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Gotoh 510 setup
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digitalkettle



Joined: 06 Sep 2008
Posts: 404
Location: Lincolnshire, UK

PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a few reference pics...

Fender strat (six screw)


Classic Pro (two post)


Modern (two post with recess)

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jcfay



Joined: 05 Jan 2017
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks DK - much appreciated. That's super helpful. I'm assuming then that the bridge was setup correctly (which I'm sure Suhr does prior to sending out the instrument), and on the order sheet it's specified for standard tuning and 10-46 strings, so it should be right on the money.

I think the thing that also confused me was I'm still not clear on the mechanism for the 6 screw trem. Floyd's are pretty easy to understand as are the 2 post versions. But I need to do a bit more reading on the 6 posts.

God, this guitar sounds awesome... I've always had a decent acoutic (Taylor, which plays ridiculously well and wasn't their top of the line either), but only mid-level guitars (an epiphone dot and a fender tele nashville deluxe), and this is a whole new world. So much easier to play, and so much better sounding. Jesus!
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tWreCK



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 36
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First of all the factory (Suhr) recommended setup height for a 2 post trem is 3/64" (not 1/16") parallell to the top of the body regardless if it's recessed or not. There are no set rules - at the end of the day it all comes down to what suits your playing style. This means whatever setup works for you is the correct setup regardless of what the recommendations are.

There are a lot of parameters in play when setting up a trem whether it's a 2-post or 6-screw. First of all you have to determine if you want to be able to pull up on the trem. A recessed trem makes this easier but on the other hand you'll never be able to set it up flat against the body with only downward motion. If your guitar doesn't have a recess you can still setup a 2-post for upward pull by raising the posts, angling the trem upward or a combination of both depending on how much upward pull you prefer. For example, Jeff Beck uses a 2-post but still angles the trem upward for a healthy upward pull to suit his playing style. Many choose to "block" the trem flat against the body for downward motion only - a matter of preference.

jcfay - is that a Suhr guitar? With a Gotoh 510 6-screw? I can't tell from the angle in your picture. As far as I know Suhr has never offered the Gotoh 510 6-screw bridge on any instruments be it custom or otherwise. They do offer the Fender 6-screw as a custom option. If it is a Gotoh 6-screw than someone has replaced the original bridge.

Seeing that your guitar is 6-screw you have 2 options - flat against the body or floating. Which do you prefer? I myself prefer a floating trem with about a minor third upward pull on the G string. Some say tuning stability is compromised with a floating trem - I disagree. My guitars stay in tune very well but requires accurate setups including carefully cut nuts and locking tuners. Action & relief also come into play when performing a setup. Again this is a matter of preference. I like reasonably low action (~4/64") with a little bit of relief (5/64" - 6/64"). If you're not sure which settings suits your playing style just experiment with different settings until you've nailed it down.

Here's a pic of my classic antique:



Here's a pic of my Grosh BTC:



Both guitars have Gotoh 510 2-post trems.
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jcfay



Joined: 05 Jan 2017
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks all. yes, it's a bone stock custom classic. Suhr now does use Gotoh (they may do it exclusively). And it is the 6 screw. I may tweak the bridge a bit so I can get a little more upward pull, but I'll probably wait and play the guitar stock for a while to really see where the instrument stands as far as tremolo angle, action, relief, truss rod adjustment, etc. And then perhaps make some adjustments. Right now the thing plays so damn well I don't want to muck it up (which I've done plenty of times before with other guitars). But I will be picking up some feeler gauges as I think the action/relief may be a bit off on a couple of the strings. I also should replace the strings, because the instrument was sitting on the wall (in a great shop, properly humidified, etc.) for 2 years. So that may also be a contributor.

I will say that Suhr customer service got back to me with some specs (I thought about copying them here but there's a legal disclaimer thingy on the end of the email that made me nix that idea). So I'll be checking it.

Thanks again all
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tWreCK



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 36
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like a cool guitar! How about some pics?

When it comes to the Gotoh 6-screw - I'm fairly certain Suhr has never used them. They have however used other bridges in the past such as Wilkinson, Fender & possibly Hipshot.
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jcfay



Joined: 05 Jan 2017
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tWreCK wrote:
Sounds like a cool guitar! How about some pics?

When it comes to the Gotoh 6-screw - I'm fairly certain Suhr has never used them. They have however used other bridges in the past such as Wilkinson, Fender & possibly Hipshot.


Take a look: http://www.suhr.com/instruments/classic/suhr-classic-pro/

They use many Gotohs it looks like. I will have to post some pics. But I wish I could take a pic of the sound!
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lreese



Joined: 01 Dec 2009
Posts: 124

PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 510 6 screw is offered in the price list.

I've got the 2 post and 6 screw version on guitars - the sound is close enough, if not exact to me. The 2 post is smoother and a little more foolproof to set up so out of the 2 - prefer the 2 post.

