jeff beck trem set up

Posted by james bishop on Sun, 12/12/04 - 17:21:24.

i would like to set up trem action on my 1990 strat plus deluxe somewhere near to a jeff beck strat,any ideas?



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Re: jeff beck trem set up

: i would like to set up trem action on my 1990 strat plus deluxe somewhere near to a jeff beck strat,any ideas?

Jeff is a bit of a mystery man, but he gives us enough clues. He is a mechanic by trade, and does his own setup work. All of his guitars are custom, including the Tremolo. To my knowledge he has never got around to looking at or handling Fender's production model signature guitar. Nor is he interested. A certain guy from Fender just keeps on bringing him guitars made for him to his specs.

Your trems are at least similar, and you have the essential roller nut. With Jeff's setup, you would consider the trem to be floating, but you will have to use 5 springs. So, to compensate, back the claw out some, but not too far. Gosh, you don't wan't it to pull out!

The essential piece of info is that Jeff uses a 75 - 25 ratio in his adjustment for movement. There is a 75% downward movement potential, and 25% upwards. He wants to bend up a full tone.

He pre-stretches all of his strings. His action is relatively low, though that doesn't matter here. Every part of the trem, every single moving part and point of contact is highly lubricated with graphite and/or oil. Puhlenty of graph on the saddles.

The bar itself is rumoured to be not just oiled, but there is talk of there being a wad of cotton at the bottom of the trem hole, as there was in SRV's, so that the bar will neither get too tight or be difficult to remove when expected breakage occurs.

If I've missed anything, Jeff for heaven's sake say a few words to the people who buy into your endoresements.

Re: jeff beck trem set up

: : i would like to set up trem action on my 1990 strat plus deluxe somewhere near to a jeff beck strat,any ideas?

: Jeff is a bit of a mystery man, but he gives us enough clues. He is a mechanic by trade, and does his own setup work. All of his guitars are custom, including the Tremolo. To my knowledge he has never got around to looking at or handling Fender's production model signature guitar. Nor is he interested. A certain guy from Fender just keeps on bringing him guitars made for him to his specs.

: Your trems are at least similar, and you have the essential roller nut. With Jeff's setup, you would consider the trem to be floating, but you will have to use 5 springs. So, to compensate, back the claw out some, but not too far. Gosh, you don't wan't it to pull out!

: The essential piece of info is that Jeff uses a 75 - 25 ratio in his adjustment for movement. There is a 75% downward movement potential, and 25% upwards. He wants to bend up a full tone.

: He pre-stretches all of his strings. His action is relatively low, though that doesn't matter here. Every part of the trem, every single moving part and point of contact is highly lubricated with graphite and/or oil. Puhlenty of graph on the saddles.

: The bar itself is rumoured to be not just oiled, but there is talk of there being a wad of cotton at the bottom of the trem hole, as there was in SRV's, so that the bar will neither get too tight or be difficult to remove when expected breakage occurs.

: If I've missed anything, Jeff for heaven's sake say a few words to the people who buy into your endoresements.

Nice one Daisy. But I have to say, low action is part of it. Think! Action is determined by the height of the saddles, at the bridge in this case. Jeff's low, low slippery saddles are letting the strings move more freely during trem action, without catching or breaking. If somebody is a player who prefers higher action, you will never get Jeff's mechanical results.

Re: jeff beck trem set up

: : : i would like to set up trem action on my 1990 strat plus deluxe somewhere near to a jeff beck strat,any ideas?

: : Jeff is a bit of a mystery man, but he gives us enough clues. He is a mechanic by trade, and does his own setup work. All of his guitars are custom, including the Tremolo. To my knowledge he has never got around to looking at or handling Fender's production model signature guitar. Nor is he interested. A certain guy from Fender just keeps on bringing him guitars made for him to his specs.

: : Your trems are at least similar, and you have the essential roller nut. With Jeff's setup, you would consider the trem to be floating, but you will have to use 5 springs. So, to compensate, back the claw out some, but not too far. Gosh, you don't wan't it to pull out!

: : The essential piece of info is that Jeff uses a 75 - 25 ratio in his adjustment for movement. There is a 75% downward movement potential, and 25% upwards. He wants to bend up a full tone.

