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Discussion Starter #1
Do you float your bridge or lock it down?
In the spirit of acquiring my new strat, I thought I'd ask.
Me, I put 5 springs on an tighten it down. Back in the 80's when I first played strats I became frustrated with the usability of the trem. I mainly went to guitars with Floyd Rose or Kahler systems for this type of playing.
I'd love to have my strat bridge float for the odd use but its not worth the exclusion of other styles I play to have the bridge floating. Such as bending while simultaneously playing other strings.
So are you a floater or do you deck it?
 

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I used to always deck it as well until I learned to set it up properly. Now I love my trem!!!!

It takes a while to get it right, but if you get it perfect, its awesome. Just make sure your nut is well cut.

 

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Usually floating for me, or decked so that I can only drop pitch and I can detune.

Floating can be a pain in the ass, but when my trem is decked, I miss the ability to pull my notes up in pitch. My Godin is decked so that I can drop tune, my strat is floating so I can go up and down; the strat lives in standard tuning.

I just tune to standard, then set the springs to the exact amount of tension to just barely keep the bridge decked at standard pitch.

If you added a little extra tension, you should be able to bend strings like on a hard tail without the bridge moving and you’ll have the use of your trem in one direction.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I used to always deck it as well until I learned to set it up properly. Now I love my trem!!!!

It takes a while to get it right, but if you get it perfect, its awesome. Just make sure your nut is well cut.

When I get home from work I'll have a look at this. I just picked up 2 extra springs for my new strat with the intention to lock it down. I'd like to be able to use it. But I find when I have enough tension on it to not cause the bridge to pull up when I bend strings, its too much for me to use it they way I'd like to use the bar.
 

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Can you detect any differences directly related to those bridge differences or is that too hard to quantify?
The guitars are too different in other ways for me to reliably attribute any differences to the bridge setup- two rosewood, one maple, two alder, one poplar, different pickups in each one. The floating bridge guitar gets 99% of the playtime though, not sure what that indicates other than I like it the best.
 

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Floating if it can be setup stable.

I even managed to set up a very inexpensive Chinese Squier Strat to float and stay in tune.

How did your guitar come from the factory?
 

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Mine has the broken off stub of a whammy bar stuck in the block and I can't get it out, so it's decked and also immobilized with a wood block.
 

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Mine has the broken off stub of a whammy bar stuck in the block and I can't get it out, so it's decked and also immobilized with a wood block.
Had the same thing happen to me recently. Luckily the machinist at work was able to fix me up. It’s a pain to try and get those out.
 

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5 springs and screwed down tight here, too. I have very little use for the whammy bar, so I don't bother with it at all. I don't even know if I've screwed mine into my latest Strat!

I played around with floating trems and used this video to set up a Strat I had previously:

Worked ok, but I wasn't ever thrilled with it and didn't really trust it to stay in-tune on-stage. Between that and the fact that I simply don't need it, I went back to decking my bridges.
 

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Another vote for floating. All my Strats are setup this way but some I have the bridge resting on the top surface, others are raised and allow pitch changes in both directions.
 

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Floating and I don’t use it. I find it stays in tune after weeks of not using it or even with temperature changes. Stays in tune when playing just fine too.
 

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I use the trem sparingly, but I don't pull sharp, so I decked mine soon after I bought it. When I replaced the stock trem with a Callaham unit a few years ago, I had it set floating just so see how it feels. No stability or tuning issues (3 trem springs, strung with .009 string set).
 
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