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About Our Custom Manufactured Tremolo Arms

You have found yourself here because you are interested in our custom manufactured tremolo arms, so please read the entire article, it'll do you good...

Our custom manufactured tremolo arms are our own design, they are not intended to be replicas of Fender’s® tremolo arms. Fender manufactures quite a number of different shapes and designs of their tremolo arms so there is no “standard” design to compare against. Sure our tremolo arms are similar in shape to Fender's® tremolo arms and perform the same function, but bend angles may differ from an original Fender tremolo arm that you may already be familiar with.

We offer 3 different lengths of tremolo arms where one of them is an Artist rendition where its short 4-1/4” length and overall design represents the form and function of what a short tremolo arm can afford differently than a typical full length 6" tremolo arm.  We also offer an intermediate 5-1/4" length for those that don't like the full length of a regular 6" tremolo arm but also are not comfortable with our short 4-1/4" length tremolo arm. We also offer a standard or full length 6" tremolo arm.  Each of these lengths of tremolo arms are different in not only length but bend angles and bend locations which is necessary because of either their length or design.

A common comment we hear from our customers in relation to Fender’s® original equipment tremolo arms is that when the tremolo arm is installed and in use the tip of the tremolo arm is too close to the pickguard surface and is difficult to use and this is something we have taken into consideration with all of our tremolo arm designs.

The most common Strat® setup is to have the bridge setup as free-floating which gives you the ability to pull up on the tremolo arm to increase pitch or to push down on the tremolo arm to decrease pitch, this up and down movement is what gives the tremolo bridge its ability to create the vibrato effect.  With this common free-floating bridge setup the underside back edge of the bridge top plate (along the edge of the intonation adjustment screw heads) should be set up off the body by approximately 1/8” (this is documented in the Fender Strat® owners manual) which will produce a tremolo arm tip-to-pickguard distance with our tremolo arms that we have determined works well for most people most of the time. Obviously our regular tremolo arm design will not work for everyone since not everyone has the same hand size nor do they approach tremolo usage with the same style, so on occasion these variances will necessitate a change in the bend angle of a tremolo arm to produce a tremolo arm tip-to-pickguard distance that a particular player will feel most comfortable with. Some players may desire their tremolo arm tip further away from the pickguard surface and others may desire their tremolo arm tip a bit closer to the pickguard surface.  With our tremolo arms design they fit most people quite well, but once in a while we receive a request for a change to our regular tremolo arm design to change the tremolo arm tip height.  Tremolo arm setup or fine tuning it’s shape is another part of the overall Strat® setup that will create an instrument that works well throughout for each individual player.  It is not uncommon to hear most Strat® players say that some sort of adjustment to their tremolo arm is necessary to dial it in just right...

If you have your Strat’s® tremolo bridge not setup as free-floating and instead flush with the body then with our tremolo arms you will experience a higher tremolo arm tip-to-pickguard surface measurement than with a free-floating bridge setup. All of our tremolo arm designs take into account that your bridge is setup as free-floating.

Given your playing style and tremolo arm usage requirements you find that your are not comfortable with the tremolo arm you received from us in its tip-to-pickguard distance it is a simple matter of adjusting the first bend angle of the tremolo arm as it comes up and out of the bridge.  The easiest way to bring about a change is to position the tremolo arm in the normal playing position which the arm is screwed all the way into the bridge and then positioned parallel to the strings and take a measurement from the tip of the tremolo arm down to the surface of the pickguard.  Once you have that measurement you need to determine where you think it should be positioned differently for your particular needs. If you think you want the tip of the tremolo arm 1/2" closer to the pickguard surface then it is important to use these two measurements to bring about the correct change in the bend angle of the tremolo arm.  A simple way to change the bend angle yourself is to clamp the tremolo arm in-between two blocks of wood in a vise and make sure you clamp the tremolo arms threaded end all the way up to the shoulder of the first bend in-between the two blocks of wood, this way you will not be putting flexure or pressure on the threaded portion of the tremolo arm, otherwise you’ll break it.  See this photograph of an example of a tremolo clamped properly in the vise between two blocks of wood ready for its slight bend angle adjustment. Don't forego the blocks of wood otherwise you will damage the tremolo arm, the blocks of wood are soft and cushion the arm in the grip of the vise. Once the tremolo arm is clamped tightly between the two blocks of wood in the vise you will want to take a measurement from the tip of the tremolo arm down to a fixed point either on the bench or vise (as shown in the photograph), this will give you your reference point for the amount of change of the tremolo arm tip-to-pickguard distance you determined earlier.  As in the photograph with the measurement taken on the vise the tip of the tremolo arm sits at 3-3/4” and you had determined that you wanted it 1/2" closer to the pickguard surface so a simple downward pressure on the arm to slightly change the bend angle until the tip rests at 3-1/4” then you know you have changed the tremolo arms tip-to-pickguard distance by 1/2" closer.  It does not take much change to the bend angle to make a difference in how the tremolo arm feels when playing, so a small adjustment goes a long way to making your tremolo arm feel comfortable when in use.

If your setup requires a change to your tremolo arm and you don't feel comfortable in doing it yourself, contact us to make arrangements to return your tremolo arm to our facility for an adjustment. Before a tremolo arm is returned for an adjustment you will still need to take the measurements of the tremolo arm in your Strat® and how much change you want, this is the only way we can bring about the change you want.

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