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Thread: Easiest way to block a PRS trem?

  1. #1
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    Easiest way to block a PRS trem?

    I would like to block the trem on one of my PRSs with something that is easy to put on and off. I really want to see if i can hear a tonal difference. Any ideas? Thanks!!

  2. #2
    Senior Member swede71's Avatar
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    You will not hear any tonal differences really just blocking it.The easiest way and what i think you should do is to use a woodblock ala Clapton strat.I started out with the tremol-no that works great.Then i went crazy and screwed down the tremolo so its flush to the body(not something i recommend for people not used to tinker with guitars) and that made a little difference in tone,gave it a little more body and soul .When doing this i also changed height adjustment screws because saddles have to be set higher.Works great for me and oblique bends sounds in tune .

    Last edited by swede71; 03-13-2013 at 01:07 PM.
    I de-modded my CU22 soapbar and made a factory spec setup.Im in love again.I very much believe now PRS guitars are perfect as they are.

  3. #3
    The most logical method (in my mind) that would have the most noticable difference in tone would be to use a block of hard wood. The best method for going from blocked to unblocked would be the Tremol-no. (just loosen a thumb screw).

  4. #4
    Plank Spanker justmund's Avatar
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    It you could get a block of wood that was the perfect size and shape to fit in the cavity it might be a cool thing. If it's a slight interference fit and is shaped so it "holds" the trem block in place (between the block and the bottom side of the cavity, and also the sides and top edges of the block, like a "C") it would be easy to install/remove (no removing of springs etc). It would be really interesting to try and maximise (or minimise!) the contact between the trem and the block, and the block and the body, plus different kinds of woods, so see if there's any effect on tone/sustain.

    If I wasn't leaving my work in 2 weeks I'd knock out something on the CNC router and try it.

    Maybe patendcad can help you out with a CAD drawing, which can easily be routed out by CNC?

  5. #5
    NJ Devil DISTORT6's Avatar
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    Tape a pile of picks together and stuff 'em in.
    Quick and easy.
    If you like that, then go with a nice wood wedgie.
    Not like the other kids...

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    Senior Member vchizzle's Avatar
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    Tag,
    1)Are you wanting to block it so there is "up trem" or block it so it doesn't move at all and acts like a fixed bridge?

    2)Are you seeking a slight tone change? Or is it more an experiment to see what affect it has?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Sage's Avatar
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    Easiest way would be to just screw it down like swede71 suggests. However, I don't recommend doing it that way because it changes string tension and messes with the ergonomics of the guitar. Sticking a wood block between the trem block and the rear of the cavity would probably make the most tonal difference.

    If you just want to lock the tremolo and prefer to keep the tone as-is, I think the best way to do it is with a Tremol-no. I've got one installed on my Cu24 and I love it.
    Last edited by Sage; 03-14-2013 at 11:36 AM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by vchizzle View Post
    Tag,
    1)Are you wanting to block it so there is "up trem" or block it so it doesn't move at all and acts like a fixed bridge?

    2)Are you seeking a slight tone change? Or is it more an experiment to see what affect it has?

    Just an experiment. i always wondered if the reason I prefer semi hollow with trems was the extra routing, the sound of the springs, or both. I like the pick idea. I think that will take the springs out of the picture, and if it sounds the same, I expect it is mainly the routing, although the trem block/tailpiece is obviously part of it as well.

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    I have installed Tremlo-No's on both my CU & CE and I love it!

  10. #10
    Senior Member swede71's Avatar
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    Tag,if you like how it sounds as it is with springs,routing,block and saddles DONT take things out of the picture.If you like to experiment thats cool of course but keep in mind the springs are not easy to remove.To qoute Zappa...Shut up and play yer guitar! ...The ones ive heard all sounds great My reason for blocking was the oblique bends and Sage is right when he says it changes string tension and messes with the ergonomics if you do it my way.Hence the reason i put new height adjustments screws in.Contrary to what many says,blocking the trem with a woodblock will not make any tonal changes really.I see on your YT channel you also play strats.Having the tremolo flush with the body with 5 springs or blocked with a woodblock ala Clapton strat makes a difference in tone as many stratplayer knows.On the PRS guitar,even if you block the tremolo it will still only have contact with the pivotscrews and the springs.
    Last edited by swede71; 03-14-2013 at 06:52 PM.
    I de-modded my CU22 soapbar and made a factory spec setup.Im in love again.I very much believe now PRS guitars are perfect as they are.

