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 Post subject: Blacktop strat tremolo problems
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:05 am 
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I had a blacktop strat, and LOVED the sustain from the humbuckers, but found the tremolo bar to be sloppy, loose, and hanging down, unlike the precision trem on my 1991 strat ultra. Can this be fixed, because I really loved the tone. When I'd screw the tremolo bar tighter to hold it in position, it would either change the string pitch, or be in an inconvenient position. Is this fixable, and how, or is this what you get on a $450 guitar?


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 Post subject: Re: Blacktop strat tremolo problems
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:26 pm 
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I have a MIM blacktop (HSH) and had a similar problem with my bar.
In it's "snug" position, it went even beyond 6 o'clock (if you reckon the headstock at 12).
Didn't notice any sonic wierdnesses upon tightening it up a little.

So here's what I did: -DISCLAIMER-
(warning: I am an untrained amateur. This is NOT the right way to fix it, but it worked for me.)

I slowly and in small angular increments continued forcing the thread of the trem-bar beyond it's seated stopping point, nearly 270 degrees in all, effectively re-threading the trem bar.

Can you imagine how bad I coulda mucked something up with this type of ape-man ingenuity? My only rational was "Hey, it's a tremolo, not a truss rod, the consequences are comparatively insignificant."

So, long way to NOT directly answer your question:
yep, same here, you're not alone.


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 Post subject: Re: Blacktop strat tremolo problems
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:55 pm 
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Thanks. I'll call my setup guy to see if he's aware of and can fix the problem, and if so, maybe I'll buy a blacktop, because I miss the Les Paul sustain it has.


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 Post subject: Re: Blacktop strat tremolo problems
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:59 pm 
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a blade runner will solve all the problems of a six screw

www.super-vee.com

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 Post subject: Re: Blacktop strat tremolo problems
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:28 pm 
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The pro fix would involve tapping the hole to a larger diameter and fitting a helicoil insert.

The quick and dirty cheap version is to use a narrow strip of plumber's teflon tape (PTFE tape) on the threads. Teflon tape works itself into the worn threads and grips the threaded arm very effectively.

Over tightening the arm into the block is an extremely risky thing to do. Anyone who's felt a tremolo arm snap off in the block will tell you they're not as tough as they look.

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 Post subject: Re: Blacktop strat tremolo problems
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:46 pm 
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Thanks to all of you. You guys are great.


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 Post subject: Re: Blacktop strat tremolo problems
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:40 am 
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GilgaFrank wrote:
The pro fix would involve tapping the hole to a larger diameter and fitting a helicoil insert.

The quick and dirty cheap version is to use a narrow strip of plumber's teflon tape (PTFE tape) on the threads. Teflon tape works itself into the worn threads and grips the threaded arm very effectively.

Over tightening the arm into the block is an extremely risky thing to do. Anyone who's felt a tremolo arm snap off in the block will tell you they're not as tough as they look.


I agree with this statement, I'd try plumber's tape first. Then try retapping the hole and also the trem arm. It can clean up any bad threads and may cure the problem. If that fails, do the insert and thread it bigger and I'd buy a new trem arm that is a drop in type and thread it for the size of the new insert. You need a tap and die set to do this, and they are handy to have.


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 Post subject: Re: Blacktop strat tremolo problems
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:50 am 
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Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Blacktop strat tremolo problems
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 10:20 am 
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I would advise being "careful" with some of these techniques.

You don't want to "re-thread the trem arm. This is not a good idea, no offense to the person suggesting it.

A very simple and excellent way to tighten up a sloppy trem arm is to use something even simpler than wrapping it with plumbers Teflon tape. I have done this before too.

The easy and effective way to do it is to "wrap the threads on the trem arm with a fair amount of dental floss" preferably but not necessarily the Teflon "tape" type dental floss.

If it gets too sloppy again you can just back the trem arm out and add some more dental floss.

Never overtighten the trem arm. You do not want to break it off inside the threaded socket inside the trem body. Sometimes these trem arms are not made of the best steel and will "snap" off when you apply too much torque (twisting action). Just tighten it in enough that you can still move it around but it stays very well where you put it, so you can bring it back into play and push it away when not needed.

Try the dental floss method. It is the best solution I have found yet.

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 Post subject: Re: Blacktop strat tremolo problems
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 10:57 am 
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Another easy fix is those tremolo arm springs they are marvelous.
Just drop one in and insert bar tighten it up smooth and tight in any position.

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 Post subject: Re: Blacktop strat tremolo problems
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 2:52 pm 
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If you put a spring into a pot metal block, it will push right out of the bottom of the block with little effort. That's probably why the cheaper blocks don't come with a spring. The best solution is to replace the block with a good steel block like a Callaham, then you won't need a spring, the arm will be tight fitting, and it will stay in any position that you put it. If you haven't experienced the feel of the bar on a Callaham, you're in for a treat, no slop at all. The sonic improvement with a good steel block is a big plus too, and the reason that I use them, as I don't use the whammy on most of my guitars and have the bridge flush to the body with the springs holding it down tightly.

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 Post subject: Re: Blacktop strat tremolo problems
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 3:38 pm 
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shimmilou wrote:
If you put a spring into a pot metal block, it will push right out of the bottom of the block with little effort. That's probably why the cheaper blocks don't come with a spring. The best solution is to replace the block with a good steel block like a Callaham, then you won't need a spring, the arm will be tight fitting, and it will stay in any position that you put it. If you haven't experienced the feel of the bar on a Callaham, you're in for a treat, no slop at all. The sonic improvement with a good steel block is a big plus too, and the reason that I use them, as I don't use the whammy on most of my guitars and have the bridge flush to the body with the springs holding it down tightly.



Right on well if it were me and I was going to spend money on a 6 screw tremolo,
I would buy a Blade Runner because I like to invest in the best personally.

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 Post subject: Re: Blacktop strat tremolo problems
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 4:18 pm 
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Does the Blade Runner come with a block, and if so, what kind? CRS, or....?

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 Post subject: Re: Blacktop strat tremolo problems
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 4:58 pm 
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shimmilou wrote:
Does the Blade Runner come with a block, and if so, what kind? CRS, or....?


Actually my friend I am a machinist and the fellas that make it are too its got the finest steel block its actually an impressive work of art I will let you check it out.

[url]http//www.super-vee.com[/url]

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 Post subject: Re: Blacktop strat tremolo problems
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 7:30 pm 
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The spring solution won't work for the Blacktop with the vintage tremolo. There is a hole in the back of the tremolo that is large enough to allow the spring to fall through.

Tephlon tape worked for me on my old Blacktop, until I used it for a trade in for the Blacktop with the Floyd Rose Special. I have no tremolo issues with my new Blacktop.

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