Tremolo springs add a reverb effect?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Reissueplayer, Jul 19, 2008.

  1. Reissueplayer

    Reissueplayer Member

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    I'm a strat player most of the time. I won't even begin to tell you how many strats, Fender and non-Fender, I've tried and bought, looking for that illusive sound. Not much of a tech myself, I usually let others do setup and listen to their advice. After experimenting with woods, changing pickups, neck and other stuff, I'm now getting to how the tremolo affects tone.

    Most of my strats have had the trem blocked or clamped to the body. I'm starting to think this isn't right for me. A quick search here reveals that a few people consider the tremolo springs act like a sort of mini reverb.

    Have you experienced this and how does the number of springs affect it? If I want to achieve this, is there a setup method for floating trem that will work better? Am I right in guessing that this will soften the tone of the guitar and reduce the wood type characteristics?

    I'd be happy to hear your thoughts on this. Thanks.
     
  2. K-Line

    K-Line Gold Supporting Member

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    I would agree with that a bit. When you take off the cover and float the springs, you do get that "strat airy-ness". Just listen to a hardtail, much different animal.
     
  3. bluesjuke

    bluesjuke Disrespected Elder

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    I've gone to using all 5 springs in mine and that usually brings the bridge plate down to just touching the body without much pressure against it.
    I used to always flost it but find that this works better for me.

    If you do float it the best set up for it is to follow the instructions in the Fender manual that comes with the guitar.
    You usually end up with the bottom of the plate, at the back corner edge just before it rounds out to go up, to be 1/8" off of the body.

    That gives a good balance of sound and staying in tune if indeed you do use the trem.
     
  4. Steve Gambrell

    Steve Gambrell Member

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    One inch?
     
  5. bluesjuke

    bluesjuke Disrespected Elder

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    The higher the better Baby!!!


    No that's a typo- 1/8" is what I meant.
     
  6. stormin1155

    stormin1155 Member

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    I don't know if I'd call it a reverb effect, but I do think it provides a resonance that a hard tail doesn't have and is part of the whole "strat sound." The hard-tails sound more like a tele to me... quicker attack. I don't play my strat that much but when I do I tend to actually use the trem. I blocked it once and didn't like it.
     
  7. tdarian

    tdarian Gold Supporting Member

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    I have a Jimmy Vaughn Strat and I have all 5 springs on and pulled the claw a bit forward so the bridge assembly is tight and flat down on the body. I do get the "reverb" effect. It is way more pronounced at certain points on the fretboard when I'm playing it unplugged. Not so noticeable when plugged in.

    Very stable set up and I've had no desire to block the trem or use any of the devices that do so.

    Agree that the springs impart a different "stratness" that may be missing in a hardtail, but a listen to Robert Cray's stratty tone sometimes makes me wonder.
     
  8. bluesjuke

    bluesjuke Disrespected Elder

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    I agree with stormin1155 in that it's more of an increased resonance more than a reverb.
    It gives the guitar a more expanded sound.
     
  9. RockStarNick

    RockStarNick Supporting Member

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    This is exactly why I switched to a hardtail: quicker, more focused attack, no springverb.

    :D

    But that's just me.
     
  10. hogy

    hogy Member

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    Yes, we've discussed that a few times, it's a big part of the Strat sound to me.

    But, unlike suggested above, do not take the spring cover off. Your shirt will dampen the strings and the effect is gone.
     
  11. Polynitro

    Polynitro Member

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    I think it does something...I've heard people claim that a CRL spring gives a reverb affect, I dunno about that one!
     
  12. Troubleman

    Troubleman Silver Supporting Member

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    I've gone back and forth I don't know how many times in my Strat set-up - float, or resting against the body. Then I saw this clip:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZnQt9yiBMg

    Carl Verheyen is one of those (in my book anyway) truly respected musicians. I set one of my Strats up pretty much as he described (EJ Strat body - passes the Verheyen test, 1st run SRV Strat neck refretted with 6100 fretwire, Harmonic Design pickguard assembly with Vintage Plus pups, strung with .010-.052s), with the exception of using 4 fairly new springs on the trem claw. It took weeks of futzing with it, gigging with it, futzing with it again, but I finally found a sweet spot. It returns to proper tune (great nut setup and sperzels helps), and bending a string against an open string barely produces a change in pitch in the open string - my personal litmus test. He's right. It's the way a Strat with trem should be set up. And surprise, surprise - wonderful overtone "reverb-esque" stuff going on as well. :AOK


    Peace,


    jb
     
  13. Reissueplayer

    Reissueplayer Member

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    Thank you all,

    I've just come back from a quick stop at the tech's shop. We tried the floating trem, but without a spring cover. The guitar is a swamp ash strat with Callaham hardware. I do feel floating the trem added something to the tone and I will have them set up that way in the future. To say I heard the reverb thing though, is to say too much.

    I found the "string tension equals spring tension" theory of Carl Verheyen interesting. It's truly amazing if you can set up a guitar that way consistently. I also liked the angled claw idea.
     

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