Floating, decked or blocked tremolo?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by gene machine, Mar 13, 2021.

Floating, decked or blocked tremolo?

  1. Floating

    52.5%
  2. Decked

    35.8%
  3. Blocked

    11.7%
  1. StratSounds

    StratSounds Senior Stratmaster

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    I’m not going to say that the guy who wrote this article is the be-all-end-all authority or anything, but in the very first paragraph he makes a good point about the strat bridge being originally designed to float. I believe you’re mostly correct about Jimi and SRV having decked trems a lot of the time, but they both also played guitars with a floating trem. One listen to Lenny and you can hear it, and you can see Jimi pull it back at times in live footage. It may have been barely floating, but it was floating. Btw, my floating vintage 6-screw tremolo stays in tune just fine.;)
    https://www.premierguitar.com/articles/floating-tremolos-1
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2021
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  2. The-Kid

    The-Kid Dr. Stratster

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    Float it.....

    Thats how it was designed and meant to be :)
     
  3. uncle daddy

    uncle daddy Strat-Talker

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    We don't need no steenky tremolo.

    P1130215 (2).JPG
     
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  4. Seamus OReally

    Seamus OReally Buried alive in the blues Gold Supporting Member

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    I keep it floating. Seems to me it's not really a Strat unless it can do a true vibrato.
     
  5. fos1

    fos1 Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    I searched high and low and finally found one at a local shop. They even gave me a discount! It is the best guitar I have ever owned and will probably be the best guitar I ever will own. :)
     
  6. Scott Baxendale

    Scott Baxendale Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

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    Please fill me in on which guitars either Hendrix or SRV played with their Strat bridges set up to float? I’m not aware of these guitars.

    I have played most of SRVs guitars. In the 1980’s I was in cahoots with Charlie Wirz at Charlie’s Guitars and both Rene Martinez and Zac Berry (SRVs guitar techs) were close friends. I actually played the SRV Lipstick Tube Strat before Stevie even saw it for the first time. Once, Stevie let me play his 59’ Strat through his rig in the studio during the “Cold Shot” sessions at the Dallas Sound Lab. An incredible night to remember! He was such a nice guy.

    My original point was that a floating trem doesn’t work for “my” technique because I like to bend strings while playing an open string at the same time and a floating trem makes this impossible. It’s horrible to me when the open strings go flat.

    These days I actually prefer the Bigsby over all other trem systems. I pretty much am only playing the Silvertone 1446 w/Bigsby and I use the whammy pretty relentlessly. Sometimes to extremes.

    I have set up every kind of Strat for every kind of player and I always set up the guitar to meet the player’s specs. So I completely understand your setup, but personally, I would have trouble getting through a gig on a guitar setup that way.

    I still disagree that the Strat was originally intended to be set up to float.

    In 1954 (my birth year) when the Strat was introduced Leo sold them with 5 springs and the Trem fully “decked”. Most folks in those days didn’t have a guitar tech to adjust them any other way and most folks, at that time, were completely ignorant as to how the thing was supposed to function. Players were in their infancy in respect as to what a whammy could even do. In the 50’s most players didn’t know what a guitar tech even was because none really existed.
     
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  7. StummerJoe

    StummerJoe Senior Stratmaster

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    Floating. I use it as intended by the designer and don't have tuning issues.
     
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  8. Axeman826

    Axeman826 Strat-Talk Member

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    It took me many months to acquire the ability to keep a floated Trem in tune... I keep ALL my Trem's floating, because I enjoy the ability to play what I wanna, without being limited by which guitar I use.. Of course my LP and SG are stock, but when using any Strat style guitar, I keep it floating.. I LOVE Jeff Beck, and rarely have seen him having to tune up, after doing his gymnastics.. I wanna be THAT guy!..
     
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  9. fezz parka

    fezz parka fezz parka

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    I can do it fine. But it requires a little practice putting pressure on the bridge. But once its committed to memory, it's seamless.

    This is double stops...but you get the idea.

     
  10. StratSounds

    StratSounds Senior Stratmaster

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    Well for starters there’s SRV’s “Lenny” strat. I’ve posted a link for you below as well as a video of him using Lenny on Austin City Limits. You can clearly hear the pitch being pulled higher at times as he’s working the bar after striking a chord.

    https://fender.fandom.com/wiki/Lenny

     
  11. PeteGeordie

    PeteGeordie Strat-Talk Member

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    [QUOTE="Scott Baxendale, post: 4262358, member: 77452"
    ...
    My original point was that a floating trem doesn’t work for “my” technique because I like to bend strings while playing an open string at the same time and a floating trem makes this impossible. It’s horrible to me when the open strings go flat.
    ...
    [/QUOTE]

    This is a great point and using open strings while bending is not something I do often (intentionally!).

    I have mine floating because I prefer to play without the tremolo arm and I use the heel of my hand to press on the bridge for the tremolo effect. Again... all personal preference.

    A question for you as you seem very knowledgable ;-) "Decking" the tremolo will not by itself prevent the bridge from rising when string bending will it? I'd imagine you still need stronger/more springs? So... can you have stronger springs to prevent movement when bending but still leave it floating slightly?
     
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  12. Five Aces

    Five Aces New Member!

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    Never likes having the Whammy bar. So I use 5 springs but instead of decking it, It's blocked so the Tremolo is locked, but in a floating position. Why? So the block string holes line up with the back cover holes!!! One of those stupid annoying things about alot of strats!!!!!
     
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  13. Collin D Plonker

    Collin D Plonker Strat-Talker

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    Just float it. A property set up trem always returns to tune after a quick bump.
     
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  14. fattboyzz

    fattboyzz Senior Stratmaster

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    I preferred decked ,but then I bought a Strat that was setup right and I'm a floating trem guy now ;)
     
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  15. fezz parka

    fezz parka fezz parka

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    And...its a vibrato! Frequency modulation. :D
     
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  16. crankit

    crankit Strat-Talk Member

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    Is a floater like when you **** in the pool? I keep my strat blocked like a Clapton strat. Maybe because it is a Clapton strat. I still make it sound how I want.
     
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  17. BigDan

    BigDan Strat-Talker

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    I have always floated the trem.with four springs. Five is too stiff, three to loose. This is with eleven strings.
     
  18. JunebugJones

    JunebugJones New Member!

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    One floating and one semi-decked (4 springs...just enough that I can still get a Bigsby type response).

    Floating = feels fun and I love the dramatic sounds I can get.
    Decked = a different kind of musical sound, tighter.

    It's great to have choices.
     
  19. celticgods

    celticgods Strat-Talk Member

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    I had my local shop put all the springs on and deck it right after I bought my Strat in 1975 from Manny's. I hemmed and hawed over blocking it until about 4 tears ago when I had my carpenter in Jamaica cut a piece of local Teak and put it behind the tremolo block and it's worked like a charm- better tone and sustain than before.
     
  20. GuitarLord5000

    GuitarLord5000 Strat-Talk Member

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    Floating. I never understood why someone would pay for a strat with a trem, and then block it. I also don't understand why folks have problems with tuning stability.
    To each his own, I guess. But there's no accounting for it.
     
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