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Strats n Springs
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dezb1
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 2:07 am    Post subject: Strats n Springs Reply with quote

I have my Strats trem set to float using only 2 trem springs, was playing at a music night tonight and wanted to use my strat but don't trust floating trems in a live situation so I stuck another 3 springs in (essentially hard tailing it)... What a difference in the sound! The guitar sounds FAR better, so unless I need the trem in the studio it's staying like this... Every day's a school day people.
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Rox
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I never liked a Strat trem. It's why I opted for a hardtail.
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dezb1
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the trem, for use in the studio probably my favorite trem, but I don't fancy the embarrassment of it going wildly out of tune playing live.
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robroe
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 3:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i always have 5 in mine
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cur
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 5:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

robroe wrote:
i always have 5 in mine

This and add a good heavy term block, like the steel one sold by GFS and your strat will come alive while floating.
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dezb1
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cur wrote:
robroe wrote:
i always have 5 in mine

This and add a good heavy term block, like the steel one sold by GFS and your strat will come alive while floating.


What gauge of strings do you need to float the trem with 5 springs?
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NickS
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dezb1 wrote:
What gauge of strings do you need to float the trem with 5 springs?

Depends how you adjust the screws on the plate with the claws on. You should be able to slacken them off so the bridge floats with whatever gauge.
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ekwatts
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to use five but have gone down to four while going slightly lighter on the strings over the last few years. Still good, but yeah, I had that revelation when I first started setting up my own guitars.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cur wrote:
This and add a good heavy term block, like the steel one sold by GFS and your strat will come alive while floating.

You mean trem block? If so, does the GFS block fit thin body Squiers (Affinity/Bullet) well?
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dezb1
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ekwatts wrote:
I used to use five but have gone down to four while going slightly lighter on the strings over the last few years. Still good, but yeah, I had that revelation when I first started setting up my own guitars.


I've set my own up for years, I like light strings on my strat and have always set it to float hence the 2 springs.
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ekwatts
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I like mine to float too, but I did it with five springs which, now I think about it, suggests the strings I was using at the time were RIDICULOUS.
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cur
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sunshiner wrote:
cur wrote:
This and add a good heavy term block, like the steel one sold by GFS and your strat will come alive while floating.

You mean trem block? If so, does the GFS block fit thin body Squiers (Affinity/Bullet) well?


Yeah trem (auto correct). I made one fit my shortscale SX strat in about 1/2 an hour. The blue tape line is where I brought it too. 80 grit on my belt sander. Also had to deepen the spring retainer holes.
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Fakir Mustache
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I just have 3 in the arrow configuration, seems pretty common but no one mentioned it yet.
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cur
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dezb1 wrote:
ekwatts wrote:
I used to use five but have gone down to four while going slightly lighter on the strings over the last few years. Still good, but yeah, I had that revelation when I first started setting up my own guitars.


I've set my own up for years, I like light strings on my strat and have always set it to float hence the 2 springs.


Like NickS said. you set your float height with the tension screws on the claw side of the spring, not necessarily the # of springs you use. So if you like 9's, slap some 9's on the guitar, and tune. then set the float height by adjusting the wood screws holding the claw to the body. I go for 1/8 th inch float. then re tune, and adjust float height until you get the balance/equilibrium you want. Usually you have to do quite a bit of fiddling around to get the trem set initially, but after that you are good to go.

If you have 6 screws holding down the bridge, loosen the inner four a turn and have the outer ones to just snug, flush withe the bridge. Strat bridges differ in how many screws are used to hold down, but if you have 6, do as I say.
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George
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

always have 5 set hardtail with a gfs steel block cos i alt tune
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dezb1
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cur wrote:
dezb1 wrote:
ekwatts wrote:
I used to use five but have gone down to four while going slightly lighter on the strings over the last few years. Still good, but yeah, I had that revelation when I first started setting up my own guitars.


I've set my own up for years, I like light strings on my strat and have always set it to float hence the 2 springs.


Like NickS said. you set your float height with the tension screws on the claw side of the spring, not necessarily the # of springs you use. So if you like 9's, slap some 9's on the guitar, and tune. then set the float height by adjusting the wood screws holding the claw to the body. I go for 1/8 th inch float. then re tune, and adjust float height until you get the balance/equilibrium you want. Usually you have to do quite a bit of fiddling around to get the trem set initially, but after that you are good to go.

If you have 6 screws holding down the bridge, loosen the inner four a turn and have the outer ones to just snug, flush withe the bridge. Strat bridges differ in how many screws are used to hold down, but if you have 6, do as I say.


Yep that's how adjust the float height, I just like the feel of the trem with 2 springs gives a smoother wobble for teh shoegazing, 3 feels a bit stiff. It's not that I have a problem floating the trem my guitar stays in tune really well, I just didn't realise the difference in tone when you hard tail it.
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Dillon
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If a Strat is going out of tune with a floating bridge, it's not because of the bridge IMO...something else is wrong. (Well, I guess it'd be possible that the screws / pivot points just need to be lubricated...) Strat trems are one of the most stable non-locking designs when set up correctly. It's why they're still being put on pretty much everything.

Not all springs are created equal...different outer diameter, different gauge metal, different number of winds, all that adds up to different tension. I've found that in some cases it's just not possible to use five springs and still have a functional trem, floating or not.

I'm the type to just buy parts over the counter when I can, which means I usually end up using Allparts springs, which I think are made by Gotoh. They're really stiff and relatively short. Using those, and 10s, I can only put two, maybe three on without making the trem impossible to bend.

Meanwhile I've had other springs, usually from cheap copies, that are so loose you can put five on and still easily bend the spring itself just by pressing on one. I've read that's how vintage (60s and 70s) Strat springs were. As a kid I always marveled at people like SRV using 5 springs, and later realized, that's probably why.

This is getting a little too but I will say that the more springs I put on, inevitably, the stronger and clearer it sounds. I've really been wanting to try these:

http://www.rawvintage.com/eng/item_springs.php
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robroe
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

5 springs. .13 strings. works great
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benecol wrote:
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dezb1
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The trem stays in tune when floating, my point was that if you break a string when playing with the trem floating it knocks it way out of tune.
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Fran
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Strat trem is one of my favourites, my only issue is it seems to be a lottery on getting one to work well. I definitely prefer the six screw vintage type to the two point pivot.
In fact, the best I ever got a Strat trem working was actually on a Squier Affinity model from Cash Traders. It was way more stable than several more expensive models I owned.

With 9 gauge I usually set to floating with two or three springs. Spring tension varies and I've bought aftermarket springs a few times.
I'm sure Benecol knows a bit about this, I seem to recall us having a spring sniffing conversation some years ago.

Like someone else said though, there are a lot of variables with getting the Strat trem working right... nut slots, string trees, tuners...
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