Trem units?

DrNickD

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I'm stuck on picking a trem system for my second build. The one thing I'm pretty sure of is that I don't want a Bigsby, they just don't feel right to me. I like the feel of my Mustang's unit, but it's way too big. What are folks thoughts on Strat style trems versus jag/offsets? Other options that I'm missing? As far as cost--I'd like to go under $100.
 

Freeman Keller

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I have done three Jag/Mustang type guitars with Kahler's. That is the best engineered, easiest trem made. You are not going to get one for a hundred bucks however...

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I'll add that all three of those guitars got a locking nut to go with the trem as per the manufacturer's recommendations.
 
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BorderRadio

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The Mustang's Dynamic Vibrato can dive fast and low, when set properly. If set up extreme with light strings, you can even go slack. The weak spot is the fulcrum point, where the two posts meet the mounting plate. I like the Performer Mustang unit, which uses a dedicated hardened steel pivot point, mounted under the plate. Getting a Performer unit is not easy though. I avoid all Mustang units now, or hard tail them, because of the fulcrum point weakness. YMMV. Strat type units are similar in response to the Mustang's.

If you don't like the Bigsby 'feel' then you should know the JM/Jag Floating Tremolo has a similar feel and maybe even a slower response. Good for subtle waiver but generally doesn't have a lot of detune depth. The Floating Trem has the benefit over the Bigsby as you can pull up all you want and not lose your s**t. Contrary to popular belief, a Bigsby, depending on geometry, can be set to dive 2 whole tones and come back to pitch. Mind you the strings detune all over the place, some less than others.

Ah, the Les Trem II. Nice unit but the spring is completely in the way of my picking hand. On a custom install one can mount it further back but the feel is also a bit Bigsby like. I'd say it's a slower response than both the Dynamic Vibrato and Strat system.
 

bendercaster

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A well set up Jazzmaster Trem (with the lock) is among the finest there is, IMO. The one I had never went out of tune and the lock made it easy to set up and change strings. But, like a Bigsby, some people don't like that extra string length behind the bridge and some find the break angle to be too shallow.

A Strat Trem has never been my favorite, but I have to admit, after replacing the old one on my old retired Strat (the knife edge was worn out), lubing the two point/knife edge contact points, replacing the nut with a Tusq XL, and setting it to float, it stays in tune better than ever.
 

Ronkirn

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the Super V Bladerunner is simply the smoothest unit available.. the reason there's no pivots to be less than smooth... and I use them on my personal guitars....
 

Fretting out

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DrNickD

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Lots of good suggestions--thanks all! I may have to bump up my budget a bit.
 

ctmullins

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First, these are vibrato units, not tremolo units.

This is the StewMac Jazz/Jag vibrato, which is inexpensive but includes the lock button. Works well. Not a lot of detune, but good for subtle shimmer stuff. Does need a taller bridge, which in turn benefits from a bit of neck angle.

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rickthescot

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I'm sure you will hear opposing views but I have 2 guitars with Trem King systems and I love them. No they don't have a huge range but I'm not EVH either. They do stay in tune very well when set up properly.
 

jamieorc

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the Super V Bladerunner is simply the smoothest unit available.. the reason there's no pivots to be less than smooth... and I use them on my personal guitars....

I put one of these on a Strat and it's wonderful. My only complaint is that I would like the arm to have a more vintage, upward bend. It's pretty straight. I wrote the company a couple times asking if they could do one for me like that, but they didn't reply to either inquiry. On the other hand, when a screw was missing from the claw kit, they just sent me a whole new claw kit without question.
 




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