Vintera JM Bridge Rattle

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IceBlueBoogaloo
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Vintera JM Bridge Rattle

Post by IceBlueBoogaloo » Mon Oct 12, 2020 5:44 pm

Yep, the classic issue.

I've done a near-complete setup on my instrument (neck relief, action, intonation) and the neck is shimmed with a 0.5 degree shim. The guitar is set up with Stringjoy Broadway 11's (11-48) but I'm still experiencing tons of rattle especially on the treble-side strings. Playability is super stable and I have no tuning issues with the vibrato. I tightened down all the pickguard and tailpiece screws to be safe. The bridge itself has Mustang saddles for the correct radius and string spacing but that hasn't made too much of a difference either. The high e string is sitting on the intonation screw but I'm not convinced this is solely responsible for the entire unit rattling.

Does anyone have any ideas? I have a set of 12-52's on the way but the amount of fluctuation in rattle seems to vary to a day-to-day (it sits in my room, I live in Florida) to such a degree that I sense something else going on.

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timtam
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Re: Vintera JM Bridge Rattle

Post by timtam » Mon Oct 12, 2020 7:26 pm

Edit: "The bridge itself has Mustang saddles for the correct radius and string spacing but that hasn't made too much of a difference either. " So you mean you switched to a Mustang bridge ?

With 11's and a small shim you should have decent downforce on the stock vintage-style bridge (edit: which you may not have ?). Are we talking rattling with heavy strumming or regular picking ? Check that the strings are clearing the front and back edges of the bridge. Are your saddles level, ie is there equal downforce on both saddle height screws (if you have them) ? Once you've ensured that, if it still rattles then blue loctite on the intonation screws, saddle height screws (if you have them), and bridge height screws is the usual next step. If an intonation screw is fouling the string, you can switch to shorter screws - the Vintera's stock bridge (7705076000) is likely metric so if that's what you have you probably have 18mm M3 screws; people often find 16mm works better (the MIA/imperial vintage bridge's screws are ~15.9mm). M3 screws are easily found on ebay. How high is the bridge ? You could go with a bigger shim angle if you still have range for the bridge to go higher, but especially if it is on the low side (the more string break angle the better the string-saddle downforce). Make sure that the bridge height screws are actually extended beyond the bottom of the height posts, and not just sitting unloaded in the posts.

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IceBlueBoogaloo
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Re: Vintera JM Bridge Rattle

Post by IceBlueBoogaloo » Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:24 pm

It's the stock Vintera bridge plate itself but with Mustang saddles on it. I do still have the original threaded barrel saddles and have considered working with those because it'd be easier to resolve the intonation screw issue. I'll definitely try out those 16mm M3 screws as well. Are you talking about these in particular?

The rattling occurs under both normal picking and strumming, no huge sweeps or anything. It does lessen after the strings have had time to settle after the setup but the issue seems to be that it never quite goes away and even comes back to an annoying degree for a bit here and there. I get some partial rattling when operating the vibrato occasionally as well. Maybe I'm just too picky.

The bridge sits about .375" above the body. I do have a 1 degree shim on hand which felt a bit excessive and didn't totally resolve the issue either but it's an option to try again. If I go back to the threaded barrel saddles, would it make the most sense to go for maximum saddle height and lower the bridge to compensate the action?

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Re: Vintera JM Bridge Rattle

Post by andy_tchp » Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:43 pm

Hmm, where did the 'Mustang' saddles come from. If from a Fender Japan bridge, those intonation screws are 4-40 (imperial), not M3 metric.

I wouldn't be assuming any offset bridge (regardless of its origin) has metric fasteners.
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Re: Vintera JM Bridge Rattle

Post by IceBlueBoogaloo » Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:46 pm

andy_tchp wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:43 pm
Hmm, where did the 'Mustang' saddles come from. If from a Fender Japan bridge, those intonation screws are 4-40 (imperial), not M3 metric.
This sounds rather wasteful but they're from a Johnny Marr bridge. The posts are too large for the stock thimbles so I ended up swapping the saddles out. But now that you mention this, I'm wondering if that's exactly where my rattling issue is coming from.

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Re: Vintera JM Bridge Rattle

Post by andy_tchp » Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:54 pm

IceBlueBoogaloo wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:46 pm
andy_tchp wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:43 pm
Hmm, where did the 'Mustang' saddles come from. If from a Fender Japan bridge, those intonation screws are 4-40 (imperial), not M3 metric.
This sounds rather wasteful but they're from a Johnny Marr bridge. The posts are too large for the stock thimbles so I ended up swapping the saddles out. But now that you mention this, I'm wondering if that's exactly where my rattling issue is coming from.
I doubt it - to clarify I was replying to timtam's suggestion that they were probably M3.

Did the screws thread into the saddles properly easily enough? An M3 fastener won't go into a 4-40 hole without some brutality/damage.
"I don't know why we asked him to join the band 'cause the rest of us don't like country music all that much; we just like Graham Lee."
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Re: Vintera JM Bridge Rattle

Post by IceBlueBoogaloo » Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:57 pm

andy_tchp wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:54 pm
IceBlueBoogaloo wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:46 pm
andy_tchp wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:43 pm
Hmm, where did the 'Mustang' saddles come from. If from a Fender Japan bridge, those intonation screws are 4-40 (imperial), not M3 metric.
This sounds rather wasteful but they're from a Johnny Marr bridge. The posts are too large for the stock thimbles so I ended up swapping the saddles out. But now that you mention this, I'm wondering if that's exactly where my rattling issue is coming from.
I doubt it. Did the screws thread into the saddles properly easily enough? An M3 fastener won't go into a 4-40 hole without some brutality/damage.
No irregular play threading them in as far as I could tell. Felt like a 1:1 swap. I will say that the Marr saddles don't sit perfectly straight but that seemed to be the case with the stock saddles too.

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timtam
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Re: Vintera JM Bridge Rattle

Post by timtam » Mon Oct 12, 2020 10:28 pm

The Marr bridge is MIA AFAIK. MIA bridge screws from vintage to current day are usually all #4-40. And 5/8" is the most common length for the intonation screws (15.9mm). 'Straightness' of Marr saddles might depend on whether they are first generation 56mm E-E spacing or later 52mm, ie latter more likely to fit straight ? I can't recall any information on how wide the stock Vintera bridge's (7705076000) plate screws are spaced (since you can adjust string spacing as you wish on its stock vintage saddles).

At 0.375" (9.5mm) above the body surface (not pickguard ?) your bridge is a good height, so a greater shim is probably not the way to go.

You might try some damping material around the intonation screw springs just to rule them in/out. But if the strings are clear of the bridge plate's front/back edges and also the intonation screw ends, it's probably time for the blue Loctite on the intonation screws and bridge height screws.

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Re: Vintera JM Bridge Rattle

Post by jorri » Tue Oct 13, 2020 7:34 am

If all else fails (loctite loctite loctite) sometimes the bridge legs can buzz a little against the thimbles if its resting on them, tilted.

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Re: Vintera JM Bridge Rattle

Post by IceBlueBoogaloo » Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:46 am

Thanks all. I'll see if I can get to swapping the stock saddles back onto the bridge, setting it up, and see what happens.

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