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How do you like your tremolo?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by awasson, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. awasson

    awasson Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Nov 18, 2010
    So just like the title says, how do you like it? Do you set it up, leave it stock or block it?

    I'm all of a sudden obsessed with Stratocasters after about 20 years of not having one. Back then, I don't think I had the sense or wherewithal to get into the fine details of the tremolo but on my new guitar (90's MIM Strat) all bets are off and nothing is sacred, the only stock part of the original trem is the claw and claw screws.

    At the moment, I've got a GFS upgrade kit (6 screw bridge plate, spring, block, arm, etc...) with the big brass block. I've got a set of new Fender bent steel saddles and I'm using the GFS springs which are stiffer than the OEM springs.

    I've got mine set for fully floating and I'm only using two GFS springs. Earlier I was using 3 OEM springs and I also tried it with 4 GFS springs but because they're so stiff, I had to back the screws way out for it to float and when I pull back to raise the pitch, the springs will pop off. I don't find much difference between the 2 springs or 3 springs settings.

    Anyway, this all new ground for me so I'm interested in how other guitarists are setting up theirs and why.

  2. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    On both of my strats I put in 5 springs, and cranked the tension so it's pulled snugly down against the body. I can push down on the bar to lower pitch, but not pull up -- I don't like having the trem move when I bend strings. Especially for unison bends. So I adjust the tension to where a big bend doesn't move the trem.
    codamedia, awasson and Grux like this.

  3. tap4154

    tap4154 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Apr 14, 2009
    Southern California
    Both of mine are blocked. Have occasionally unblocked them, but always go back to blocked (just 5 springs cranked). I've been really into my JV Strat as well, after years of Tele-only. Nice to have both, for when the mood changes.

    BTW I really admire folks who can use a vibrato bar effectively, like SRV did. Just not my thing I guess.
    awasson likes this.

  4. gtrjunior

    gtrjunior Tele-Holic

    Nov 14, 2016
    NorthEast U.S.
    I have 3 Floyd guitars. One is against the body. Another had a trem setter installed and the other has a tremol-no system.
    awasson likes this.

  5. Tommy Biggs

    Tommy Biggs Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 17, 2010
    Northern NJ
    2 point, 3 springs, floating. Pretty traditional, it works for me!
    grooveiron, RadioFM74 and awasson like this.

  6. Tony Done

    Tony Done Friend of Leo's

    Dec 3, 2014
    Toowoomba, Australia
    I block them and remove the springs and claw, but if I did use one, it would be lightly decked
    KDawg64 and awasson like this.

  7. Anode100

    Anode100 Friend of Leo's

    May 9, 2014
    Behind my beard.
    Decked. 5 Springs. Six screws across the front.

    ...or a free-floating Kahler Hybrid system - depends on the gig.
    awasson likes this.

  8. Dennyf

    Dennyf Tele-Holic

    Feb 9, 2011
    Charlotte, NC
    Just sold my Floyd-equipped guitar (which had been just moldering away in it's case, unplayed for probably 10 years), but when I still played that stuff, I set it up floating, and fairly "articulate." Hey, if you're gonna whammy, WHAMMY!
    grooveiron and awasson like this.

  9. Milspec

    Milspec Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 15, 2016
    Blocked all of them with mahogany. I was just never a tremolo arm guy and decking adds tension to the strings which I appreciate as well. I guess it comes to your choice in music, but most of my heroes don't use the trem arm either, so I just followed suit.

    Oddly, I do like the Bigsby unit on my semi-hollow and find myself using it, but it is very subtle and a different animal.
    AngelDeville and awasson like this.

  10. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Poster Extraordinaire

    Sep 14, 2005
    Nueces Strip
    I keep mine flat on the body but rarely use it anyway.
    Just this morning I did make a short arm for my Gilmour pseudo-Strat. Kinda nice having it right in the palm of my hand.
    awasson likes this.

  11. brenn

    brenn Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 8, 2013
    On a Strat, I like it floating slightly off the body. I want a very small amount of movement up or down.

    I'd like it even better if my Strats had Jaguar/Jazzmaster tremolos. That's my favorite style of all.
    infiniteposse, RadioFM74 and awasson like this.

  12. Electric Mud

    Electric Mud Tele-Holic

    Jan 26, 2017
    SW PA
    I prefer my tremolo to affect volume not pitch.
    Skub, MisterZ, rainbowbear998 and 5 others like this.

  13. jaybones

    jaybones Tele-Afflicted

    On my tremolo equipped strats (first one was a 1976 hardtail natural, first strat and first electric) I prefer 6 point, free floated, 2 springs and a tremsetter.

    Not a huge trem user, no dive bombs or anything. Just some vibrato every now and then.

    When I'm feeling really rock n' roll, I'll do pick screams on the 5th fret B on the D string, and on the open D. Bend the 5th fret up while using some trem to drop the pitch. With some distortion, and maybe some wah it gets nasty pretty quick.

    Takes some practice to get the technique to lower the pitch at the same rate as you bend up the note. You keep the bent note pitch almost the same as the other one lowers.
    RadioFM74 and awasson like this.

  14. jaybones

    jaybones Tele-Afflicted

    How does that work? Every tremolo I've ever seen added vibrato by effecting the tension of the strings.

  15. Electric Mud

    Electric Mud Tele-Holic

    Jan 26, 2017
    SW PA
    It was a joke. Leo mistakenly called a "whammy bar" tremolo when in fact it should be called vibrato. Tremolo effects volume.
    Vibrato effects pitch.
    So it should be a vibrato bar, yes?
    NWinther and awasson like this.

  16. h2odog

    h2odog Tele-Meister

    Feb 16, 2017
    The Dalles, Oregon
    I've never been a fan of the Strat trem. I do like Bigsby's though.
    AngelDeville likes this.

  17. bchaffin72

    bchaffin72 Friend of Leo's

    Aug 14, 2004
    Stratford, Ontario
    Yes, if one is going to be accurate about what it actually does............:)

    And I like mine decked, with 5 springs.
    awasson likes this.

  18. refin

    refin Friend of Leo's

    Feb 24, 2005
    Florida Panhandle
    First of all,it is vibrato system,not matter what Fender has said through the years...LOL.
    All of mine hard-tailed.Not anti-arm,just works for me.

  19. tery

    tery Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Sep 21, 2012
    I take the bar off and don't worry about it .

  20. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Friend of Leo's

    Apr 3, 2015
    Winchester, VA
    Floating slightly. And I hope that I never break a string on stage or I'm screwed.
    awasson likes this.

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