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Tremolo For Surf With Bridge Cover?

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Hello all,

I am designing a guitar for myself and would like suggestions regarding whammy bars. I would like to add a tremolo (vibrato) bar so I can detune chords as I play. I don't do any kind of shredding so I don't really need a floating trem. I also would like something that has the option of a bridge cover for looks. I used to have one of the Yamaha fat strats that did that and never went out of tune on me and I never had to worry about it when changing strings, so I'm looking for something simple like that.

One more thing, I would like to do a headless guitar. I'm sure I could figure something out, but it'd be easier if it was already built for that.

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If your stuck with having to go with the 6 hole vintage, a good option is to Start with a Fender standard vintage trem and add a set of Graphtech saddles. That and when you install the 6 screws, something that helps is to hold the tremolo flat to the body without springs. tighen the outside two screws down until they just touch the surface of the tremolo. The inner screws, tighten until they are about a 16th of an inch above the surface. It makes the Vintage tremolo preform more like a 2 point sytstem. now when you string it up and add your springs installed. having the back of the tremolo set 1/2 inch off the surface of the body in the back when fully tuned.

In either case you know you can get the cover for either of the two styles. If you go with that and a set of locking tuners, you should never have tuning issues at all once your strings are stretched.

If you can go with the newer 2 point Fender tremolo. then same information applies, a set of Graphtech saddles and a chrome cover. (or gold if its your scheme) and a set of locking tuners. You should never have a problem.

I know you say your looking for a non fender tremolo, but if you make the changes I talked about, it will not have tuning issues. I have a half dozen strats sitting here now. They all stay in tune.

Hope that helps some


Edited by 7even X²
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Thanks for the help 7even X² :D , is there somewhere that explains the difference between Fender 'vintage' and 'two point' systems. I don't have anything against Fender tremolos and that's what I've been looking at since it's the only one I know with a cover. I also figured since the Yamaha I had was a cheap $80 copy and I never had any tuning issues, a real strat bridge should be at least equal or better. The other issue would be whether or not I'm able ,or if it's worth, going headless. I'm just trying to look at all my options :D

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I can't imagine you can find a system that allows you to go headless and have a cover - part of the thing with headless is that the tuners are now at the bridge. A cover makes it a little difficult to get to them. Although I suppose you could make something of your own and get it plated, or perhaps you could use a larger cover, like the ones that went over jazz bass bridges? You'd have to mill out a hole for the arm to clear, I suppose, but it might work.

If you go the route of a jaguar trem like another poster suggested, I'd suggest avoiding the cheap versions. The knock offs I've gotten from eBay dealers (which I believe are the version Allparts carry) are of atrocious quality. After less than a year, mine has worn out in a way that it will not hold tune if moved at all (the bridge itself binds up) and even when it worked well, the arm itself would bend before a noticable change in pitch is noticed. I'd be tempted to try the version from WD Music - mostly because it has the lock mechanism like the original units on it (that slides under the plate and prevents the trem from moving in case of a string break) which seems to me to be a sign of a little more attention to detail, and perhaps thus a sign of quality.

That said, a quality unit (like on a real Jaguar or Jazzmaster) is one of my favorite trems when heavy use typified by shredders is not the desired effect.

As far as a cover, what about something like a Bigsby or Jaguar trem, paired with the style of Rickenbacker bridge used on the 620s? (like this) - it's similar to a tuneomatic type bridge with a small cover.

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I agree with J. Pierce about getting the higher quality Jazzmaster/Jaguar tremolo. Either an American-made Fender one, or perhaps the WD Music one. I haven't tried that one out yet either, but I plan to on my next build.

Have you heard of Hallmark guitars? They make a great-looking Mosrite style tremolo and bridge, and I think the bridge has a cover. Don't get much more surf than that!

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I was thinking of seeing if I could put some of these or something like it in the trem block of a strat tremolo.


I'd probably have to make a cover that can come off to tune it, but I'd deal with it for the looks. I also don't really know how the strings load so I'd have to figure that out also.

Thanks for the Mosrite suggestion stereordinary, I'd heard of them but couldn't find any parts. I don't like the looks of the jaguar trem, but I'm loving the Mosrite. Don't know how it works but maybe I can get it too work headless.

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