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tjnugent
#1 Posted : Saturday, March 10, 2012 6:15:58 PM(UTC)
tjnugent
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I have been looking for instructions on how to set up a Strat 6 point trem correctly. I found the Fender document on how to do this.. You end up with the back of the trem plate at 1/8th inch off of the body of the guitar. This includes loosening the 6 screws and then tightening the two outside screws. I get all that, but i have seen several Youtube vids that show how to properly set up the trem to stay in tune and I am pretty much at wits end.

Some of the videos say float the trem so that you can pull up on the arm and it raises the pitch a whole step. They also say that when you push down on the arm it drops a whole step. Then there is the Frudia videos that say that you should stretch the strings and tune until the spring is set to bring the string back into tune by tapping the trem arm against the pick guard. That one actually works, but it is not always possible to tap the trem bar on the pickguard while playing a song.

So, there are a lot of opinions on how to set up a Strat 6 point trem system to work properly. Is staying in tune with a system like this the function of getting special machined parts that reduce friction at friction points or is it just setting up stock parts to work correctly?

What is the right way to set up a trem system to actually work and stay in tune? I know that staying in tune for any length of time is probably a myth, but I would like to see how well I can get my Squier Classic Vibe 50's Strat to work with the 6 point system that it came with.

Note: I did replace my bridge system with a drop in replacement from GFS. It has a solid steel trem block, but everything else is pretty much like the stock bridge setup.

What is the secret to the 6 point trem system?

I have spoken to several guitar repair tech's who say that it is impossible, but I feel that that is them basically saying that they also do not know how to properly adjust it. Not to rain on them, but I have met guitar techs who haven't a clue on how to set up a Floyd Rose system, basically because they don't like them to begin with and take the attitude that they too do not work. When in reality, there are plenty of guitarists that play pro and pull it off. Jeff Beck is one and David Gilmour is the other. I know they have top drawer guitar techs and all the money on the planet to buy the right gear, but there must be something the little guy can do to use the bar and at least stay in tune for a couple of songs during a set....

Anyone?

Thanks,

TJ
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Roman's 12:18
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Axeman69
#2 Posted : Sunday, March 11, 2012 10:00:12 AM(UTC)
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I havent set 1 up in a long time, but I have 1 on my 88 Strat.

Dont float it to start with, thats BS! It will move too much.

I looked at mine, and its set flush against the top of the body, in back, the 3 springs pitched in to the middle hooks.

Not sure how well it works as i cant find a trem arm anywhere.

Not 1 Fender fit 1, not a Floyd fit 1 for my Gotoh thats in my Kramer!

But its still in tune and i havent played it in ages.
tjnugent
#3 Posted : Sunday, March 11, 2012 12:41:18 PM(UTC)
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I have pretty much determined that using the Trem bar on a Fender Synchronized Tremolo is going to cause tuning issues, no matter what you do. I say that in comparison to blocking off the unit, which is so much less trouble.

I did a ton of reading on this last night and if you want to stay in tune and use the Trem bar, you need to use a double locking system like the Floyd. That said, I think I will continue to use my Strat with the Trem decked and pretty much save myself headaches. If it were an easy task to keep a Trem in tune, there would not be so many varied opinions on the subject. Some people have better luck than others, but I think it takes using special machined hardware to even get closed to staying in tune. Frudia, on YouTube, does a great explanation of the friction points on a Synchronized Tremolo.

Another factor in having a workable Tren system is cost. The special machined parts the help out have a high price tag. I am pretty sure that you can find them at Callaham and if you are willing to pay, you will have better luck.


Cheers,

TJ
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Roman's 12:18
BigT
#4 Posted : Sunday, March 11, 2012 5:49:17 PM(UTC)
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there are a few things that I am aware of that should be pointed out here.
1: There ARE people who set up a strat 6 point trem to float and it works well for them. I never float mine, it never has worked well for me. I cannot do it properly.

2: Tuning issues on trems (Vibrato, actually, but that's a whole other argument) Stem from 1 thing, and that's changes in the string tension. This comes from binding at one of a very few points; The nut, the bridge / saddle, the tuner, or the string seat. Locking tremolos do a great job of 'locking' the strings into position at their ends, thus vastly reducing any of this binding or slipping. (also barring string stretch, etc.)

3: Strat vintage style 'synchronized' tremolos don't do well at dive bombing. Flame on if you want to, but I'll eat your shorts if you have a non-locking 6 point system that will consistently pull back into tune during a full rendition of eruption. They're made for markedly smaller pitch variations than the multi-octave gymnastics of Eddie Van Halen or Steve Vai.

If you are planning to use it for "surf" or other smaller pitch bends, having the saddles and the nut cut properly and lubricated will generally alleviate pitch problems. I prefer to install locking tuners on anything I use a trem on at all, however, there are methods of stringing that will do a very good job of biting the string into position for all but the most rambunctious of whammy-ing.

