Strat trem spring set up?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by candid_x, Dec 24, 2009.


  1. candid_x

    candid_x Supporting Member

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    This is for Strat players who float and use their trem. Mostly interested in light string (9/10) setups. I've always decked bridges tight and not used a trem, but recently getting into it more.

    Do you use 3 spring in a "V", or load them up with 4 or 5?

    Do you set it for a half step up trem lift?

    Do you set it up to float and are still able to hold in tune during double stop chords and bends? Or is that asking too much?

    I'm not looking for what kind of bridge or springs you think is best, purely a set up question.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Mike9

    Mike9 Supporting Member

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    I like using 5 of the Raw Vintage springs lately - they really sound good and are smooth acting.
     
  3. Tidewater Custom Shop

    Tidewater Custom Shop Performance Enhancing Guitarworks Supporting Member

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    I know you're not looking for brands, but I'll give another vote for Raw Vintage. I recently shifted from Fender springs to RV. After trying them on one Strat, changed springs on all 3 Strats. I prefer 5 springs for what I perceive to be trem stability and assured return to tune. 3 Fender springs seemed, well, too springy and unstable. But that's me.

    I use a full deck (5) of the RVs and float my trem 1/8". I love the action... I'm not an aggressive tremolo'er, but I am aggressive at times on string attack. The RVs respond nicely to whatever it is I'm doing.
     
  4. GuitslingerTim

    GuitslingerTim Member

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    With 9's I use three springs in a v-pattern, but with 10's I have to use four springs since the trem claw screws will not screw in far enough to pull the trem down an 1/8th" from the body, which is a standard height on Wilkinson style two-post trems. Fender trems are set quite a bit lower lower from the factory, about 1/16". By the way, I'm also using raw vintage springs, and found the stock springs to be a little more manageable, but not as good in terms of tone and feel.
     
  5. candid_x

    candid_x Supporting Member

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    Thanks, guys, but I've already been down the RV route. The tonal change didn't work for me. Lost the clarity I like and the fatness seemed disproportionate or unnatural to me.

    Tim, I'm surprised the 3-V doesn't work with 10's, but that's the sort of input I'm looking for.
     
  6. monty

    monty Member

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    I use 9s and set the springs up in a V. I also have it set to float and bend 2 to 3 steps.
    Tunnig as stable as when I used 4 or 5, until a string breaks.
     
  7. candid_x

    candid_x Supporting Member

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    Monty, I've been very surprised at the tuning stability of 3, vs 4 or 5. Not at all what I'd expect. The sound also is altered way more with these subtle adjustments than I would have imagined. Here I'll throw in a plug for CG springs, because they seem consistent and smooth compared with the stock springs. The black springs were the loosest, and I needed 5 to make it work, and the tuning stability suffered.

    The 1/2 step I referred to and asked about was UP. I could dive bomb really well, which I'll give at least some credit to the shape of the newer AS trem blocks. And she pops back into tune. But I'm inquiring about how y'all set it on the upswing. Lakehaus said 1/8", which I find interesting, that's it's by height rather than pitch. But this is the kinda stuff I'm fishing for.
     
  8. candid_x

    candid_x Supporting Member

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    Thanks for reminding me. All reasons why I've abandoned trems in the past. Still want one to float though.
     
  9. splatt

    splatt david torn / splattercell Gold Supporting Member

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    i set-up my trems according to the available up-pitches.
    here's a rough approximation of 3-strings' worth of my "standard",
    re-quoted from a few old posts:

    hth, somehow!

    dt/ spltrcl
     
  10. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    For 3 springs, the ||| pattern is theoretically better than the \|/ pattern. With the \|/ pattern, the outer two spring's ends have to rotate slightly in the tremblock when the trem is used thus lessening the chance for it to return to proper pitch.

    Fender specs call for a 1/8" gap at the rear of the bridge plate and to use the number of springs needed to get the adjustable claw close to the center of its adjustment range (which depends on the tension/gauge of strings used). With 10 gauge strings, I find 3 springs in the ||| pattern to work best, but YMMV.

    Obviously, the number of springs used will have some effect on the final sound so some experimentation may be in order to see what works best for you. But Fender originally supplied extra trem springs to offset the tension of heavier gauge strings so you wouldn't have to adjust the claw screws up near their ends to maintain the bridge plate 1/8" gap spec.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2009
  11. candid_x

    candid_x Supporting Member

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    Vaughn, I assume the outside strings are at the ends?

    What you say about twisting makes sense, theoretically. I dunno... negligible? To get the same tension as 3 in a V would require a few good turns on the claw, I'd imagine.

    Thanks for the Fender factory 1/8" info.
     
  12. splatt

    splatt david torn / splattercell Gold Supporting Member

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    regardless of the spec (and/or solid logic), i seem to favor 2 springs, in a "V"-pattern;
    works for me.
    dt / spltrcl
     
  13. GuitslingerTim

    GuitslingerTim Member

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    But it's only because I'm using RV springs: with the stock springs I was able to use three springs with 10's in a V-pattern.
     
  14. candid_x

    candid_x Supporting Member

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  15. Dr. Jimmy

    Dr. Jimmy Member

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    I use .010's and float 1/8" I use four springs like this: ||| | from low side to high side.
     
  16. monty

    monty Member

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    I meant up also. I have it set up so say I fretted a A note, I can yank it up to a B or C.
     
  17. candid_x

    candid_x Supporting Member

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    Wow, that's not a floater, that's a flier. :)
     
  18. splatt

    splatt david torn / splattercell Gold Supporting Member

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    just to be clear, for thos eitnerested:
    the pull-up range/amount necessarily differs for each string.

    dt / spltrcl
     
  19. monty

    monty Member

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    You are correct. I actually use the e string as a gauge and fret the A on that.

    BTW- been a fan since I was a kid and found the soundpage in GP mag.:beer
     
  20. monty

    monty Member

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    Yep, I like it up there- got that off Beck.
     

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