I'm getting to be a bit of an old fogey (aren't we all) so I'm re-developing a fondness for the 'ol Fender bridge. Just like the way the bar sits on that one.
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jcfay



Joined: 05 Jan 2017
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I assume a 2 post is a lot easier to work with. I remember in my early days installing a floyd. it was pretty straight forward and easy to work with. but i'll never like those allen locking headstock nuts. i hated them. but i bet some of the gotoh 2 posts are really nice to play. and perhaps the floyd has evolved and improved in the last 30 years...
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tWreCK



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 36
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 4:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

lreese wrote:
The 510 6 screw is offered in the price list.

I've got the 2 post and 6 screw version on guitars - the sound is close enough, if not exact to me. The 2 post is smoother and a little more foolproof to set up so out of the 2 - prefer the 2 post.

I'm getting to be a bit of an old fogey (aren't we all) so I'm re-developing a fondness for the 'ol Fender bridge. Just like the way the bar sits on that one.


Yep - you're right. When I ordered my custom last year the 6-screw wasn't an option so they must have added that option since. The Gotoh 6-screw is nice but there are better options when it comes to the 6-screw.
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jcfay



Joined: 05 Jan 2017
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tWreCK wrote:
The Gotoh 6-screw is nice but there are better options when it comes to the 6-screw.


What do you prefer about the other options and what are they? I'm still new to some of this tech, and especially new brands. I would imagine that 2 post trems provide some advantages over the 6 screw models? But are the 6 screw models more stable with tuning? I would think you could rest your hand on the 6 screw trem with less tone wobble versus 2 post. Other pros/cons? thanks again
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tWreCK



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 36
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've basically tried every tremolo bridge under the sun except for a Floyd as I don't like the tone.

My favorite 6-screw (and 2-post) nowadays is the ABM 5050. German manufacture & very high quality with adjustable arm tension.

http://www.abm-guitarpartsshop.com/Tremolos/Vintage-Replacements:::89_149.html

There are different versions depending on saddle/mounting distance required. They now have a 2-post version as well but they don't offer metric bushings/post screws yet (Gotoh etc) but it's in the works. I actually prefer the ABM to the Gotoh bridges. To me they sound more vintage accurate tonewise as they have a full sized block (like vintage strat tremolos) unlike the Gotoh. Tuning stability is as good/or better than the Gotoh. I also like the feel (and angle) of a traditional tremolo arm as opposed to the Gotoh 510 arm. Just personal preference.

Callaham makes high quality 6-screw strat bridges as well. Different versions are available as well but no 2-post.

http://www.callahamguitars.com/strat_bridges_catalog.htm

They are both expensive but you get what you pay for - highest quality, best materials, best tolerances, flawless finishing etc.

Then you have the Hipshot trem which is also a high quality bridge in stainless steel available in different spacings. The saddles are solid and not "bent" like vintage saddles. Again this is a matter of personal preference. They do sound slightly different than the bent type. Good tuning stability and tone - all in all a great bridge.

https://store.hipshotproducts.com/cart.php?m=product_detail&p=344

Another bridge I tried for a while is the Super-Vee Bladerunner. Nice quality, good tone & stability. Feel was a little too "stiff" for my liking. There are a lot of customizing options available to suit your needs. A little pricey as well.

https://www.super-vee.com/products.html

There's also the Fender bridges (both 2-post and 6-screw). Good quality, typical strat tone with good tuning stability. Too pricey for what they are. I would go with the ABM instead.

Gotoh 510 (2-post and 6-screw) in many variations. As you can see in the pictures I posted earlier my Suhr has a 510TS-SF1 and my Grosh BTC a 510TS-BS1. Only difference is the BS1 has brass low profile saddles instead of bent steel. Both have steel blocks. I've tried the non-steel block as well (FST block) and to my ears the difference in tone is basically negligable as is tuning stability so I just went with the traditional steel block. Other than that the Gotoh is a great high quality bridge with good tone and stability. I don't think they sound quite as "stratty" as a Callaham/ABM/Fender but that's just my personal opinion - ymmv.

http://g-gotoh.com/international/product/product-category/tremolo-510-series

Keep in mind when choosing bridges that bushings/stud sizes on 2-post trems differ depending on manufacaturer. One lesson I've learned is to double check all the measurements & specs carefully before purchasing and don't forget to check the trem routing as well. For example - on Suhr guitars with the 510TS (2-post & 6-screw) the trem routing will not allow for a full sized block (Callaham/ABM/Fender) unless modified slightly.

As for your questions - with locking tuners and a well cut nut (bone/TUSQ XL) there's no reason for tuning instability provided the trem has been setup properly regardless if it's a 6-screw or 2-post.

Tone wobble occurs with a floating bridge for the most part. With a floating bridge some wobble is to be expected unless you're very light-handed. You probably want to tighten the bridge down against the body to minimize it if that's a concern. I personally prefer a floating strat bridge (part of my playing style) and I've never really noticed excessive wobbling unless it's the tone I'm going for.