As ever, your milage may vary considerably!
tjnugent
#5 Posted : Sunday, March 11, 2012 6:11:40 PM(UTC)
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Yes, I agree with having a nut cut right and a few other tricks to reduce friction. But, you are also correct that a locking system is what is needed for any of the wildman trem usage. I am not into that, but I do like to have the surf thing or even the David Gilmour type of usage. I know there are special parts I will probably have to get. I think Callaham sells this stuff... Specially machined to reduce friction. Frudia talks about these kinds of parts. He probably sells them, but he is in Italy.. lol

I really don't want to spend a pile of money to get this working. I had initially replaced the trem block with a GFS solid steel block on the stock bridge, but I ordered the wrong one and the trem hole did not line up with the bridge plate. I just left it on and decked it. I recently ordered a pop-in bridge with a trem bar from GFS. It wasn't expensive, but at least the guitar has a hole that lines up. If I ever wanted to part with it, I can say that it is now not an issue. I was dinking around with the trem setup this weekend wondering what I could actually do. Harder than I realized and now see the brilliance of a Floyd Rose, though I will probably never have one on a guitar, because of cost and installation cost.

I would rather have the new bridge that they sell that automatically keeps your guitar in tune. I cannot remember what it is called, but it seems to do a really good job of it. The cost is over $300 for the unit and the install is about the same. I could see doing something like that, but it has to be on a guitar that I want to keep really badly... I can't justify spending that kind of money on a $350 Squier guitar.. Not right now anyway..

I think I would rather get a new Reverend guitar with the money. I am hugely excited about those guitars. They look really cool and sound amazing. Andy from Proguitarshop.com has done a tone of demo's with them. They sell quite a few of them, and that is my reference. I just like the look and the concept. Just a little bit off the beaten path with shapes of things.

Thanks for chiming in... Your advice is accurate and appreciated.

TJ
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Roman's 12:18
tjnugent
#6 Posted : Sunday, March 11, 2012 6:15:05 PM(UTC)
tjnugent
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Here is the bridge system that I was talking about. It is called EverTune.

http://www.evertune.com/

Enjoy,

TJ
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Roman's 12:18
big_teee
#7 Posted : Sunday, March 11, 2012 7:31:19 PM(UTC)
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Do You remember this thread.
This guys Shows how to adjust it.
http://forum.frugalguita...emolo-setup-secrets.aspx
T
Keep Rockin!
Terry
Big T Custom Pickups
tjnugent
#8 Posted : Sunday, March 11, 2012 7:49:49 PM(UTC)
tjnugent
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I have seen that video. Last night I spent a couple of hours adjusting the springs as Carl suggests. I got it pretty close, but it would still hang up somewhere. That is a good video. I think that my nut may not be cut well enough to use the Trem. There are other friction points that I would also need to address. I don't think that it is a try one or another of the ideas. I think you have to do all the friction point modifications or new parts that are designed better for this sort of thing and then use lubricant and then spend the time and method that Carl recommends. I bet you could get pretty close when you do all that. I am still not sure it is worth my time to do so much to this guitar. I have survived for 40 years of playing without the Trem bar and a good part of that time was on a Strat. I just thought I would sit down and take a stab at it. I have to say that I understand the process a lot better than I did before, and I have a lot of respect for guitar techs who have to make sure that their client's guitar is ready for the entire tour. I bet Stevie Ray Vaughan's Tech earned his money keeping up with all of his guitars. I also bet those guitars were a dream to play.

I think the Evertune bridge is an interesting piece of gear. If it works as it indicates, you can stay in tune the entire gig. I bet you have to really stretch out the strings before it will stay in tune that well. I thought it was interesting to watch the guy bend the string and have the pitch stay the same and only when he had the correct amount of tension on the string at the tuners would the guitar then bend. The entire cost of the hardware and the install is about $600. The guy I sold my LaCabronita Especial Tribute to sent one of his guitars to LA to have the Evertune installed. It took a while to get it back. He bought my guitar while his guitar was away... He ended up liking the La Cabronita so much, that it become his #1. When he got the Evertune installed strat back from the installers he felt as if he had the bridge on the wrong guitar.. I have not spoken with him since, but he was shaking it head because he didn't like his other guitars anymore, once he played La Cabronita.. I don't blame him. The TV Jones Powertrons in that guitar were expensive and totally unique.. They are probably the most expensive pickups on the market. I want to make another one of those guitars. it came out so well. It is the guitar in my Avatar... beaut for sure.

TJ
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Roman's 12:18
big_teee
#9 Posted : Sunday, March 11, 2012 8:04:50 PM(UTC)
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I just adjust mine regular.
If you go to larger strings, it won't return properly.
Then the nut has to be relieved just a little.
I fixed the nut and went 5 Trem springs, that made it useable.
It does the down, not up and down like in the vid.
B_T
Keep Rockin!
Terry
Big T Custom Pickups
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