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Page Last Updated 

15 May 2017

Tremelo Stability

From the very first day the FULCRUM STYLE TREMELO system appeared on the market a raft of minor problems with the system became obvious.

Over the decades dozens of products and modifications have served to improve the performance of this vital tool, some have been more successful than others. One of these is a retro-fit device called a TREM-SETTER. I am amazed how many guitarists I meet, who have never heard of this vital addition to the standard fulcrum trem system.

The basic principle of the device is to return a floating trem bridge to a central position every time the trem arm is raised or depressed from that

chosen point, vastly improving overall tuning stability, with the added bonus of staying in tune when a string snaps or, when for example dropping your bottom 'E' to 'D'. Also allowing palm muting at the bridge without changing the pitch of the whole guitar.

 

However, problems with the trem accuracy does not stop here. The tremsetter will only perform well if other vital physical parts of the overall system are in good working order and set-up in the correct way.

 

SOME GUIDELINES

  1. A guitar PRO-SET UP is essential including a fret dress, intonation and a check for wear and tear of the trem block, body anchor screws or fulcrum posts.

  2. It is vital that the top nut is fitted correctly. If a 'through' nut is fitted (this is the type which allows string travel through the grooves cut in the nut) all strings must flow and not be trapped by the sides of the grooves. The traditional material used for top nuts is bone. (Beef shin is best). Some people will swear by this and use no other. Some prefer polished brass, although popularity has waned in recent years. The rising star of recent times is the graphite/PTFE delrin and manmade composite ivory type moulded retro-fit nut. These tend to resist friction very well and are a very popular improvement to traditional trem systems.

  3. One more improvement is a set of locking machine heads or tuners.
    These allow the string to be secured without multiple turns around the winding post of the tiiner, eliminating the slack often present with standard tuners.

  4. All the above options serve to improve the performance of a guitar loaded with a traditional trem system, without alteration or defacing the outward appearance of the instrument.

  5. The tremsetter will also work with locking trem systems, these include the use of a locking top nut which is well tried and tested and can be very accurate when combined with a correctly set up floating bridge unit.  However, not every guitar owner wishes to deface a good guitar by retrofitting these sometimes rather bulky units. Probably better to purchase a purpose built locking trem guitar, then fit a tremsetter for that finishing touch!

Six Screw Trem type fitted with Trem-setter

 

Six Screw Trem type fitted with Trem-setter

 

Six Screw Trem type fitted with Trem-setter

Click on the above for a larger image

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