Drop D on a Strat with a floating trem

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Archangelyabbo, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. Archangelyabbo

    Archangelyabbo Member

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    D Tuning on a Strat. I am looking for some advice on what some of my options would be to get drop D tuning on my strat and some whammy bar action.
    I have a MIM Fender Strat. I love the thing; I keep coming back to playing this guitar (have it for about 12 years now). I have scalloped the neck (light scallop), changed pickups (JB Jr., Virtual Vintage, Lil ’59). The problem that I have is that I really want to use a whammy bar.
    My other guitar is an Ibanez JS1000. The guitar plays beautifully. I do go back and forth between my strat and this guitar. I love the tremolo system in the guitar. Once is it dialed in, you can abuse the hell out of it. The problem is I cannot play drop D currently the way it is set up.
    So I am looking for some ways to be able to play in Drop D tuning on my start and still get some whammy bar action. So far here are a few options:
    1. Install a Floyd Rose Tremolo system. Keep the tremolo flat to the body and install a D-Tuna. This option would probably cost the most. Probably around $400-$500 for the parts and labor.
    2. Install a Super Vee Tremolo system with locking nut. This saves me the cost of routing the guitar (the tremolo is a drop in replacement), so I would probably be looking at around $300-$400. Same thing I could keep the tremolo against the body, but the fine tuners will be able to drop to D.
    3. Install a Tremol No on the Ibanez. I can set it to full float or against the body. Around $50-$100 option. I have not had any experience with this system, but it is an option.
    I know anything I put into the guitar I will never see the money return on it. That is ok, I am never parting with this guitar. I know I could suck it up and not use the whammy bar, keep my strat with the tremolo against the body and just use the tuning key to drop D. I am trying to exhaust these other options. I also am not looking to purchase a new guitar WITH a Floyd rose, or bring two guitars to do what I need to do. I really love the Strat body and neck that I use.

    Thoughts ???
     
  2. huutevar

    huutevar Member

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    I keep my strat trem adjusted so the back of it rests on the guitar body. That way I can tune to drop D or open G without causing havoc and I can still press down on the tremolo, just not up.
     
  3. fumbler

    fumbler Member

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    Uh, I occasionally retune my (more or less) stock vintage spec strats to drop D and they work fine. Maybe light top/heavy bottom string gauge might be a good idea if you keep one guitar in that tuning.

    But all the strings need to be tuned properly in that case. So you can't go back and forth between standard tuning and drop D easily. Is that what you want to do? No guitar with a FLOATING trem (locking or not) is capable of that - EVEN a floyd with a D-tuna. You have to keep the trem decked (down only) in order to do that.

    You could consider a Variax guitar which can digitally change tunings in software.
     
  4. s2y

    s2y Member

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    Google the TremelNO.

    My Steinberger can simply transpose down a full step. I can lock it in standard and detune the E string.
     
  5. Archangelyabbo

    Archangelyabbo Member

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    Are you using locking tuners, or just the vintage tremolo?
    My strat currently has the trem against the body.

    Fumbler: I don't expect to switch back and forth during the same song. But stop, retune play.

    I am fine with having a drop only trem. I realize that there is only one trem that I know that floats, and can be D tuned from the peg. That would be the Petrucci. But that is not an option LOL.
     
  6. TB72

    TB72 Member

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    I took a chance and picked up a Tremol-no, and installed it in one of my strats.

    It ABSOLUTELY works as advertised. You can have full-floating, dive-only, or blocked. It's convenient to be able to play a song with a lot of whammy, and then a song with pedal steel type bends, and then a song in drop-D tuning, etc. etc. without having to switch guitars.

    I liked it so much, I'm gradually putting them in all my Fender-style and Floyd Rose trem guitars.

    One potential problem with these (I've only read about it...hasn't happened to me) is that the set screws may fall out when they're not locked down. To prevent this, I put a tiny bit of teflon tape on the set screws' threads. And I purchased some extra screws (just in case).

    Later...
     
  7. Archangelyabbo

    Archangelyabbo Member

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    I am looking at the information available for theTremolo No.

    I called Super Vee yesterday. The Super Vee fine tuners have enough range to do alternate tunings (and drop D). It is a bit pricey at $350, but it will cover everything. The rep said that if I wasn't going to be dumping the bar to the strings slack down the blade runner bridge is a better option. Proper nut and lubrication with their system doesn't require a locking nut or tuners. The video on their website shows a few guys using the blade runner like this, and looks to be working real well.

    On the Super Vee, the strings will lock at the nut.
     
  8. Shiny_Beast

    Shiny_Beast Member

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    weird, I drop my low e down to d sometimes, it's not enough to throw the guitar out of tune with my floating trem. Maybe the other strings all go a couple cents sharp? hasn't been a problem for the odd tune I play that way.
     
  9. s2y

    s2y Member

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    Been meaning to get one. I have had a few a few Floyd Rose guitars in standard, dropped D, and 1/2 step for many years. This might have saved me a few guitars had it come out a lot earlier. :huh
     
  10. sahhas

    sahhas Member

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    one of my guitars has a standard trem, and i have it tuned to drop C.
    it works fine for me.
    i use locking tuners (sperzels).
    you just have to set the trem to that tuning, and it works fine.
    if you readjust the tuning, you'll probably have to tweak the springs in back a bit.
     
  11. rockonomics

    rockonomics Member

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  12. Archangelyabbo

    Archangelyabbo Member

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    I am thinking about going the Super Vee Blade Runner with a Tremolo No. This seems to be a solid combo. I will stabalize the tuning, and be able to drop D.
     

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