Apr 21, 2016

How to dampen Strat tremolo springs

As part of a new wave of improvements to my Strat, I re-examined my questionable previous tremolo setup and found plenty of room for improvement.  

For some reason, two year ago I thought it was a good idea to screw the trek claw in as far as possible and Gorilla glue it in place.  Yeah.  After some scraping with a flathead screwdriver and workout-inducing wrenching on the screws, I was able to remove them and clean off the whole assembly.

Inside each of the springs I nested some felt/fabric to dampen reverberations from within.  Then, before re-attaching the trek claw and springs, I measured and cut several layers of felt to fit between the guitar and springs.  No glue used here, and I actually used two screws from the backplate to keep the felt in position, and looking pretty good as well.

(Progression of trem setup)
And that's really all there was to it!  The combination of felt from within and without of the springs did an excellent job; I plugged it in to the amp on the cleanest setting with absolutely zero reverb or delay and strum a few chords - beautiful dead stop silence as soon as I mute the strings.  

I proceeded to crank up the distortion, and it was beautiful to finally get those crunchy clean stops after power chords and palm muting without layers of humming, out of key reverberations caused by the pickups hearing the springs' vibrations.  Now, this mod isn't for everyone; a lot of people feel that the springs contribute to the quintessential Stratocaster sound, and they're not really disruptive on clean tones either.  However, if you use your Strat for anything with heavy distortion or palm muting and fast stops, this is an excellent and easy mod to improve and clean up your sound.

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