bluesky636, everyone has its peculiarities on settting up our own strats. glad to hear your strats work that way for you.
But in my point of view, the tremolo springs play a big part in tone/ressonance, vibrating the strings into the body, and by locking the 6 screws tight, you´re applying all the force to the top of the wood and the bridge plate, and the less tension on the tremolo springs, or the less springs you got, the less ressonance to inside the body you´ve got. By reducing the springs to 2 or even 1 like said, reduces the sustain and lacks tone, but all IMHO.
Not true. What you are not recognizing is that even though the trem is blocked and does not move, the forces of string tension
vs spring tension
are still at work. In my view, when you block a trem by placing a wood (or as I did, a metal block) between the trem inertia block and the body on the side opposite the trem springs, you want to maximize string tension
and minimize spring tension
. By relaxing the spring tension, the strings are able to apply maximum tension to the trem inertia block which then applies maximum pressure to the wood or metal block, holding it tightly to the body in the trem cavity. If you were to then tighten the trem claw and increase spring tension, I have found that it is possible to pull the inertia block a very slight but measureable amount, away from the wood or metal block, reducing the pressure on the trem inertia block/wood or metal block/body interface. I have found that this in turn decreases sustain compared to having the springs slightly loose.
You can easily demonstrate this effect. If you have the trem blocked as one normally does, put your ear on the body of the guitar. I put my ear against the upper horn where the strap attaches. Screw the trem claw in and out to increase and decrease the spring tension on the trem inertia block. You can hear and feel the vibrational energy change in the guitar body. I'm not talking snake oil here. I can clearly hear the changes and you should be able to also. Try it. It is very interesting.