I recently bought a Fender Stratocaster (a japanese made -91) and I absolutely love it. The guy i bought it from had gone from SRV stuff to playing metal so the guitar wasnt being used anymore by him.

But the strings on it were quite thick, 11s I think. So i swapped them out for a set of 9s. But since then the tremolo has been really tight compared to before. Now i really have to use muscle to get any result.

And also, the guitar goes out of tune more often than before. But that is normal when you have swapped strings.

I play in standard tuning, and have 3 springs right now. They were setup like this before my restringing.

I changed them to this after the re-stringing, hoping that it would ease the tension a bit (is that completely wrong?).

Any ideas on how to make the tremolo less hard to use? Turn the screws on the back of the guitar a bit further out? Sorry if its a stupid question, this i my first guitar with whammy!

Last edited by lappla at Jan 4, 2017,
You'll need to loosen the screws that hold the spring claw into the body of the guitar. Are you trying to float the trem or do you want it decked against the body of the guitar so you can't pull up?

Those springs are an opposite force to the strings on the top of the trem. Assuming you have the same tuning, going from 11's to 9's is reducing the force/tension on the strings so now those springs have greater force/tension than the strings. Loosening the screws on the claw reduces the force/tension on the springs allowing you to balance with the new tension/force of the lower gauge strings.

Changing tunings does the same thing - dropping the tuning reduces the tension on the strings.

There are tons of good videos out there if you want to setup the trem to float so you can dive and pull up.
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If you switched from 11's to 9's then you have lost some of the tesion that is provided by the strings so the springs aer winning the fight in terms of balance changing the spring position won't make much difference what to need to do is loosen the two screws on the spring claw, a little at a time and tuning with each adjustment, unitl the tension is balanced and the tremolo feels the way you want, if it is a floating tremolo then you are going to want the baseplate to be parallel to the body and your tension should be correct, if it is a older style Fender tremolo that attaches to the guitar with six screws then you need to make the tension where it feels comfortable to you.

Just back each spring out 1/2 to 1 whole turn and retune then repeat these steps until you achieve balance.

Is the tremolo mounted with 2 or 6 screws?
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Yeah, your options are basically to loosen the big screws holding the springs a bit or to remove a spring if you need a big change, which you probably won't. If you go for the former option, remember to adjust them evenly (i.e. both the same amount).
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Last edited by K33nbl4d3 at Jan 4, 2017,
Thanks for the replys!

I'ts mounted with 6 screws. Since i mostly play rhythm and dont do much dives etc I'm not going for a floating tremolo.

I'll get the screwdriver out and try my best, thanks for the help!