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View Full Version : Strat trem arms like David Gilmour of Pink Floyd


Scumback Speakers
03-17-2008, 10:29 AM
Ok, still trying to dial in my Strat the way I'd like it and have got only two more things to dial in, the trem arm length and keeping the thing in tune with very mild trem arm work. I did a search for Strat trem arms (and variables), and the Strat setup (I know there was a link to a Carl Verheyen spring setup thing, but I'll be damned if I can find that, either! :rolleyes: )

Anyway, here's what I'm looking for to outfit my Strat.

Shorter trem arm, ala David Gilmour in this youtube video from Live 8, doing Comfortably Numb. Notice how the trem arm stops just short of the middle pickup? A stock trem comes out well in front of the middle pickup, so I need to find a shorter one, preferably bent like Gilmour's. Here's the youtube video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wtiNzci1Wc

The other thing I need to find is that setup guide for how to arrange the springs in the Strat trem block in the back, and then, obviously where to get the proper springs...I seem to remember the bass strings need a stronger spring than the treble side since there's less tension on that side.

Anyway, if any of you know where to find the Strat trem arm and the setup guide and springs, I'll stop cursing my Strat, and stop playing my EVH Wolfgang with the Floyd, so I stay in tune! LOL

Help!
:munch

JMarck
03-17-2008, 10:31 AM
Callaham has a Gilmour-esque trem bar that he sells. You might need his block for it, but I don't know

jay42
03-17-2008, 11:00 AM
I had access to a machine shop so I made one of my own. The diameter and threads are standard English values...which I can't quote, but there was no problem with the cutting, bending, and whatever the inverse of tapping is called.

claudel
03-17-2008, 11:09 AM
Use a hacksaw on a regular one that fits your block.

The trem spring tension is controlled by the claw screws.

If you need more tension on the bass strings then screw that side down a bit tighter.

hogy
03-17-2008, 11:11 AM
I know there was a link to a Carl Verheyen spring setup thing, but I'll be damned if I can find that, either! :rolleyes: )



Don't bother, that doesn't do a thing. The tremolo moves as a whole, it doesn't matter whether you have more springs at the bass than the treble side. Same thing goes for tightening the claw more on the bass side. It has no effect except in people's minds. These old myths die hard.

One thing that does matter is how you string it up. You want all six strings to pass over the nut at a similar angle. To accomplish that you give the low e a single wrap at the tuner, but on top of the first wrap. A string gets one wrap below, D gets two wraps below, G gets 4 wraps below.

Here's a picture that might illustrate what I'm talking about:

http://pic18.picturetrail.com/VOL921/489579/5923483/309008925.jpg

Make sure the nut is cut correctly and lube it with pencil lead.

To adjust the trem, remove all your springs and strings and take all six screws out. lightly clamp each screw into a drill, thread first. Fire up the drill and polish the screw's shaft where it contacts the trem with steel wool first, then jeweler's rouge. Now reinsert and tighten each screw down until the back edge of the trem just wants to lift. Put a finger on it, you'll feel the exact point. Now back the screw off a quarter turn. Do this for all six of them.

Sometimes, as you depress the trem, the base plate will slide down on the screws, especially on the treble (trem arm) side. If yours does that, cut two thin rings off a piece of silicone tubing and put them over the shaft of the two outside screws, between body and trem edge. A couple of thick O-rings work, too. This will keep the knife edge in one spot and prevent the trem base from sliding up and down on the screws.

That's just about all you can do, you can get the trem very stable that way.

As for the arm, just get any new arm. The tip unscrews. Take it off, bend the arm into your preferred shape, cut it to length. Recut the thread, put the tip back on. Done.

Cymbaline
03-17-2008, 12:23 PM
The other thing I need to find is that setup guide for how to arrange the springs in the Strat trem block in the back, and then, obviously where to get the proper springs...I seem to remember the bass strings need a stronger spring than the treble side since there's less tension on that side.



Gilmour uses 3 springs in an arrow configuration, like this: http://www.gilmourish.com/wp-content/images/blackstrat_back.jpg
See here:
http://www.gilmourish.com/?page_id=66

It makes no difference what springs are in what position, I believe Gilmour just uses the stock springs.

Clutch21286
03-17-2008, 12:35 PM
Interesting! Do you guys know if Gilmour's trem is floating? Seems his double stops are never flat.

jammybastard
03-17-2008, 01:00 PM
by the look of those pics on that site it can't be floating.
I bet the Kahler trem he had on in the 80's was, but not the new *standard* one he has on there.

Scumback Speakers
03-17-2008, 04:40 PM
Thanks for the tips everyone. Hogy, I have a non standard headstock (PRS shape) with a Floyd string tensioner thing (bar with two screws into the headstock behind the nut), but I appreciate the pics and instructions, just the same.

As for the springs, I spent about an hour going through various configurations, claw tightening, un-tightening and wound up with the springs and claw set as close as I could get it. It looks just like the pic someone posted from the Gilmour link. I can actually do about a 1/2 step bend without going out of tune now, and that's going to be enough for this tune, so I'm good to go!

Now...time to find the strat trem arm and bend the flying bejesus out of it, huh?

Thanks again for all the tips and advice!