Strat Tremolo setup? (stiff action)

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by LJD, Apr 7, 2015.

  1. LJD

    LJD Member

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    I have a 2008 Fender 62 Hot Rod Strat. The tension on my Tremolo (I float mine) is very stiff, so much that the stock Trem arm bends a little when I use it. I only have 3 springs in at this time (2 outer, 1 center, all straight across). I've adjusted the bridge screws (6 point), raising them have negligible results. Do the springs just have a very high tension? I had a 1999 Am Standard and a 2013 Road Worn 60's... both set up the same way, both much better/easier action on the trem. The Road Worn trem action was like butter. Anyone have similar issues? Replacement spring recommendations? Thanks!
     
  2. kekaiakea

    kekaiakea Rob Yamanoha

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    Might very well be the springs. I've had MIJ and MIM strats with stiff springs, often changed them out for vintage raw springs (which have very low tension). FWIW My current MIM Vintage Player plays very well.

    You might want to check the bridge screws. If they're too tight that trem wont budge much.
     
  3. stevel

    stevel Member

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    You need to check the claw in the back!

    You can put different springs on - different tension and/or a different amount, but the claw should be adjusted so your bridge floats (assuming floating bridge) the right amount off the body (look up fender specs).

    But, to get that distance with, say, 3 springs, the springs are going to be more stretched out (claw further in) to counteract the string tension than it would be with 5 springs.

    If I understand Hooke's law correctly, it takes more force to stretch a spring as you stretch it more. So the more stretched out your springs are to begin with, the harder it will be to stretch them more. This means that fewer springs can actually be harder to move if they're stretched out more.

    So the claw position works in tandem with the amount and tension of springs you put on.
     
  4. LJD

    LJD Member

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    If anything the claw screws are extended because I set my bridge to float a la the "Carl Verheyen method", a little wider than Fender spec. My local shop has been setting the up a little high like that lately and mine is still relatively stiff. Gonna start with new springs, cheap and simple enough to switch back.
     
  5. Eagle1

    Eagle1 Member

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    Fewer springs extended is the lowest possible trem action tension .BTW the Carl V trem set up is troll physics nonsense .
     
  6. LJD

    LJD Member

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    Angle and tension, I could care less about the debate... can't argue the half/hole/min3rd interval on a full pull up is a very musical use/trick of the trem.
     
  7. VicAjax

    VicAjax Male Supermodel

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    Sounds to me like it just ain't the Strat for you... I'll gladly take it off your hands. ;)
     
  8. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    it's just the opposite, and @admiralB sorted me out on the reason; spring pull increase is petty linear, stretching one 1/8" more requires the same amount of extra force whether it's closed up or stretched out;

    thing is, with more springs instead of less, that 1/8" of movement is pulling on more springs, and all their tension increases add together.

    upshot is, fewer springs stretched out make for an easier to move bar than more springs closed up.
     
  9. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    redo it (shimming the neck if necessary) so that the saddle height screws are shorter, with 1/4" screws on the E saddles and the 5/16" screws on the middle four saddles.

    along with using fewer springs and stretching them out more, doing this will net you better, softer arm movement, along with less bridge deflection when you bend strings.
     
  10. Eagle1

    Eagle1 Member

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    But you can't get the differential intervals unless two occur coincidentally with the first.
    If it happens with your string gage and action it is luck ,it is offtern close but.
     
  11. LJD

    LJD Member

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