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#1
anyone have any idea about Stevie ray's tremolo setup? looks like he has a pretty heavy duty whammy bar
Last edited by striker327 at Nov 14, 2007,
#2
He had a normal Fender synchronized tremolo unit. He just used a left-handed one because he felt it gave him better control of the trem because of the positioning(at least I believe I had read that before).
#3
^ yeah, ino about the left hand tremolo just looks like the whammy bar is ticker than normal and if so he must have the tremolo springs pretty tight
Last edited by striker327 at Nov 14, 2007,
#5
I think he had all the five springs attached. And I remember reading that later on his career he had sort of custom whammy bars (made by his guitar tech´s dad or something like that) because he kept breaking the original whammy bars too easily.
#7
is it possible to make it so that when you bend a note that the other strings don't go out of tune until note is released?
Last edited by striker327 at Nov 14, 2007,
#8
Stevie had several bars custom made from steel bar stock. He had several guitars that used stock bars, but number 1 used the steel pieces. And yes, all 5 springs were used on number 1, but some of the other guitars only used 3 or 4 as they were set up to float. As far as bending and not having the other strings go out of tune...it's difficult to set up, but it is possible. Try to balance the trem as much as possible with 4 springs.
#12
Christ mike. xD

It wont hurt your guitar. Adjust your truss rod correctly, and make sure the bridge isn't pushing hecka hard down on the back of the guitar and you wont cause any long-term damage.
"The future's uncertain, and The End is always near."
-Jim Morrison
#13
thing is im setting it up for standard tunning so its oviously gonna be a ton harder in Eb
#14
Quote by striker327
is it possible to make it so that when you bend a note that the other strings don't go out of tune until note is released?

You could make it so it's not floating (ie. divebomb only) and have he springs tight enough that it doesn't move when you bend.
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#15
^ that would be almost impossible. I reckon if you were to have five springs tightened all the way up it would still go out
#16
Quote by TwoString
Stevie had several bars custom made from steel bar stock. He had several guitars that used stock bars, but number 1 used the steel pieces. And yes, all 5 springs were used on number 1, but some of the other guitars only used 3 or 4 as they were set up to float. As far as bending and not having the other strings go out of tune...it's difficult to set up, but it is possible. Try to balance the trem as much as possible with 4 springs.


do u mean balanced by having the screws for the trem claw even with each other?
#17
Quote by striker327
^ that would be almost impossible. I reckon if you were to have five springs tightened all the way up it would still go out


No it would not. I used .013 gauge jazz strings on my strat for nearly two years with only four springs, and I still had quite a bit of travel on the claw. Bend a string, the bridge didn't move (this was my setup before I discovered the wonders of floating the 6 point bridge).

Quote by striker327
do u mean balanced by having the screws for the trem claw even with each other?


No. You need to create equal tension between the strings and the springs, and more importantly, balance between the treble side of the bridge and the bass. The strings don't pull on the bridge with equal tension...the treble strings actually pull with more force than the wound bass strings, with the B string applying the most pull to the bridge. If you have your claw just straight across, even with all 5 springs, the bridge will actually dive at different rates between the treble and bass side...it will actually twist. This is a bad thing. You have to balance the spring tension for this. You want the springs to pull a little more on the bass side of the bridge to counteract the tension of the treble strings. A pic of my spring setup...




This is what worked for my guitar...I ended up with this setup after tweaking for about an hour or so to balance my bridge. This is the best way to set up the Fender 6 point bridge (and most of the 2 point bridges as well). Another tip is to back out the middle 4 pivot screws by a quarter of a turn.
#18
yeah but i don't really want a floating bridge and i cant see why it is that important to balance it even when the bridge is flush to the body. i mean......... its a whammy bar lol. BTW anyone know any trick to fixing squeaky springs lol
#19
It's still important to balance the trem when it's flush to the body because the bridge will dive at different rates on the treble and bass side. This is bad for tuning. Also, you won't need a steel bar unless you're fighting against 300 pounds of spring pressure that shouldn't have been there to begin with. If the strings apply about 180 pounds of force, then the springs should pull about 185 if the bridge is flat against the body. Any more pressure and the springs aren't really doing much except exerting force where force isn't needed.
#20
is it measurable? and if so how do you know since different gauges of strings require different amounts of pressure

PS thank you for everyone that has replied. helped me a ton
#21
It's not measureable for the most part, you pretty much have to keep checking and re-checking the system over a few hours/days to see how it's reacting to the changes. I would recommend setting the trem up to float first so you can get a gauge on how the bridge flexes and how it reacts to different spring setups. When you find a good balance, tighten the claw until the bridge is resting flat on the body and doesn't pull up on 1.5 or 2 step bends. The moral of the story...you don't need epic tons of tension on the springs. This doesn't equal "stability" when you're still using the tremolo, it usually only results on broken trem arms and a poorly working trem system.
#22
The fact remains Striker that if you want to play SRV, you shouldn't have a floating bridge. Theres alot of palm muting in his stuff, alot of it, and putting your hand on the bridge for palm muting while it's floating isn't a good thing.
"The future's uncertain, and The End is always near."
-Jim Morrison
#24
Quote by striker327
ok thanx guys. Hey slinkyblues is your bridge balanced


Its pulled down on the body.
"The future's uncertain, and The End is always near."
-Jim Morrison
#25
Stevie had his bridges set up to float on a couple of his guitars (namely Lenny and Scotch if I remember correctly). You can hold your palm on a floating bridge and not have it move...it all depends on your touch and how controlled you are.

