Van Halen Fender Vibrato System Use & My Tips For Keeping It In Tune
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    Default Van Halen Fender Vibrato System Use & My Tips For Keeping It In Tune

    OK...I've posted most of this before in other places, but I did update it with some brand new information that I just got from Matt Brown at Fender/EVH (about a week ago as of this writing) about the string tree and the strings that Eddie used on his Fender vibrato system equipped guitars in the 70s.

    I'm going to try to give you a synopsis of what I've learned about standard Fender tremolo systems over the last 30 years. Most of what I know I really picked up recently with the advent of the internet and communicating with my friend Andy on the MetroAmp forum who goes by Toneslinger, but I have been dicking around with Fender tremolos for a long time because my first guitar was my Uncle's '68 strat that I started on in early 1980. I didn't get a guitar with a Floyd Rose until around 1995.

    The things that I do are really basically related to Van Halen's bar technique and playing. His set-up and playing style are far different from say Jeff Beck who uses a floating tremolo. Ed had his tremolos set for dive only...the bridge rests flat against the body (I know you already know this). He also developed a playing style that was built around using the tremolo to keep the guitar in tune. Later on in this message I will give you a run down of how I believe he specifically played particular songs and kept his guitar relatively in tune.

    But first... I'm going to give you the links to the Frudua videos just so you have them all in one place. He has codified lots of things in his videos and I have basically taken many if not all of his suggestions and put them into real-life practice. Watching these videos has taught me a lot and I have stolen several ideas from Frudua...his accent is hilarious, but he knows his shit!













    OK...be sure to get familiar with everything he says. I do a lot of that stuff. Some of it is not necessarily unique to Frudua, but he has basically put just about everything out there that other techs do in his videos.

    One HUGE point that he makes is that you always need to to tune "UP"...if you overshoot the pitch you are trying to tune to, you need to detune again and then tune "UP". Also, as Frudua demonstrates, you need to dive with the bar and stretch the strings out (especially with fresh strings) as you tune up. This really helps to set the strings in the slots properly.

    I can also recommend what I think are the best parts to use for the best strat tremolo. Currently I have started gathering together a "Best of" list of parts and manufacturers that really make the best quality stuff. No one manufacturer makes a "one stop shop" Fender tremolo, so I have taken the best bits from each and created an ultimate set up, at least as far as I have found so far:

    1. Callaham parts: https://www.callahamguitars.com/stra...ge_catalog.htm
    • Vintage Repro block enhanced
    • Standard Fender length virtual pop-in arm
    • Hardened tremolo mounting screws

    The Callaham block is the best out there, mostly because of the "Delrin bushing" that the "Virtual Pop-in Arm" fits in, but also because of the cold rolled steel that is most similar to vintage 50s and 60s bridges. You can read a bit about these parts and see photos of a cross section of the block where you can see the Delrin bushing and the virtual pop-in arm and how they work. Basically these innovations have eliminated the "slop" that a standard Fender block and arm are prone to...the arm wiggles around way too much and it makes using it a little less precise. The bushing and arm are the shit and no one else makes anything like this.

    Now I modify the Callaham block by drilling the holes in the block where you insert the strings as Fruda mentions in his videos. This brings the ball end (or bullet end) of the string closer to the surface of the bridge and helps with tuning stability a great deal. I actually send my blocks to my friend Andy who did all these mods for me EXCEPT the drilling of the block...he takes the blocks to a machinist who drills the blocks perfectly. The hardened stainless steel bridge mounting screws are the best out there and Andy modifies them with a Dremel or similar tool to create a "pivot" point exactly as Frudua describes (see the videos for diagrams on how this pivot point works with a baseplate that has the correct angle). He basically turns the 6 Fender style screws into the same pivot point style as the two large bridge mounting screws that you would find on a Floyd Rose tremolo system.



