The Mechanics of Stratocaster Tremolos

Tremolo in Simple Terms...

The basic principle of how a Stratocaster tremolo works is simple: it changes the tension of the strings by moving the bridge up or down. When you push down on the whammy bar, you lower the bridge and reduce the string tension, which lowers the pitch. When you pull up on the whammy bar, you raise the bridge and increase the string tension, which raises the pitch. 

The amount of pitch change depends on several factors: how far you move the whammy bar, how tight or loose you set the tremolo springs, how high or low you set the bridge height, how heavy or light your strings are, and how well your guitar is intonated.

The key to making your tremolo work properly is to balance the tension between the strings and the springs. If there is too much tension on either side, your guitar will go out of tune easily. If there is too little tension on either side, your guitar will sound dull and lifeless.

To adjust the tension of your tremolo springs, you need to access the back cavity of your guitar. There you will find a metal claw that holds one end of the springs. The other end of the springs is attached to a metal block that connects to your bridge plate. By turning the screws on either side of the claw, you can move it closer or farther from the block, which changes how tight or loose your springs are. 

There is no definitive rule for how many springs you should use or how tight you should set them. It depends on your personal preference and playing style. Some players prefer to use three springs and set them fairly loose for a more responsive and expressive feel. Others prefer to use five springs and set them fairly tight for a more stable and controlled feel.

Another way to adjust your tremolo tension is to change your bridge height. This can be done by turning the screws that hold your saddles (the metal pieces that hold your strings) on your bridge plate. Raising your bridge height will increase your string tension and lower your pitch range. Lowering your bridge height will decrease your string tension and raise your pitch range.

These rear plate / tremolo covers have been removed from brand new guitars.

£5.75 uk post free

More details on request
They are generally in as new condition and come with recycled screws.

The screw holes are approximately 81mm apart (from the centre of the holes) with the middle holes being 70mm from the top and bottom of the140mm overall length tremolo cover. The overall width of the backing plate is 92mm.

All sizes are approximate and may slightly vary.

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