Trem springs: number and slant

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by fumbler, Feb 3, 2009.


  1. fumbler

    fumbler Member

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    Me: usually 3 springs, parallel (not slanted)

    'cause my first strat came with 3, that's why! (plus I like the looser feel)

    And I've often wondered: what is the perceived advantage of slanting the outer springs? It just means that they'll be stretched slightly farther than the middle spring and have a bit more tension. Why? What's the point?
    [​IMG]
     
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  2. FrankieSixxxgun

    FrankieSixxxgun Member

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    I play mine with 5 springs straight in. I got big meaty arms and I play 11's, so I need that trem to stay put unless I really wanna move it.
     
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  3. Structo

    Structo Member

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    Yeah I like to set the trem floating and use five springs.

    That three spring setup is called the Tee Pee spring pattern and some like it for less resistance on the trem.
    But I find it allows the other strings to go too flat when doing bent double stops.
     
  4. guitargod0dmw

    guitargod0dmw Member

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    I've always been a 5 springs straight in type of guy, but I recently tried the 3 spring tee pee method (whatever you want to call it) on my Strat and I've been digging that.
     
  5. Zero

    Zero Member

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    Not sure if there's any point to /|\. I kind of think people saw that Eddie Van Halen did itt and copied him because Eddie knew about these things.
     
  6. kludge

    kludge The droid you're looking for Silver Supporting Member

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    Three, slanted. I've tried both slanted and straight, and they sound different on my guitar. Probably more due to change in string tension, but who knows?

    The funny thing is, I don't actually use the bar, or even have one installed. My guitar has the obscure Schecter "Trem-Lok" from the 1980s, and the bar is long gone and effectively irreplacable. But I keep the bridge floating anyway, because i like the way it responds when floating. I'll sometimes manipulate the bridge with my bare hand, pushing it down or pulling it up with my fingers. For actual "dive bomb" stuff, I tend to bend the neck instead, a habit developed from many years of non-trem guitars.
     
  7. bullet69

    bullet69 Member

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    Two in a slant with the claw screwed in pretty far . I like the springs to be stretched out a little bit with the bridge floating so I can get that Robin Trower flutter.
     
  8. slegros

    slegros Member

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    Slanting the outer springs allows you to get a tension somewhere between 3 and 4 parallel springs. This can be very useful if you like to float your trem.

    For me using 9's and floating the trem so I can bend up at least a full step this is very useful. I find 3 parallel springs too soft and get a lot of trem movement when doing bends and vibrato. With 4 parallel springs there is just barely enough spring extension and the springs barely stay on the claws when i pull the trem flush against the body. With the 2 outers angled its a bit stiffer than 3 parallel and more of my force goes into bending the string as opposed to lifting the trem when I do bends, and theres no danger of the springs dropping off the claws.

    The other consideration is trem use itself. Again I find the forward to backward balance to be nice when using 9's and the angled springs. With 3parallel I find it too easy to bend down and too stiff to bend up. 4 parallel the opposite and I start bending arms with 4 parallel.

    It really all comes down to personal preference and string guage.....
     
  9. fumbler

    fumbler Member

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    Ok, I've just convinced myself that /|\ should feel somewhere between 3 and 4 springs. Maybe I'll give it a try next string change. I use 10-46 by the way.
     
  10. fr8_trane

    fr8_trane Member

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    I use 4 springs and the trem is flat on the body.

    I tried the floating trem with 3 spring tee-pee thing last night and although I liked the looser trem feel there two thing that were a deal breaker for me.

    1. the trem just moved too much when doing big bends. I don't like that. I feel like I'm fighting myself and bending intonation will be a problem.

    2. the ever present threat of a broken string in the middle of a tune.

    With my current setup broken strings are nothing more than a minor inconvenience. I can easily finish a song - in tune - without the high e string which would be impossible with a floating setup. Also My bridge barely moves when doing bends. I can also do drop D without retuning the entire guitar.

