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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Gear »

Permalink Best Strat Trem replacement?

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Anyone out there swap out their Strat trem with something else?

I'm looking at either the Floyd Rose Rail Tail or the Vega Trem, both nearly the same price. The FR is dive only and it rests on the body when not in use, which is a concern I have considering the finish on my guitar is Satin.

Vega Trem
Floyd Rose

Thoughts? Suggestions? Other trems to recommend?

Thanks.

Last edited: May 21, 2020 07:27:42

I've been very happy with the Callaham.
I think, if you are playing surf, you'd want the floating option for the wiggle.

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I highly recommend the Super Vee. I installed one in my Roland modified Fender strat and it never went out of tune. It won't dive bomb like a Schaller Floyd Rose but it floats very well.
image

Gellert (my first name)

Guitarist for The Fintastics

https://www.facebook.com/TheFintastics

Thanks Guys. I am more drawn to the Super Vee. I don't care if it can move up or not, I only want light vibrato and/or drops by about a step max.

Gellert - Did you have any issues with the spring matl piece that flexes ever snapping or otherwise giving out? I've see mixed responses from people in general on You Tube comments, and one guy claimed he broke one somehow (I'll assume he was flat out pummeling the trem as hard as possible).

Also - did you use locking or regular tuners?

Last edited: May 21, 2020 19:15:25

Both of my Strats - a Fender Highway One and a Squire CV50s Strat have Super Vee trems. No issues whatsoever and I really like this trem. I had a Jimmy Vaughn strat that had a Super Vee in it but when I decided to sell it, I wanted to keep the Super Vee so I put the stock trem back in and installed the Super Vee into my Squire. I wasn't sure it would fit but it fit just fine.

Yikes! The prices on those!

Here you go: Leo knows best

1138 wrote:

Thanks Guys. I am more drawn to the Super Vee. I don't care if it can move up or not, I only want light vibrato and/or drops by about a step max.

Gellert - Did you have any issues with the spring matl piece that flexes ever snapping or otherwise giving out? I've see mixed responses from people in general on You Tube comments, and one guy claimed he broke one somehow (I'll assume he was flat out pummeling the trem as hard as possible).

Also - did you use locking or regular tuners?

I did have staggered locking tuners, from Fender. I also had a black TUSQ nut. The tuners eliminated the need for any string trees, so they were removed. Nothing weird about the knife edge metal thing you're talking about. It's a great product. With the TUSQ nut, locking tuners, and Super Vee, I had zero tuning issues. Your confidence level also gets a boost knowing you're melody lines won't go out of whack after the second song. I once performed 30 songs in a row at a live show and never tuned my strings during the gig. Of course, I had new strings just installed and pre-stretched them before performing.

Gellert (my first name)

Guitarist for The Fintastics

https://www.facebook.com/TheFintastics

Wilkinson.

https://www.stewmac.com/parts-and-hardware/all-hardware-and-parts-by-instrument/electric-guitar-parts/electric-guitar-bridges-and-tailpieces/electric-guitar-tremolos/wilkinson-gotoh-vs-100n-tremolo.html

For mild use, the two point American Standard works well on all my strats. I don't think anyone puts a trem through the paces like Jeff Beck and they work well for him.

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PolloGuitar wrote:

I've been very happy with the Callaham.
I think, if you are playing surf, you'd want the floating option for the wiggle.

Ill concur with that, I’ve recently set my factory Fender trem bridge to slightly float (pitches up about a quarter step) and it does have that nice “wiggle” factor and sounds less tight and punchy and more loose and drippy than having it decked completely against the body.

http://www.wudtone.com/product/wudtone-cp-vintage-50s-tremolo-assembly/

This one!

I've used four types of Strat trem units through the years: Fender US vintage reissue (6-pt), Fender 2-pt American Standard, Callaham and Wudtone. I have a '12 AmStd Strat (bought like new, unused, in '13) which I love, and play a lot, though almost exclusively at home. I took it to the SG101 Convention last year to play the two songs for the Dick Dale tribute, and while there it started going out of tune. When I got back and took it to my tech, he said the metal base got stripped out and I needed to have it replaced. I never used that trem system very heavily, so it was a real surprise that it only lasted 6-7 years. That's my experience with the recent Fender 2-pt trem. (I did use a 2-pt trem on my fiesta red Strat Plus from '90 until '00, and that one performed fine, no problems.) I've had the stripped AmStd 2-pt replaced last Fall with the Wudtone, which is a seriously heavy-duty and high-quality piece of hardware, and my impressions of it match my impressions of the Callaham, which I put on a partscaster Strat in 2016, which I still have and love: they're both a step up in quality from the regular Fender vintage reissue 6-pt trem.

BUT! Both of those trems are a bit stiffer in feel than my regular Fender vintage reissues, and despite being obviously higher-quality in build, I can't help but still prefer my regular Fender vintage reissue trems. I've got six Strats with those units, from between '88 to '12 (one of them was a replacement unit for the above-mentioned Strat Plus, and it's still on there 20 years later), and not only do they sound as good as the Callaham and the Wudtone (at least to my ears) and stay in tune just as well as those two (at least strung with 12-52-gauge strings and set up by my long-time Elderly Instruments tech), but I actually prefer their feel to the Callaham and Wudtone, they're not as stiff, they respond to the more delicate touch. I also always use the tiny spring in their trem cavities, which allows me to adjust the movement in the bar just right. The Wudtone and the Callaham have a much closer fit of the bar threading to the cavity threading so they stay put - but it doesn't allow me as much flexibility to set up the resistance of the trem arm as does as a Fender vintage reissue with the simple spring in the bottom.

My two cents. Again, there's no question that the Wudtone and the Callaham are better engineered units, but somehow I still prefer those less-perfectly-engineeered Fender units. (And I always have them set up floating, which is what those units were designed for, though I understand it's a personal preference.)

Good luck!

Ivan
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Trevor Wilkinson gave me two of his vintage style Strat bridges when he first designed them, and they've been on my 1958 Strat, and '89 Mary Kay Strat ever since. Perfect fit term bar with no slop, and a tension screw. The block hole for the springs are different depths to help with tuning stability. No Allen screws sticking out to rip your hand/arm up. The bridge saddles are like Fender Vintage except that they wrap around and are clamped down. More of a hardtail sound.

The only draw back is that the mounting plate can possibly touch your pick guard. Maybe thats not an issue nowadays.

Sound reference: First Slacktone album is '58 Strat for every song except Goldfinger{1957 Strat}.

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