    2. Gotoh vintage style bridge plate http://www.warmoth.com/6-Hole-Vintage-C696.aspx

    The Gotoh bridge is the only one that comes from the factory with the correct bevel to create a "knife-edge" pivot point with the 6 modded hardened steel Callaham screws. My guy can mod a Fender baseplate or a Wilkinson or whatever vintage Fender style base plate to the correct angle (in fact I had him mod the baseplate from my standard Fender tremolo on my 1989 Fender Eric Clapton "Blackie" model strat), but it is just easier to get the Gotoh. Unfortunately, Gotoh does not sell the baseplate seperately...so you have to buy the entire tremolo assembly from them. Luckily, Warmoth sells the entire unit for just $44...and you can use the saddles from the Gotoh unit if you like. The holes in the baseplate where the screws go in still need to be modded into a "U" shaped configuration...yet another thing that Frudua talks about that my guy does for me.

    3. Fender style bridge saddles...These need to be modded as well. My guy lengthens the opening in the saddles where the string comes through, just as Frudua describes in his videos and as Callaham pictures his saddles here: https://www.callahamguitars.com/stra...et_catalog.htm

    Here is a picture of my bridge that shows this lengthening of the saddle opening. There are pictures of Eddie’s original Fender bridge on the Frankenstein in the Japanese magazines where you can see that he rather crudely did this exact mod to his saddles:




    You can get the saddles from Callaham as well...he makes his saddles with the perfect sized hole. But I don't use Callaham's saddles...I find that the standard Fender saddles are a little warmer than the Callaham saddles. Some people think that the Callaham bridge and saddles are too bright sounding. I think the Fender saddles tame the brightness a bit. This could all be in my head though.

    The main reason that I don't use Callaham's saddles is because I want to maintain the look of a vintage Fender strat tremolo. Callaham stamps his initials on the saddles. I like seeing the "Fender" stamp on my saddles. It is like Jordache Jeans or Polo Shirts were when we were in Junior High and High School...sue me, I'm shallow. Fender's '62 reissue tremolos come with "Fender" stamped on either side of the saddles. They have come like this since the early 70s. Previous to 1971, Fender saddles came stamped with "Fender" on one side of the saddles and "Pat. Pend." on the other (see attached pic of my reissue '59 tremolo). I have these "Patent Pending" saddles on my '68 strat. For the longest time you could only get "Pat. Pend." marked saddles on the expensive reissue guitars, but a couple of years ago Fender started selling them direct:
    http://shop.fender.com/en-US/parts/b...intage&start=1

    Crazy I know, but I put this tremolo together for my dream Van Halen '78 black and white Frankenstein build and I'm obsessed with the details (Eddie used a Fender tremolo from a 1959 0r a 1961 strat on the original Frankenstein).

    You might want to use the saddles from the Gotoh tremolo (if you have chosen to go with that part of my little scheme). The saddles on the Gotoh are left blank and I prefer that to the Callaham stamped saddles. You may be slightly less insane than me, so this distinction is probably not something you care about.

    4. Sperzel Chrome Staggered/Locking Tuner https://www.stewmac.com/parts-and-ha...-machines.html

    These are the best locking/staggered tuners on the market in my opinion. They are the only ones that aren't big and "clunky" (like the Schaller locking tuners and others) and they look the closest to standard Schaller tuners. (Eddie used a particular style of six in line chrome Schaller tuners with a "D" shaped outline on the back of the mechanism on his 70s guitars). These Sperzel Locking/Staggered Post tuners are exactly the kind of tuners that Frudua recommends in his videos. These tuners are another MAJOR part of this whole enterprise...the locking mechanism makes string changing easy (there is a method to installing strings on these tuners that I can tell you about, but suffice it to say it is quicker and easier than installing strings on non-locking tuners. Also the staggered post height makes for straighter string pull and it helps to eliminate the need for a string tree. I like the look of the Fender single string tree (in keeping with the look of Ed's guitars) so I got TWO metal string tree spacers and an extra tall string tree screw to raise the height of the string tree so that the B and high E strings pass under it without touching the underside of the string tree. (See the attached picture of the headstock and string tree on my '78 replica). Incredibly, Fender did this on their ‘78 Eruption replica. According to Matt Brown Eddie told him that he did this originally and Fender did it on the '78 replica at Eddie's direction. Maybe no one noticed my posts online before the replica came out, but I do know that I’ve never seen anyone do this double-spacer thing where the strings don’t touch the tree all just for cosmetic purposes until I saw the Fender/EVH '78 replica. I was surprised to find that my two-spacer method that I thought was totally unique turned out to be something that Eddie did all along!


