New brass trem

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by dweeb686, Feb 2, 2018.

  1. dweeb686

    dweeb686 TDPRI Member

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    Good day everyone,

    I just received a brass tremolo unit I ordered from Guitar Fetish that is designed for import-spaced Strats (10.5mm from E hole to E hole).

    http://www.guitarfetish.com/105mm-Chrome-Spaced-Import-Made-in-Mexico-BRASS-BLOCK_p_1158.html

    Problem is, the outside holes don't actually line up with my '96 MIM Squier Strat. They are offset by about half the hole on each end. The middle holes are lined up just fine, but clearly the spacing for this tremolo is not exactly the same as the original trem from my guitar.

    I wanted to ask around here for advice before I take a screwdriver to the holes and try to do something stupid. I see a couple of options of what I can do…

    1) Say "screw it" and screw the thing in, possibly damaging the screw holes & body of the guitar

    2) Fill the outside holes and re-drill them (would have to take to a professional)

    3) Put the 4 middle screws in that line up and hope for the best

    Are there any other options I am missing, or ways I can do this without paying for outside help?

    Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!

    [Will post an example picture when I get home from work]
     
  2. Nickadermis

    Nickadermis Friend of Leo's

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  3. Platefire

    Platefire Friend of Leo's

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    Measure the true distance on your guitar between E to e screw holes center to center to see if it is 56.5 mm(11.3 mm Ea), it maybe drilled for American standard trem? Also measure your old trem. Whatever exist, is what you need. It should be 52.5(2 1/16") between E's if it's stock, but may not be stock. Platefire
     
  4. Papa Joe

    Papa Joe Friend of Leo's

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    The reason for 6 screws has completely escaped me..Musta missed something somewhere.I say use the middle 4 and if you feel the 2outside ones are needed, then plug and re-drill..
    That's not a major job requiring a pro to do..
     
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  5. awasson

    awasson Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    I’d recommend getting the right part. The early 90’s were a weird time for MIM guitars because the factory burnt down and they were getting parts from all over the place to put guitars together.

    Like @Platefire said, measure the distances and get the right model based on the measurements.
     
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  6. LowThudd

    LowThudd Friend of Leo's

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    Yes, from what I understand MIM Squier Series got either import or USA hardware at different times. You'll have to measure, but it sounds like you have a USA trem or vintage spaced trem from the factory.
     
  7. SPUDCASTER

    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I got the import brass block for my '94 Squier Series. On the premise that most of the parts, except body and neck, were Asian import.

    Everything fit just fine except the trem bar hole. No problem, the trem has been blocked since '94.

    As mentioned, if you expect to use the whammy bar, you should measure everything.

    I see now GFS has a Squier block for the 90's Squiers. Maybe that one will fit. But, I would measure to be sure.

    I put on the stainless steel saddles when I did the block. I should have put on a brass nut too so I could really be confused as to where all this sustain came from.:confused:
     
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  8. awasson

    awasson Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    Yes, I’ve got ar 94 Fender “Squier Series” as well. I found that the Trem bar hole is offset from the OEM bridge plate compared to the GFS Block too. I bought a full kit instead of just the brass block.

    I’m using GFS Brass Block, GFS bridge plate, Fender MIM stamped steel saddles, OEM Trem bar, OEM springs, OEM screws. It plays like a hot rod and retains tune for the long haul. I can play it every day and tune it once a week. I bought the stamped steel saddles from fender. It was a good purchase. I like them a lot.
     
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  9. dweeb686

    dweeb686 TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the responses everyone!

    I am definitely closer to the mark with what I have, the USA-spaced trem is spaced it more so it would be a step in the wrong direction to get that. I assume the Squier shorty trek uses the same plate as the full block I got, as it too is listed as 10.5mm spacing. When I did measure, I got 10.5mm, or maybe 11mm. I may go with Papa Joe'a recommendation and use the 4 screw holes but I am a little concerned about causing stress to the screw holes. I may have to go the fill & drill route.

    Is there a trick to drilling a straight hole without a machine?
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
  10. awasson

    awasson Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    It’s weird that the 4 inside holes line up but the 2 outside ones don’t. Can you post a photo? With a ruler or tape measure would be best but without is fine. I’d like to compare it with my 94 MIM Strat. The holes on my bridge plate are absolutely equal so if the inside holes line up, the outside ones do too.
     
  11. LowThudd

    LowThudd Friend of Leo's

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    That is the case. Since the holes are a certain space from one another, the more holes there are, the further the variance. So the inner holes are close enough, that it appears they are lined up fine, but the outer holes will be farther off.
     
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  12. dweeb686

    dweeb686 TDPRI Member

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    That's exactly it. The middle holes line up enough, but they aren't exact. I've ordered a replacement trem block from Forney Custom off Reverb.com. I'm going to take a look tomorrow and see if the block's mounting screws line up with my original bridge plate so I can swap out the zinc block. Judging by the eye test, it's a perfect fit. The finish is significantly nicer than the GFS block. At last I'll be able to salvage the saddles off that one.

    I don't recommend those GFS bridge assemblies. The finish on their brass block is trash, and the holes are off. Maybe I have a weird strat because of the whole Mexican factory burning down thing, but it seems odd to me that the holes would be just off.
     
  13. LowThudd

    LowThudd Friend of Leo's

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    There were some models of Mexican Strats with USA trem spacing. It isn't that unusual. I think HWY 1 strats are one of them.

    But, the "Squier series" as a whole was a hodge podge of parts and bodies and necks that came from many sources, including the USA, Mexico and Asia. There are probably other MIM Squier Series like yours.
     
  14. awasson

    awasson Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    Well, I did a big teardown of the GFS MIM Brass block kit compared to what was in my 1994 MIM Fender Strat.

    I found the brass block was plenty fine and as long as the holes line up, I'd put it in any guitar that needs the pot metal one replaced. The fit & finish is as good as I could ask for.

    OEM Block on the LEFT -- GFS on the RIGHT.
    [​IMG]


    The bridge plate was mediocre; the plating was pretty good but the MIM Fender one is in my opinion miles better.

    GFS Plate on the LEFT -- OEM on the RIGHT.

    [​IMG]

    Aside from that, I prefer the GFS tremolo arm over the one that came with the MIM guitar. I tried both but the GFS one was in my opinion better. It had a better position and shape for me.


    I prefer the OEM springs over the GFS ones. The GFS springs are too stiff. I put them in a bag and stowed them away. I'm using the 3 OEM springs and set to full floating. OEM Springs TOP -- GFS Springs BOTTOM.

    [​IMG]


    Last but not least, the saddles. The GFS ones from the kit are only fit for scrap metal. They would be fine except that they never tapped the holes properly for the heigh screws. They drill a hole somewhere approximate to the size of the machine screw and drive the screw in hoping it will work. Several of mine fell out immediately. I advised GFS of the problem and they sent me another set. Same garbage though so I just cut my losses and bought a set of proper Fender bent steel saddles. Problem solved.

    IMG_3819.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2018
  15. LowThudd

    LowThudd Friend of Leo's

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    I'll mention again, the Dragonfire brass block 6 screw bridge was perfect, and the push in trem arm is a great improvement over the screw in.

    I did have one issue though. The nut for the push in trem caused me to need to clearance the route slightly, because it is separate from the block, and slightly wider.
     
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