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Thinking about locking down the whammy bar on my Strat


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Title pretty much says all that needs to be said.

 

The vibrato bar causes some tuning issues on my Mexi-Strat, so I'm thinking about locking it down. I've heard about putting a block of wood under there to prevent the bridge from moving, and maybe a couple other methods. Anyone know a simple DIY method, preferably that is non-permanent? Any other issues I should be aware of in relation to this?

 

I know I could probably get this info from a guitar forum almost instantaneously, but I've been steered in the right direction on a bunch of instrument related things here, so I thought I'd test the Via Chicago/SST knowledge once again.

 

Thanks!

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Guest Cousin Tupelo
Title pretty much says all that needs to be said.

 

The vibrato bar causes some tuning issues on my Mexi-Strat, so I'm thinking about locking it down. I've heard about putting a block of wood under there to prevent the bridge from moving, and maybe a couple other methods. Anyone know a simple DIY method, preferably that is non-permanent? Any other issues I should be aware of in relation to this?

 

I know I could probably get this info from a guitar forum almost instantaneously, but I've been steered in the right direction on a bunch of instrument related things here, so I thought I'd test the Via Chicago/SST knowledge once again.

 

Thanks!

 

It's best to get a guitar tech to do it for you. Essentially it's the placement of the springs under the bridge, setting them into place. You'll have to lock yourself in on the type of strings you plan to use.

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I did this with my Strat years ago. Pretty much right after I got it as I don't use the whammy at all. I just used a little block of wood to stabilize the bridge. Haven't had any issues with it since.

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I hard-tailed my strat years ago but have since returned it to its original (well, better) state. I believe I used a small piece of wood, but it honestly could have been a few pieces of cardboard. I'd really recommend just increasing your number of springs (if possible) or using something like a trem-set. Hard-tailing is such an extreme option -- if you suddenly miss having a trem (and you may, even if you think you won't -- I did), you can't exactly pop in your bar and go.

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I'm not certain, but I think my strat has three springs. I think Clapton does the 5 spring thing on his strats. That sounds like a simple, easily reversible option. Is there a good source for getting the exact springs I'd need?

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I used to put 5 springs in and tighten the claw down. That holds the bridge down to the body pretty well. You could actually still use the trem that way (down only), but it's really really firm.

 

I recall hearing that Clapton used a wood block. I am assuming that this would allow you to keep the bridge off the body a little and stable, but I've never tried it. I don't recall how many springs Clapton was supposed to have used.

 

Funny thing is I decided to "float" the bridge about a year ago and I am really enjoying the sound and the ability to use the trem up and down. It's a little tricky getting all six in tune (takes a couple times through all six to get them all there), but once it;'s there, it's not too bad to keep in tune. To me the difference is well worth the tuning issues it creates (as long as you are not trying to change tunings), but I can understand where you're coming from.

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I'm not certain, but I think my strat has three springs. I think Clapton does the 5 spring thing on his strats. That sounds like a simple, easily reversible option. Is there a good source for getting the exact springs I'd need?

I would think any guitar shop would have these items. They're really common, and pretty cheap too (:)). you could always order them from allparts.com.

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Sorry to hijack the thread, but I'd kind of like to do the opposite. I have a strat, and the two screws are tightened pretty tight, so when I use the whammy, I have to force it to get it to "whammy". I tried loosening the screws , which loosened up the whammy and raised the bridge, but then it wouldn't hold tune.

 

Anyone know how to correct this so it will stay in tune? Would I need to install another spring or two to loosen it up, without loosening the screws too much?

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