    5. Tusq XL nut (white) http://www.graphtech.com/products/br...xl-guitar-nuts

    I recommend these nuts for every instrument. They are made of a material that is slipperier than any lubricant in the world and they have a demonstrably better harmonic content than any other nut material...and I have tried bone and plastic and others, but these are the best. Make sure that you have a tech follow Frudua's instructions for cutting the nut slots. I always take my guitars to my tech for this...cutting a nut takes skill. I just gave my tech a diagram of how to widen the slot on the "post side" of the nut as Frudua describes. I've also attached a copy of some tips and diagrams that my buddy drew up for me...the nut slot diagram is on here, but I think Frudua has a similar diagram on his videos. Anyway, these TUSQ XL nuts previously only came in black, but a few years ago the Graphtech company finally figured out how to formulate the material with a white appearance which is great...they look exactly like the traditional white plastic or bone nuts. I put these on my mandolin, my '75 Ibanez Destroyer, my Clapton strat and of course I have one on my '78 Frankenstein and my '68 strat and I'll probably end up putting them on all my guitars. Go to the link and get the one that fits strats...they are so cheap too! An instant improvement in tone and tuning stability and it is really cheap...a great product.

    6. Big Bends Nut Sauce- http://www.bigbends.com/


    This shit is great. Virtually every tech worth a shit uses this stuff. It is cheap and it really helps all guitars, but especially strats stay in tune. Just get this stuff...it comes in a "syringe" and has little brushes that help you apply the lubricant properly. Just put it on every contact point...the underside of the string tree where the string comes in contact with the string tree (if the strings even touch the string tree), the break angle where the string passes over the bridge saddle, and I use it especially in the nut slots. If you have the Tusq XL nut you don't really need it, but some people still lubricate their Tusq XL nuts for good measure (like Andy and myself). Eddie of course used standard Fender nuts and a brass nut on the Frankenstein along with copious amounts of 3-In-One Oil on all deez nuts-sorry, I couldn't help it!

    I use the "Groove-Luber"...it is a 1.5cc syringe of Big Bends Nut Sauce for $24.95. It will last you forever...only a little lube is required and I bought one 10 years ago and it will probably last me for years more. You really only need to apply the lube once and it stays on pretty much until the string breaks or you replace the string. You can re-lube every once in a while if you want, but basically one application will work for the life of the string. I just put the Nut Sauce on the strings when I am installing a new set of all six strings at once. Then I only re-lube when I break a string.

    7. Strings-You can use whatever strings you want. That being said, if you are after Eddie's sound and tuning stability, I highly recommend using the gauges that he used. He had used some slightly different gauges later on, but the basic starting points are the gauges that he used back in the day from the Fender 3150XL strings- .009, .011, .015, .024, .032, .040.


    I used to use Fender Bullet end strings, 3150XL http://shop.fender.com/en-US/accesso...t-0733150.html. These were the correct gauges that corresponded with the original Bullet strings in the 70s that I have confirmed that Eddie used. These have now been discontinued. You can get Fender bullet strings .009-.042 now, but they use a .016 gauge G string and a .042 gauged low E string. I actually like the .042 gauged low E string anyway, but D'Addario does not manufacture the .040 low E string in the bullet end style anymore. You can only get the .015 gauged bullet end G string in the Jimi Hendrix 'Voodoo Chile' set of bullets, so I actually buy those just for the .015 gauged G string with the bullet end. Believe it or not, I find that it makes a big difference in using the .015 gauged G string versus the .016 gauged G string.

