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Floyd Rose - Rail Tail tension on Bullet Strat

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Posted (edited)

Hi all,

I've just installed a floyd rose rail tail on and old squier bullet strat. Installation went fine, however, the tension on the tremelo is EXTREME!

It's worth mentioning at this point that I've completely stripped the old squier right down to the body, used filler etc. to restore the finish and gave it a shiny new paint job. The neck has been removed (I'm waiting on a Mexican fender neck to arrive), I've replaced pickups, wiring, pots etc.

I know that when I put the strings back on (once I fit the new neck), I know that they will pull against the springs in the back and reduce a bit of the tension from those strings, but my question is how much?

In terms of the springs, I've set the new trem up as per the "offical" install video by floyd rose (see Youtube) - 3 springs (the new ones FR sent me, not the old ones from the old cheap Chinese trem). Springs are straight like this:  |  |  |      
I know some setups use 3 springs like this /  |  \ but I don't think that distributes the tension evenly.  That would certainly reduce the tension, and I could go to 2 springs to reduce tension further. Also I've got the screws holding the spring attachment plate thingy quite deep, so I can also loosen them off too in order to reduce the tension, but for now, until I get the neck, I've got the screws super deep in order to try and stretch the springs out a little to try and reduce the tension a little. This is the first time I've ever set up a trem system so I'm a complete noob with this. When i put the neck &  strings on, will the tension level out a lot, or only a tiny bit?


Apologies for not explaining this very well it's quite difficult to explain. I could add a short video if required.

Thanks in advance!

Edited by calb1234

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So basically, stop the floating bridge moving by putting a block in of sufficient thickness that it sets the bridge level.  Tune it to pitch, remove the block and adjust the spring attachment plate to bring the guitar back into tune.  That is, screw it in to make the strings go up in pitch, unscrew to make the pitch go down.  When the strings are back in tune it'll be properly set up with balanced tension.

You probably can't do much about the amount of tension itself unless you put on lighter strings.  I'm not quite sure why as the tension on my MSG is a bugger and I have to wrestle with the trem for any extreme warbling.  I think it might have something to do with how stiff the neck is.  A stiffer neck resists string tension to a lesser degree...or something like that.  I remember trying a PRS and Ibanez Saber/570S and the trems were a breeze.  I didn't have to fight them so much.

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