  11. #11
    Wheels cjmwrx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TDPRS1 View Post
    I have installed Tremlo-No's on both my CU & CE and I love it!

    +1 Love my Tremel-No's.

  12. #12
    Senior Member vchizzle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjmwrx View Post
    +1 Love my Tremel-No's.
    I was gonna suggest this, but knowing Tag's tendencies a bit, I figured there would ulterior motives. That's why I asked.

  13. #13
    Senior Member vchizzle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tag View Post
    Just an experiment. i always wondered if the reason I prefer semi hollow with trems was the extra routing, the sound of the springs, or both. I like the pick idea. I think that will take the springs out of the picture, and if it sounds the same, I expect it is mainly the routing, although the trem block/tailpiece is obviously part of it as well.
    Ok, that's what I thought. I would think the pick thing would have less tonal affect than a block of wood. I mean we're talking about something touching the trem and the body around it(directly connecting to the strings)...you would think that the material would have an effect as well. Maybe that's being a little too anal and any difference would be negligible. Only one way to find out.

  14. #14
    Junior Member rschleicher's Avatar
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    Another product that may be of interest is the Mag-Lok from Super-Vee tremelos. It's not really a trem lock like the Tremol-No, but more of a "trem resistance" device.

    Basically it has a small, strong magnet that resists the trem moving forward (down-bend direction), but has no effect on up-bend movement. The idea is that the magnet adds enough firmness so that string bends (supposedly even double-stop bends) won't move the trem. But when you WANT to do a down-bend, you can easily overcome the magnet.

    The mounting piece is designed so that it has no effect at all on up-bend movement of the trem. (Hard to describe in words, but if you google around you can find videos of how it works.)
    It mounts in the rear trem cavity, somewhat similarly to how a Tremol-No mounts. The main difference is that there is no locking mechanism to lock or unlock, so the trem remains fully usable at all times. You can view it as a uni-directional stiffener....
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  15. #15
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    this is an interesting and super-low-cost way of blocking the trem, but only for those who's willing to take a drill to your axe though :/

    1. go to your nearest household supplies store and get yourself a door latch (shortest one, i think it's 50mm or shorter)
    2. you need to adjust your trem to balance on 2 springs only, so expect to swap the springs out for high tension springs if you're using heavy gauge strings.
    3. (optional) the latch bar should have a rounded tip, so you need to sand it until it's relatively flat so that it makes a better contact with the trem block.
    4. place the latch in the trem cavity with the latch bar in "locked" position. let the bar touch the trem block and push it towards the bar firmly and make sure it's tight.
    5. mark the screw holes with sharpie. make sure you mark it accurately as even miniscule error will cause the latch to not function properly and probably screw up your guitar permanently.
    6. use a (preferably) hand drill, though power drills are fine but you have to be extra careful when drilling. drill only deep enough for the latch's screws to fit, if you drill too deep, it'll come out through your pickup cavity. (learnt it the hard way) though it's inevitable if you're doing this on thin-bodied guitars.
    7. after drilling, just screw the latch down nice and tight.
    8. done!

    the latch won't block the trem completely, as it only blocks bar-ups, you can still do divebombs with it. But it works like a tremol-no/d-tuna when you break strings or detune to lower tunings (drop tuning etc). the bridge stays put and you wont go out of tune. But make sure you set up your guitar properly and make sure the tremolo is not slanting forward or backward when you're doing this.

  16. #16
    Member jrw32's Avatar
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    I've done it a few times, with either a piece of maple or mahogany both behind/in front of the trem block to make it super solid. Works great & is easily removable. I did notice a slight increase in sustain in some instances.

    Here's a pic of pieces of wood I currently use. The smaller block on the left is almost 2" long, placed under the springs & in front of the trem block (towards the neck). I put this piece in first. The larger block on the right is the main piece (about 2.5" long), that goes behind the trem block. This is mahogany, with a tiny shim of plywood glued on to make a perfect fit. Note the small, drilled hole in this piece, which is helpful to remove the block with a screwdriver etc if desired (easier to remove). I use the trem bar to wiggle a bit/make a perfectly tight fit. Hope this helps!


  17. #17
    Opaque John Beef's Avatar
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    +1 for Tremol-no. I've been running one for 6 years.
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