Poll: Filling Trem Cavity: What Do You Think?
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View poll results: Filling Trem Cavity: What Do You Think?
Impossible
0 0%
Possible, but a complete PITA
25 63%
Good Idea
15 38%
Voters: 40.
#1
Hey guys, I own a cheap Strat copy, which I'm currently kinda rebuilding (New tuners, guard, Pups, wiring, etc.). I hate my trem and have no desire to ever use it, and I think while I have it apart I might try to fill the cavity in entirely with a single block of wood(shaped to fit perfectly-I have the tools), drill string-thru holes, and put on a hardtail bridge. I'm pretty confident in my abilities and woodworking, and I know it's gonna be a pain and I'll end up with an ugly piece of wood visible on the back. I'm not too worried though, because I'm using a cheap Strat copy that's been well used(It's my only guitar though, so let me know if you think I'm gonna destroy it). Any opinions are welcome. Thanks.
P.S. Think of the Jim Root Strat- that's kinda what I'm going for here.
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#2
If you can make it work it sounds really cool actually. Some of the people who know string throughs better will have to comment on the difficulty or not, but it sounds pretty ingenious and if I saw that guitar in person id have to compliment the owner.
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#3
Personally, I'd go for functionality over looks.
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#4
well sure you could do it and yes it would be a pain in the ass. whether it's worth doing is debateble though. you could just block the trem. if you do i'd keep the spring cover and use tha tto cover the wood so it doesn't look bad.
#5
Totally possible, I fitted a black walnut block to fit inside the Floyd cavity on a left-handed Peavey a few years back. Just take your time with the cutting and be sure to have a decent set of chisels handy, trust me you'll need them to get a perfect fit.

Just be mindful about the new bridge, you'll have to relocate it to a different position than the original trem. Whenever you buy the new bridge be sure to get a spec sheet with it also, it will tell you exactly how far to place it from the nut. Just because it's a 25.5" scale guitar doesn't mean the bridge is exactly 25.5" from the nut, that's only true with a Floyd Rose and certain Kahler models.
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#6
I've done it before. I just did what I could with a maple block and did the rest with wood filler
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#8
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#9
yeah just block it, I did it to my Strat in like 30 mins, I love it and it can be undone again if you ever do end up wanting to use the trem
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#10
I fail to see how completely filling the trem cavity of a Strat would ever be worth the effort.
#11
Quote by Ippon
Just block it ... when you no longer need it, you can sell it for a better price than a modded one.


I understand that, but I'm considering this alternative for a few reasons:

1. I'm never going to resell this guitar, as it's around, eh, $200 for the whole kit. Everything I've done to make it an actual decent axe has not raised the value a cent, so no resale issues are present.

2.I think that doing this mod would add a few things I'm looking for that I don't think I'd get by blocking: Added mass, improved resonance, less redneck looking and more professional :P, improved stability, quicker/ easier string changes, etc.

3. I actually am considering filling the trem because the bridge needs replaced regardless. I could pay $40-plus for a "Super Smooth Tremolo!" that I'm just gonna block anyway, or $10 for a hardtail and get more of what I actually want. The extra work is just experience for me, as I love modding my guitar.
Thank you for all the thoughtful ( at least kinda) replies, I truly do appreciate and value your opinions. (Geez! do I kiss enough ass, or what?)
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#12
if this were facebook, eric johnson would be breaking a finger liking it.


follow the advice of the ippon, he is much wise in the way of all things mod'd squier.
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#13
I would fill it with epoxy. It's denser than wood. I filled my ESP EMG battery cavity with epoxy when I switched to passvie pickups.
#14
I have blocked the tremolo unit of my yamaha pacifica 112 in a quite similar way as ippon did and it made a huge improve of sustain, tone and so on.
if u have the posibillity to totaly fill the tremolo-chamber with wood just go ahead, i think the improvement of sound will be even better, but i cannot imagine how you handle this, because it is even hard enough to insert the wood for just blocking the tremolo without any free space between..
but just do it, its a good idea if u do it right! would be nice to see some pictures of the modified guitar.
by the way for the guys who are only blocking the tremolo: i found out that the "unplugged" sound of the guitar improves if you dampen the tremolo-springs, so they dont start to swing when you play the guitar (what produces a slight ringing tone). i handled this by filling the inner diameter of the springs and the space around up with paper. i think ibanez did this to the tremolo-system of the prestige series with a small ring of elastic material (rubber or so)...
#15
That is much more complicated to do than it might seem. I would also suggest just blocking the tremolo.
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#16
Quote by Ippon
Just block it ... when you no longer need it, you can sell it for a better price than a modded one.




I totally agree. Why go to all the work of filling it in, when all you have to do is block it? I just added two extra trem springs (easy to come by) to the one I've blocked. That alone will pull the bridge down tightly against the body. Then take the cover off in the rear, cut a wedge of wood that will fit snugly into the gap and stick it in there. You can then adjust the spring "claw" screws to hold it in snug. Replace the cover, retune it, and reset the intonation as needed.

