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  1. #1

    Problem with my Strat

    I was hoping someone could give me some ideas. I have a Fender custom shop Artisan Strat. Something is going on with it that I canít figure out. Iíve checked the intonation and it seems to me to be very close to perfect. There are no issues playing regular fretted notes all the way up the neck. The problem appears when I bend a string up and then play a normal fretted note. In my case, when I play in the key of E and hit the g string fretted at the 11th fret and bend it up a whole step and then fret the b string at the 12th fret and play it while holding the bend, it is WAY flat. If I just play the b string by itself at the 12th fret, it is back on pitch. If I do something similar bending the b string and then playing a note on the e string while the note is still bent, the pitch is fine. I have no idea what to think about this. I first thought it was the tremelo moving to create the problem, but I would have thought it would also show up on other bent strings. Iím out of ideas on this one.... Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Milwaukee Wisconsin
    Posts
    30

    Re: Problem with my Strat

    Just spit balliní but, any chance your G string is a heavier gauge than the rest of the set? Bending a heavy g would put more tension on the bridge causing the other notes to go flat. If thatís not it, Iím stumped. Does the guitar return to pitch when you release the bend?

  3. #3

    Re: Problem with my Strat

    Quote Originally Posted by Iguana View Post
    Just spit balliní but, any chance your G string is a heavier gauge than the rest of the set? Bending a heavy g would put more tension on the bridge causing the other notes to go flat. If thatís not it, Iím stumped. Does the guitar return to pitch when you release the bend?
    The strings are all normal gauge. Yes, when I release the bend and hit the b string, its back in tune. Iím really perplexed by this.

  4. #4

    Re: Problem with my Strat

    Iím not a big user of the tremelo at all and am thinking about tightening the bridge down to see if that helps.

  5. #5

    Re: Problem with my Strat

    It most likely is the bridge and probably just the G string affecting it more than the B due to increased tension. When bending the G you may also be bending the D while you do it which impacts it too.

    Definitely lock down the trem and see if that affects it - most likely more springs in the back and setting it to fixed, not floating.

  6. #6

    Re: Problem with my Strat

    Quote Originally Posted by metropolis View Post
    It most likely is the bridge and probably just the G string affecting it more than the B due to increased tension. When bending the G you may also be bending the D while you do it which impacts it too.

    Definitely lock down the trem and see if that affects it - most likely more springs in the back and setting it to fixed, not floating.
    Thanks for that tip. I am bending both the d and the g when I bend the g. I'm going to screw the trem down and see if that takes care of it.

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Shakedown Street
    Posts
    2,942

    Re: Problem with my Strat

    If you don't use the whammy bar , put in the springs (all 5 ) and that way it will be tight like the above poster mentioned and that should work . Out of curiosity do you have the bridge floating where you can do dive bombs and pull ups ?

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member TM1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    on the middle & bridge pickup of my L.P. Custom
    Posts
    7,867

    Re: Problem with my Strat

    I would make sure that the Trem is sitting flat on the top and the I would make sure the slots in the Nut are polished. One thing I know after working on Strats for over 40 years is Fender never cut their slots very well. Iím guessing that a good tech could make sure that the nut slots are the correct, even depth and that they are just slightly wider than the string and they are polished in the slots.
    Most guitar manufactures leave the slot depth way too high and when you push down on a chord in the first position it will not be in-tune. This applies to Custom Shop stuff as much as regular production guitars.
    If you donít use the Trem then I would use all 5 springs! Pulling/bending a string Will not ensure that it will return to the exact same spot and be in tune. Also you will have much better sustain with the bridge sitting flat on the top of the guitar, one last thing... make sure that the holes the strings go through are smooth and that the top plate is tight against the block. I find the vintage blocks need a little extra attention as itís usually just machined and thrown together. I normally pull the bridge and sand the top of the block to make sure itís perfectly flat and the edges of the holes have a slight roundness instead of the sharp edges. Just cause itís from the Custom Shop doesnít mean all the little things are as they should be. Theyíre on a production schedule too.
    good luck!

  9. #9

    Re: Problem with my Strat

    How old is the guitar? It could be something as simple as "spring fatigue"...
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  10. #10

    Re: Problem with my Strat

    Quote Originally Posted by TM1 View Post
    I would make sure that the Trem is sitting flat on the top and the I would make sure the slots in the Nut are polished. One thing I know after working on Strats for over 40 years is Fender never cut their slots very well. I’m guessing that a good tech could make sure that the nut slots are the correct, even depth and that they are just slightly wider than the string and they are polished in the slots.
    Most guitar manufactures leave the slot depth way too high and when you push down on a chord in the first position it will not be in-tune. This applies to Custom Shop stuff as much as regular production guitars.
    If you don’t use the Trem then I would use all 5 springs! Pulling/bending a string Will not ensure that it will return to the exact same spot and be in tune. Also you will have much better sustain with the bridge sitting flat on the top of the guitar, one last thing... make sure that the holes the strings go through are smooth and that the top plate is tight against the block. I find the vintage blocks need a little extra attention as it’s usually just machined and thrown together. I normally pull the bridge and sand the top of the block to make sure it’s perfectly flat and the edges of the holes have a slight roundness instead of the sharp edges. Just cause it’s from the Custom Shop doesn’t mean all the little things are as they should be. They’re on a production schedule too.
    good luck!
    Thanks Don. I think you are spot on about the nut. I need to take it to someone that really knows what they are doing and get that part right. I experience exactly what you’re talking about in that first position. It goes very sharp at the first position if I fret too hard. Once this virus thing is over, I might try to get it to Joe Glaser up in Nashville. The guitar has a great overall tone otherwise.

  11. #11

    Re: Problem with my Strat

    Quote Originally Posted by KennyF View Post
    How old is the guitar? It could be something as simple as "spring fatigue"...
    Itís pretty new. Iím sure it isnít this.

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