#1
Recently I have been playing around on my Stratocaster and I've found that the string tension is quite strong. Obviously this is because the tremolo bridge is pulling down on my bends and such. However I don't fancy doing that tremolo block mod to solve this problem. So I was wondering if there was anything I could do to relieve the string tension? The guitar is a Fender Classic 50s Stratocaster. Apparently adding/tightening the tremolo claws helps.
#2
Tuning down a 1/2 step or a step will reduce tension. Warmoth makes 24 3/4 scale necks that you can put in a strat not a cheap option but it will change that too. You can screw in the claw so the bridge rests against the body.
#4
I have 3 Strats of my own, and another 3 in the house, and not two feel the same - even with the same strings and somewhat the same action. I have come to the conclusion that some guitars just feel stiffer to play than others, and I've gone through lots of changes without being able to do much about that.

I wouldn't say that a "flexing" tremolo-bridge necessarily is the problem. I haven't noticed any difference between my Telecasters and Strats in general, even though I have American Standards of both.
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#5
is string tension really a variable thing? surely tension, length and gauge of the string are the only variables in tuning so doing anything to change the tension will just knock it out of tune. in other words, the same string on the same scale length can only have 1 value of tension to be in tune.

If you mean its hard to reach a full bend because the trem lifts then i was also recently advised to just tighten the claw and that's worked great. trem is still there, just a little stiffer.
#6
If there's not enough screw length left to screw the tremelo claw into the body, get an extra spring.
#7
Just to be clear, what do you all mean when you say 'Tighten The Claw'? Do you mean to tighten those two screws in the small metal plate that hooks onto the springs?
#8
Yes.
As mentioned above, though, I don't see how that's going to help. The tension is mostly determined by the gauge of the string, the tuning, and the scale length. Having the trem improperly adjusted is going to mess with your action and tuning stability, but it's not going to change the tension much if at all.

The springs put constant and linear tension on the bridge (once it's not resting on the body). So it doesn't make sense that they're "pulling against bends." The springs merely counteract the string tension, they're not adding any extra pull that wouldn't have already been there.