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5 springs with floating trem?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Voodoo Chile, Oct 17, 2014.

  1. Voodoo Chile

    Voodoo Chile Strat-Talk Member

    81
    Aug 20, 2014
    Virginia
    Does anyone else use 5 springs with a floating trem (at 1/8 about)? I've been using 5 and i like the feel and it seems like it stays in tune better but it seems kinda counteractive to have both because 5 are usually only used for fully decking a strat.
     

  2. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Squier-a-holic Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    41
    Apr 19, 2014
    Windsor, Ontario, Canada
    It is all down to string gauge and your playing style / tremolo technique. Whatever works for you and keeps it in tune works! I can probably guess you aren't using 8's or 9's though if you are balancing with 5 springs and it's not decked....but I could be wrong...
     

  3. Swingbass

    Swingbass Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    65
    Mar 21, 2011
    Nature Coast Florida
    I'm undecked and unblocked. I love my 5 spring setup. It now stays in perfect tune and has the ability to use the pitch altering aspects when needed.
     

  4. WahWahammer

    WahWahammer Strat-Talker

    458
    Feb 23, 2013
    Edmonton, AB
    I did for a looong time, with slightly less than 1/8" off the body at the rear of the bridge. I switched to 4 when I upgraded the inertia block. It was more an automatic thing to use the springs that Callaham provided rather than a conscious decision, but I found they had a higher tension, and I didn't need all 5 to get the balance I wanted.

    I know it's completely possible to float a trem with just 3 springs and letting out the claw a little bit, but I've always been nervous about the claw screws letting go of the body if I draw them out too far. So my response to that is the 5 (and now 4) springs on the back.

    All that said, if you've got good tuning stability and decent float-age, there's certainly nothing that you need to change about it.
     

  5. Stringbender11

    Stringbender11 Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    54
    Feb 2, 2011
    Pacific Northwest
    If I wanted to float my bridge (it's currently decked) what is involved? I have 3 springs on it now, is it just a matter of letting the claw out more until the tension of the springs starts to pull the bridge up?
     
    DayDreamStudios likes this.

  6. Ramblin'man

    Ramblin'man Strat-O-Master

    589
    Feb 20, 2013
    Northern Illinois
    I use two springs with 10's and float the bridge 3/32". Those screws are about 1 1/2 inchs long BTW Whammer.
     

  7. simoncroft

    simoncroft Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    61
    May 30, 2013
    SE England
    About 30 years ago, I saw some footage of Jimi Hendrix playing live. As he pulled his Strat up towards him, you could see all five springs in the back of the guitar. Although it was early B/W, I'm assuming he set his bridge floating on all his Strats.

    (It's a long time since I saw that video, but I believe he was playing "Like a Rolling Stone' by Bob Dylan, which might make it easier to find on YouTube, or whatever.)

    For years, I've used only three springs but Jonny Hotnuts posted on another thread that spring gauge also made a difference to tone. I have no idea whether that is right or not, but I think after all these years, I should experiment to see if it makes any difference. After all, this is hardly a massive investment!

    EDIT: this video clearly shows Hendrix using 5 springs about 4:30 in: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSJbuqkptpQ
     

  8. Badger52

    Badger52 Strat-O-Master

    644
    Oct 8, 2013
    Wisconsin
    Yep, that's pretty much it. Most Strats come floated with 3 springs; kinda like their birth suit. Be sure you're re-tuning. :)

    I waffle between 3 or 4 springs (running 11's). Either one works; sometimes I'll get a wild hair & switch back & forth. Anything heavier than the 11's and it would be at least 4 for sure. Fortunately the OCD side of me has written down the claw-screw distances for each so it's a pretty quick setup.
     

  9. Ramblin'man

    Ramblin'man Strat-O-Master

    589
    Feb 20, 2013
    Northern Illinois
    Hendrix played with his trem decked a lot of times with those 5 springs. Look at the video above and pause it a .02 seconds in it is decked. At 4:33 it is clearly decked look at the block tight against the body.
     

  10. simoncroft

    simoncroft Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    61
    May 30, 2013
    SE England
    Yeah, you're right. I never realized that. Thank you for pointing it out. Apologies to the OP, because that means my post on Hendrix was pretty irrelevant.
     

  11. Stringbender11

    Stringbender11 Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    54
    Feb 2, 2011
    Pacific Northwest
    I'm gonna float mine later this week. I have played strats with floating bridges and though I dont use the trem, I liked the different sound and vibe.
     

  12. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    I've got one three, a couple fours, all the rest fives. Of course the claw is in greater and lesser amounts but I don't like a uniform approach, since some guitars are just looser and some tighter feeling even when the plate in locked down tight. I think to some degree each guitar just wants to be different to some degree and you IMO gotta roll with it.
     

  13. Badger52

    Badger52 Strat-O-Master

    644
    Oct 8, 2013
    Wisconsin
    It is different. Few decades ago I was playing out in a style that I didn't use the trem either but was also for just a bit having some serious finger issues and, instead of a finger vibrato, sometimes I'd just rock the heel of the hand resting on the tailpiece to get a different effect.

    The comment above about springs having different tension qualities based on gauge etc. is a real good one. Wildly inconsistent springs (between each other) can have you chasing down all kinds of rabbit holes; as stated, a full set of the same springs is cheap.

    Good luck!
    :)
     

  14. Percy

    Percy Most Honored Senior Member

    i can count 4 springs its hard too say for sure if there is five...i have always used five with heavy gauge strings....i like the tension it gives the whammy.....
     

  15. Ramblin'man

    Ramblin'man Strat-O-Master

    589
    Feb 20, 2013
    Northern Illinois
    I tried floating my trem with 5 springs and EB 11's. I found it too stiff with the Fender Silver springs. I use D`Addario 10's on my 6 screw bridges and float them with 2 or 3 Silver springs.

    On my 2 point trems I only use 3 Black Springs and 9's or 10's work well that way. I have been tempted to try 5 Fender Black Springs on my 6 screw bridges but have as yet to give it a try.
     

  16. mapesaudio

    mapesaudio New Member!

    9
    Jul 18, 2014
    Florida
    There is a very informative and detailed youtube on floating tremolo setup at Frudua portal.. for both two screw and vintage six screw tremoloes.
     

  17. Swingbass

    Swingbass Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    65
    Mar 21, 2011
    Nature Coast Florida
    I liked the way he played different places like on the neck and then by the bridge to help with his sound. I also am always amazed at the length of his fingers. He also would have made an incredible piano player with fantastic spread/reach. All those "mod' kids never noticed how often the syncopation to the beat was lost either...
     

  18. Aprilia

    Aprilia Strat-O-Master

    590
    Sep 17, 2013
    Utah
    All mine have 4 springs. 5 was too stiff, 3 too loose, but 4 is perfect (for me).
     

  19. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh needs you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too. Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jan 10, 2014
    Initech, Inc.
    Like Boris said, there's no hard and fast rule; you've got to figure out what will work with your particular setup. When I first got my Strat it was floating with 3 springs and 9's. I gaged up to 10's and did the Frudua setup, and that worked out the best with 4 springs.
     

  20. bbarott

    bbarott Most Honored Senior Member

    Mar 29, 2010
    Marietta Georgia
    More springs stiffens it and does indeed help things stay in tune. I run 4 springs with 11s on my strats, and going to try 5 in the near future.

    I can hit the whammy hard if needed. I do not see a downside to 5.

    b.