: : He pre-stretches all of his strings. His action is relatively low, though that doesn't matter here. Every part of the trem, every single moving part and point of contact is highly lubricated with graphite and/or oil. Puhlenty of graph on the saddles.

: : The bar itself is rumoured to be not just oiled, but there is talk of there being a wad of cotton at the bottom of the trem hole, as there was in SRV's, so that the bar will neither get too tight or be difficult to remove when expected breakage occurs.

: : If I've missed anything, Jeff for heaven's sake say a few words to the people who buy into your endoresements.

: Nice one Daisy. But I have to say, low action is part of it. Think! Action is determined by the height of the saddles, at the bridge in this case. Jeff's low, low slippery saddles are letting the strings move more freely during trem action, without catching or breaking. If somebody is a player who prefers higher action, you will never get Jeff's mechanical results.

Okay, Mr. has been there, tell 'em the rest. Since Jeff uses seriously low action, it is also true that he tweaks the angle of pitch at the neck, where it meets the body pocket, as if shimmed at the front. You cannot fget this with microtilt which tends to do the opposite. Jeff has a little secret there, and it is VERY MUCH a part of his trem setup, although it's nowhere near the trem.

Re: jeff beck trem set up

: : : : i would like to set up trem action on my 1990 strat plus deluxe somewhere near to a jeff beck strat,any ideas?

: : : Jeff is a bit of a mystery man, but he gives us enough clues. He is a mechanic by trade, and does his own setup work. All of his guitars are custom, including the Tremolo. To my knowledge he has never got around to looking at or handling Fender's production model signature guitar. Nor is he interested. A certain guy from Fender just keeps on bringing him guitars made for him to his specs.

: : : Your trems are at least similar, and you have the essential roller nut. With Jeff's setup, you would consider the trem to be floating, but you will have to use 5 springs. So, to compensate, back the claw out some, but not too far. Gosh, you don't wan't it to pull out!

: : : The essential piece of info is that Jeff uses a 75 - 25 ratio in his adjustment for movement. There is a 75% downward movement potential, and 25% upwards. He wants to bend up a full tone.

: : : He pre-stretches all of his strings. His action is relatively low, though that doesn't matter here. Every part of the trem, every single moving part and point of contact is highly lubricated with graphite and/or oil. Puhlenty of graph on the saddles.

: : : The bar itself is rumoured to be not just oiled, but there is talk of there being a wad of cotton at the bottom of the trem hole, as there was in SRV's, so that the bar will neither get too tight or be difficult to remove when expected breakage occurs.

: : : If I've missed anything, Jeff for heaven's sake say a few words to the people who buy into your endoresements.

: : Nice one Daisy. But I have to say, low action is part of it. Think! Action is determined by the height of the saddles, at the bridge in this case. Jeff's low, low slippery saddles are letting the strings move more freely during trem action, without catching or breaking. If somebody is a player who prefers higher action, you will never get Jeff's mechanical results.

: Okay, Mr. has been there, tell 'em the rest. Since Jeff uses seriously low action, it is also true that he tweaks the angle of pitch at the neck, where it meets the body pocket, as if shimmed at the front. You cannot fget this with microtilt which tends to do the opposite. Jeff has a little secret there, and it is VERY MUCH a part of his trem setup, although it's nowhere near the trem.

