Tried Floating Trem for 1st Time

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by DoctorBB, Apr 14, 2019.

  1. DoctorBB

    DoctorBB Squier-Nut

    520
    Mar 2, 2016
    Beaumont, TX
    I finally got the new bridge and tuners on the white rhino and decided to float the trem. I’ve had dozens of Strats and always decked and blocked them. Well it only took a few minutes to get it set up and I played it for a while, maybe 10 minutes. It only took a few more minutes to deck and block it. Didn’t like the feel, and everything I played sounded like surf music, which I’m not a fan of. David Gilmour I’m not. Played a few Pink Floyd tunes but it sounded like Hank Marvin. Maybe it’s one of those 10,000 hour deals. That ain’t gonna happen.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
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  2. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Squier-holic

    Sounds like you need hardtails.
     
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  3. There's a certain knack to using a tremolo to have it work tastefully. I never install the trem bar regardless of whether or not I float a bridge. I just don't use 'em.
    … or a regular ole Telecaster.


    Cheers, Barrie.
     
  4. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Squier-holic

    Barrie, I have a Tele and really like it, but it's just not as comfortable as a Strat. But then again my small-body headless guitars have them both beat for comfort.
     
  5. SquierTap

    SquierTap Squier-holic

    Age:
    37
    Jul 14, 2018
    Nashville, Tn
    Brother, I've got your back 100%, lol... I feel the exact same way... Back in the day I played for 20+ years, and had NO clue about how my guitar worked, or what "action", "intonation", or a "setup" meant, lol... Heck, I couldn't even change strings properly until I started hangin out here about a year ago, lol... But that whole time I mainly used my '97 MIM Squier Strat with the trem the way it came... And yeah, I used it a lil... But it was mostly "tune specific", like surf tunes or oldies or the like... I love the way it sounds... There's a tune on Sublime's "Sublime" album that's a surf/punk song called "Paddle Out" that I believe is a cover an old surf song and it SOUNDS AMAZING... All that spring reverb and tremelo moves stuff inside of me, but the trem winds up in the same box as tube amps for me; Yeah, it SOUNDS amazing, but it's just not practical enough for my life... I've never tried a Floyd Rose, but I really don't like all the extra hardware, the space it takes up, the cut out of the body it requires, and I've heard they're a bear to setup and tune...
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
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  6. ElRey67

    ElRey67 Squier-holic

    Age:
    52
    Jan 10, 2016
    Chandler, AZ
    yeah, I believe it takes a TON of practice to get it right. I've been trying. I just don't feel like screwing it on most times. I've set up my black strat with the floating bridge. Every time I think of just blocking it, this voice in my head says "if Gilmour can do it, so can you......even if I'm 98 by the time i get it right." I'm going to keep trying tho. There is a part in one of the "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" solos where I just can't see any humanly possible way to get the vibrato he does other than using a floating trem. So, I can't give up.
     
  7. Chubbles

    Chubbles Squier-Meister

    178
    Mar 6, 2018
    Philadelphia PA
    I used to have a 1984 BC Rich Ironbird with a Kahler trem. It worked very well but I rarely ever used it. I almost never use the trem on my Strats either. I guess I'm not a trem guy either. I've played since I was 13 - 1978
    I guess I don't need the trem, but I love the feel of Strats.
     
  8. SquierTap

    SquierTap Squier-holic

    Age:
    37
    Jul 14, 2018
    Nashville, Tn
    Oh yeah... A Strat just has a feel... And a sound... Even without the stupid trem! Lol, just playin... But I DO love the sound of a Strat, and nowadays I really appreciate a good neck pickup sound... Back in the day about 70% of the time I used the bridge pup, and the other 30% I used the 2nd (bridge and middle) position...
     
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  9. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Squier-holic

    Sep 2, 2015
    NYC
    I changed the strings on my parts-o-Strat this weekend and thought briefly about floating the bridge again, but decided against it. When it's floating, I have to be careful not to apply any pressure when palm muting, and I have to bend strings much farther to reach a certain pitch... and, of course, all of the other strings then go flat and I have to make other adjustments.

    So I left it decked and played the hell out of it. I used the bar quite a bit, but only downward, and that's good enough for me... until I change my mind again.
     
  10. DoctorBB

    DoctorBB Squier-Nut

    520
    Mar 2, 2016
    Beaumont, TX
    Got a Tele and a hard tail.
     
  11. SoundDesign

    SoundDesign Squier-holic

    I think being a teenager in the 80's shaped my experience and attitudes on this. First off I had an oddball, two-knob Strat which was devilishly difficult to float even for the best local techs and I certainly couldn't keep it dialled in even if someone else did manage to get it working. I think it was likely years later before I realized that my Strat was different. Musically, Van Halen was approaching the apex of their influence and we had "pointy guitar fever". The Kahler and (a bit later) the Floyd were also on the rise and simply seen as a better mousetrap. I think back now about all the really nice guitars that got chiseled out for those things - yikes!