    This is a very small point, but technically the Fender Bullet end was designed specifically to sit perfectly in the block to prevent the string from moving in the block causing tuning issues. I believe it gives me more stability than ball end strings, but this is just my preference and it is what Fender has recommended since they began producing the strings. Again, Eddie had never mentioned that he used bullet end strings in ANY interview...but all of a sudden Fender included 2 replica packages of Fender Super Bullets in the original gauges (which are no longer manufactured) when they made the case candy for the '78 Eruption replica and the '79 Bumblebee replica. I contacted Matt Brown at Fender and he confirmed that Eddie specified that he used these strings when he used Fender tremolo equipped guitars like the '78 Frankenstein and the original versions of the Bumblebee before he started using the Floyd Rose system on it in late 1979. This was HUGE to me...a real find in my opinion since Eddie never mentioned that he used bullet strings before. In fact, he was pretty guarded about what he did to keep the Fender tremolo system in tune. But Matt and D'Addario (they are the company that manufactures all of Fender's strings) have confirmed to me (I have the e-mails to prove it) that they only made these replica 70s Super Bullet string sets for the case candy on the '78 Eruption and '79 Bumblebee guitars at Eddie's request...again, only an extremely limited run for only the case candy for only these guitars. However, you can create almost the same set as I have described with the exception of the low E string by cannibalizing the Jimi Hendrix light gauge bullet strings for the .015 gauged G string. And again, I personally prefer the .042 gauged low E string to the .040 gauged low E string that Eddie originally used.

    Thick strings don't necessarily mean you get a better tone (I know that you know this)...in fact it depends on what you are after. For Van Halen's sound, the light gauge strings are critical. Yngwie and Blackmore and just about everybody else, including B.B. King and Billy Gibbons and others use very light gauge strings. My friend the late Mark “Rockstah” Abrahamian who modded my Marshall combo was the guy that turned me on to the "snap" of .009 gauged sets and I like those a lot, except for my main '68 strat which I use GHS Lo-Tune (the Stevie Ray set) on.

    Another small point about strings...new strings do sound brighter (not necessarily a good thing in all instances) and they do indeed demonstrably stay in tune better (this is ALWAYS a good thing in all instances). I break strings relatively rarely and I have been known to keep the same strings on for YEARS, even with heavy playing time. I generally only replace the strings when they break individually. This is partly because of being broke my whole life and I couldn't afford to completely restring my guitars with a whole new set of strings very often...now that I can afford complete strings (and especially since they are cheaper from internet string suppliers), I will sometimes be a good boy and treat my instruments to a nice new set of strings. If you religiously wipe down your strings and clean the finger funk off of your fingerboard whenever you stop playing your guitar, as I try to do, you can keep using the same strings for a very long time. They will still rust, but they are still playable. Often when I record a guitar part for one of my friends in a studio and I want to get a bright sound and best tuning stability, I will take the time to install a complete new set of strings. FOR MAXIMUM TUNING STABILITY, USE A NEW SET OF STRINGS.
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ___________

    OK...that is about everything with the gear. The real key to keeping the standard Fender vibrato system in tune is HOW you play. I think that in reality he is doing a quick dive to return the offending strings to pitch when necessary.
    The following is essentially reposted from my old "How I Believe Ed Kept The Standard Strat Tremolo In Tune" thread on the MetroAmp forum from many,many years ago which I repost below:

    Why do I say this is how Eddie kept his guitar in tune when bending with the left hand and diving with the Fender tremolo arm?!

    The answer lies in playing the songs note-for-note (or as note correct as you can) using the standard tremolo. You will notice that whenever Ed performs a crazy wide bend (or indeed almost any left hand bend) he will almost always do the same things:

