#1
I've been trying forever to set up the whammy so it stays in tune when I use it. What really yanks my chain is that my old Squier strat whammy works perfectly. So am I doing something wrong, or do Fender whammy designs just suck?
#3
Maybe even a graphite nut, or a rolling string tee.
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#4
Quote by DeathByDestroyr
Maybe even a graphite nut, or a rolling string tee.


This. Most tuning problems on vintage trems occur at the nut. Try getting a graphite nut. If you can't or don't want to, try using ground up pencil lead or graphite lubricant in the string slots before every string change.
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#5
Quote by ibz_bucket
This. Most tuning problems on vintage trems occur at the nut. Try getting a graphite nut. If you can't or don't want to, try using ground up pencil lead or graphite lubricant in the string slots before every string change.

do this and locking tuners also do wonderful things
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#6
Quote by nickdohle
Try getting locking tuners or a professional set up. both will do wonders


Hm, locking nut seems less complicated, and less expensive. I'd kinda like to keep the stock tuners too. They're pretty nice.

To the others, I have actually tried lubricating the strings at the nut and bridge. The strings just seem to have a habit of slipping (maybe at the tuner) under pressure.
#7
A locking nut would only make it really hard to tune the guitar. Getting the nut and string trees right will do wonders. But it also depends on what kind of use you expect from a strat trem and it stay in tune.
#9
i have always had problems with trem systems, it's why i played telecasters for about 10 years. but eventually i started wanting to be able to do things with a trem(like change pitch of feedback). i got myself an '08 american standard strat with the ash option. that guitar runs of a fulcrum style bridge and i was anticipating lots of problems, but to tell truth i have never had a issue with it. it stays in tune regardless of whammy use or not. this might be because i control the bridge with palm and neglect using a whammy bar at all. this really limits the 'dives' i can do on it, i also have lots of control over fine controls of the whammy. i don't like overly dramatic whammy bar techniques myself.

still, if i was going to upgrade i would go for locking tuners and a roller nut. i believe that is what the old strat plus came with and seems like a fairly no nonsense approach. less complicated then full locking systems, but effective for moderate whammy use.
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#10
Quote by Tackleberry
A locking nut would only make it really hard to tune the guitar. Getting the nut and string trees right will do wonders. But it also depends on what kind of use you expect from a strat trem and it stay in tune.


Wow I didn't think anyone was gonna say it....with a stock fender style bridge don't think "whammy" think tremolo....eddie van halen wasn't on the scene or maybe even born yet when leo fender designed the tremolo...it was meant for subtle vibrato effects in country and then surf music

Putting a locking nut on without a locking bridge just makes your guitar impossible to tune cause you won't have any of the fine tuners a floyd rose style bridge has and when you tightened the clamps on the nut and it changed the tuning you just be S.O.L.
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#11
Well I'm not looking to do dive bombs. I just want an alternative to rapid vibrato and not have at least a couple strings go out of tune by 6 cents.
#12
you cannot put a locking nut on a strat with a standard bridge (2 or 6 point). without fine tuners, the locking nut would throw your tuning out of wack. if you set your guitar up well, lubricate your nut (or get a graphite one) and make sure your strings arent binding on the saddles, your guitar will stay in tune better. the other thing is to make sure you string your guitar correctly at the tuners, this will help with slipage. locking tuners are great, but if you dont want them then make sure everything else is as good as you can get it.
#14
Quote by jof1029
you cannot put a locking nut on a strat with a standard bridge (2 or 6 point). without fine tuners, the locking nut would throw your tuning out of wack. if you set your guitar up well, lubricate your nut (or get a graphite one) and make sure your strings arent binding on the saddles, your guitar will stay in tune better. the other thing is to make sure you string your guitar correctly at the tuners, this will help with slipage. locking tuners are great, but if you dont want them then make sure everything else is as good as you can get it.


Yeah, I think I'll make one more attempt at getting it to stay in tune before I consider a locking tuner.
#15
How well are you stretching/fitting the strings?