Since your guitar has the Gotoh 6-screw bridge it will require slight modification of the trem rout if you want to swap any other bridge with a full sized block. All 6-screw bridges mentioned above come with full sized blocks except the Gotoh. It's a pretty simple procedure for a luthier but keep in mind it *may* void any warranty.

Sorry about the long winded post! Hope the above observations help you in your quest for great tone!
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jcfay



Joined: 05 Jan 2017
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tWreCK wrote:
I've basically tried every tremolo bridge under the sun except for a Floyd as I don't like the tone.

My favorite 6-screw (and 2-post) nowadays is the ABM 5050. German manufacture & very high quality with adjustable arm tension.

http://www.abm-guitarpartsshop.com/Tremolos/Vintage-Replacements:::89_149.html

There are different versions depending on saddle/mounting distance required. They now have a 2-post version as well but they don't offer metric bushings/post screws yet (Gotoh etc) but it's in the works. I actually prefer the ABM to the Gotoh bridges. To me they sound more vintage accurate tonewise as they have a full sized block (like vintage strat tremolos) unlike the Gotoh. Tuning stability is as good/or better than the Gotoh. I also like the feel (and angle) of a traditional tremolo arm as opposed to the Gotoh 510 arm. Just personal preference.

Callaham makes high quality 6-screw strat bridges as well. Different versions are available as well but no 2-post.

http://www.callahamguitars.com/strat_bridges_catalog.htm

They are both expensive but you get what you pay for - highest quality, best materials, best tolerances, flawless finishing etc.

Then you have the Hipshot trem which is also a high quality bridge in stainless steel available in different spacings. The saddles are solid and not "bent" like vintage saddles. Again this is a matter of personal preference. They do sound slightly different than the bent type. Good tuning stability and tone - all in all a great bridge.

https://store.hipshotproducts.com/cart.php?m=product_detail&p=344

Another bridge I tried for a while is the Super-Vee Bladerunner. Nice quality, good tone & stability. Feel was a little too "stiff" for my liking. There are a lot of customizing options available to suit your needs. A little pricey as well.

https://www.super-vee.com/products.html

There's also the Fender bridges (both 2-post and 6-screw). Good quality, typical strat tone with good tuning stability. Too pricey for what they are. I would go with the ABM instead.

Gotoh 510 (2-post and 6-screw) in many variations. As you can see in the pictures I posted earlier my Suhr has a 510TS-SF1 and my Grosh BTC a 510TS-BS1. Only difference is the BS1 has brass low profile saddles instead of bent steel. Both have steel blocks. I've tried the non-steel block as well (FST block) and to my ears the difference in tone is basically negligable as is tuning stability so I just went with the traditional steel block. Other than that the Gotoh is a great high quality bridge with good tone and stability. I don't think they sound quite as "stratty" as a Callaham/ABM/Fender but that's just my personal opinion - ymmv.

http://g-gotoh.com/international/product/product-category/tremolo-510-series

Keep in mind when choosing bridges that bushings/stud sizes on 2-post trems differ depending on manufacaturer. One lesson I've learned is to double check all the measurements & specs carefully before purchasing and don't forget to check the trem routing as well. For example - on Suhr guitars with the 510TS (2-post & 6-screw) the trem routing will not allow for a full sized block (Callaham/ABM/Fender) unless modified slightly.

As for your questions - with locking tuners and a well cut nut (bone/TUSQ XL) there's no reason for tuning instability provided the trem has been setup properly regardless if it's a 6-screw or 2-post.

Tone wobble occurs with a floating bridge for the most part. With a floating bridge some wobble is to be expected unless you're very light-handed. You probably want to tighten the bridge down against the body to minimize it if that's a concern. I personally prefer a floating strat bridge (part of my playing style) and I've never really noticed excessive wobbling unless it's the tone I'm going for.

Since your guitar has the Gotoh 6-screw bridge it will require slight modification of the trem rout if you want to swap any other bridge with a full sized block. All 6-screw bridges mentioned above come with full sized blocks except the Gotoh. It's a pretty simple procedure for a luthier but keep in mind it *may* void any warranty.

Sorry about the long winded post! Hope the above observations help you in your quest for great tone!


thanks tWreck - great info. Clearly you've looked into your tremolo choices! I'll have to see as I'm heavily getting back into guitar and gear especially if I also develop some preferences. The Gotoh 6 screw is working great so far. I've got a pretty light hand and am just starting to rediscover the trem right now.

I know that I won't be experimenting on swapping bridges, at least yet. When I was 16 I was fortunate to attend a guitar building camp (yes, it existed), and if it taught me anything, is that guitar building and work requires no messing around. I routed and installed a floyd back in those days (in addition to fretting the neck, etc.), but I'd hate to make an alteration to a great guitar to only wreck the geometry of the instrument. But who knows. Maybe I'll do some bridge swapping on some my less expensive guitars.
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