    1. Plays a riff using the tremolo arm to dive during the course of the song.
    2. Winds up playing a two note power chord after bending the hell out of the strings with his left hand (as in the B5 chord at the second position after the solo in "Atomic Punk" which features said crazy wide bends). Later there is time for a whammy lick or a "silent dive" as I describe below to get the guitar back in tune.
    3. If there is enough of a rest to have time for it, Ed may have done a quick "silent" dive to get the guitar back in tune after left hand bending. If you feel that you've done something to cause the guitar to go out of tune, you can either play a tremolo dive sequence or find time for a quick silent dive.
    4. If the lick involves a dive only (with no left hand bend) as in the first whammy dive fill in "Atomic Punk" at the D note at the 7th fret of the G-string, the guitar will stay perfectly in tune. Whammying down only makes the guitar stay in tune, so jerk off on the thing as much as you want (as he does on the live versions of "On Fire" in the intro).
    5. If the lick involves left hand bending and a whammy dive, the two articulations will be blended seamlessly with the tremolo dive coming last- this is again on purpose so that the dive brings the guitar back in tune. This is most obvious in "I'm The One" for the 2nd pre-chorus in the fill right after "Feed her your message from above..." when Ed bends the E note at the 9th fret of the G-string up one-and-a-half steps then quickly releases the left hand bend and then seamlessly diving down one-and-a-half steps with the bar and releasing the bar back to it's resting position before a left hand slide up the string to complete the phrase. This sounds a little complicated, but if you try this on a properly set up tremolo, it will work. You can then play the three note power chords with a perfectly in tune G-string as Ed does (no need for a two-note power chord on the A and D strings here because of the aforementioned dive).
    6. Most often, a whammy dive will just occur at the right time in a song to make sure the guitar is in tune, whether it is the tried and true open G string dive or the old open low E dive. This is almost always what happens after a left hand bend or just before four note barre chords or three note power chords. This happens so often that it is far from coincidental. This technique is all over "Eruption" for starters...

    These are just some of the countless examples of this technique that I have found on the Van Halen and Van Halen II LPs. You will find these patterns on every single track that uses the Frankenstein for tremolo work:
    "Eruption", "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love", the overdubs on "Jamie's Cryin'", "Little Dreamer", "Ice Cream Man", "You're No Good", etc. etc. anything from the first two albums using the tremolo.

    Even live recordings featuring the standard Fender tremolo will bear these techniques out. How often have your heard Ed randomly diving the open G or the low E between songs or while Dave is rambling on during the old live shows like Ipswich '78 or Tokyo '78?!?! That is the sound of Ed keeping his guitar in tune by diving.

    This is how I hear Eddie's playing from the first and second albums and the live shows of the period BEFORE he started using the Floyd Rose system (sometime in very late 1979). This is just relating to Eddie's playing...as I said before, Ritchie Blackmore, Yngwie (who stole a lot from Blackmore-not the least of which is his tremolo technique), Jeff Beck and others have different setups (floating vs. hardtail) and techniques. I believe that I can keep the unit in tune BETTER than Eddie when he used it, but mostly because of the technological advances of the parts that I mentioned (staggered/locking tuners, Tusq XL nut, Big Bends Nut Sauce, etc.) and especially the mods to the bridge saddles, plate and block that Frudua mentions, which I have put into practice for me.

    It is not enough to set your bridge up so that it rests on the body. You have to tighten the tremolo springs beyond that point until you can bend the B string up one and a half steps while being able to play the open low E and have it's pitch drop only very slightly (only a very few cents) or not at all.

    It took me a while to figure this out, but now that I have the Peterson StroboPlus HD, I can hold the one and a half step bend on the B string and look at the strobe to see if or how much the pitch of the open low E drops. I then carefully and gradually tighten the tremolo claw screws until the low E doesn't go flat at all or only goes very, very slightly flat...I can use the strobe to keep adjusting this until I have it where I want it. Ed's sounds so tight that the low E pitch doesn't appear to waver at all when he is holding the 1 1/2 step bend on the B string and hitting the open low E on that spot in "I'm The One". You have to check the tension of the tremolo claw/springs by using this method whenever you change tunings even slightly. "I'm The One" has all the strings tuned approximately 17.0 cents UP from standard Eb or "half-step down" tuning. If I tune any higher, the tension on the strings will increase and I will likely have to tighten the claw. If I tune slightly down for "Eruption" or "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" (which are tuned approximately 15.0 steps UP from standard half-step down tuning) I'll probably be OK, since the tension is lessened...the tremolo claw placement can stay the same.

