Electric Guitar setup…

by Josh

I got my new 1960’s reissue Fender Stratocaster a few days ago.  I was told that all guitars (electric or otherwise) require a setup periodically to ensure their proper function.  Normally, I would take this type of work to a professional guitar shop (and I recommend you do), however I have a coworker that has a LOT of guitars and knows how to set them up properly so I let him do it.

Today I found out way more about my electric guitar than I possibly could have imagined.  Fender Stratocasters have a floating bridge which means the bridge is suspended above the body of the guitar.  My coworker tells me that the floating bridge is a bit harder to keep in tune, which may explain why the previous owner of my guitar had elected to “lock” the bridge by making adjustments to force the tremolo springs to lower the bridge to nearly flush with the body.

I am told that this is somewhat common with floating bridges.  This modification lowers the strings near the body of the guitar, which was causing the strings to vibrate against the lower frets.  My buddy fixed this up by restoring the bridge to its original configuration, which raised the strings and allowed the neck to flex properly which eliminated the fret buzz.  He then made some fine adjustment to the bridge to get the string height appropriately configured.

He demonstrated several measurements to prove the fixes were complete, but I’m going to have to read more before I understand exactly what he meant.

I will post more details from the setup process as I remember them!

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