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.