Strat String Spacing? 52.5mm v 54mm

martinwmartinw Frets: 1794
edited February 2014 in Guitar

I'm currently re-bodying a Strat with  Guitarbuild body, done in Wudtone.

The original body has a Mexican-style 52.5mm bridge and the guitar plays well, no E string slip-off, but the new body is marked for vintage 56mm spacing.

Now obviously I could ignore the started pilot holes Guitarbuild put in (they drill 6 holes about 1mm deep or so, about 3mm in diameter) and drill new ones, but for ease I've seen that Wilkinson do a bridge with 54mm spacing that still uses 56mm hole centres for mounting. It seems an otherwise nice enough bridge, with bent steel saddles and steel block, and a nice price.

Is 54mm tight enough to avoid string/edge issues?

Or, what's the best way to redrill the bridge mounting holes? I was thinking that the 2 centre holes might be close enough to fit the bridge, then centre punch carefully through the bridge plate and redrill with a 2mm drill to avoid being dragged off-centre by the old holes.

Anyone got any experience?

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Comments

  • MegiiMegii Frets: 853
    I've used the Wilkinson bridge you speak of - and at least in my opinion, it does do what you say re keeping the strings a bit further from the fretboard edges. All a matter of taste of course, but to give you some idea, on my strat the outside strings are about the same distance from the edge all the way along, from the nut to the high end of the fingerboard. I don't have any trouble with strings pushing off the edges anyhow. The Wilkinson bridges are good quality as well I've found - a nice substantial steel block, and well made/finished - very good value.

    I believe Wudtone also sell a trem bridge that can be supplied with hybrid spacings, maybe worth looking on their website too.
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  • +1 Megii, I think Wudtone do a custom type mounting that would help.  You'll know it's good quality, too.  

    That said, Wilkinson (as in the proper, more expensive stuff) is very good hardware - some of the import stuff is pretty good, too.  So I doubt it would be awful.

    On the 52.5mm spacing, how far away from the edge are the e strings?  If that's already perfect, you'll be compromising a bit on the wilko.  To be honest, 1.5mm spread across 6 strings won't be a huge difference compared to 3.5mm, so probably not a terrible compromise at all :)
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  • martinwmartinw Frets: 1794
    Well, I'm thinking at the moment I'll get a 52.5mm bridge and drill appropriately.
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  • Megii said:
    I've used the Wilkinson bridge you speak of - and at least in my opinion, it does do what you say re keeping the strings a bit further from the fretboard edges. All a matter of taste of course, but to give you some idea, on my strat the outside strings are about the same distance from the edge all the way along, from the nut to the high end of the fingerboard. I don't have any trouble with strings pushing off the edges anyhow. The Wilkinson bridges are good quality as well I've found - a nice substantial steel block, and well made/finished - very good value.

    I believe Wudtone also sell a trem bridge that can be supplied with hybrid spacings, maybe worth looking on their website too.
    thank you for the mention, yes we do have a hybrid bridge, vintage mounting spacing 56mm MIM narrow 52.3 mm string spacing and a couple of cosmetic 2nds, if anyone on the fretboard wants them 40% discount ( still with return for refund if not delighted).  
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  • jaymenonjaymenon Frets: 20
    I wonder if one can use 54mm saddles on a 52.4mm string spaced bridge. The string ‘divergence’ will be only 0.8mm on the 1st and 6th strings...
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