Do what you want to do Striker, but I'm just giving you the best advice I can based on my experience. I've set up every Strat I've worked on just like this and I know what works best...if it didn't work, I don't think I'd have as many clients recommending me to their friends.
#27
Quote by striker327
wooha i didn't know you were guitar tech


Yup...sadly it's not my primary job (I work for AT&T). I just don't have enough clients to make a living at it. I get a few now and then from word of mouth, but I just can't compete with the Guitar Centers and other techs that have deals with stores in the area. Also, I do the job right the first time, and I OCD on getting it perfect so most people don't need anything done to their guitars for at least a year.
#28
wow its not every day you see someone care about someone else guitar just as much as there own

PS i have actully been diagnosed with OCD
#29
Quote by striker327
wow its not every day you see someone care about someone else guitar just as much as there own

PS i have actully been diagnosed with OCD


Didn't mean to offend...but seriously, I dismantle and clean the guitar...even the parts you can't see I remember this 2002 American Standard Strat that worked on. I spent about 3 hours polishing the buffing compound out of the pickups and control cavities. I really, really needed those cavities to be as flawless as the rest of the body for some reason.
#30
Quote by TwoString
Didn't mean to offend...but seriously, I dismantle and clean the guitar...even the parts you can't see I remember this 2002 American Standard Strat that worked on. I spent about 3 hours polishing the buffing compound out of the pickups and control cavities. I really, really needed those cavities to be as flawless as the rest of the body for some reason.


LOL you didn't offend me. I just thought i mention because the topic was up. Anyways nice job dude. Its nice to see people like you treat other peoples equipment as you would treat yours. if i lived near you. you'd probably be my number one tech
Last edited by striker327 at Nov 17, 2007,
#31
My Strat tremolo has all 5 springs in, the claw tightened as far as I dared go with my screwdriver for fear of snapping it, and is blocked with strategically snapped pieces of pencil. Gives you more sustain and better tuning stability, as it's locked down firmly on the body. You can't use the trem though...
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#33
Quote by eXperiment63
He had a normal Fender synchronized tremolo unit. He just used a left-handed one because he felt it gave him better control of the trem because of the positioning(at least I believe I had read that before).


Thats only half right. He did use normal fender synchronized tremolo units but only one of them was left handed. The left handed one was a last minute fix because he broke his trem right before a show and the only one he could find in time for the show was a lefty so the did a quick (and very poor) rounting job on his guitar and shoved the left handed trem in. He liked it so he left it in, but he didn't like it enough to change the trems in his other guitars to left handed trems.
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#34
Quote by MrCarrot
My Strat tremolo has all 5 springs in, the claw tightened as far as I dared go with my screwdriver for fear of snapping it, and is blocked with strategically snapped pieces of pencil. Gives you more sustain and better tuning stability, as it's locked down firmly on the body. You can't use the trem though...


I believe the direct opposite. I feel that Strats with the original 6 point trem have more sustain and better overall tone with the bridge floating. Tuning stability can be dealt with by properly setting up the system. There are some guitars, however, that just can't be helped, and they will constantly go out of tune. I use my trem for more subtle things, but I still get a little wild with it...even still, my guitar remains perfectly in tune when floating unless the strings are about to die.
#36
Quote by striker327
what happens when u you adjust the pivot screws? is there a good method for that?


Here's what you do...

With the bridge flat against the body, tighten all of the screws until they just touch the surface of the bridge. Then, back out the 4 center screws by a quarter of a turn each. This will allow the bridge to pivot on the two outer screws only for the most part, reducing the chance of the entire bridge rocking back and forth on one of the odd center screws. You can actually remove the 4 center screws if you wish, I personally can't stand looking at 4 ugly holes in my guitar. It is damn near impossible to break one of the pivot screws. If you want proof, I had my guitar strung with .013 gauge jazz strings for nearly 7 months without the 4 center screws in place.
#37
i have mine all the way flush with the body with 5 springs and string size 11. i can bend all day and my strings dont go out of tune. i dont like floating it cuz if you rest your hand on the bridge it will go out of tune.
#38
Quote by chea_man
i have mine all the way flush with the body with 5 springs and string size 11. i can bend all day and my strings dont go out of tune. i dont like floating it cuz if you rest your hand on the bridge it will go out of tune.


It all depends on your technique...I palm mute and rest my hand on the bridge, and I don't go out of tune.
#39
mmm... TwoString your convincing me to set my strat up to float :P Sounds like a good idea. but why do u back off the 2 middle pivot screws
Last edited by striker327 at Nov 18, 2007,
#40
Quote by striker327
mmm... TwoString your convincing me to set my strat up to float :P Sounds like a good idea. but why do u back off the 2 middle pivot screws


I back off the 4 middle pivot screws. I do this to completely remove them from the knife edge, so the middle 4 screws are not in contact with the bridge at all. It's essentially the same as completely removing them, but having exposed screw holes on my guitar bothers me. If you have a "real" strat, you'll notice that the bridge pivot screws actually go in at a slight angle, not straight down. If the screws on your guitar go straight down, then backing the screws out isn't going to do anything on your guitar. You could just remove the middle 4 screws in this case or grind down the contact points so the knife edge doesn't make contact. It's extreme, but it does a lot of tremolo and tuning stability (if you already have the other points taken care of like the nut and tuners and such).
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