Replacement trem for a MIM strat

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by tmihm, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. tmihm

    tmihm Silver Supporting Member

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    I'm looking to upgrade the trem on my MIM strat to something a little better. I've been checking the Callaham ones and they seem pretty nice for what I need.

    Does anyone have any other suggestions before I pull the trigger on one?

    Thanks a bunch. If anyone has one for sale, I need one with a 2 1/16" spacing. I'll post a WTB in the Classifed section after I get some feedback.

    Terry
     
  2. Chris Scott

    Chris Scott Member

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    I've installed a number of the Callaham units in the same guitar, with very satisfactory results - it will really bring the guitar to another level, both sound and function-wise.

    I can't think of any other models save for the Babicz unit that have the 2-1/16" string spacing for the "vintage style" (6-screw pivot) trem, and as I've no experience with it, I can't give you any feedback + or -.
     
  3. fumbler

    fumbler Member

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    Make sure you know the difference between the screw spacing and the string spacing. Sometimes they're different.

    I have only good things to say about Callaham but my next trem will be a Blade Runner 'cause I wanna try one out.
     
  4. Ymir

    Ymir Member

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  5. Mike9

    Mike9 Supporting Member

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    The GFS D45 with steel block is a great trem for the money as well as the one with the solid brass block.
     
  6. m-m-m

    m-m-m Member

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    +1 on Callaham. I haven't tried any of the others mentioned but the Callahan made a very noticeable impact to sustain. Tone was also improved.
     
  7. Sensible Musician

    Sensible Musician Member

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    the GFS ones have the right sound and work great but the bar that comes with them is crap. get an aftermarket bar and you're set. another idea for a nice upgrade is a two post fulcrum bridge - there are lots of options that are very close in sound and looks to a traditional strat bridge (e.g. the many gotoh models, and wilkinson is very nice) - you can plug your six holes with 1/8" dowel and the new holes will be mostly original body wood
     
  8. acaN

    acaN Member

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    Sorry for hijacking thread, but just interested if this kit contains SS saddles too? Anyone who got it?
     
  9. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Member

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    I've converted only one MIM Strat to Callaham, but I want to emphasize something entirely different.

    Ordinary Strat trems wear out; most especially the join between the trem arm and the block. If you buy a GFS block at best you get a result similar to what one might've gotten on an old Leo era trem block. The arm gets wobbly, eventually the small spring galls, the arm gets bent, strips out or breaks off. You wanna bypass all this nonsense. THAT is why the Callaham got bought. The change in the attack and the crispness of the notes is great but alone that wouldn't have moved me enough to buy. I want something that feels and WORKS right over the life of the guitar.

    No idea how Blade Runner joins their trem arms to their blocks. But if their product can't seriously outlast the best available quality FMIC parts (block to arm wear and tear) then I simply don't understand the appeal. If the join is as good as a Callaham, a Floyd, or a G + L then I'd take another look. I've seen no evidence it is.
     
  10. fr8_trane

    fr8_trane Supporting Member

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    The blade runner has a smooth steel pin that extends below the threaded portion of the arm that snugly fits inside of a plastic sheath embedded in the block. There is absolutely no play in the arm. The arm itself is fairly thick high quality steel. I have no doubt it will last.

    The blade runner was a drop in replacement on my MIM and it will fit any fender spacing due to its wide oval slots.
     
  11. Pat Healy

    Pat Healy Member

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    Callaham is fantastic.
     
  12. tmihm

    tmihm Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks for your feedback, guys. I ordered a Callaham and it arrived yesterday. Psyched to see how it turns out...got a set of Gotah locking tuners as well.

    Terry
     
  13. tmihm

    tmihm Silver Supporting Member

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    OK...this may be in the running for 'stupid question of the day' (wouldn't be my first!), but I got my Strat back yesterday with the new Callaham unit. This is the MIM model with the '64 arm.

    When I screw the arm all the way in, it sits so low that it hits my knobs when I press down on it...it's just too close to the body of the guitar. It's like the part that threads in should be longer or something. :huh

    What am I missing here? They mention something about the steel holding up when you bend the arm - do I need to bend it or something???

    Thanks in advance...that's just weird (to me!).

    Terry
     
  14. fumbler

    fumbler Member

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    You usually don't have to screw the arm all the way in on a Callaham. I find the arm stays put pretty well even with a few threads engaged. That delrin sleeve seems to grab the same after 2 turns or 10. Although if you want it to be really firm in the block then I guess you have to screw it most of the way in. Sure would be nice if there was a tension screw but that wouldn't be vintage, now would it?

    Go ahead and try bending it. But go slow, protect the threads, and don't overdo it. I'd suggest starting by drilling a 3/16" hole in a block of wood and screwing in the arm as deep as it will go. A new Callaham arm will only cost you $15 so I say go for it.
     

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