Amen! Is that all? messenger

Re: jeff beck trem set up

You are absolutely right about that neck angle aspect! I can't say whether Jeff Beck employs this technique, but catch this- I used paint stripper to remove the finish off of my strat(both the neck and the body) and it changed the way the neck fit in the pocket- a upward tilt- so as the action gradually increases as the strings move up the fretboard, somewhat like an archtop. This allows for unusally low action all the way up to about the 11th fret , with no buzzing anywhere, and then it gets sort of high around the 17th( about 4/32'' with the strings depressed at first fret). It's a Catch-22, as it is higher than I would normally like in the upper register, but you can cheat a lower action generally throughout, so that you can perform great bends in the lower registers and still be able to use a slide without much buzz at all(like Jeff Beck, who I would argue doesn't really use as "seriously low" an action as you might believe( just watch how he uses a slide on his normal setup, and if you're still curious, try to do this yourself with a normal Fender factory spec set strat) It takes a graduated action, like the kind I fumbled upon acidentally. Jeff Beck also uses really light strings, which have a shallower elliptical vibrating pattern. The reason for the upward tilted neck angle(ever so slight I might add) is because Jeff Beck prefers (as most handy man guitarists) to have his necks dead straight, meaning no relief whatsoever. I read an article with his guitar tech once and apparently Jeff Beck swears by this, not wanting to have his necks have any give, perhaps out of paranoia of them warpiing over time? Who knows? This graduated action is usually the only way to achieve this with out having buzzing in the lower registers and noting out as you move up the fretboard. A dead straight neck, if you can achieve it, will make your up-pulling on the trem much more sensitive as well, as there is no play or give in the neck. You might have noticed that strat trems will change the pitch of your strings at an uneven rate when you are pulling up on the bar, so how far it goes on one string can me decieving to the ear as far as set-up goes, and can be confusing and/or frustrating. Try grabbing a C on the D string and pull up and you'll notice that the width of your bending ability is much greater than anywhere on your little E string. A whole step pull on the D string usually means a half on the high E. If you want to go up a whole step at the top of your guitars's range, then you have to overcompensate with your trem setting. A gap of about 3 or 4/32's of an inch should do the trick. If you don't use thick strings, you probably won't need a lsr nut, just some graphite powder mixed with vaseline as a medium. Put it on the strings at the nut, on the nut, and under the string tree/or trees. Lastly, one other modification I use is to use leverage to bend my wang bar to a more acute angle, so that I can hold the bar in my hand at all times and pull up on it with out having to move my hand out of a comfortable playing position. I have seen that Jeff Beck pretty much plays with his bar in his hand so he might do this as well, who knows? I have also removed the first volume knob and left the post there bare. I can dive bomb the strings still and not hit the "now closer to the guitar face" wang bar on the knob. The post still is a great functional knob without the intrusive plastic cover. Lastly, another trick to lower action is to angle the outside E strings saddles to a greater degree than the rest, as they rest against the most curved part, or rather the part of the frets that only curve one way. Your highest string off the fretboard should be your D, whatever your tuning. Something you can do besides putting cotton at the bottom of you trem arm hole, especially if you have a vintage style strat with no bottom to the hole, is to just use like some really thin small piece of plastic bag like you get at Kroger or whatever. It will eliminate any unwanted play in the trem arm, which is kind of important if you want to do wide and/or subtle and fast vibrato like Jeff. It won't get the arm stuck because you won't have to tighten it as far, and it's really easy to find. If you don't care about looks you can leave some popping out of the top. I have a few other strat set up tricks if you find any of these as useful I I have. Peace.

Re: jeff beck trem set up

you missed the bit about graphite down the spandex pants babe, makes the front thrust 75% up and a 15% backward jive, and a little 10% side to side wiggle, ooooh.

Re: jeff beck trem set up

: you missed the bit about graphite down the spandex pants babe, makes the front thrust 75% up and a 15% backward jive, and a little 10% side to side wiggle, ooooh.

Thanks Jeff, I knew I could count on you. What you just said was to lube the threads on the whammy rod.

Re: jeff beck trem set up

: i would like to set up trem action on my 1990 strat plus deluxe somewhere near to a jeff beck strat,any ideas?

James and everyone. We're trying the Jeff Beck set up, and before you add 2 more springs, try keeping 3. All published sources say 5, and cite Hendrix and SRV tech's methods, however we've found one guy who only uses 2 springs altogether. So, with most saying 5 springs, I'd say in the real world, that 3 are gonna work. Remember the 75/25 ratio. Get your Strat in tune, and with 3 springs, observe how the trem must float. You can adjust the claw to allow the necessary 75% downward flattening, and 25% upward sharpening of notes to a full pitch. The lubrication comes from a combination of graphite and Stew Mac guitar grease, slathered everywhere. Lastly, Jeff has removed any string trees. Go nuts!

Upward Sharpening to Full Tone

I am not sure that is correct, unless his setup has changed since he played on Roger Waters's album Amused to Death in 1992. There are various instances on the album where Beck clearly employs 1 1/2 step upward harmonic bends with the tremolo.

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