Also, try some kind of lubricant in the nut...I find a mixture of powdered graphite (pencil lead) and vaseline works very well indeed. You might also be getting resistance from the string trees too. I got rid of mine and fitted a Floyd-Rose style bar retainer instead, which works great:



The most crucial bit is stretching your strings properly though.
#16
i've never had problems with either of my MIA strats. one has a wilkinson roller nut, the other has a standard nut. i always make sure that i get 3 wraps of string around the post when re-stringing (with standard nut), the other strat has locking tuners.
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#17
Quote by dr_john
i've never had problems with either of my MIA strats. one has a wilkinson roller nut, the other has a standard nut. i always make sure that i get 3 wraps of string around the post when re-stringing (with standard nut), the other strat has locking tuners.


Yeah, I think the 3 wraps of string is key. I've been doing 1 and a half wraps out of lazyness. Next time I get new strings, I'm really gonna make it work. I mean, if it was an MIM strat, I would have put it down to shoddy build quality. But it's a CIJ AeroDyne Strat, which should be closer to MIA quality.
#18
1 wrap? Lol....I get a bout 10 wraps prolly man lol...

Anyways,what about a brass nut? Would that work just like a graphite one?some fender signature strats have them...just wondering if it was to help tuning?
Fender 70s Ri Strats w/various Dimarzios
Modded 1982 Marshall JCM800 2203

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#19
I think Jof should have elaborated when he said stringing the guitar properly at the tuners. Go to the electric guitar forum's 'ultimate set-up' thread and read the stringing technique. It involves knotting the strings to the tuner, so that they don't slip, as jof said. I have a feeling your not doing this, and it costs nothing but improves things immensely. The two single greatest things I did to my strat were blocking the trem, and learning to properly string the tuners. Sustain for days, and it never goes out of tune anymore.

Edit: here you go...
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#20
Quote by tubetime86
I think Jof should have elaborated when he said stringing the guitar properly at the tuners. Go to the electric guitar forum's 'ultimate set-up' thread and read the stringing technique. It involves knotting the strings to the tuner, so that they don't slip, as jof said. I have a feeling your not doing this, and it costs nothing but improves things immensely. The two single greatest things I did to my strat were blocking the trem, and learning to properly string the tuners. Sustain for days, and it never goes out of tune anymore.

Edit: here you go...
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Thanks. I had my trem blocked for the first couple years I owned it. But official diagrams say it should float a little. That's how I have it now, and I think it sounds a bit more "open". One thing I did for more sustain was lower than the middle pickup completely, because I never use it. The farther away the pickups are from the strings, the less "pull" the magnets have. Another solution is Lace Sensors. They have no magnetic pull.
Last edited by BrickIsRed at Sep 13, 2009,
#21
Quote by kyle62
I got rid of mine and fitted a Floyd-Rose style bar retainer instead, which works great:

What are the advantages of having one? As far as I know the j-customs don't have that bar... (neither does my hardtail 7-string).
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#22
Quote by aznrockerdude
What are the advantages of having one? As far as I know the j-customs don't have that bar... (neither does my hardtail 7-string).

On a trem? None whatsoever, as far as I can tell! I just find it has a lot less friction than the Fender-style trees so i stay in tune much better. It also gives me a way to adjust the string tension and playing 'feel' slightly.
#23
Quote by BrickIsRed
Thanks. I had my trem blocked for the first couple years I owned it. But official diagrams say it should float a little. .



when setting up a strat, yes all string contact points need to be lubed.

2-3 wraps around the tuners,

and MAKE SURE the bridge is balanced.

if the bridge isnt balanced you're wasting your time.

now if you're lazy and can't be arsed doing all these things all the time,
then locking tuners will be the way to go.
Jenneh

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#24
Quote by jj1565
when setting up a strat, yes all string contact points need to be lubed.

2-3 wraps around the tuners,

and MAKE SURE the bridge is balanced.

if the bridge isnt balanced you're wasting your time.

now if you're lazy and can't be arsed doing all these things all the time,
then locking tuners will be the way to go.


What do you mean by a balanced bridge? Treble and bass side tension should be equal?
#25
Quote by BrickIsRed
What do you mean by a balanced bridge? Treble and bass side tension should be equal?



well on a strat, you have a few options on how you like the bridge.

you need to balance the tension from the springs in the trem cavity VS the pull of the strings.

if the string pull is too strong, the bridge will lift up at its ass end into the air, and this will cause the strat to fall out of tune often.

if you want, for maximum trem use, you can try to balance the trem, in a free floating position. this is not always easy to do.

if you're not much of a trem user, you can choose to max out the springs in the trem cavity, keep the bridge tight and pretty much keep the strat in tune easier.
Jenneh

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