block the trem

Glowing Tubes

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,598
Dont. Tighten down the springs if you really don't want to use the term.
You loose some of what makes a strat a strat when you block the term. IMO
 

arthur rotfeld

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,049
I just tighten down the claw and springs.

A wedge of wood of metal would be fine. I think one of my students actually used coins.
 
Messages
1,872
When you say block the trem you're kind of referring to just the one thing - sticking a piece of wood strategically behind the block to keep the trem from moving, right?
If that's all you'd like to do, place a wedge of wood against the inside of the trem block cavity, I don't know if the wood matters, as long as it's a hardwood - there are a few instructions on the web for how big etc. Even though that's popular I prefer to do it as "Tubes" suggests.
There are a couple of ways to accomplish the same thing and both retain the Strat character and tone; that "springy" and lively sound.
One is the Tremol-no - that one lets you fix the vibrato in one position and either lock it completely or limit the travel to just one direction. Those of course in addition to unlocking whenever you'd like. Some have complained that the units screws protrude but that hasn't been my experience and I've used the large clamp version in all applications. A little Loc-tite and the screws don't move at all.
Another way is to simply add more springs underneath or go with thicker springs (some like the Raw Vintage spring), decking the trem, that is; laying the far side against the body with either more or thicker springs or tightening the claw up against the front of the cavity, or both. I much prefer that way. It doesn't have to be so tight that you'll need the Jaws Of Life to undo it, just enough to hold it firmly. The only concern is bridge saddle height, be aware that lowering one side usually means raising on the other to keep the height and action the same.
 

riffmeister

Member
Messages
16,597
When you say block the trem you're kind of referring to just the one thing - sticking a piece of wood strategically behind the block to keep the trem from moving, right?
Yup, wood or any other material. I'm thinking of using something soft to eliminate coupling between the metal trem and the wood body. Might retain more of the "Strat Sound" that way?
 

J-E-M

Senior Member
Messages
713
A stack of coins works for me, and amazingly - OMG! - it still sounds like a strat.
 

tone?

Member
Messages
4,543
I have to agree with all who said tighten down the springs.

blocking it doesnt sound as good. i have tried both ways.
 

Fuzzdog

Member
Messages
654
I've used all manner of things to block Strat trems over the years - these days I just tighten the claw and be done with it. Works just as well!
 

Ron Kirn

Member
Messages
6,964
tightening the springs has it's own set of issues.... I say block it.... I have never had tone issues...

here's how I do it....



an advantage to this method, nothing changes... Your setup remains the same, thus, if you decide to return the tremolo to nominal action, ya just remove the blocks.

Ron Kirn
 

riffmeister

Member
Messages
16,597
Looks great, Ron! Nicely engineered!

For many years I have been using a wedge of oak to block the trem. I'm doing a 180 and trying something soft to see if that makes any difference in sound. It's a piece of hard felt (the stuff that's used on the bottom of chair/stool legs) doubled over with thin cardboard in between to get the desired thickness.



Pffft.....and people say I have too much time on my hands! ;)
 
Messages
1,872
tightening the springs has it's own set of issues.... I say block it.... I have never had tone issues...

here's how I do it....



an advantage to this method, nothing changes... Your setup remains the same, thus, if you decide to return the tremolo to nominal action, ya just remove the blocks.

Ron Kirn
Love that beveled edge trem cavity Ron. If you wanted to put a cover on it'd be flush. Now I know what I'm going to do after dinner...
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
37,996
Love that beveled edge trem cavity Ron. If you wanted to put a cover on it'd be flush. Now I know what I'm going to do after dinner...
as long as the block clears it ;) (it wouldn't on a vintage-type strat i don't think.)

i'm guessing ron's "issues" with just tightening the springs are due to a bridge where the plate is parallel but up off the body? if so then yeah, you need to block it internally for it to sit right.

for a regular strat trem, there's zero point in playing around with blocks and such; leo knew what he was doing, tighten until the plate is flat and flush and get on with your day.

oh, and trying to "de-couple" the bridge from the body with soft materials sounds like the opposite of a cool idea to me! (though to be fair, chances are we'd be hard-pressed to hear real tonal differences either way.)
 

eclecto-acoustic

Coal-hating feral hippie
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
10,347
Blocking the trem in both directions lets you retain tuning stability when you break a string or have some similar tuning catastrophe. Worth it.
 




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