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Thread: Tremolo Problem

  1. #1
    Forum Member Grimassi's Avatar
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    Tremolo Problem

    I have a 2023 Squire Affinity Strat that I am setting up for my daughter. I cannot get the trem to return to pitch no matter what I do. The nut is cut correctly and lubed. The tree and saddles are also lubed. When I do a dive bomb it will not return to pitch but if I give the strings a tug it goes back in tune. I have the Trem decked as that is what she wants.. It is getting really frustrating. Does anyone have any ideas or any advice? Thank you.
    Last edited by Grimassi; 10-17-2023 at 12:26 AM.

  2. #2
    Forum Member Offshore Angler's Avatar
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    Re: Tremolo Problem

    That model trem isn't designed for dive bombs. It's really just there to add a warble. If you want to do the dive-bomb style of playing you need to have a Super Strat setup with something like a Floyd Rose and a locking nut.

    That said, you need to get in a very quiet place, move the trem and listen for the "ping" sound of where the strings are moving. If only one or two are out of pitch you most likely have a nut problem, usually filed wrong. If they all go out then I'd suspect the trem pivot point(s) have a bind.

    Chuck
    "No harmonic knowledge, no sense of time, a ghastly tone, unskilled vibrato, and so on. Chuck is one of the worst guitar players I know" -Gravity Jim

  3. #3
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    Re: Tremolo Problem

    You can try a small amount of white lithium grease at every point of movement, & I mean EVERY POINT. Using a toothpick, apply a small amount: between the two screws in the trem cavity & the claw, between the claw & the loop-end of the spring, between the hook-end of the spring & the tremolo block, between the trem plate & the screws that attach it to the body, where the strings pass over the nut, & finally a little under the string tree. You dont need a lot, just enough to coat the surfaces that are touching. I used to do this with good results when I was playing quite a bit in clubs & couldn't afford to be tuning my guitar before every song.
    Strings that are returning sharp means there is some pinching going on somewhere, & although you have dealt with it already, I would return to the nut. The slots need to "curve" away from the strings so that there are not two sharp angles that they travel across. If the slots are wide enough for the appropriate gauge, then that's what I would look at. Make sure the nut touches the string at a definite point on the fingerboard side (to provide a positive intonation) & then slope away from the string on the tuner side.
    hth

  4. #4
    Forum Member blackonblack's Avatar
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    Re: Tremolo Problem

    As counter intuitive as it seems, try not decking it.
    Loosen the springs to undeck. First back the 6 screws out so they have no downward pressure on the bridge plate. Now tighten the E screw down until you start that plate move. Now back it off 1/4 turn. Repeat for the high e. Make the middle 4 screws out more than the 2 outers we are effectively creating a 2 point term with now binding.

    Now stick a credit card (I preferred using 2) between the bottom of the plate and the body. You may have to use the term to create space there. If so, loosen your springs u til the card(s) fall out.

    If you didn’t have to create space, insert the card(s) and tighten the springs until they hold them. Then back off until they fall out.

    Now take an old school auto feeler gauge and make sure you can insert between the coils of each spring. We want those springs always under tension. More so, we want the distance between the coils of each spring as close to the same measurement as possible. Use the claw plate angle to adjust this. If you claw plate is bottomed out and you still have a large coil difference, lose a spring.

    Ive set up many 6 point trems and this process always has yielded the best result.
    Mark

  5. #5
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    Re: Tremolo Problem

    Yes, I also do that when setting up my trem. Screw the bridge plate down flat, & then back each screw out 1/4" turn

  6. #6
    Forum Member Tele-Bob's Avatar
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    Re: Tremolo Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Grimassi View Post
    I have a 2023 Squire Affinity Strat that I am setting up for my daughter. I cannot get the trem to return to pitch no matter what I do. The nut is cut correctly and lubed. The tree and saddles are also lubed. When I do a dive bomb it will not return to pitch but if I give the strings a tug it goes back in tune. I have the Trem decked as that is what she wants.. It is getting really frustrating. Does anyone have any ideas or any advice? Thank you.
    I know you've got it set up right, but it sounds like there's still a little drag across the nut slots.
    As has been mentioned earlier, the Affinity bridge/trem system is really only good for adding a little shimmer the to sound. Not full-on dive bombers.

    I would try adding another string to the trem. Loosen the 3 you have on there just a little, and add a 4th.
    I agree with having the bridge decked, but 3 springs might not be enough to seat it on the return trip.

    The other possibility is to loosen the 6 mounting screws a tiny bit. If the screws are even a tiny bit too tight, they will prevent the bridge from seating completely to the body.

    Have fun!
    Last edited by Tele-Bob; 10-20-2023 at 04:13 PM. Reason: Spelling
    If you're bored, you're not groovin'.

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