    IMO the only way to do the low tension, floating trem thing without these issues is with something like the tremol-no.
     
  11. Kingbeegtrs

    Kingbeegtrs Senior Member

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    this is actually a great topic. I've always wondered if there was a correct way of doing it...or for that matter what the most popular way of doing it is. I prefer to use all of the springs, but that's because I'd rather be playing a Tele anyway. I usually set them up with 3 springs unless my customer has a specific way he wants it done. Could someone who is a "stratocaster number of springs on the trem" expert please educate me?
     
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  12. Zero

    Zero Member

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    From what I know about it, I've never tried one, but the "Tremol-No" is an On-Off/Float-Fixed device. You either get full float or fixed bridge. If you are in full float mode and break a string you still go wildly out of tune and double-stop bends still go flat. There is another, cheaper On-Off/Float-Fixed device out there by Schaller called the "Trem-Stop".
     
  13. Marcel

    Marcel Member

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    Schaller Trem-Stop only works on a tremolo with a NON wobbling trem-arm...! Almost all wobble a little (even the one's that can be set) -or a lot.
     
  14. fr8_trane

    fr8_trane Member

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    Well that settles it. Looks like its 4 springs and flat against the body until somebody comes up with a less fugly but equally ingenious trem as this one.
    [​IMG]

    The trem plate remains STATIONARY while the trem block pivots back and forth. Brilliant mechanical design. Horrible aesthetic design
     
  15. fumbler

    fumbler Member

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    I disagree. You've just stretched your outer springs a "nearly infinite" distance, haven't you? The tension in the springs themselves is now incredibly high. It's only the vector component of that tension in the direction of movement of the block that is still relatively low because of the extreme angle. (Hear my inner geek ROAR!)

    Disagree again. If the block moves 1 mm then the middle spring (the straight one) stretches by 1 mm. But the angled springs have to stretch farther, don't they? And here's the key: because of the change in angle when you actuate the trem, the very high tension in those springs now has a much larger component in the direction of movement. Even if the springs were truly perpendicular to the block before, they aren't anymore after you depress the trem. It's simple geometry.
     
  16. Zero

    Zero Member

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    Your right, if they wobble it would not work correctly. I haven't had that problem. I keep my arms very tight. The best design was the Original Floyd Rose wrench tightened collar (not finger tightened which is popular now). I have two Originals Floyds set up with wrench tightened collars and they are rock solid. I use about 6 Ibanez Edge and LoPro Edge's as well and I admit that design is prone to wobbley arms unless you really get into making them tight, which I do. can't stand wobbley arms. I've made Trem-Stops work with both.

    I'm not saying it's better than the Tremol-No either. I've never tried a Tremol-No. I would probably love it. Trem-Stops are cheaper if you merely need stability for double-stop bends & such. I would not recommend it for detuning though. Plus some folks simply would not double stick tape (or drill two holes like I did) the base part of the Trem-Stop to the face of their guitar.
     
  17. fumbler

    fumbler Member

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    Well, we're just having fun talking out of our hats here. Also look at the Carl Verheyen thread where I convinced myself that it makes sense to slant the claw and have higher tension on the bass side springs. Maybe. I need to actually do it and report back.

    My degree is in chemical engineering but mostly I did polymers/composite materials. Now I teach high school chemistry and physics.
     
  18. GtrDr

    GtrDr Member

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    I never understood the angle spring set up other than EVH uses it. With floating trems, having the strings & springs pulling in same direction just makes more sense to me. On trems that sit on the body it wouldnt make much difference
     
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  19. TubeStack

    TubeStack Supporting Member

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    Any developments in the past eight years? :)
     
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  20. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    ha ha, nope.

    stupid stuff like aftermarket claws with an angle built in, and the growing understanding that some springs are stronger than others, but otherwise this simple mechanical system is still as simple as it ever was.

    it's generally understood that fewer springs stretched out longer creates a softer, floatier arm feel than more springs closed up tighter.
     

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