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Thread: FS-1 "Starcaster" My Second Build Are there bridge position issues with my kit?

  1. #1

    FS-1 "Starcaster" My Second Build Are there bridge position issues with my kit?

    Just kicking off my second build.

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    Just did a bit of a test fit and measured up the bridge position.

    Am I the only one that feels there seems to be some accuracy issues withe the positioning of these?

    12th fret is 312.5mm The very top edge of the supplied bridge sits at about 624.5 mm.

    Note: This is not the top edge of the saddles but the top edge of the tunomatic bridge assembly.

    Presuming that I want the same length from 12th to bridge center as I do from nut to 12th this feels like the bridge post holes have been drilled about 3-5mm too far from the 12th fret. Which means it will never intonate properly.

    Note: There is no way to move the neck any further towards the bridge because the neck pup binding is already tight AF to the neck.

    I had the same problem on my first build. It is a JMA-1. Fortunately I was able to use longer bolts for the bridge saddles which enabled me to make the strings 5mm shorter on the high end and get them to intonate.

    The other problem is the holes are spaced about 1-1.5mm too far apart so if I pressed them in all the way the bridge would never fit on the posts. I would actually prefer that the holes were not drilled at all if they can't be drilled accurately.

    I am probably going to fill the drilled holes with dowels and redrill for smaller posts from a roller bridge I was planning to use as a replacement.

    Im not a luthier so I might have this all wrong and would happily stand corrected.

    If I am incorrect in my assessment please feel free to wise me up before I go and make a mess of this by filling in those holes and re-drilling.

    I am always happy to learn.
    Last edited by Steev3d; 22-04-2019 at 10:55 AM.

  2. #2
    Overlord of Music Sonic Mountain's Avatar
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    It's common for them to be a little too far apart. Normally if you have them wound most of the way out, fit the bridge and then wind them down evenly it works out OK.

    So are these a 'G' style scale length - 628mm? They appear to be from the pics.... EDIT: yep just checked

    If you wind the high 'E' saddle all the way forward and measure from it to the inside edge of the nut what do you get?

    You mostly want adjustment 'back' from the stated scale length, especially for the thicker strings - that's why the bridge is on an angle, to give a bit more compensation on the low 'E'. I found that TOM bridges don't really give you all the adjustment you'd necessarily want, but I have done a couple of kits with them and they've worked out fine for intonation. I think the 'nashville' style give you a few more mm to play with. Someone else might be able to confirm.
    Build 1 - Shoegazer MK1 JMA-1
    Build 2 - The Relliecaster TL-1
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    "What I lack in talent I make up for with enthusiasm"

  3. #3
    Awesome reply Sonic. Thanks heaps for the info.

    Did a more accurate measure and as you said it is bang on 628mm with the high e saddle dialed all the way out.

    That's 313 from the nut to the high point of the 12th fret and 315 from the 12th fret to bridge saddle.

    Do you think those measurements sound legit? Will it intonate correctly with the 2mm variation between the 2 distances? I know I would feel safer if 313 to 313 was achievable on the high e or am I just being a pussy.

    I do have another bridge that has a lot more adjustment at the posts and on the saddles. It is a roller bridge which should help tuning stability with the "Bigsby" style trem I am planning to use instead of the supplied trapeze tailpiece.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    It has tiny posts compared to the supplied posts which would mean a dowl and re-drill anyway. You seem pretty clued up... what do you reckon? Few birds with one stone or a bad idea?

  4. #4
    Overlord of Music Sonic Mountain's Avatar
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    I think it should be fine. As far as fret location on the necks go, they seem pretty good on all the kits. The nut to saddle distance is much more important, so don't get to hung up on going to the 12th and then from the 12th to the bridge. If the overall distance gives you room for the thicker strings to be adjusted back a bit then you are apples.

    The roller bridge is a good idea. How do the post 'receivers' fit into the existing holes? The smaller posts aren't a problem, but if the receivers are too loose then you may have to dowl and redrill.

    If they look like they will give a good interference fit then they are probably fine, but really, I can't tell for sure without in in front of me.

    Just measure and remeasure before you go changing anything. While the kits often aren't perfect, they are usually close enough with a little bit of fiddling.
    Build 1 - Shoegazer MK1 JMA-1
    Build 2 - The Relliecaster TL-1
    Build 3 - The Black Cherry SG AG-1
    Build 4 - The Sonicaster TL-1ish
    Build 5 - The Steampunker Bass YB-4
    Build 6 - The Howling Gowing ST-1

    "What I lack in talent I make up for with enthusiasm"

  5. #5
    As Sonic has already said the scale length seems right, here's a pic of mine after a rough setup,
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    The neck pickup should fit ok but may need to do a bit of filing around the tab cutouts if its a bit of a tight fit.
    I usually go for Gotoh bridges as an upgrade and haven't had a problem with one fitting yet, they may be a little snug on the posts but still fit. The splines on their bushings aren't as pronounced as the kit ones so you use the kit bushings with the other posts, they both have an M8 thread.
    Do you have a plan to mount the tailpiece squarely, the bottom curve of the body is not symmetrical as I'm sure you've noticed?

    And what colour are you going for?

    Grant

  6. #6
    Oh fiddly dee!

    Thanks for the info Grant. I now know why you ran with a hard tail.

    I didn't even think about how I'm dealing with the asymmetry and mounting the trem.
    I just checked the trapeze that came with the kit and it clearly demonstrates the issue. How quickly the picture in my head has turned to poo!

    I actually have a B5 style trem that is a surface mount for a flat top too but it doesn't love the archtop curve.

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    I could go with a Vibramate mount that bolts onto a standard les paul type hardtail although that probably wouldnt fit the Chigsby I have

    I could butcher the beautiful flamed maple top by routing out a bit of material under the trem to straighten out the arch

    Maybe I could just put a rubber gasket under it to take up the slack although im thinking that could impact resonance.

    I could put some shims under it or drill some more holes or pack it out with washers and dowels and ......ugggghhhhh!!!

    As for the color... that seems so unimportant now... but Im doing it colortone orange
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    Last edited by Steev3d; 24-04-2019 at 06:20 PM.

  7. #7
    Ok so the Chigsby I ordered is one of these
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    I was thinking maybe I can add a "block" between the tailpiece and the body to compensate for the asymmetry. It would "stick out" about 10mm on the high side or thereabouts I could probably knock something up in fibreglass that is the outline of the tailpiece mount and would handle drilling and compression.

  8. #8
    That's a more suitable choice. Your spacer block will have to be tapered and may take a bit of trial and error to get right, sounds like you understand what needs to be made.
    Good luck and let us know how it goes.

    Grant

  9. #9
    Overlord of Music Dedman's Avatar
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    the other option is a Duesenbug Les Trem, not cheap but much easier.
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  10. #10

    Finding a trem for my Starcaster style build

    yeah funny you should say that dedman I have a lestrem kicking around in my box of tricks I also have some mounting posts for a les paul hard tail.... hmmmm I did think about it but I do like that chigsby trem style.... this guitar has been on hold for ages because I really can't make my mind up...

    FYI the tail mounted chigsby doesn't work with the archtop shape its made for a flatter top and really didn't work.

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