Weird Sitar kinda sound

tt0511

Senior member
Messages
113
I just finished my strat build here:  http://www.unofficialwarmoth.com/index.php?topic=8693.0

I used a bridge from a mexican strat I tore down and parted out.  It was almost in new condition but I'm getting a weird sound at the tail end of the B-string after it sustains for a second or two.  I tried shifting the string on the saddle but that didn't correct the issue.  I'd search the forums but I don't know where to begin in search keywords!  It kinda sounds like high pitched harmonics, similar to a sitar sound.  Can anyone help me diagnose this?  I'm wondering if I need a new saddle or if something else could be causing this.
 

Funky Phil

Senior member
Messages
324
Does the bridge have the bent steel type saddles?
I've worked on a ferw Mexican Strats with this type of bridge and had the same problem.
It is caused by the height adjustment screws vibrating.
The cure is to remove the saddle and, using a vice, bend the area around the screws to hold them tighter.
I hope that helps!
 

tfarny

Senior member
Messages
4,481
Yeah, it's probably the height adjustment screws vibrating against the bridge plate. Make sure that both adjustment screws are under equal downward pressure from the string, it's easy to have the whole pressure of the string mainly on one of the screws and the other just sitting there.
If I were you, I would put a decent bridge on that beautiful body, not only will it likely solve your problem but the bridge really does affect the tone quite a bit. Callaham makes the goods, he also makes mexi strat upgrade kits including high quality saddles. Check it out.
 

tt0511

Senior member
Messages
113
Thanks guys.  I adjusted the height screws on the saddle and it did change the sound but I can't eliminate it.  I don't have a bench vise so I can't squeeze it tighter. 

Tfarney, ...I looked at Callaham's website.  Is there a reason I would want to go with a Mexican hardware upgraded kit rather than just buying a Fender standard bridge instead, or a Warmoth bridge?

I may try to squeeze the saddle with channel locks or something to see if I can eliminate the problem for now but I don't know if it'll work.  I'm on a budget which is the reason I used the hardware I had from the mexi to begin with.
 

Mor Paul

Senior member
Messages
7,238
The holes might not line up with a standard bridge compared to the Mexican.

Hey, it's your custom build! Go all out, don't cheap. I'm considering buying some Glendale or Callaham parts for my tele. Maybe a new neck sometime.
 

tfarny

Senior member
Messages
4,481
Because the Callaham parts are better quality than either the warmoth or fender parts. They are heavy cold rolled steel and the plating is very good, and you can see the quality difference in the details - no burrs, height adjustment screws are carefully rounded off, etc. I have only bought the callaham hardtail bridge but it's much better made than the warmoth hardtail bridge, which is decent. Bridge quality / construction matters a lot.
 

tt0511

Senior member
Messages
113
Tfarney, is there a reason to go with the Mexi upgrade rather than a standard setup from Callaham?

Fender parts are supposed to be fully interchangeable, ...it's one of their bragging rights to quality control.  I had my strat body drilled by Warmoth for a standard vintage fender trem and there are no alignment or hole spacing issues at all.

 

Patrick from Davis

Senior member
Messages
2,197
I have not seen this mentioned yet, so...  Try playing an E chord with your first finger resting on the strings behind the nut.  If there is a change in the Sitar-iness it could also be because the string is rattling in the nut.  If it doesn't change anything, then it isn't a problem.  Easy test.  If this is a problem, the fix is a string retainer.
Patrick

 

tt0511

Senior member
Messages
113
Thanks Patrick.  I put string retainers on.  It's definitely in the saddles because when I adjust the height screws the sound changes but doesn't totally go away.

Regarding the screw spacing, ..that's just weird.  I simply ordered a vintage strat style bridge set of holes and routing for the body from Warmoth.  There was no option for MIM.  I just "hoped" my hardware would fit and if it wouldn't I'd have to get a new one.  It bolted right up, no issues whatsoever with that.

Don't know if you guys have seen this but I am considering getting a new tremolo from this company rather than Callaham.  I like the design of it better in the saddle contact area.  Some will not like the look, and the original Fender is charming.  But for functionality and tone this looks killer.

http://www.fullcontacthardware.com
 

tfarny

Senior member
Messages
4,481
Let us know how it turns out - the strat bridge didn't look too bad, but the others looked butt-awful to me.
Glendale also makes a weird and interesting strat bridge with telecaster barrel saddles, looks very solid.
 

tt0511

Senior member
Messages
113
This bridge thing is puzzling.  The hardware I used for this build came off of a MIM strat I bought brand new about two years ago for around $600 at Sam Ash.  By all accounts, this bridge should not fit the standard Fender 6-point tremolo screw hole spacing.  I just took a tape measure and measured from center to center of the two outside mounting screws (below the low E and high E strings).  The measurement was 2 3/16" to my eye.  According to Callaham's website, USA strat spacing is 2 7/32".  That's just 1/32" larger than what I measured which means mine is 2 7/32" since anyone can measure off by 1/32" and my tape doesn't measure 32nds of an inch.

Did Fender possibly use a standard USA tremolo unit on some of the MIM strats?  Perhaps only the wood parts were manufactured in mexico, but the hardware came from the USA.  It was originally a 70's strat.

I'm currently considering buying a Super-Vee tremolo.  The cost is painful, but I like to use my tremolo unit and I don't like having to do a divebomb at the end of any solo to make sure the strings come back in tune.  That's in response to the "Frudua Way" I found on YouTube regarding getting a strat to stay in tune.  The nut is unorthodox looking on the super vee, but it appears to work perfectly and that's more important to me.

Guess I'm just thinking out loud online, ha ha.  If I go with the Super Vee it kinda makes having locking tuners stupid.  Oh well.  Can't win them all.  This is a learning experience for me.
 
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8,318
tt0511 said:
Did Fender possibly use a standard USA tremolo unit on some of the MIM strats?  Perhaps only the wood parts were manufactured in mexico, but the hardware came from the USA.  It was originally a 70's strat.

As was the practice in the 90s, MIM Fenders are "made" in California.  The bodies and neck are cut here.  They are sent a few miles across the border, painted and assembled then shipped back.  Assembled in Mexico would be a better description.  But, that was 10 years ago.
 

tt0511

Senior member
Messages
113
I got the super vee installed and it is a nice system.  The locking nut isn't nearly as gawdy looking in person as in the online pics.  But for those who still can't stand it, a great option would be to combine a Floyd Rose locking nut with the super-vee tremolo unit (they sell it separately).  The tremolo unit has a great, smooth feel to it and does return to pitch as promised.  If bar flutters are your thing, out of all the Floyd Rose trem's I have owned, the super vee flutters better!  I think it's because the bar fits snuggly in it's holder and because the supplied bar is of good size.  Another problem I've had with strats is trem bars hitting the last tone knob.  The super vee does not have that problem at all.  There's plenty of clearance.

I'm sure it's not for everyone, but I believe that almost anyone who gives the super vee a try will love it.  The bridge is very well made and all the parts are hefty, not skimpy.  Installation only takes about 15 minutes.  Just be sure to pre-read all of the instructions BEFORE beginning.  Otherwise you'll miss out on some very important instructions as you go along and you'll get ahead of the instructions.
 
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