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Blocked Tremolo or Hard Tail ? Which Do You Prefer?

Blocked Tremolo or Hard Tail ? Which Do You Prefer?

The Haywire Blocked Tremolo or Hard Tail Tremolo

Two point floating tremolo systems blocked tremolo

The Haywire blocked tremolo makes the bridge behave more like a hard tail

All of our guitars at Haywire Custom Shop with standard 6 point tremolos are easily reversible hard tails. What do we mean by that?

Well, simply put, they are all blocked tremolo style with the exception of the Floyd Rose models.

Why does Haywire block the tremolo?

Aside from the obvious fact that the outdated tremolo design has been used since the early 1950’s, here are some more real good reasons why we use a blocked tremolo as a “standard” feature:

Tremolo Headaches:

1- If all strings are removed at once it is time consuming to re-tune the guitar.

2- When one string breaks, all other strings go out of tune.

3- Intonation is a much longer and inaccurate process.

4- String bending can cause other strings to go slightly out of tune and sustain is lost.

5- Action with a “floating synchronized tremolo system” changes constantly and frustrates players.

What is a blocked tremolo, how does Haywire accomplish it and why do it?

A blocked tremolo requires tightening of the inertia block with the two tremolo claw screws at the back wall of the tremolo cavity to prevent it from moving. This makes the bridge behave more like a hard tail bridge,  eliminating common headaches. Remember this unit design has not changed since 1948 but playing techniques have. Players are more aware of out of tune problems today.

What is a blocked tremolo

Long ago electronic tuners that were not around back then. Fortunately this change does not modify the instrument, nor is it permanent. It can always be reversed, making it ideal for collectible instruments that need to stay original. The Strat bridge is blocked and basically tightened with the claw screws under the tremolo cover plate in the back of the guitar body. The springs are so tight that the tremolo will not move thereby rendering it a hard tail or a “blocked tremolo” or “decked tremolo”.

Why not just use a hard tail bridge?

Well two reasons: The re-sale value is much better if we don’t physically change anything that can’t be reversed since lots of players still want a tremolo or whammy bar. On your guitar just loosen the 2 claw screws that have been tightened in the back under the tremolo cover.  To put the tremolo back into service and have a usable tremolo system once again, just loosen. Finally, there is a bit more added sustain with the tremolo bridge because it has a great deal more metal that a small hard tail bridge. It also has the benefit of the springs which add even more sustain….so…There you have it! My suggestion, if I may, Try a blocked tremolo for yourself and you’ll love it because it stays in perfect tune and the whole process is not permanent or invasive to your instrument and it’s completely reversible!

About the Author:

Mr. Rick Mariner Owner and Founder and CEO of Haywire Custom Guitars Inc. He is a member of The Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans (A.S.I.A.) as well as a guitar player. Rick holds a bachelors degree from University of Md. and a Masters degree from George Washington University. Rick developed his exclusive 8 – Point “Gig- Ready” guitar process that allows for Custom Guitars that are “GIG-READY”. With Rick’s many years of development and guitar set-up experience, Haywire Guitar shop “Builds satisfied players… one Haywire guitar at a time”.

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