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Hardtail on a strat?

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Aircooled
(@aircooled)
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Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 35
Topic starter  

This is my first guitar I've played with a tremolo, a whammy bar, whatever you want to call it and HOLY CRAP it's annoying me. How hard would it be to convert something like this to a hard tail? Also, how reversible is the process in case I ever want to try to use it as Fender intended?

Thanks!


   
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Celt
 Celt
(@celt)
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You can simple screw off the bar.
There are ways to block the tremolo that are
reversible but taking off the bar will also work.

:note1: :note1: :note1:

John

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tinsmith
(@tinsmith)
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I use mine as a hardtail from the get go.


   
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bfloyd6969
(@bfloyd6969)
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You can block it with a piece of wood (I believe this is what Clapton used to do) and is the cheapest way. There is also a device called the Tremol-no. This get's installed in the rear cavity and you can switch to blocked or float. I think they run somewhere around $70.

Alternatively, as stated you can just remove the tremolo arm so that you don't get the impulse to use it:) and you can also add a couple more springs to the rear cavity that will keep the bridge down while doing string bends and the like. Is yours a two screw or six screw type?

Why do we have to get old...


   
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handelfan
(@handelfan)
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I blocked of the tremolo in my strat with some wood pieces. Works great.

The only thing is, when I got the guitar, the bridge was angled up from the body (somebody told that's how Fender sets them up now), but when I blocked it off, it sat flush against the body (which the same person told me is the RIGHT way.) You may have to adjust your action if that is the case.

Anyhow, it's generally a simple enough thing to do. Your guitar will stay better in tune that way too! Whoo-hoo! 8)

I am where my mind put me.


   
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Gchord
(@gchord)
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Just simply unscrew it.I've done this with mine and haven't had any trouble going out of tune or anything.No need to block it unless you want to.


   
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greybeard
(@greybeard)
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Unless you block the trem, you' ll always have tuning problems. As you change the tension to one string, you're also changing the tension, in the opposite direction, on all the other strings. You can prove this by picking the low E and, without picking it, do a full bend on the G string, whilst the low E still rings - if you feel inclined, you can hook the guitar up to a chromatic tuner and see exactly how far it goes out of tune.

The same holds true when you tune the guitar - raise the pitch of one string and all others tune down in pitch.

The only way is to stop this is to disable movement in the trem block, either by blocking it or by using something like the tremol-no.

I started with nothing - and I've still got most of it left.
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tinsmith
(@tinsmith)
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I just bottomed mine out. I've never had a tuning problem or issue with it. I've had it almost 5 years. Good guitar.


   
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Ande
 Ande
(@ande)
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I'm going with tinsmith on this one- IF you have the bridge "floating" (not set flush to the body, so you can raise or lower pitch with the whammy) then you're going to have tuning issues. But if you set the trem flush, with a decent amount of tension holding it there (either through tightening the springs on the back or just adding one) your tuning should be stable enough for all normal purposes.

In my experience, strat style trems are nice for a little vibrato, but if you want to dive bomb (bend WAY down, suddenly), then you are going to have tuning issues. On virtually any guitar without locking tuners or a locking nut.

If you don't plan to use the whammy though, I'd just tighten the springs so it sits flush, and take the bar off.

Best,
Ande


   
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Blue Jay
(@blue-jay)
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There's really nothing to add to all that expertise, except to offer 1 new direction, since I know personally that my pal in Florida, Todd Rockfield invented and markets exclusively (as far as I know) his own Drop Top hardtail trem-replacement bridge.

Well, I am contradicting myself, Todd's Custom Shop Parts are sold at MF too:

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Custom-Shop-Parts-Hot-Rod-Drop-Top-Convertible-Bridge?sku=361537

Irrelevancy, but fun, and also contradiction # 2, my other friend in Florida will build 'ya a whole guitar to your specs... :lol:

http://www.ronkirn.com/

Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.


   
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cnev
 cnev
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Well I never blocked off mine and I don't have any tuning issues and never did. Once in awhile I screw the whammy bar backin and mess with it but 99.99% I have it out.

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!


   
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Blue Jay
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It's been generally well-documented and discussed already, with different solutions, but here's the simple screw-in-the-claw and add springs methods, on the Mary Kaye, to nearly inactivate and certainly stiffen & stabilize the trem. The lack of lacquer or missing lacquer under the claw is another story, maybe a hair splitting way to find more sustain in this piece of ash.

And then there's the actual maple block in the Clapton Blackie, which we've talked about often, but I never posted a pic. It absolutely blocks the trem, and may be a sustain gain device too? Though personally, I like my metal blocks to vibrate and ring like a bell. I also believe, contentiously, that there may be a bit of springy sound?

The true bolt-on hardtail wouldn't give you that, but it would git 'er done, no-nonsense.

Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.


   
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