Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

How do you like your tremolo?

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

  1. TmyBmore

    TmyBmore Tele-Meister

    Jul 10, 2016
    I use a Super-Vee Blade Runner. 2 springs, floating with 9's. Also a LSR roller nut and locking tuners. Works really well.
    awasson likes this.

  2. Anode100

    Anode100 Friend of Leo's

    May 9, 2014
    Behind my beard.
    "Deep and throbbing?"
    Electric Mud likes this.

  3. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 18, 2014
    Near Detroit, MI
    Big ol' chunk of maple and take the springs and claw right out or chock that cavity full of foam so the hardware is silent.
    -I can tune the blocked Strat in one pass, a floating trem takes two or three passes of all the strings to get them in.
    -Out of tune during bends
    -Break a string with an active trem and you're swapping guitars
    -With an available trem, the trem arm is there so I mess with it and it becomes distracting for playing and 'adjustments' -- I inevitably get into if it's not going far enough or going out of tune. Then instead of playing the darn guitar I'm twisting screwdrivers. I block it and remove the arm so I have no chance to mess with it.
    -I find a matching machine screw to the trem hole and install that to keep from losing that darn little spring called 'what is this little spring here on the carpet?'

    Since you're getting back into Strats ... check out the Dan Armstrong Blender mod (second tone pot selects between SSS and HSH). No new parts, just wiring changes. I have converted three Strats so far.

    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
    VanManNW and awasson like this.

  4. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Tele-Afflicted

    I bought a Japanese 80s Squier with a System One setup on it. I was going to lock it down but I figured I'd try it first.

    It's a nice system! I don't lock down the strings on the headstock - when I got it it had no locking clamps. I bought a set, but it worked pretty well without them so I just took them off again and used a good amount of white lithium grease and it's smooth as can be.


    - D
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  5. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Nov 21, 2012
    My main axe while in my Surf guitar stuff was a MIM with old style trem bar. Three springs and a business card thickness off the deck and had no tuning problems. Yup, a spring under the arm too.

    Into those bending blues now and revitalized the love for my strat by decking with five springs and tossing the trem arm.
    awasson likes this.

  6. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 7, 2016
    Smyrna georgia
    I use three springs two are hip shot, different tensions, smoothies the feel. I have it set to raise as well as lower tones. Probably more raising.
    The six screws are backed off a bit.
    No worries with an LSR nut.
    awasson likes this.

  7. sockgtr

    sockgtr Tele-Meister

    Mar 3, 2016
    Portland, OR
    2 point them, 3 springs, floating. When pulled all the way up, the high E is raised 1/2 step, the B 1 step and the G a minor 3rd. David Torn is my whammy bar hero :)
    grooveiron, awasson and Mr. Lumbergh like this.

  8. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 13, 2013
    Initech, Inc.
    I prefer a full float, with the ability to accurately raise the pitch of the G, B, and E strings 1.5, 1, and .5 steps, respectively:

  9. awasson

    awasson Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Nov 18, 2010
    Thanks for all the responses, this is some great info.

    I didn't know what "decked" meant but as I'm reading the responses, it's making sense to me. I'm pretty sure that's when the springs have enough tension to just bring the bridge plate flat on the deck so that you can only lower pitch, not raise it. That's how this one arrived when I got it.

    I also didn't know about the tremsetter. I just did some reading up on those and if they do what they say they do... I think that's a must have device and it's going on my wish list.

    For those not using it, I can see the benefits of blocking the tremolo for tone and stability but actually I'm starting to use the tremolo a little now and I even miss it a little when I'm playing my telecaster. I'm playing some SRV instrumental stuff and it just begs for a slight vibrato here and there. @jaybones, I'm going to give that lowering bend thing a try. That sounds like a cool technique.

    Thanks everyone and keep it coming. This is great tapping into all this info.

  10. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    When I was younger, I preferred the floating Tremolo. Now almost all of my Tremolo guitars are decked.

    Didn't see the point in blocking because the trem doesn't go anywhere when decked.

    I blocked one of my trem guitars just to experiment. It does add some stability to the bridge that can enhance the sound and play-ability. I will not remove the springs because it adds some natural reverb to the guitar and I like it that way.

    If you don't care for a Strat style trem, get a Jag or Jazzmaster.
    awasson likes this.

  11. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    Bigsbys have spoiled me. The stock Strat trem ('trem' is the name I have bestowed upon my Strats' vibrato systems)... SUCKS.

    I never block. I deck them. 3 springs, 6 screws.

    Just recently I decided to float one of them, to play Hank Marvin. Got me a Callaham block and zero-play arm awaiting installation.

    Now I just need to remember, no pedal steel bends.

  12. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    A bit more than "just enough", to accommodate bending. At least for me, I like it as if it were blocked (completely immobile), but I still want the (steel) block floating in space, under tension.

  13. Mike Stone

    Mike Stone TDPRI Member

    May 26, 2016
    Mine'a a six screw vintage style and floating so that I can pull up a major 3rd on the G-string (Scott Henderson style :p). If the things goes out of tune, just pull the bar upwards and the thing goes in tune again.
    sockgtr likes this.

  14. tap4154

    tap4154 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Apr 14, 2009
    Southern California
    Yep, especially Rivera Paradise. I just use some slow amp tremolo instead, but it does sound best the way he played it, with the bar.
    awasson likes this.

  15. awasson

    awasson Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Nov 18, 2010
    Exactly. I've been following @Deneb and his pickup building adventures. He auditions his pickup experiments with that Riviera Paradise and it prompted me to learn it. Lenny is next on my list.

  16. tap4154

    tap4154 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Apr 14, 2009
    Southern California
    If you can master the bar it would be much better, but a slow amp tremolo would work well with Lenny too. Haven't tackled that one yet, but here's a good tab: Ray Vaughan - Lenny - Guitar (tab).pdf
    awasson likes this.

  17. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    I’m in the trad camp: 3 springs, and just slightly floating. I use the vibrato bar only rarely and just to give a chord a bit of shimmer, as Leo intended. Never noticed a problem with bending strings.
    awasson and 3-Chord-Genius like this.

  18. thunderbyrd

    thunderbyrd Friend of Leo's

    Dec 21, 2004
    central ky
    Never use it. Never found a way to set it that I like.

  19. red57strat

    red57strat Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Oct 4, 2003
    I float mine slightly. I tighten the claw, put a heavy pick between the body and the bridge, tune the guitar, loosen the claw screws until the pick falls out then tighten the screws a hair until the guitar is in tune.

  20. beagle

    beagle Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 20, 2010
    Mine are decked, three springs on vintage and four springs on two point modern bridges. Just enough tension to stop the bridge lifting with silly low E string bends. I can still get enough movement if I want it.

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