Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by lightningsmith, May 4, 2008.
Does adding more tremolo springs on a strat bridge increase sustain and tighter sound?
the trem springs are intended to balance the string tension, so tuned pitch and string gage are what should drive the number of springs. Some players actually remove all functionality of the tremolo by "clamping" the block with many springs. Again, this basically kills the tremolo. Of course it will change the tone, but whether the tone is "better" is subjective. I like the added effects of a vibrating trem block and springs whether I'm hitting the arm or not.
Personally, if I don't want a tremolo I'd buy a guitar that doesn't have one. JMHO
So to directly answer your question, to me, no, more trem springs does not equal better tone, especially if it clamps the trem block.
I don't think more springs necessarily means more or less tone. I always put 5 springs in my strats to keep the bridge flat as I don't like to bend and play open strings out of tune... however I like keeping the tremelo unblocked for occassional use.
It's really a functional difference vs a tonal difference IMO.
I use only two springs in my strats and I never noticed any decrease in tone.
You can balance your string pull with one spring or five, as long as there's enough room to stretch the spring. String pull will balance against the stiffness of the spring(s) times the distance they are stretched.
It all depends on how far the claw is set from the block. The fewer springs, the closer to the body you have to set the claw, so the springs get stretched further.
What more springs do is make the bar stiffer to move when you push down on the bar to slack the strings.
This is all true, but generally there is not enough claw travel to go from 1 to 5 springs for a given set of strings. If you tried to use one and tightened the claw all the way down I'd wonder if you'd yield the spring.
The claw screws are more for fine tuning the height and maybe going one spring up or down, aren't they?
Another thing you could try is to string up 9s with 5 springs and float the bridge 3/16"...but be careful you don't rip the screws out as you unscrew them all the way.
You'll get less "warble" with more springs, when you're digging in.
I tested this. No difference in tone that I could hear. None. I prefer 3 springs on my US Masters 25.5 in strat, 4 or 5 on anything PRS or Gibson scale. But tone differences? None.
I haven't noticed a tone difference either but I like the way my Strat plays with 5 springs better than 3 or 4. I like to fight the wiggle stick.
I've been going back and forth between 3 and 5 springs for a few months now, and I honestly can't hear a difference...just the feel. I thought 3 felt too spongy and 5 too stiff, while 4 wasn't (for some reason) an acceptable compromisethen I got a hold of some heavier-duty springs, and 3 feels just right, now. Still no difference I can hear, so I have to experientally say no, for me there is no sonic difference at all.