    This is basically everything I know and really, the proof is in the pudding..it WORKS for me! "I'm The One" is the true test, though "Atomic Punk" is also a good tremolo system/left hand bending workout. This balance between the left hand bending and tremolo diving is the key, though the extreme claw tension and all the other stuff I got from Frudua and my friend Andy help a great deal. Every little bit helps. I call this my "kitchen sink" approach to keeping a Fender vibrato system in tune. I know that almost 100% of you out there are Floyd Rose guys, but the fact is Eddie used the Fender vibrato system going back to before the Club Days and the earliest demos through the recording of 'Van Halen' and 'Van Halen II'...the Floyd Rose was not used until the recording of 'Women and Children First'. If you REALLY want to get into Eddie's headspace and the physicality of what he was doing during this critical, classic period before late 1979, this MATTERS. I hope this is helpful to those of you out there who really care about this stuff!


    Cheers,
    Allen
    Last edited by garbeaj; 03.17.21 at 10:16 AM.

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    Bro, thank you for taking the time to put this out there....
    Awesome info....
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    “A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.”

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    Awesome info, I really enjoyed the read. One thing - I used Fender 150s in the 1980s because EVH said he did - in the 1980 Guitar Player cover issue (April 1980). I just looked it up again and it’s in there.

    https://www.themightyvanhalen.net/19...w-jas-obrecht/

    Thanks again for all the details!
    "We got the brand-new album, we got the brand-new songs, we got the brand-new equipment, we got the brand-new show... And we got the same ol' shitty attitude!" David Lee Roth, May 20, 1984 in San Diego

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    Quote Originally Posted by smithtone View Post
    Awesome info, I really enjoyed the read. One thing - I used Fender 150s in the 1980s because EVH said he did - in the 1980 Guitar Player cover issue (April 1980). I just looked it up again and it’s in there.

    https://www.themightyvanhalen.net/19...w-jas-obrecht/

    Thanks again for all the details!
    You are very welcome! Glad you enjoyed it!

    Yes, I knew Eddie had mentioned the 150XL’s, but this was only relevant to the Floyd Rose equipped guitars where he cut the ball ends off and for the stop tail guitars like the Ibanez Destroyer or the Korina ‘58 Gibson Flying V.

    I was SHOCKED to discover that Eddie used Super Bullets for the Fender tremolo equipped guitars. This was a piece of information that he clearly and deliberately avoided revealing, along with the long screw and two spacer string tree thing that I only discovered for myself accidentally only to find that Eddie indeed did the very same thing. I was doing this for 10 years thinking I was doing something no one else did and then I find out Eddie did it himself all along! Fender and Matt Brown were incredibly forthcoming. I’m sure I’m the only person who has ever asked them about this.

    The person I corresponded with at D’Addario was comparatively not responsive, in fact they were evasive. But eventually this guy at D’Addario did confirm everything Fender customer service and Matt Brown said after I pestered him. At first he wouldn’t even confirm that D’Addario made Fender’s strings! I mean helpful he was not!

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    Quote Originally Posted by evhintexas View Post
    Bro, thank you for taking the time to put this out there....
    Awesome info....
    Thanks very much! Very few people in the VH community give a damn about the Fender vibrato system. 99.999% only care about and use the Floyd Rose, but Eddie absolutely did some of his most enduring work on the vintage Fender units!

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    One thing that I never could get right and that is Eddie's method of winding the strings so that the angle of the strings goes up high on the post instead of down as normal. I believe he did this on the strings that need more height, not necessarily all the strings. Winding in this way basically gives the same or similar results to what I get with using the staggered height posts on the Sperzel locking tuners, thus eliminating the need for the string tree. One of the few things Eddie ever mentioned with regard to how he kept the Fender tremolo in tune was when he spoke about the string tree specifically and how the B and E strings can get stuck on them and go out of tune. His solution turned out to be the similar to mine...wind the strings up so that you don't need a string tree, install a string tree with an extra long screw and two spacers to maintain the appearance of a working string tree while the strings don't even touch the string tree at all!

    If I used the standard tuners, "D" logo Schallers in this case, I would install strings the way that Eddie did and have very similar results.

