Worth changing the tremolo system on a Squire VM Jazzmaster?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by duaneallen, Apr 19, 2016.

  1. duaneallen

    duaneallen Member

    Feb 13, 2006
    So I need an arm for the tremolo on my Squire VM Jazzmaster and I started thinking if its worth getting the arm, or should I think about changing the tremolo in all? I already changed out the bridge for a Mustang, and am happy with it, but since I've never had the arm, I've never really tried the tremolo on this guitar. Is the stock one any good, or should I change it out? Would an American Vintage one fit? It doesn't seem too expensive. I really dig this guitar; much more so than the MIJ one that I had a while ago. Go figure.
  2. Starshine

    Starshine Member

    Oct 1, 2014
    The stock tremolo is fine. If you absolutely need the lock that the AVRI bridge has, then swap it out. Otherwise I don't see the point.
  3. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Member

    Jan 10, 2016
    14 Megameters from Groong Tehp
    No, American, or even Mexican, floating bridges will not fit on a Squier.
    If it says Squire on it, return it immediately, because it's a knock-off.
    The string spacing is different (narrower) on the Squier bridges.
  4. TylerE

    TylerE Member

    Jul 3, 2015
    No. The thing is, no matter what you do it, it'll still be an....inexpensive guitar. You'd be much much happier shelling out $800 for a used American Std that makes you happy rather than $100 on a bridge, then it'll be tuners, then pickups, etc, and it'll still be a guitar made out of who-knows-what-it-really-is-even-if-they-say-it's-swamp-ash mystery meat.

    Bleh - it's not even "ash", it's basswood, which is crappy wood.
  5. Kestrel

    Kestrel Member

    Dec 5, 2009
    All of the tremolo units for the American, Mexican, and Japanese made Jaguars/Jazzmasters will fit on the Squier Vintage Modified Jaguars/Jazzmasters. String spacing would be more affected by the bridge you are using, not the tremolo piece. The stock bridge on Jaguars and Jazzmasters allow you to adjust the string spacing. There is no issue with string spacing on the tremolo units except for a narrower break from the bridge to the tailpiece on the Japanese ones. String spacing will be affected to a degree if you drop in a Mustang bridge on the Squiers, because the spacing is fixed and the radius is not a match for the guitar. Still, there are a bunch of guys over on the Offset Guitar Forum who have done the swap and are fine with it.

    The real question is: Is it really worth the upgrade? The stock tremolo unit on the Vintage Modified Squiers work just fine. The USA made ones operate a bit smoother and have that sliding lock tab, but I've never had a use for the locking mechanism. Honestly, there is no practical reason for upgrading the tremolo unit unless you want yours to say "Fender" on it.
    Alvis likes this.
  6. Great Shot Pilot

    Great Shot Pilot Member

    Mar 1, 2012
    In fairness, there is no American Standard Jazzmaster. If he wanted a US built Jazzmaster with the traditional vibrato set up, he's looking at $2,200 new/$1400 used for an AV65 or AVRI JM.
    Kestrel likes this.
  7. Alvis

    Alvis Member

    Jan 14, 2004
    Free Rangin' The I-55 Corridor
  8. tkachuk07

    tkachuk07 Member

    Apr 9, 2010
    I have no problems with the stock trems. The bar stays where you leave it & it functions smoothly. I would only upgrade if you want that locking button & want it to say Fender.

    Japanese Trem - Probably not an upgrade at all, except it does say Fender & has the locking button. Strings angle in a bit from bridge to tailpiece.

    Classic Player Trem - has a screw in arm. Some like this as they put a Strat trem spring in the hole & it keeps the bar from swinging loose. The push in arm collets can get loose over time & probably will need replacement or some maintenance tricks after a lot of use to get the bar to stay.

    AVRI - A little higher quality plates etc., but won't necessarily function better. Push in arm, but need the correct size arm. Squier/Japanese arms won't fit. Springs can be a little firmer & it is personal preference what you like. Some like the looser Japanese trem feel. String gauge choice can impact setup, with heavier gauge strings setting up better with the firmer AVRI spring & lighter gauge setting up better with the looser Japanese spring.

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