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Riffster

My new Strat tremolo assembly arrived!! (very) first impressions

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Got a Nickel plated PRS-style or Mannmade tremolo assembly for my American Stratocaster, it took a while but I finally got it. I got to talk to John Mann, really nice guy.

 

The assembly is all hand made in the USA, all steel, heavy duty. Rounded edges for better palm-muting.

 

Tremolo bar is brushed stainless steel, pop in, delrin insert (guessing) so there is no wiggle and trem bar is shorter by 1/2" than the stock which is just right for me.

 

I will install it in the first opportunity.

 

Without further ado.

 

Guitars250.jpg

 

Guitars252.jpg

 

Guitars253.jpg

 

My food scale indicates this thing is just shy of 15 ounces without the tremolo arm. Almost 1 pound!!!

 

Guitars255.jpg

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.........well damm...........install that *****......before you hype it all up son...........might be a piece of sh-t after its installed !

 

..........or will you be honest now ?

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Hehe, the stock bridge on American Stratocasters is a POS IMO so just about anything well made will be better.

 

By the materials, looks and feel of it this new bridge can't be a POS. I am not just fucXing guessing here Blackie, I don't open my wallet that easy.

 

We'll see how it sounds once I install it.

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..............your wallet.......huh............damm dis dude be rollin in doe so much he carries a wallet...........um ...yeah this reccesion been rough...

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Sorry Blackie but if you are an adult in the US and don't have $170 us dollars of disposable income you may have taken a couple of wrong turns along the way...

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I wonder what other uses ole StiffHand has used that scale for. [biggrin]

 

You don't wanna know...

 

But seriously you think I would use an $8 scale for any important business? ahem, please give me some credit.

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Let me know how it works and if it fits in the standard strat. I will be reconfiguring my Strat, and was thinking of going with a Callaham, but if its that good, I will go for it.

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So can this unit be installed without any drilling etc? (So you can return the guitar to it's original state if required?). Look forward to your review.

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Yes KL, it is a direct drop replacement for two-post "modern" Strat tremolos without modifications.

 

They do make the Vintage version that has the 6 screws for Strats with those bridges, Fred that is what you probably would need.

 

I looked at Callaham but they don't make an American Standard or two post tremolo assembly. So I did not have that option.

 

I like this bridge design because it holds the saddles while bein palm-mutting friendly with the rounded edges.

 

John Mann made the original PRS bridges when PRS started.

 

Here is a pic of the back, I thought I ahd posted it in the OP.

 

Guitars251.jpg

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Well the new tremolo is in, very nice unit, exactly what I was looking for. Better sustain and resonance.

 

The stock brass bridge plate was starting to wear out at the pivots and I don't play this guitar a ton because it started to go out of tune too much, I think the worn spots on the bridge plate are to blame. The new bridge is all steel so it should last a hell of a lot longer.

 

The trem bar will need a little bending to make it to my taste but that's easy to do.

 

Now the guitar has all matching nickel hardware.

 

DSCF0502.jpg

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Very cool. I replaced only the block on my 57 RI with a Callaham and it made a nice, if subtle, improvement in overall clarity, sort of like there was less "clutter." Good call on going with the shorter arm; I much prefer a shorter one over the really long ones that come on Standards.

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if you are an adult in the US and don't have $170 us dollars of disposable income you may have taken a couple of wrong turns along the way...

 

$hit! Anyone got a map?

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Seriously, folks, Stiffhand is absolutely right about the 'stock' trem blocks on both American and MIM Strats. Whether you use the trem or not you're tone depends a lot on that trem block and I'll take a solid steel or brass trem block any day over the pot metal they've got in there now.

I just bought a replacement trem unit for my MIM strat from GFS with a solid brass trem block, thicker (than stock) bridge plate and vintage 'rolled steel' saddles for $37 and plan to install it this weekend. It's supposed to be a 'drop-in' for a MIM and he also offers a 'drop-in' for USA-made strats (2-point) for the same price.

If you own a strat and have not replaced the trem block you are screwing yourself, IMO.

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Seriously' date=' folks, Stiffhand is absolutely right about the 'stock' trem blocks on both American and MIM Strats. Whether you use the trem or not you're tone depends a lot on that trem block and I'll take a solid steel or brass trem block any day over the pot metal they've got in there now.

I just bought a replacement trem unit for my MIM strat from GFS with a solid brass trem block, thicker (than stock) bridge plate and vintage 'rolled steel' saddles for $37 and plan to install it this weekend. It's supposed to be a 'drop-in' for a MIM and he also offers a 'drop-in' for USA-made strats (2-point) for the same price.

If you own a strat and have not replaced the trem bar you are screwing yourself, IMO.[/quote']

 

What do you mean "pot metal they've got now?" I have 2 MIA Fender strats. 1989 and 2001. To my knowledge, both stock trem units. Did they change something?

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So Stiffhand- have you tried out the trem and see how it stays in tune? If its good' date=' I'll probably have to get one[/quote']

 

I does stay in tune better than the stock one and being all steel it should perform well for a long time, of course is not a locking trem so it is what it is but I like it. Palm muting is very comfortable.

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What do you mean "pot metal they've got now?" I have 2 MIA Fender strats. 1989 and 2001. To my knowledge' date=' both stock trem units. Did they change something?

[/quote']

 

In all honesty I must correct myself. USA-made strats do not have the 'pot metal' blocks (MIM's do) but they are kind of a 'mystery metal'. For instance, they are claiming that one of the major improvements to the 2010 strat is the return to a solid mass 100% metal trem block' This is the actual description from the MF site:

 

'Tone-fusion' block- A typical cast bridge block is impregnated with a resin to eliminate 'voids' in the material and to bond it together… this steel block (for the 2010 strat) is infused with copper, which makes the block 100% homogeneous metal. The result is a more musical, higher mass bridge that has more of that machined-block sound. Fender was also able to keep the same American Series profile for increased tremolo travel."

 

One can only assume that by 'a typical cast bridge block' they mean the one's they were using prior to this year. And remember, we're just talking about the trem block, not the bridge plate.

 

Another rap on the 'standard' trem blocks were that they were tapered (to allow more of a bend) at the cost of reduction of mass and that many of them have deep string holes (again, reducing the overall mass).

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I does stay in tune better than the stock one and being all steel it should perform well for a long time' date=' of course is not a locking trem so it is what it is but I like it. Palm muting is very comfortable.[/quote']

 

For light tremolo stuff, for some effects, is all I would use it for. I might have to go for that then. I was thinking about getting a hardtail...

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