    Playing in bands, I wanted a Strat that stayed in tune and I bought a Kramer Focus with a locking Floyd to handle any "crazy" trem stuff. The Strat has been decked ever since and my playing influenced by that situation as well.
     
  12. duceditor

    duceditor Dr. Squier

    Age:
    72
    May 29, 2014
    The Monadnocks, NH USA
    Love that!

    Yes, trems add a sound/change the sound even when they are not being intentionally used. They, among other things, transfer the tension change applied to one string via bends and finger warble to all of the others.

    If one is used to it such it becomes part of the sound and feel of one's playing. But if not...

    I intentionally manipulate the trem bar only for some styles of music. But I know my sound is affected enough that having or not having a trem is part of the calculation even for music for which I will not actively use it. Sometimes I want its effects, and others not.

    -don
     
  13. Lonn

    Lonn Administrator Staff Member

    Age:
    56
    Dec 19, 2009
    Carmel IN
    Admin Post
    I decked the first 500 or so Strats I had but now I have to have them floating. I like surfy stuff although I don't play much at the moment.
     
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  14. VMamp

    VMamp Squier-Meister

    Age:
    71
    104
    Jan 28, 2019
    United Kingdom
    Three Strats all Blocked, precise string bending, better tuning stability, better tone and better than a hardtail - you can always unblock it should you wish to sell it at somepoint and appeal to a wider market.
     
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  15. Caddy

    Caddy Dr. Squier

    Age:
    71
    Nov 29, 2010
    Indiana
    I would think that sounding like Hank Marvin would be a very good thing.
     
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  16. so1om

    so1om Dr. Squier

    Age:
    51
    Feb 10, 2010
    Chicago
    interesting. I've never heard a sonic difference. only that, well one I do use tremolo so floating and decking means I could pull up or not. I always float. But blocking is something else. You can deck a tremolo and not have it blocked.
     
  17. Lonn

    Lonn Administrator Staff Member

    Age:
    56
    Dec 19, 2009
    Carmel IN
    Admin Post
    Indeed. You can "mildly" deck a tremolo so that under normal usage it stays decked, but with a reasonable amount of force the trem can be engaged.
     
  18. wonkenstein

    wonkenstein Squier-holic

    Feb 3, 2017
    NH
    It really does boil down to personal taste and feel. After gigging with acoustic guitars, a Guild Stafire V and a Tele for a few years, chunkier bodies felt normal, were very comfortable and would just tuck right in almost the same way. I always liked Strat tones ever since Jimi Hendrix released "Axis, Bold As Love" in '67 but as soon as I got my first Strat up and running 11 years ago I understood right away everything about it was different. It didn't tuck in the same way, much closer to the body. And you really have to work at playing it just right. Whether you've got your trem blocked, decked or you use it, or even a hard tail, I don't think a Strat just "gives it to you" because of what it is - a very clean and articulate guitar. There's not much hiding you can do on a Tele, even less on a Strat.

    And the trem! I actually prefer that a Strat has a trem, just because that's part of the attraction for me. Floating two point trems took me some time. Had to be careful muting with the palm at the bridge because I'd inadvertently change pitch, but that's when I discovered tapping on a floating trem could make some cool overtones depending how much drive I was using and what the block was made of. I discovered I preferred bigger brass blocks. The heavier I could make the trem with more mass the better it would behave for me. For me this carries over to all the floating two point trems I've messed with whether it be Fender, Floyd, Kahler or Mann. Set them up for the manufacturer's recommended float off the top and take it from there....they're going to feel different yet similar and the Floyd might feel spongier to some players.

    The six point trems? I find them to be not so sensitive because they're not designed to float off the top and I don't set mine up for any pull up at all. I use a six point trem more like a Bigsby. And a Bigsby is more of a subtle effect than a whammy bar. So the bridge plate is in contact with the body and I've got a trem if I want it.

    If I was Jeff Beck, none of this would matter. I'll never be able to do what Jeff can do with a Strat.... and that's probably the way the universe intends!
     
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  19. so1om

    so1om Dr. Squier

    Age:
    51
    Feb 10, 2010
    Chicago
    100% incorrect. The 6 point IS designed to float, and if set up correctly plays very well with no tuning issues.. I've always had mine floating since 1983 on my first SQ, now my Bullet and Cyclone, et al.
     
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  20. I don't think Squier ever made a contour body. Maybe that's in the cards for you one day? The ones I've seen look great and makes me think I'd like one.
    Cheers, Barrie.
     
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