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Important Information And Custom Manufactured Items, Details Here    ///    International Customers Must Read This Page Before Ordering

About Our Custom Manufactured Tremolo Arms

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

Our custom manufactured tremolo arms are our own design and created by us in our shop, they are not intended to be replicas of Fender’s® tremolo arms and are exclusively designed for genuine Fender® tremolo bridges only and are not intended to be used with any aftermarket tremolo bridge or Squier's. 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 somewhat from an original Fender® tremolo arm that you may already be familiar with.

Our custom manufactured tremolo arms are fabricated from precision centerless ground 303 stainless steel. The surface finish on our screw-in tremolo arms will be a satin silver finish, our American Pro, Ultra, Deluxe and Elite Strat® pop-in tremolo arms will have a finish similar to chrome with a high luster shine. Fender® is now creating a lot of their tremolo arms from stainless steel as well where the toxic process of chrome plating is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Stainless steel won't rust and its finish won't flake or chip away with time as what may happen with chrome.

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 a 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 a Fender® 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 of approximately 2-1/8" with our custom manufactured tremolo arms which we have determined works well for most people most of the time. Obviously our 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 one of our custom manufactured tremolo arms 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.

The following is not as much about our manufactured tremolo arms but how tremolo arms in general fit in any given Fender® tremolo bridge assembly.  A characteristic we have found with the screw-in tremolo arm fitment in original Fender® tremolo bridges is the tremolo arm attachment threading within the tremolo block can have small variances between different samples of the same model of bridge.  We've evaluated a lot of brand new samples of the same model of Fender® tremolo bridge assemblies such as the 099-2049-000 (but not exclusive to this bridge) and have fitted each of these bridges with a single / same sample of tremolo arm and found that in some of these bridges with the tremolo arm screwed all the way in, the tremolo arm may fit well, no wobble or looseness, the ideal fit, but then in other samples of the same model tremolo bridge installing the same / single sample tremolo arm it will then fit loose in that particular bridge and will have a tendency to wobble even when screwed all the way in.  This is a manufacturing characteristic of original Fender® tremolo bridges where we can't prevent a loose fitment tremolo arm with our tremolo arm production, but what we have done to help reduce this issue is when we fabricate our tremolo arms we create the outside diameter of our tremolo arms attachment threading to a size that is on the large end of what is within acceptable limits of the industry standardization of sizes (diameter) for a given thread size such as 10-32 or 5mm (M5 x 0.5), this helps to reduce the occurrences of loose fitting tremolo arms, but in the end there is still going to be variances of fit just due to a wider range of acceptable tolerances in how Fender® is having their tremolo bridges manufactured.


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