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String spacing HELL

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String spacing HELL

Postby Chuck Tweedy » Thu Oct 20, 2016 12:41 pm

Okay people, I've wandered over to the dark side, and I'm horribly confused about bridge string spacing on 6-string electrics.

F = Fender - Modern is 2-1/8"
Vintage Fender = 2-1/4"
"Standard" = ???????

help please - the web is not providing solid info.
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Re: String spacing HELL

Postby Bryan Bear » Thu Oct 20, 2016 1:19 pm

There is still good in you, I can feel it. Come back to the light.
PMoMC

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Re: String spacing HELL

Postby Rodger Knox » Thu Oct 20, 2016 1:56 pm

Chuck Tweedy wrote:"Standard" = ???????

- the web is not providing solid info.


Looks like you have a pretty clear understanding, have some more juice.
A man hears what he wants to hear, and disreguards the rest. Paul Simon
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Re: String spacing HELL

Postby Chuck Tweedy » Thu Oct 20, 2016 2:06 pm

but Hipshot makes what appears to be a "standard" spacing hardtail bridge with 2.080" spacing.
is that some sorta normal spacing?

Hey ... why did the room just real cold?? how come I have a sudden urge to buy a ticket to Lafayette?
Likes to drink Rosewood Juice
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Re: String spacing HELL

Postby Jason Rodgers » Thu Oct 20, 2016 2:38 pm

Chuck Tweedy wrote:Okay people, I've wandered over to the dark side, and I'm horribly confused about bridge string spacing on 6-string electrics.

F = Fender - Modern is 2-1/8"
Vintage Fender = 2-1/4"
"Standard" = ???????

help please - the web is not providing solid info.

Welcome to the dark side. We're a fun bunch.

Are you starting from scratch, or are you matching a bridge to existing components? If the former, go with the bridge you like best (styling, finish, etc.) and match the neck and pickups to that spacing. If the latter, check the string spacing on your neck and pickups and choose the bridge that matches that spacing.

So, what sent you down this path? You better build it and quit, because addiction is all you have to look forward to if you continue. Next thing you know, you're lurking on pickup forums and considering the merits of one trem system over another. So... many... rabbit holes...
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.
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Re: String spacing HELL

Postby Chuck Tweedy » Thu Oct 20, 2016 4:26 pm

I'm building a custom instrument based on the Ibanez Jem. The customer has one, and wants a hardtail version build neck-through.
We've got all the woods and general geometry sorted out.

He chose a Hishot hardtail bridge (that I mentioned earlier) but the Jem has 2-1/8" (F) spacing, and the selected bridge is something else.
Since this guys is really into refining his picking technique, I insisted that this guitar match the string spacing of his stock Jem.
We found another Hipshot hartail that is a perfect match, both in geometry and in style of this thing.
THIS

So ... The immediate problem has been solved, but I expect that this will not be the end of the road for this addiction (I also bought an oscillating spindle sander!!!!!!! Never had one - so excited!!)

yea
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Re: String spacing HELL

Postby David King » Thu Oct 20, 2016 4:52 pm

My take on this is that there are three spacings that are each acceptable to different styles of player.
2-1/16 (AKA 2.080")
2-1/8
2-3/16 (flat pickers delight)
I've never heard of the 2-1/4" I'd double check that figure as it seems unlikely.
First consideration would be what pickups you want to use and what string spacings are they going to be available in.
Next would be what sort of bridge you have in mind and what spacing is that available in.
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Re: String spacing HELL

Postby Chuck Tweedy » Thu Oct 20, 2016 5:49 pm

Thanks David - that is the type of real experience data that I was hoping for.

You see the 2-1/4" thing is what I was talking about.
This is one of those subjects that is so over-discussed on the web that everyone is throwing numbers around, and half of the posters have no idea what they are talking about - much less have ever put a scale across the strings and actually measured real distances.
So it is impossible for me - the noob - to figure out what is fact or fiction.