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    Here is a pic of that shows the double stacked string spacers and the extra long screw for the string tree on the Fender/EVH '78 Eruption replica. This is also a good view of the brass nut with extra wide grooves that would have been lubricated with 3-In-One oil.


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    Here is a pic of the block of the Fender/EVH '78 Eruption replica that shows that they did not have an accurate block depth as it would have been on Eddie's vintage strat block in the original Frankenstein. You can clearly see that the bullet ends protrude from the surface of the block a bit. The vintage block would have been machined deeper which would have had the bullet ends closer to the holes in the bridge plate and the holes in the saddles. The blocks in the Fender Eric Johnson strats have the correct depth and as I mentioned above I had my Callaham block machined so that the bullet end of the strings would be as close to the bridge plate and saddles as possible just as they are in the Eric Johnson blocks and in the vintage late 50's/early 60's strat blocks:



    You can't see the bullet ends at all on the back of my my block because they are so much closer to the bridge plate and so much deeper in the block than on the less accurate block on the '78 Eruption replica:



    And if you look closely you can see the bullet ends of the strings appear in the block just below the bridge plate on the top side of my bridge:


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    Fender/EVH did get the oblong openings in the Patent Pending stamped saddles correct in the '78 Eruption replica...you can see the extra length and more oblong shape here. Eddie had to ream out the holes in his saddles with a file just as I did in mine, but it looks like Fender has them machined perfectly. The holes in Eddie's saddles and in mine show the irregularity of this hand filing:


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    It’s cool just reading those names again. I remember Rockstah, toneslinger, Ralle, you and a couple others going on for years chasing that tone. I was very bummed to hear about Rockstah, he had a really cool style, and the way he and ralle would palm mute the first runs in eruption always kind of stuck with me. Thanks for the write up Garb, I’ll have to try out an old fender unit one of these days.

    I think it’s funny how those random dives kept with him even on the Floyd, a fun crutch to use whenever you run out of notes. Thanks again for the trip down metroamp memory lane, you guys had a huge influence on me even though I was just lurking. Grateful to still be learning from y’all

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    Quote Originally Posted by iplayguitaralot View Post
    It’s cool just reading those names again. I remember Rockstah, toneslinger, Ralle, you and a couple others going on for years chasing that tone. I was very bummed to hear about Rockstah, he had a really cool style, and the way he and ralle would palm mute the first runs in eruption always kind of stuck with me. Thanks for the write up Garb, I’ll have to try out an old fender unit one of these days.

    I think it’s funny how those random dives kept with him even on the Floyd, a fun crutch to use whenever you run out of notes. Thanks again for the trip down metroamp memory lane, you guys had a huge influence on me even though I was just lurking. Grateful to still be learning from y’all
    Very cool...glad to know you got something out of our discussions. You have to include my brilliant friend Bill who did so much work on the “Eruption” transcription and who has taught me more about Ed’s playing than any other person on the planet...he went by “wjamflan”.

    Mark (“Rockstah”) was a good guy...I got to know him a bit in the real world since my amp was the second-to-last amp that he modded before he died. I live in Houston and he lived in Austin and I got to hang out with him for a bit. Shocking that he was gone about 3 weeks after I spent time with him and his girlfriend.

    And you point out something I noticed pretty quickly, but most don’t catch it...YES, Ed barely changed his choice of whammy bar use in his playing after he got the Floyd Rose. The only major things he added were some of the “full-slack” tricks like you hear in reverse on the intro to “Fools” and of course his totally overused “horse” artificial harmonic trick. But yeah...he continued diving the open G string, very occasionally the open B string as in the “Panama” intro, the CONSTANT open low E diving...not much difference.

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    That’s great you got one of his amps man, I always liked his mods. Bet yours screams.

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    Frudua is awesome I remember watching his videos back when I owned a Strat that was giving me trem issues. His accent is classic.
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    Another small piece of the puzzle that I forgot to mention...I used Xotic’s ‘Raw Vintage’ tremolo springs. They are much more accurate to the springs that Eddie would have used in his Fender vibrato systems and they operate smoothly and reliably and they are just a bit less tension.

    http://www.rawvintage.com/japan/item...paign=20161015

 

 

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