Ever feel you are bending your Stratocaster out of tune by resting your palm too often on the bridge? Ever wondered what would happen if you were to take that tremolo unit out of your Strat all together? Is it actually possible to fasten the tremolo without removing it from your guitar?
It is possible to add more springs to the tremolo unit, this will make the tremolo feel stiffer and you are less likely to bend the strings out of tune by accident.
If you want to block off the tremolo all together you could install a little piece of wood in between the body of the guitar and the tremolo unit. By doing so you disable the tremolo unit and will no longer be able to use it.
Once the tremolo unit is blocked off you may want to remove the springs from the tremolo unit. If you do this you will alter the tone: The Strat without any springs does have a more “woody tone”, it will sound less lively and a tad duller. The best way to experience this is by playing the guitar without the amp and listen to its sound. Attach the springs back and your tone will ,again, be a bit more lively.
You can test all of this for yourself: If you have a few Stratocasters you can loop one simple idea, loop this idea using the different guitars, including the one where you removed the springs from and added a piece of wood at the back. Make sure you are using same pick-up and play same idea.
Changes are when you do not record the experiment you may not hear the differencens very well. Loop it to record your ideas and sit back and listen, you will be surprised with what you hear.
Doing this little test is proof that the wood of your guitar does have an impact on its tone, although some people will claim that the pick-ups have more impact on the sound of the electric rather than anything else. I also would like to add that the springs and the design of the Fulcrum tremolo are responsible for that unique sound of the Strat.
Of course, any guitar with a tremolo unit will have an impact on its sound, overal it makes the sound lighter and lively as opposed to fixed bridged guitars like Les Pauls and the likes, which tend to sound darker and bassier.
Enoy your little experiment and hope to see soon again.