This is a pretty basic question, but I'm struggling to find a concrete answer. I have this tremolo springs setup:

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However, I have seen many different setups like this one:

enter image description here

What is the advantage of one setup versus the other? Is one of them better? If the tension can be adjusted with the left bolts, why would I mess with spring position (or even better why do we have the option) ?


4 Answers 4


In the second picture there is more tension in the Floyd because the springs are pulling on the trem more. It also depends a bit on your string gauge and tuning. Say for example you have light strings (42 - 9) but play in Drop C, the strings will create very little tension compared to a 46 gauge in standard tuning. In the case of the lighter strings, you might want to take a spring off so you can better adjust the tension.

It's also about personal preference and how much tension you want in the Floyd. Personally, I use the setup in the second picture, but that's just me and I play 46's in Drop C#. You could easily use 1 spring, 2 springs in a V shape, 2 springs straight on, etc, it's just down to what you prefer!


The arrangement and number of springs determines how stiff the arm "feels" in use. There's a good description on this strat talk forum thread. With more "stiffness", the arm is a bit less sensitive - good if you rest your hand on the bridge and find this makes the pitch wobble too much.

I used to use four springs (all fitted in a straight line) on my strat copy, but that was because I was into fairly heavy strings (10-52) at the time.

Note I would normally adjust the two bolts at the left (I call them trem claw screws) to change the overall angle the bridge sits at. I didn't find it useful to adjust the overall feel, because it's always balancing the tension of whatever gauge strings you use.


I truly prefer the 1st version. Since all my guitars have trems (I got only one with a FR), the first spring setup suited my guitars best ; the second one always put my guitar out of tune whenever I used the tremolo. The 6th string had too much tension, resulting in a sharp (de)tuning when I got the tremolo back into position.


Along with the option of merely adjusting tension with the two screws on the left in the pics, the springs can be fitted with, say, one straight and another diagonal, thus having slightly different tension balance on the top and bottom strings. Not seen that set up used, but I don't nose around the back of peoples' guitars!

At the time this vib. was invented, sets of strings came in only one gauge mix, though. Did Leo see into the future? He obviously did with nearly everything else, electric guitar-wise! So I think the all embracing adjustments are future proofing.

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