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Tremolo

November 15, 2010 — Tech Admin

Tremolo block adjustment.

The tremolo block should sit upright and not lean forwards or backwards.

If the tremolo is adjusted correctly it should not require further adjustment unless another gauge of guitar string is fitted.

To adjust the tremolo system, follow these simple instructions with the guitar tuned to pitch:

Tremolo block leaning forward (towards the pick-ups):

The springs need to be adjusted by turning the adjustment bolts clockwise. This will increase the pressure of the springs on the tremolo block.

Insert a screwdriver into the holes either side of the strap button to adjust the tremolo bolts. The screwdriver will locate into a slot at the end of the bolt.

Please note that some RS models do not have the access holes at the rear of the guitar. They may require the use of a spanner to adjust the bolts which will require the removal of the tremolo cover plate.

Turn each bolt equally, a quarter of a turn, and then re-tune the guitar to pitch. Check the tremolo plate and repeat as necessary.

Tremolo block leaning backwards:

The springs need to be adjusted by turning the adjustment bolts anti-clockwise. This will reduce the pressure of the springs on the tremolo block.

Insert a screwdriver (or other method as described above) and turn each bolt equally, a quarter of a turn, and then re-tune the guitar to pitch. Check the tremolo block and repeat as necessary.

I have come across some people who have tried to lubricate the knife edge before. This is not advisable and is not necessary. Adding any oil of any kind can seep under the veneer and damage the appearance of the guitar.

Tremolo arm adjustment:

The tremolo arm occasionally moves too freely. To adjust the tension of the arm is a tricky thing to do, as many people have found!

The arm sits on a post that is threaded into the tremolo block. The post is secured with a locking nut. On top of this is a spacer on which the brass swivel part sits. There are two flat washers on top of the brass swivel, a lower nut and then a dome nut.

To adjust the tension you will require two small spanners.

One spanner will be required for the lower nut (on top of the washers) and the second spanner for the dome nut.

Hold the lower nut with a spanner and loosen the dome nut.

Turn the lower nut clockwise to tighten it against the washers. Hold the lower nut with the spanner and then tighten the dome nut finger tight. Hold the dome nut with the other spanner and turn the lower nut anticlockwise tightening it against the dome nut.

If the arm is still a little loose, repeat the method but tighten the lower nut a little tighter by hand before winding the dome nut on. Alternatively, if the arm is tight, slacken the nuts again and do not tighten the lower nut as much, then repeat the process.

If the arm is tight, don't force it's movement as you can loosen off the locking nut at the bottom and free the whole assembly from the tremolo block.

It does take a few attempts to get it right but easy once you have mastered it.

I have found it useful to smear a little Vaseline between the washers to help lubricate the movement of the swivel. Wipe any excess off with a cloth or tissue paper.