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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. highway jammin

    highway jammin Strat-Talk Member

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    I love surf music, and all the strats I've bought were with the intent of using the tremolo for surf. But I never got the hang of it. I can't get used to the angle and height of the bar. I've tried customizing them, but never got something I loved. And when I did use them, I didn't get a sound I loved.

    So in my surf pursuits, I just don't use it anymore. And with enough reverb and the right chord changes, I don't really miss it in the sound.

    After eliminating even the temptation of using the whammy, and coming from a Tele background to begin with, I now prefer hardtails. The tremolo is too much of a liability. And they absolutely do sound different.
     
    Nate D, circles, albala and 2 others like this.
  2. stratomatt

    stratomatt Strat-O-Master

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    I like both ways. My floaters stay in tune, but it took a bit of work. For big whammy antics I put the strat away and pull out the Jackson. I also have a blocked strat and I like it because I can use alternate tunings without having to readjust my springs and all. Not sure I notice any major difference in tone with the blocked one. But hey, they are easy enough to block and unblock.
     
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  3. JB74

    JB74 Strat-O-Master

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    Sorry. You were asking for it. :D
     
  4. effy

    effy Strat-Talk Member

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    I'm lucky to be able to play chords and noodle around, so I don't bother with the whammy or floating a bridge and dealing with that. Love my strats anyway. For real players, it's up to your musical whims I would think.
     
  5. Fakenewts

    Fakenewts Strat-Talk Member

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    Up until now I always added extra springs and blocked my trem, but on my most recent purchase (Classic Player 60s) I have left it floating for the first time and am using it regularly, if fairly lightly.

    First reason being: it's the first I've owned that has held tune to an acceptable degree.

    Second reason: I started playing with a loop pedal a lot more recently (moved city and gots nobody to jam with) and in that context anything that gives you distinct sounds is great because it allows you to differentiate between layers, so I just trem a few chords here and there to bring them out in the mix. Glad I started using it because now it's integrated into my playing and is another string to the proverbial bow.

    Never been a fan of divebombs, even in my hair metal youth... but they are good for a laugh.

    edit: one thing I don't love is the added elasticity when bending. But it's not that bad.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
    Andrew Wasson likes this.
  6. knh555

    knh555 Senior Stratmaster

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    I didn't use the whammy for years, probably b/c I hear a lot of people use it poorly and, well, too obviously for my taste. Then one day, I put it on and rediscover that it's another tool in the toolbox that when used well, can be very musical, which is what we're all here for, right?

    YMMV, but all of my Strats have floating bridges and my two new Gretsches have Bigsbys. Like @fezz parka, I like the idea of a floating bridge of some sort on a Tele too, though I do like my Tele as is.

    And my Strats all have two or three springs.
     
  7. mscjr

    mscjr Strat-Talk Member

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    I deck mine, but can still get subtle fluctuations using the side of my palm on the bridge. This gives me a little flixbility and doesn't make the notes flat on a bend.
     
  8. sam_in_cali

    sam_in_cali Scream for me Strat-Talk! Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Having a non-op floating bridge doesn't make sense to me, just get a hardtail if that is how you use it. Take the $3,700 Mick Thompson signature Jackson for instance. This guitar has an original Floyd Rose that is permanently blocked. There is no way to unblock it even if you wanted to use it as intended.
    [​IMG]
     
    ChrisD likes this.
  9. ToneRanger

    ToneRanger Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Back when I only had one strat I could never make up my mind - one week it would be floating, then I'd get frustrated with the tuning issues and deck it for a week.
    Now that I have multiple guitars I've got some decked, some (most, actually,) floating and one actually blocked.
    I also learned tricks to keep the floating ones in tune, so that made it easier.
     
    CB91710 likes this.
  10. Strums

    Strums Strat-O-Master

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    It's all about the song you're playing. If it sounds better with some whammy, do it. If not, back off. Nice to have the option right there.
     
    knh555 likes this.
  11. ido1957

    ido1957 Senior Stratmaster

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    My Kramer is blocked, my EC is blocked. My hardtail sounds fine to me. LPC of course has no whammy.
    I'm waiting for a strat that will not be blocked (being setup). That will be my first venture with a floating bridge after 40 odd years. Will either be a massive success or massive fail. If the latter I will get it blocked.
     
  12. guitarface

    guitarface Senior Stratmaster

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    I don't use the whammy, but I still find there's a certain bouncy feel to a non-hardyail strat that I like.
     
  13. dogletnoir

    dogletnoir WBLV Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Sometimes i do, and sometimes i don't.
     
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  14. Electgumbo

    Electgumbo Lost Planet Airman Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I don’t want it if the dog leg don’t work!
     
    Andrew Wasson and StratSounds like this.
  15. Biddlin

    Biddlin Senior Stratmaster

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    cub.jpg
    I float mine with 3 springs. After securing the strings to the tuner shafts, I tune up, do a couple of big pulls up and down retune and I'm good. Same with my maestros. DSCN0763.JPG
    Now that's a tremolo! Seriously, the Strat's system is my second favorite, but here is a case where simplicity trumps clever. A single leaf spring with the strings directly attached is nearly flawless when properly installed.
    DSCN0467.JPG
    Here's where complex design becomes a liability. anything more complicated than this is a system designed for failure.
     
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  16. knh555

    knh555 Senior Stratmaster

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    My Plus with the LSR roller nut, not string trees, and staggered tuners holds tune just fine. This is the one with two springs. I don't think all of that is necessary given I have other traditionally equipped Strats that hold tuning well, but I do think the Plus' hardware plus a good set-up are particularly impervious to tuning issues, in my experience at least.
     
    Andrew Wasson likes this.
  17. brians

    brians Senior Stratmaster

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    My answer to your question.....Whammy !

    Sent from my HUAWEI VNS-L22 using Tapatalk
     
    ChrisD likes this.
  18. davidKOS

    davidKOS over 48 years playing gigs Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Almost all my guitars lack a so-called "tremolo", and my playing style does not use a vibrato arm. I use my hands for a wide variety of vibrato types, including whole chords.

    That said, when I do use a vibrato arm, I want a serious one, so I have this:


    Which is both made by a Fender owned company, and has a Floyd Rose.

    So for the few times I use a vibrato arm, I'm ready and will stay in tune no matter what!
     
    dogletnoir likes this.
  19. SlyStrat

    SlyStrat Strat-Talker Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Its a great sound if you're gonna use it.
    I love how a whammy sounds with distortion and sustain.
    I use it here and there with my solo's.
     
    gjohnson441496 likes this.
  20. circles

    circles Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Automatic like for Monty Python reference.
     
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