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To whammy or not to whammy, that is the question.

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Antstrat, May 12, 2019.

  1. Antstrat

    Antstrat Strat-Talker

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    Or use the trem bar. You know what I mean.

    Just curious if I'm the only one that locks the bridge down (with 4 springs) and that's that, no trem bar, no whammying. Never appealed to me or my style I should say.

    So, why not just buy a hard tail?

    Well, (now I'm gonna ramble) I did try a hard tail some years ago and fiddle fudged with it for months. For some odd reason I just couldn't get 'that' vibe and tone my precious ears would like compared to my other strats. Long story short I discovered that having the springs (4 of them), the trem block and the routed out wood makes a tonal difference. To me it does, not claiming this as science.

    Anyhoo I hope this made sense, if not feel free to taunt me with shrubbery. Some of you will get this.
     
  2. circles

    circles Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    No taunting here, but as a long time Les Paul player, I find 9/10ths of the appeal of the Strat is the well integrated whammy, and have never understood the desire to block it when you have a Strat. (Well, I know the arguments.) Even the guy I jam with has this amazing new Strat I'm lusting after, and he doesn't attach the whammy at all.

    I can't imagine the blocking or not blocking matters 'once the drummer kicks in'. To me it'd be like buying a beautiful convertible car, and never putting the top down. Or something like that.
     
  3. jaxjaxon

    jaxjaxon Strat-Talker

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    It is possible if you have strong magnets in the bridge pickup that when the springs vibrate they will impart some overtones to the sound when using the bridge position. I am guessing you don't dampen the springs.
     
  4. radd

    radd Strat-O-Master

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    I have had an EC Strat for a few years, it comes decked with the classic Clapton style wood block technique. However, I just un-decked it last week. I’m having fun with it.

    The reason I did is because I have three guitars with Bigsbys and I kind of missed having that bar when I played my strat.
     
  5. Antstrat

    Antstrat Strat-Talker

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    No spring dampening. Had to google it to find out what that meant. And speaking of bridge pickups, I rarely use them. 90% of the time I'm on the neck p/u or neck/middle and sometimes just the middle. I wave my not normal flag with pride .:cool:
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
  6. Antstrat

    Antstrat Strat-Talker

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    I'm an odd duck I guess. When I got my first strat part of the appeal was indeed the whammy (and of course the sound). As time went on it just didn't do anything for me and as my personal quirks and preferences started evolving I was told you can block'em. Just one of many little nuggets of happy accidents that I picked up from others.
     
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  7. Groovey

    Groovey Most Honored Senior Member

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    I'm a once in a while, gentle tremelo guy. I certainly like to have it available.
     
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  8. StratSounds

    StratSounds Senior Stratmaster

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    To whammy or not to whammy? That’s an easy one. It’s a strat...whammy!
     
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  9. BuffaloHound

    BuffaloHound Strat-Talker

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    I’m certain that this ilk of minute detail changes the tone in some small way that is measurable by a tool that is beyond me. But I can’t tell if a fretboard is maple/rosewood by listening. Same deal with nitro/poly finishs; and ditto for the vintage WH-10 verse reissues. Hell, I’d be happy to just know if the mid settings on my amp were at 2 or 6.
    I’d love to watch a YouTube video where someone takes the Pepsi Challenge on this stuff and passes with flying colors so that I’ll just know that my ears are awful. Until that time I’m inclined to believe it’s all in your head. Or, such a small difference that it’s not worth paying attention to.
     
  10. roadhog96

    roadhog96 Strat-O-Master

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    The way I see it, if you don’t use the whammy bar then go ahead a block it. If a Strat’s whammy is set up properly it works flawlessly. The whammy makes the Strat that more versatile. There are plenty of guitar out there that are hardtail. Can’t say I can a actually hear a difference between a hardtail and a whammy Strat. The only downside I can think of with having a whammy is if you break a string you just lost all your tuning. If its a hardtail or blocked, you can continue to play. If your doing a live performance that can make all the difference.
     
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  11. Antstrat

    Antstrat Strat-Talker

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    Can't hear the difference between maple or rosewood either or nitro/poly.

    "I’m inclined to believe it’s all in your head. Or, such a small difference that it’s not worth paying attention to." Valid comment you made. We can also say that about swapping pickups, so many sound sooooooooooooooooo close to each other is there really a black and white difference? Or raising/lowering a p/u by 1/64th? Or does it only matter to the person making the swap?

    Like I said I'm not claiming it to be science nor trying to get anyone to get on board, I'm just sharing what works for me.

    I keep my mids around 4 btw.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
  12. joe_cpwe

    joe_cpwe Senior Stratmaster

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    Two strats... 1 with 3 springs and a floating trem. The other with 5 springs because it won't stay in tune with good consistency with a floating trem.
    I get by with it decked...but prefer a moving term on a strat.
    Any serious whammy action goes to the Floyd Rose equipt guitar....
     
  13. BigNorm

    BigNorm Senior Stratmaster

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    Exactly the same for me...
     
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  14. roadhog96

    roadhog96 Strat-O-Master

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    They only 2 things that can cause that are using a higher tension string set on that guitar or a binding problem with the nut slots. Others will say bad tuners but I say they would have to be cheapest quality junk to have that kind of slop that you actually lost tuning.
     
  15. JP68

    JP68 Strat-Talk Member

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    Been playing a strat for only six months after having a Tele as my main guitar the rest of my life. I got a strat for the tonal range, not the trem... I installed it only once to mess around with some mild surfy vibrato and that was nice, but really for the way I play the trem isn't a factor... So far!
     
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  16. rolandson

    rolandson Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Too bad, because you'd have been accurate if you had. Well the part about the springs, to paraphrase, imparting characteristics that are distinctively unique to the Strat. Often called the 'bell tones', they set Strats and similar bridge configurations apart from other trem systems.

    The springs act sort of like a reverb tank. Couple that to a stringing method that doesn't pass the strings through the body and you'll find yourself light years from a hardtail bridge sound.
     
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  17. ajb1965

    ajb1965 Old Enough to Know Better Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I whammy on my Jackson's and loved the trem on the jazzmaster when I had it, but I've never installed the bar on any Strat I've had. I honestly couldn't tell you why either lol

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A6013 using Tapatalk
     
  18. fezz parka

    fezz parka The Return of the Red Helmet Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I like them so much I have ' em on a Tele.

    images.jpeg

    It floats. Three springs like this /l\.

    It sounds like this:

     
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  19. Antstrat

    Antstrat Strat-Talker

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    Thanks, wish I was able to articulate like you do :)
     
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  20. rolandson

    rolandson Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Don't underestimate yourself, you did fine.

    Oh, full disclosure; I whammy. Five springs, floater.
     
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