'm having some trouble with it. I'd be interested in seeing it if you have a link. Though I can't promise I'll understand the most scholarly aspects.

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    I'm pretty sure amplifier driven acoustic feedback is a result of the acoustic vibrations moving the strings directly -- why guitars with open chambers near the strings feedback more, and closing off the chamber ports reduces said feedback. In fact, vibrations within the guitar body may cause more damping due to phase interference -- why resonant electric guitars can loose sustain at frequencies where acoustic feedback on stage is not occurring.

    All due respect to studies, I'd say the effect of the body on string damping mainly has to do with the material traits from the neck joint to the bridge, but more or less mass beyond the bridge can have an audible affect via how it limits movement between the bridge and neck joint. Consider how thin the body wood is under an S-type trem system -- could just be considered an extension of the neck. Removing the rear trem cover can even reduce rigidity enough for an audible difference, however subtle. I've done tests switching bodies and necks that show consistent unique body damping results in b4 and after DI recordings.

    Popular YT host Johan Segeborn has done tests with body materials and shapes that also show audible affects. These two videos exemplify each point:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrEa...b2y8eL_ip7prBt

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzuA...7prBt&index=16

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    At what volume level? Acoustic energy depends on the physical movement of air.
    In his book "Physics of the Electric Guitar" Zollner shows plots of the relative decay times ("sustain") of string harmonics up to 8kHz. Bridge resonances show as shorter decay/sustain at the associated harmonics/frequencies. Measurements are standardized and thus results don't depend on level. No air movement involved.

    As the bridges didn't show any signs of vibration up to 700Hz, no significant vibration is transferred to the guitar body via the bridge. In other words, the direct vibrational coupling between strings and body of the analyzed solid body guitars tends to zero (acoustic guitars are a completely different matter). And this is good as otherwise sustain would strongly suffer. Vibrational energy that is once transferred from the strings to any other part of guitar practically has no chance to re-enter the string and thus is lacking from the electric signal.

    It could be shown that vibrational energy is indeed transferred from the strings to the neck especially at a number of neck resonances. From this it seems that the sustain is primarily influenced via the neck. As the guitar body is rigidly coupled to the neck, it becomes part of the vibrational modes of the neck, thus considerably influencing neck resonances and damping. So the body's stiffness, shape (including type of neck joint) and mass matter.

    It also could be shown that the guitar players hands (and belly) influence neck resonances and damping/sustain.

    As there is little chance to excite string vibrations via body > bridge > string, acoustic feedback most probably works by the moving air "shaking" the neck or directly exciting the string.


    Appearance aside, would you really consider subbing your strat body for one made of rubber or steel to have insignificant tonal affects?
    No, see above. But I am conservative .



    I'd be interested in seeing it if you have a link.
    My little summary above is based on long time studies of relevant literature. Especially many papers and academic theses from Prof. Fleischer and others - and above all Prof. Zollner's books as well as private "conversations" with Zollner. Unfortunately most of the material is in German. And yes it's rather "scientific". Zollners chapter on "String Dynamics" comprises 68 pages.

    You might inquire at https://www.gitec-forum-eng.de/landi...-news/contact/ to see if Zollner's book "Physics of the Electric Guitar" is available in English meanwhile, or ask them specific questions.

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    I often read statements like "the guitar bridge needs to transfer the string vibration to the body". At least for solid bodies this is completely wrong. Rather the main purpose of the bridge (as well as nut and frets) is to reflect the travelling string wave back into the string to produce a standing wave without losing energy - just like a rigid wall "reflects" a ball (a thin or soft, yielding wall would steal energy from the ball).
    With acoustic guitars it's somewhat different as the light weight bridge must transfer (a small) part of the string vibration to the vibratory guitar top to produce sound. Consequence is reduced sustain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmholtz View Post
    It also could be shown that the guitar players hands (and belly) influence neck resonances and damping/sustain.
    So, skinny electric guitarists get more sustain, the guitar body vibrations would be damped by pressing against a mound of flesh - how about that ! ! !

    And yes it's rather "scientific"
    Those of us who aren't "science deniers" will have to accept the facts. Watch your diets, dial down the beer consumption, and plenty of situps folks! Arrrrgh...

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    So, skinny electric guitarists get more sustain, the guitar body vibrations would be damped by pressing against a mound of flesh - how about that ! ! !
    Maybe, but a strong, round belly might have less contact area...

    Actually the influence of the fretting hand is stronger as the vibration amplitudes at the neck are much larger than at the body and it's easier to damp a lower vibrating mass.

    Both effects are relatively small but interesting. And they do support the underlying theory.

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    I would definitely consider swapping a wood body for something like a urethane foam body (of which one guitar I have is made). It has the virtually same damping characteristics as a medium weight wood like Mahogany, Alder, etc. probably with less high end damping.

    One thing about the thick metal bridge damping factor the tests may not show is the movement of the entire bridge (rather than resonance) with regard to the material it's anchored to. Surely, picking and strumming is enough to move the total bridge mass significantly. Imagine how much it would move when strumming if it were just hanging freely. It then becomes a matter of how much the body allows for bridge movement -- how it ends up damping some portion of the string attack. Softer/lighter-weight bodies do tend to have a softer/rounder attack in my experience. I also think raising a hard tail style bridge off the body with Steel washers would reduce damping in some ways.

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