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Old 04-03-2006, 10:18 AM   #1
biggus dikkus
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just HOW DOES yngwie keep his vintage trem strats in tune ?


Im a diehard Les Paul player and not a fan of tremolo systems at all .In the past I have , of course, owned stratocasters, both usa and japanese, Id never dream of having a gtr with a floyd rose so all strats ive ever owned have been the vintage trem type.

In my experiences , the merest wobble of the trem bar sent the low E and G strings totally outta whack tunewise , and for me, rendered trem use to be a no go thing. Then I see Yngwie and 80s Gary Moore , both using non-floyd strats and wanging merrily away with no tuning issues whatsoever.

The strats I had were very nice guitars but a fart literally knocked em outta tune, so how does Yngwie and gary enable a vintage trem gtr to stay in tune when under trem use ?

Ive no inclination whatsoever to buy a strat , but this tuning issue has always intrigued me.

thoughts ?

BD
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Old 04-03-2006, 10:49 AM   #2
El_jalepeno
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It has to do with a proper setup. Lot's of guys complain that the trems don't work, but then again, Fender has been using them for 50 some odd years. Need a proper adjustment of the springs on the back against the strings on the front. Nowadays you can also buy Fender Bullets whcih have bullet shaped anchors on the strings instead of the little ring that could get caught up in the trem block if there are burrs or anything in the way.

The biggest trick is patience to understand the trem and how to use it. You need to know when to give a quick "snap" if needed, or a quick bend to pull alignment back. If you just beat the crap out of it then not know how to zero it back, you will sound like crap
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Old 04-03-2006, 07:50 PM   #3
CanyonCarver
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Interesting, EJ. I've never played a Strat in my life, would you believe that?
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Old 04-03-2006, 09:56 PM   #4
VHF
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I have a guitar with one on it.....(not for long). While it will never work as well as a Floyd, it will stay in tune for a song or 2 maybe.

Make sure the tuners are TIGHT if you can adjust them....some can...others can't. You could always use LSR locking tuners and a roller nut I suppose.

I guess other than that just make sure the springs are really tight also...and maybe graphite the nut.

Then when you get tired of messing with it.....see E.J.'s thread at the top and install a Floyd. LOL!
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Old 04-03-2006, 10:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanyonCarver
Interesting, EJ. I've never played a Strat in my life, would you believe that?
Well since you have a LP and a Wolf....you don't need one!

Actually those Mexico strats are pretty good guitars for the cash.
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Old 04-04-2006, 12:09 PM   #6
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I have wanted to achieve this ever since I got an OLP with a fender style trem...within 2 weeks I had removed it and fitted a floyd but I still have some guitar parts that could be built up into a whole guitar and I'd like to use the fender style trem that is spare on that. I believe its all to do with nut slot width, trem spring/string balance, and the bevel on the knife edge.

VanHalen 1 was recorded using a fender style trem with a brass nut. Although EVH is a great guitar tech, I'm sure with some tinkering its possible. I bought a book from Amazon by Dan Erlewine, forget the name, something like "How to set up and Maintain Electric Guitars" or "How to make an Electric Play Great" something like that. It has a lot of detail about preparation, and you need a lot of fine twiddle tools, but it's achievable with patience.

Will let you know how I get on, 'cos I dont really want to shell out for the cash for another Floyd.
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Old 04-04-2006, 12:41 PM   #7
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Erlewine is just about the best guitar tech out there. He hangs his hat at the Les Paul forums... Used to at least
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Old 04-04-2006, 08:16 PM   #8
trey85stang
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Everything mentioned here is good.. but also remember that the more slack you have on tuning pegs the worse it is. Ideallly you want the string to wrap around the peg 2.5 - 3x. and the wrap cannot overlap the string on the peg.

That causes slippage ones you use the bar any significant amount and will throw it out of tune.
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Old 04-04-2006, 08:23 PM   #9
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It all has to do with the nut slots being cut properly, the tuners set tight w/no ''play'' in them, the bridge having no burrs on the saddles to snag the strings, the screws holding the bridge down adjusted properly, and the springs/rear claw balanced correctly for the gauged string set you are using. Regarding Yngwie, all his Strats have brass nuts (like EVH's old Franken Strat), vintage style Kluson tuners and the 6-screw type Fender bridge w/ stamped steel saddles....which is also like what was on Ed's old, black and white Strat clone. Brass is a more pliable material than brittle bone or styrene plastic normally used for guitar nuts. Though it ''works in'' when contacting the metal strings, if cut properly during set-up and treated with a little 3-N-1 oil or pencil graphite, the string is less likely to snag out of tune after heavy trem usage than either plastic or bone. Plus it sounds warmer on the open strings... *IMO*.

Also *IMO*... the LSR roller nut/two point bridge setup doesn't work at all to keep the strings in tune. For one thing, there are too many moving parts in the nut- the ball bearings inside can get clogged up with grease/finger cheese over time, and hence result in the strings (especially the roundwound ones) snagging out of tune. You can take some of those pipe cleaner thingies and run one through the nut (with the strings off) to clean them, but that's just an added extra nuisance when a ''regular'' nut made from brass, or even Graphtec's ''Tusc'' material will suffice.

Last edited by classalpha; 04-05-2006 at 04:52 AM.
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Old 04-05-2006, 01:14 PM   #10
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I've owned more than a few Strats in my time and - in my experience - some of the points in the above thread are accurate, some, well, less so.

Let's take the parts of the instrument one at a time:

Neck - this must be in good order and attached well, no loose screws, etc this only leads to grief. With one Strat I owned the land behind the nut was a tad on the long side before the downward curve to the headstock. This led to the low E and A strings fouling as they passed to the machine head - took ages to spot!

Body - security is the watchword!

Machine heads - so long as they don't slip, they have no influence on tuning stability. Lockers are simply quicker and easier to change. The real trick is attaching the strings properly and having a minimum of turns around the post to drift. There are lot of "how to" guides on the web, even Fender do one.

Nut - the most common problem. A tight nut means the slightest movement and the instrument doesn't return true (even a finger bend'll do it). Trem down it comes back sharp, trem up it comes back flat - a dead give away. As for roller nuts, the only Strat I've never been able to keep in tune for half an hour's playing at a time (and I'm a Blackmore fan) had an LSR roller on it. Diabolical contraption, totally unpredictable from new. Loose nuts have fewer tuning issues, they manifest in other ways. I use a dab of 3-in-1 on my stock nuts for extra surety(oo-errr).

Pivots - in my experience they rarely give real problems, either twin post or six screws, until well worn, they seem to be pretty much trouble free. After a basic alignment activity on the "classic variety" I've never had to tweak one. With the modern US one I've worn a set of pivots and hence replaced the bridge and posts - this didn't lose tuning but the movement and tune/bend weren't smooth and predictable.

Springs - So long as they are free to move - I've had Strats where they foul either the backplate or the body cavity - only affect the balance point against the strings. This is seen as how far the back of the bridge is from the body, or how much up bend you can pull.

Saddle edges - so long as they are free from sharp (as in cutting) edges all should be fine.

Strings - Apart from fitting them correctly and stretching them in on installation, there is no issue here until they are past their life, when they'll start wandering everywhere, but that's not the Trem's fault. Fender Bullets are no better than any other string type, they merely "go off" quicker and can be harder to take out at change time if they break!

Hope the above helps

Gary
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Old 04-05-2006, 02:10 PM   #11
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Thanks Gary. Very informative.
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