A while ago I did some repair on a parts-caster put together by the customer that was a cluster-F. He'd put a narrow bridge on a Strat body with a wide board and wide pickups. That's the first I learned of this dark undercurrent - but I never fully sorted it out back then.
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Re: String spacing HELL

Postby Dan Smith » Thu Oct 20, 2016 7:20 pm

I've used several Schaller 3-d roller bridges.
They are low profile, suitable for Fender style staight necks.
Each string can be adjusted for intonation, height, and string spread.
The rollers sit in a threaded shaft and can be rolled along the shaft to adjust string spread.
Very versatile.
Dan
Ever-body was kung fu fight-in,
Them kids was fast as light-nin.
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Re: String spacing HELL

Postby Mark Swanson » Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:08 pm

Welcome to the Darkside Chuck!
I usually just build the neck to suit whatever bridge I want to use. Some pickups also have different spacings. Don't forget to post the finished photos!
    Mark Swanson, guitarist, MIMForum Staff
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Re: String spacing HELL

Postby Chuck Tweedy » Thu Oct 20, 2016 11:09 pm

Thanks Dan - the roller bridges do look pretty cool.
And thanks Mark, I'm working closely with the customer on this. I don't want to F-up my first solid-body instrument. :P
Likes to drink Rosewood Juice
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Location: San Diego, CA

Re: String spacing HELL

Postby Randy Roberts » Thu Oct 20, 2016 11:34 pm

Wow Chuck...I mean....Wow!

I'm thinking maybe mid-life crisis?

Definitely want to be following this thread.
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Re: String spacing HELL

Postby Chuck Tweedy » Sat Oct 22, 2016 10:11 am

Hey Randy!
Certainly mid-life crisis. Cheeper than a Corvette. :-)
Likes to drink Rosewood Juice
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Re: String spacing HELL

Postby Jason Rodgers » Sat Oct 22, 2016 11:28 am

Chuck Tweedy wrote:Hey Randy!
Certainly mid-life crisis. Cheeper than a Corvette. :-)

Damn... so if I already build electric guitars, I guess a fast car is my only option for mid-life crisis.
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.
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Re: String spacing HELL

Postby Chuck Tweedy » Sat Oct 22, 2016 3:37 pm

you could take up building banjos
that would be a crisis
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Re: String spacing HELL

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Sat Oct 22, 2016 5:49 pm

A lot of the bridges used on electrics these days have the 2 1/16" spacing, and a lot of pickups will match.
You can also get 2 1/8", but the 2 3/16" are harder to find.

If the neck is 2 3/16" wide at the body joint, then a 2 1/16 bridge should be used. If you use a wider bridge the strings get pretty close to the edge of the neck.
I have been purposely building my necks at 2 1/4 just to eliminate that.

Scale length also plays a small role in this calculation. I have been building 25.5 scale guitars.
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
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Re: String spacing HELL

Postby Chuck Tweedy » Sat Oct 22, 2016 6:11 pm

Thanks Gordon. Scale and FB width are all working out here in the shop.
I actually have his (the customer's) Jem with me now, and in preparation for the project, I'm measuring and photographing it. Tracing it as well
Likes to drink Rosewood Juice
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Re: String spacing HELL

Postby Jason Rodgers » Sat Oct 22, 2016 11:54 pm

This sounds cool. The interwebs tell me this model has a basswood or alder body. Does your customer want all of the woods to match, or are you going to give him a blingy cap? You still have some of that big chunk of walnut around?
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.
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Re: String spacing HELL

Postby Randy Roberts » Sun Oct 23, 2016 10:07 am

Oooo Walnut!

Those yellowish splotches from your resawing will look really cool! <g>
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Re: String spacing HELL

Postby Chuck Tweedy » Sun Oct 23, 2016 12:57 pm

Hey guys, it is a neck through with no cap.
The neck portion IS walnut, wings are swamp ash.
The walnut is not anything fancy like what Randy is used to - just plain ol' steam kiln'ed lumberyard wood.
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