The Ibanez BackStop

All New! My instructions for installing the BackBox (or ESP Arming Adjuster or Ibanez Backstop)

Compared to the Tremsetter (and the adjusting process), the Backstop was a marvel of simplicity. The only holes to drill were for the couple of screws to hold it in the cavity. Once you did that, it was part of the instrument... not held in by a hook like the Tremsetter.

Also, the adjustment was much nicer, using a threaded rod instead of a stop-collar. Using the threaded rod, you could make an adjustment of a couple of turns and, if that made things worse, you could always undo those turns and get it back to where it was before. With the Tremsetter, once you tried a new adjustment, there was no way to get back to the old one.

Also, as you can see, the BackStop was designed to straddle the center spring, as most tremolo setups have three regular springs. So, you do have to remove the center spring to install it, but it coexists peacefully with your existing springs after that.

Legend has it that Ibanez started shipping these on some of their guitars until they were forced to stop by Gibson, who claimed to hold a patent on that design (which might be why all of the other stabilizers like this are from other countries).

Verdict:

Ease of Installation: Much easier than the Tremsetter (what isn't?). No routing or drilling aside from making some holes for the mounting screws.

Ease of Adjustment: The Backstop, and the two other models using the Backstop design, is fairly straightforward to adjust... with the only problem being that you have to turn little knurled nuts with your fingers. Given than these nuts are under tension from the spring, and that you're reaching between the existing tremolo springs, this can be a little frustrating. It would be nice if there were some holes in the sides of the nuts which would allow you to turn them with a little pin.

Effectiveness: I haven't tried the Backstop, per se, but I'm using that Goeldo BackBox (same design) and it works like a champ. Does exactly what it should.

Cost: On eBay, BackStops go for about $200. Ouch!

Overall: It's fairly simple to install and adjust, and it works as well as you could expect. It's just really expensive. If it were the only device of its kind, it would be arguably worth the money, but you can get the ESP Arming Adjuster or Goeldo BackBox for less than half of the price.

Reviews
Hipshot Tremsetter ESP Arming Adjuster
Ibanez BackStop Goeldo BackBox
WD Tremolo Stabilizer Tremol-no
Floyd Rose FAQ
Mag-Lok

Which tremolos CANNOT be helped

Goeldo BackBox now for sale in the U.S.

How to INSTALL/ADJUST the BackBox

How to INSTALL the Floyd Rose Stabilizer

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joe@emenaker.com