That way, if you sell or trade it in the future you can undo everything and put it back in its original condition beforehand.
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#17
It's more than just locking the bridge down though, having that cavity in the body really affects the tone of the guitar. If you're definitely not going to use a trem then filling the cavity will make a huge improvement in the guitar's tone, and I really don't think it would be as hard as everyone's making it out to be. I'd say go for it, dude.
#18
Quote by Brad.milbrn95


2.I think that doing this mod would add a few things I'm looking for that I don't think I'd get by blocking: Added mass, improved resonance, less redneck looking and more professional :P, improved stability, quicker/ easier string changes, etc.

Wait, unless I missed something. A tremelo is not something typically attributed to Rednecks...
"Yeah man, those rednecks. Marrying their cousins, drinking Bud light, and having tremelos on their guitar. What Hicks! HAHAHAHA!"

And people will judge your professionalism based on how you act, not whether or not you blocked your trem.

Quote by blaaargh
It's more than just locking the bridge down though, having that cavity in the body really affects the tone of the guitar. If you're definitely not going to use a trem then filling the cavity will make a huge improvement in the guitar's tone, and I really don't think it would be as hard as everyone's making it out to be. I'd say go for it, dude.

*Reads comment*
*weighs plausibility*
*looks at join date*
*doubts experience in this field*
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Last edited by VanTheKraut at Aug 17, 2011,
#19
Definitely can be done I remember a video of Paul Gilbert with one of his signature guitars converted to a hardtail, you could even see the new piece of wood because it had a different finish than the original paintjob. Anyway, he's Paul Gilbert and he can wake up Ibanez master luthiers at 3 am for a repair if he wanted to.

EDIT: You could move this thread to GB&C they might help you.
#20
Quote by gregs1020
if this were facebook, eric johnson would be breaking a finger liking it.


follow the advice of the ippon, he is much wise in the way of all things mod'd squier.
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#21
Quote by VanTheKraut
Wait, unless I missed something. A tremelo is not something typically attributed to Rednecks...
"Yeah man, those rednecks. Marrying their cousins, drinking Bud light, and having tremelos on their guitar. What Hicks! HAHAHAHA!"

And people will judge your professionalism based on how you act, not whether or not you blocked your trem.


*Reads comment*
*weighs plausibility*
*looks at join date*
*doubts experience in this field*

Dude... No... I mean that when you stuff a big block of wood (or any of the other various substances people have used) in the back of your guitar, especially if not done right, it can look extremely unprofessional, a bit jerry-rigged and "redneck". Thank you for getting defensive though, lol. If you wanna actually make a point about hicks, go post on a banjo forum, lmfao at my own joke . JK man, I'm just havin' a little fun. That's what that entire comment was originally about.
Thank you for your supportive previous post though. I also appreciate that people will judge me by my playing, not my bridge, lol. I just know that I wanna make sure I have a good axe and good workmanship, because it's my first guitar and I'm kinda married to it (hillbilly enough? ). It's pretty much for my own satisfaction. And so I can brag. jk
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#22
Quote by VanTheKraut

*Reads comment*
*weighs plausibility*
*looks at join date*
*doubts experience in this field*


So my knowledge of guitars is totally dependent on how long I've been posting in this one forum? Makes perfect sense.
#23
I would be a bit concerned with attaching a hard-tail onto the fill wood. Depending on how well it's filled, it could shift here or there, and it need to be be spot on measured so that the bridge placement works with the scale.

It think you already have an idea of how extensive of a project this would be. Maybe you could buy a Strat body and just route it yourself?
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#24
Quote by JustRooster
I would be a bit concerned with attaching a hard-tail onto the fill wood. Depending on how well it's filled, it could shift here or there, and it need to be be spot on measured so that the bridge placement works with the scale.

If the filler piece was one piece, there would be no chance of it moving at all, as it would be glued and be actually supported by the body, if you follow. Good point about the hard-tail bridge working in the spot where the trem was, though. I looked it up, and the three screw hard-tail I'm looking at goes exactly where the old trem went. Thanks for the concern, I'd yet to look it up.

Quote by JustRooster
It think you already have an idea of how extensive of a project this would be. Maybe you could buy a Strat body and just route it yourself?

Ya know, I like to think I know what's up, but you just can't tell until you rip into it and get in over your head... Oh, well. Anyway, I'm actually doing this as an alternative to buying a new axe; it was like, "Shell out $400-plus for a new one, or, say, $100 on this one?" So in the end, I picked familiarity. I know this guitar in and out, and so I'm not nervous about tearing it up. So no, I don't think I'll buy a new body. It would, however, be preferable.(Sorry I'm so freaking long winded, but I've got lots to say )

Also, I tried out an Ibanez RG today with a hard-tail; imo, SO much more comfy than a trem OR TOM. Can't wait to get this thing done!
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