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Tech & Installation Tips

On this page, we will walk you through how to determine the proper neck angle and/or neck pocket/heel depth for perfect alignment of your bridge.  We will also describe the critical measurements to help you decide if the Schroeder bridge and studs are compatible with your existing guitar for a retrofit to improve your tone. 

NEW CONSTRUCTION - SET NECK WITH TWO POST BRIDGE

Neck Angle, Neck Pocket/Heel Depth, & Bridge Height

One of the most critical parts of any guitar build is the relationship between the neck angle to the body of the guitar.  Leave the neck angle too shallow (or flat) and your strings will be too high off of the frets at the end of your fingerboard.  Leave the neck pocket too steep and your bridge will have to sit way above the body of your guitar to function properly.  Or you may have to raise the saddles too high.  This can cause severe break angles over the saddles which can lead to string breakage.  In either case, the results are undesirable and may be cause for remaking an entire guitar.

In order to determine the correct neck angle for a set neck guitar with any of the Schroeder Original Stoptail, the Schroeder Straight-Back Stoptail, and the Schroeder Radius Tune-o-matic bridges, you want to have approximately 0.58" - 0.60" of space above the body of the guitar when projecting the top of the frets to the bridge location.  In order to determine this distance, place a straight edge along the centerline of your FRETTED neck so that the straight edge cantilevers over your bridge location like so:

 

Note: It is critical that you straighten your neck with the truss rod so that there is no relief when doing this measurement.

The following photo shows the ruler at the bridge location indicating the height of the straight edge above the body.  Here the distance reads about 0.44".  Neck angle is too shallow and we need more distance between straight edge and body.

In the following photo, the neck angle is too severe leaving a distance above the body that is too large (approximately 0.72"):

And here the distance above the body (and therefore the neck angle) is just right.  I like to shoot for 0.58" - 0.60" which is about perfect for the Schroeder Original Stoptail, the Schroeder Straight-Back Stoptail, and the Schroeder Radiused Tune-o-matic:

 

Bridge Post Location 

Now that we are sure that the neck angle is correct, we can move on to determining the placement of the bridge posts.  We start by projecting the sides of the fingerboard to the bridge location on both the treble and bass sides.  We will use these projected lines to determine dead center of our bridge based on the NECK,  NOT the center glue seam.  If we lived in a perfect world, the center of the neck would match dead center of our body but this is not always the case.  The most important thing is that the center line of the neck jives perfectly with the center of the bridge, even if that means the center line of the body is off by a few thousands.

Here is a photo of how I project the neck alignment to the bridge location:

    

Put a pencil line at the bridge location that corresponds to each edge of the fingerboard (treble side then bass side). Now you can measure between these lines at the bridge location to determine true center of your bridge.  The bridge post spacing on the Schroeder Original Stoptail and Schroeder Straightback Stoptail measures 3-7/32".  The following image shows the recommended layout.  

 

The treble side post is set back 0.25" from the scale length.  So if you scale length is 25", the treble side post will be at 25.25" from the nut.  I like to cock the bass side back another 0.05" to give a bit more adjustment on the bass side and for a slightly more traditional look.  The distance between the posts should measure 3-7/32" (3.22") so the distance form centerline out to each post should be half of that or 1-39/64" (1.61").

Before drilling, place the bridge on your pencil marks and make sure that your set screws are point directly at your "center-of-post" marks.

Leaving 0.15" between the inside of the hook and the "center-of-post" marks will put the bridge in the proper location for use with Schroeder Top-Adjustable locking studs.  With the bridge in this location, measure the distance from the nut location to the high E saddle.  You can see that the high E saddle in the image above is adjusted all the way forward.  This is how it should be when measuring.  The front edge of the high E saddle should be AT SCALE LENGTH. For a 25" scale guitar, there should be 25" from the nut to the front edge of the high E saddle.  The low E saddle should be set all the way back as in the image above.  The distance from the nut to the front edge of the low E saddle be approximately 5/16" (.31") longer than scale length.  For a 25" scale guitar, the distance from the nut to the front edge of the low E saddle should be 25-5/16" (25.31").  

These two distances determine your "window" of intonation.  Your high E will require the least amount of intonation, and your low E will require the greatest amount of intonation length.  All other string lengths will fall within this window.  This intonation window will work for most normal string gauges.  PLEASE NOTE: Different string gauges may require longer intonation on the low side.  Make sure you are familiar with typical intonated string lengths when using uncommon string sizes or an uncommon scale length.

 

Schroeder Radiused Tune-o-matic Variation

When installing a Schroeder Radiused TOM, you will follow all of the same procedures as the Schroeder Original StoptailSchroeder Straight Back Stoptail and the hole spacing and offsets.  The TOM has a narrower stud spacing and is in line with the center of your intonation.  

After your have projected your neck sides to the bridge location and determined the center of your bridge (see above), make a mark 1/8" (0.125") beyond scale length on the treble side for the thumb wheel screw and 9/32" (0.28") beyond scale length on the bass side for the thumb wheel screw.  

Make sure you measure out from the centerline to determine your thumb wheel screw locations for the TOM bridge.  The Schroeder Radiused TOM has a post spacing of 2-29/32" (2.91"). The distance from the centerline to the TOM post is equal to 1-29/64" (1.45"). Place the bridge on your pencil marks so that you can see the post locations through the bridge holes.

 

Measure from the nut to the front edge of the high E and and nut to the front edge of the low E saddles.  Make sure they are oriented like the photo above with high E saddle set all the way forward and the low E saddle set all the way back.  The distance from the nut to the high E saddle should equal the scale length.  The distance from the nut to the low E saddle should be approximately 5/16" (0.31") longer than scale length.

These two distances determine your "window" of intonation.  Your high E will require the least amount of intonation, and your low E will require the greatest amount of intonation length.  All other string lengths will fall within this window.  This intonation window will work for most normal string gauges.  PLEASE NOTE: Different string gauges may require longer intonation on the low side.  Make sure you are familiar with typical intonated string lengths when using uncommon string sizes or an uncommon scale length.

SCHROEDER TOM STOPBAR INSTALLATION

The stopbar in a two-piece  Tune-o-matic setup is typically set perpendicular to the center line of the body and approximately 1.5"-1.75" back from the bridge.  The distance between the posts should measure 3-7/32" (3.22") so the distance form centerline out to each post should be half of that or 1-39/64" (1.61").  Because there are varying opinions about its location and height, I will leave it to the discretion of the builder.  

SCHROEDER TOP-ADJUSTABLE LOCKING STUD INSTALLATION

Schroeder Top-Adjustable Locking Studs require a 7/16" diameter hole.  We highly recommend using a high quality 7/16" brad point point like Lee Valley for this operation.  Once you have determined the post locations, you must drill a 7/16" hole at this location exactly 1" deep.  This depth will allow the bushing to sit just below the surface of the top for a clean installation.  Make sure that the SHALLOWEST depth of your bore hole is 1" NOT THE TIP of the bit.  If the bit is set to 1" depth, the hole will be too shallow and the bushing will protrude from the hole.  This situation would require that you pull the bushing out and deepen the hole.  I like to place a piece of tape on my drill bit so I know when to stop advancing the bit.

 

 

OTHER TECHNICAL VIDEOS 

How to Notch Schroeder Stoptail Saddles:

 

How to Adjust Schroeder Top-Adjustable Locking Studs:

Schroeder Top-Adjustable Studs Demo:

How to Adjust a Truss Rod on a Schroeder TL Guitar:

Installing Side Dots:

Heat-Pressing String Ferrules on a Telecaster or Tele Style Guitar: