Hi my friends strat tremelo system has started becoming really tight, when the strings are tuned up it no longer sits in a flat position (it is tilted, at an angle) this has obviously caused a lot of strain as paint work is no cracking by the neck - he's only just noticed it and I've removed the tension of the strings for him to relieve the pressure.
How do I fix this for him, I am guessing the springs may be too tight, so how do i fix that I've heard of it happening before but I've never had a tremelo system so I've never had to adjust one, so if anyone has experience in this and could tell me where to start it'd be much appreciated.
Strat tremolos are supposed to be at an angle, it allows a slight pull up on the bar... How big is the angle?

So tension on the bridge has caused paint to crack near the neck. There's something about that that doesn't sound at all believable.
Last edited by supergerbil at Sep 2, 2009,
Well I wouldn't submit a query If i I wasn't sure of the severity, and I've been playing guitars for 12 years and strats fleetingly throughout that time, the angle is huge, and has got worst since i last saw it and in that time the paint cracks have appeared. There is obviously a lot of tension being placed on the neck which would distress the flanking paint work on wings near the neck join.

edit: and by huge I mean like 80 degrees now
Last edited by hiddeninromance at Sep 2, 2009,
"The angle is huge" is not something I can judge. Photos or measuremnts would be of great help. And I'm still not convinced about that paint malarchy. Guitars are designed to withstand the tension of strings... TBH, I dont care how much guitar playing experience you have either (it is totally irrelavent to me).

If the angle is too large, adding another spring or screwing the trem claw in would reduce it, but the "tension on the neck" would stay the same if you use the same string gauge and tuning. Photos please.
Guitars are designed to withstand the tension of the strings and saying how long i've been playing was more just to point out I know what a strat is supposed to be like, I've restrung with nines and the tremelo unit does not want to drop any lower than 70 degrees - pictures are a no no as I do not have a camera. 70 degrees is surely enough to visualise, it was close to a right angle with tens - so something is clearly wrong. And when I re strung I made sure as to keep the bridge even and relaxed and as soon as I took my hands off after bringing it to tune...*ping* shot up again.
Now nothing weird has been done to the strat in fact I do not even think it has been played much since it has been bought a few years ago; its a M.I.M fender and it hasn't had any weird tunings or anything so I'm guessing it must be something relatively simple that won't involve adding anything - more just a tweak.
I just need some pointers.
Adjust the springs in the back until the tremolo is flat with the body? I cant say anything more before we get any pics.
Joža je kul. On ma sirove z dodatki pa hambije.
70 degrees to the face of the guitar is impossible, let alone 90! The bridge could not go anywhere near that far as the mass block would hit the side of the side of the cavity well before the angle reached 70 degrees and the bridge would be standing off the face of the guitar with the springs somehow bending round the exposed mass block to reach the trem claw! I can't visualise the bridge at 70 degrees, because it is impossible.

How many springs are in the back? 3 is average, but I prefer 4, and some people use 2 (for an extremley floppy feel) or 5 (no movement at all really). Adding another spring will pull the down more, but change the feel of the tremolo. Screwing the trem claw further into the body will reduce the angle, without changing the feel.
well it is seventy, give or take...ninety was hyperbole, but still it was certainly more than seventy - there's no reason for me to lie. the springs are the standard springs I haven't checked yet as to how many there are I guess it would be the amount fender always use - I just got here I'm taking it back to uni with me this week to try and fix it just wanted some pointers like how a tremelo works so I'm not going in blind folded, thanks for your help.