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Callaham MIM Strat Tremolo Problems

 
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Toleolu



Joined: 06 Apr 2011
Posts: 524
Location: Hawaii USA

PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 2:52 pm    Post subject: Callaham MIM Strat Tremolo Problems Reply with quote

I put a complete Callaham Tremolo assembly in a MIM strat I purchased recently and ran into some problems adjusting the string height and intonation.

Basically I had to raise most of the saddles close to as far as they would go to get the Fender spec string height, (4/64" at fret 17) had trouble with some of the saddles wanting to slide laterally while adjusting the height, (I think this was because I had to set the saddles so high), and I never really could get the intonation set quite right.

I took the Callaham trem off, put the trem block from the Callaham on the stock Fender trem that came with the guitar, installed the Fender tremolo and had no problems with setting the string height (lots of room left on the adjustment screws) and no problems with setting intonation.

I know Callaham makes pretty good stuff, just wondering if anyone else has run into anything like this, or if maybe there was something slightly off with this particular Callaham tremolo.

Mahalo
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missionguitars



Joined: 06 Dec 2004
Posts: 2812
Location: San Diego, CA.

PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do know that the E to E spacing for the MIM is a hair narrower (2 1/16" vs 2 7/32" for American standard), could it be from that?

I know I'm reaching here, just throwing it out there just in case!
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statorvane



Joined: 21 Aug 2003
Posts: 1950
Location: Upstate New York

PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can see where if you have saddles adjust near their maximum hight that could induce some tendency toward lateral saddle movement when playing.

Is it possible there is a shim in the back of the Strat neck pocket? If so try removing it and restringing. This will result in lower saddle height for your spec'd string height. Alternatively you could insert a shim near the front of the neck pocket. Frankly I've never seen this done, but it is a possible fix.

Other than that, I am thinking maybe the Callaham unit is a lower profile than the MIM bridge - maybe shim it up a little? Is that possible? A washer or two beneath the bridge screws??
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Toleolu



Joined: 06 Apr 2011
Posts: 524
Location: Hawaii USA

PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the spacing is off a bit, I could see that possibly contributing to the intonation problem, but not the height adjustment.

I never checked to see if there was any difference in the length of the height adjustment screws. Might check that next time I change strings.

Thanks.
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Toleolu



Joined: 06 Apr 2011
Posts: 524
Location: Hawaii USA

PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I took the neck off when I first got it to check for paint, labels, etc. in the pocket, no shim.

Iíve got a good setup with the stock trem and the Callaham block, so Iím going to leave it as is for now.

Thanks.
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eljay



Joined: 23 Mar 2009
Posts: 2378
Location: Whittier, CA

PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stick a piece of 220 grit to a flat block, pull the neck and sand JUST A LITTLE BIT off of the back side (the end closest to the bridge) of the bottom of the neck heel. Seems like you've got too steep of a neck angle. you could also check to see if you've got wood chips or any other kind of debris in the neck pocket messing things up.
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Mr. Clevername



Joined: 08 Dec 2006
Posts: 2450
Location: San Francisco, CA

PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suspect the Callaham saddles and/or top plate are slightly thinner than the MIM stuff.
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