The Tremelo: To block, or not to block...

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Sunstone Recordings, Oct 2, 2005.

  1. Sunstone Recordings

    Sunstone Recordings Member

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    that is the question...

    I'm picking up a 62 reissue, vintage bridge, and I don't really use the trem that often, I've never had much experience with one, cause my other strat is a hard tail.

    what are the benefits of blocking the tremelo?

    is blocking it with THIS type of device suggested?

    any input/ personal experiences?

    thanks!
     
  2. Chuckracer

    Chuckracer Supporting Member

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    [​IMG]

    The pic is a little blown out, but that's a block of Maple, about 2" in height and carefully sanded to fit. I can gently pry it out and trem my heart out, but when I'm done I slip this back in, and I'm back to hardtail land.
     
  3. Ron K

    Ron K Member

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    I guess I'd play with the trem some before deciding to block it.

    Lots of people just wedge some wood or thick cardboard in there, like Chuckracer's picture. I think a tech can also set up the Strat bridge so it is flush / effectively blocked, without putting anything else on the guitar.

    If you don't want to use the trem, blocking it prevents that "other strings go flat when you bend a string" effect you get with Strat-style trems.
     
  4. lefchr

    lefchr Member

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    I have mine tightened so that it is flat against the body normally, thbut I can still use it to go down if I feel like it.

    I have it that way cause I like to use it once in awhile, but if I break a string during a song it will stay in tune.
     
  5. theelectic

    theelectic Guest

    I block mine like Chuckracer's picture since I never use the trem. 5 springs tightened down all the way as well. I definitely hear and feel a difference this way, on open chords I can feel the body (and springs) ringing like a barely on reverb.
     
  6. Sunstone Recordings

    Sunstone Recordings Member

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    I think i might just go with the wood block, seeing as it's cheaper and doesn't require any physical modification of the guitar. I'm assuming I should use a block of the same wood the body is made up of? also, are there any online directions or diagrams of how to do this? thanks!
     
  7. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    The downside of trem blocking.

    If you block and allow down-vibing only you need heavy springs to maintain good contact between your block and the body. This makes the vib arm stiff and non-reponsive to slight pressure and also snaps the vib assembly back to position with a thud!

    Measure this against the problems of a floating vibrato and make your choice. I prefer the blocked for tone and stability but it ain't perfection.
     
  8. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

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    I deleted a bunch of crap from this thread.

    Folks:

    No Spam.

    No ripping on competitors.

    Both are bad form.
     
  9. Sunstone Recordings

    Sunstone Recordings Member

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  10. Reeek

    Reeek Member

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    Here's an opposite view:

    I have been a humbucker/hardtail player for all my life and wouldn't nudge. Mostly because I bend a lot and like to drone passive notes. Secondly because I too did not practice using a trem, ever.

    But something has gotten ahold of me with my Suhr Classic and all I ever do now is screw that damned arm in every time I play that guitar and I'm getting better with the trem ewveryday.

    In short, I've switched and I don't see going back to exclusive hardtail playing although I will always have humbucker equipped hardtails around too.

    I'm really digging the trem when playing blues . . .
     
  11. theelectic

    theelectic Guest

    I just rough cut a piece of 2x4, then sanded/filed it down until it was snug. The rest of the trem has to be setup so the back of the trem plate is flush with the face of the guitar. IME the block has to be snug, but you don't want to have to bash it in with a hammer either.
     
  12. Sunstone Recordings

    Sunstone Recordings Member

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    I think I am going to play around with the trem before I make a decision. If I do block it, will i have to re-setup the guitar?
     
  13. Kevan

    Kevan Member

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    Ryan- Good call with the "play with it first" move.

    If you'd like help with setting up your trem, feel free to email or IM me. We'll get ya hooked up.
     
  14. Chuckracer

    Chuckracer Supporting Member

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    I'm the one who posted the picture. My trem is set up so it's flat on the body and won't move under a full step and-then-some bend on the high E string. I use the block because I can hear and feel a difference in the response of the guitar that I like. The block of wood just pushes into place with moderate thumb pressure, and is easily removed if I feel like some trem action. It's only maple because my Father is a woodworker and has a terrific stash of nice hardwoods in his shop. Any hardwood will work just fine.
    My trem usage is always at home. Live, she's always blocked. I find the biggest improvment in tone/response is at high volumes. I play rock and I'm not too subtle on stage!

    [​IMG]
     

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