Which Tremolos Cannot be Helped

Every now and then, I get contacted by someone who is either considering buying a tremolo stabilizer (and doesn't know if it will fix their problem) or has already bought one and can't manage to make it fix their problem.

Usually, it's when they have some non-Floyd style trem or non-locking nut when I have to inform them that a stabilizer isn't going to help them. Here's how to tell if a trem-stabilizer is what you're looking for:

First, if your guitar goes out of tune after you dive or pull up on the trem, then your problem is not related to trem stabilization.
Most-likely, you've got string slippage over your bridge saddles or over your nut. This is usually caused by using a bridge or a nut which doesn't lock the string. If you're using a "Fender-style" bridge (like the one shown), I don't care how "frictionless" your bridge saddles claim to be, you're going to get slippage during diving/pulling (which the "frictionless" ones are designed to do, but one or more of the strings is also going to "hang up" when trying to slide back to its original position when you release the bar.


Same thing goes for pullied contraptions at the nut...


The only exception to this may be to use bridge saddles with actual pullies in them. You can get a set of 6 for about $15 from eBay, Stewart Macdonald, GuitarFetish, etc. Just google "roller saddles guitar" and you'll find them.


As far as nuts, though, you really need to get a locking nut. I don't trust graphite or roller-style nuts very much. And there's kinda no reason not to get a locking nut. They're less than $10 on any guitar parts site or eBay. You'll probably need to chisel/carve out the recess to accept the larger frame, and you'll need to be careful to get one which is the same width as your guitar neck, but I think they're worth it.

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

Which tremolos CANNOT be helped

Goeldo BackBox now for sale in the U.S.

How to INSTALL/ADJUST the BackBox

Here's a video of a guy showing how

How to INSTALL the Floyd Rose Stabilizer