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Thread: Tell me about the 2016 cutlass trem system - can it float like the trem on AL?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
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    Tell me about the 2016 cutlass trem system - can it float like the trem on AL?

    Bought a 2016 cutlass sss on Sunday, and left it at my main music store for a pro set up.

    I have an Albert Lee HH, and it is set to fully float. I go out of my way to make it go out of tune, and the AL refuses! It is really the best trem system I have ever used/tried.

    So, I asked the store to do a similar (they remember my Albert Lee) fully float job.

    Since then I have come across some info suggesting the cutlass trem system is different? That it ‘rests’ on the body.

    Is the cutlass trem not meant for fully floating? As in push down, and pull up?

    I realize, this is not a Floyd, and there is only so much it can go up and down...

    Thanks folks, cheers!
    Last edited by Junta; 03-13-2018 at 11:04 AM.

  2. #2
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    In short - yes. It comes from the factory flat to the body, but anyone competent can float it with no issues. Mine is floated
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  3. #3
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    It's all good. The Luke, for example, uses the vintage trem system on the AL, and it comes from the factory set to pull up a major third on the G string.

    Btw, easy to set this up yourself in the future- doesn't really require a tech to do it.

  4. #4
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    Ok, that’s a relief! Cause a like a Stratty guitar to float!

  5. #5
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    Yep! It is possible that you will have to adjust the neck angle with a shim, depending on how much travel you have available on the saddle height adjustment.
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  6. #6
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    Floated mine without problem at all. Had to adjust the action very little and the springs, and all is good.
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  7. #7
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    Hmmm. The idea of a shim makes me uncomfortable (OCD issues).

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeller View Post
    ...Had to adjust the action...
    More OCD kicking in! Action needs to be raised? I hope very little.

    Thanks for the info guys, appreciated. I think I will go back to the store and revise my set-up instructions/request to:

    "Float the trem, as long as it does not not impact (low) action".

  8. #8
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    I really doubt any neck shimming will be necessary. Mine is fine
    And I’m pretty sure the storie will make the action right when they float it, unless their tech suck
    Albert Lee HH - White
    Albert Lee SSS - 3tsb ****FOR SALE***
    Cutlas SSS - Vintage Turquoise
    St Vincent - BFR Trans Gold
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junta View Post
    Hmmm. The idea of a shim makes me uncomfortable (OCD issues).

    More OCD kicking in! Action needs to be raised? I hope very little.

    Thanks for the info guys, appreciated. I think I will go back to the store and revise my set-up instructions/request to:

    "Float the trem, as long as it does not not impact (low) action".
    The action most likely needed to be lowered a bit. The studs for the trem are screwed all the way into the guitar, so the only way to adjust the action is with the saddle screws, relief, or neck angle via a shim.

    I know that some people are insane about shims, but IMHO, they are an integral part of a final setup. As per the Music Man FAQ regarding the Luke and Luke III:

    "The Luke tremolo is set floating at an angle off the body. This angle is set to bend the open G string exactly 1.5 steps to an A# note when the bridge is pulled back. This tremolo does not necessarily have to be set floating. If you do not require the bridge to float, follow instructions for the Music Man vintage style tremolo. If setting the bridge flat on the body per the vintage style instructions, the shim in the neck pocket of your Luke may need to be removed or changed to a different thickness."

    This implies correctly that for the floating tremolo that the Luke comes with, use of a shim is expected. My Luke III had a brown shim (.010) but needed to go up to the pink (.015) for a tolerable action with the tremolo set to float. If I decked it, I might have been able to make do with the brown shim.
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  10. #10
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    Ok... so cutlass is no Albert Lee.

    I should have done my research before buying...

    Oh well, still way better than turning down the volume with every down strum on a Fender Strat...

    Schecter’s Nick Johnston signature has a volume button out of the way. But it costs over $5K Canadian...

  11. #11
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    I'm not sure I follow you. The Albert Lee uses the MM vintage tremolo. It is usually shipped from the factory "decked", which is how most EBMM guitars come. The Axis has a floyd and it too is "decked".

    They all can be set up to float however. It just may need a neck angle adjustment. It also may not need one. See what they are able to do with it before deciding a floating trem is a lost cause.
    2007 Stingray 5 HS Cherry Burst / Maple fretboard / 3 Band EQ / Ceramic Pickups
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    2012 Luke III SSH Vintage Sunburst / Rosewood Neck

  12. #12
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    "the shim in the neck pocket of your Luke may need to be removed or changed to a different thickness"

    Let me clarify something important here...

    for every bolt-on neck guitar A shim is ONLY requried if the action cannot be sufficiently adjusted with the saddle height adjustments, i.e. because the saddles cannot be adjusted low enough or high enough, or because sadddles cannot be adjusted at all (e.g. some Floyd Rose trems). Shims are sometimes necessary but this is the only reason why.

    Once a guitar is correctly setup, it is possble but very unlikely changing the trem to floating results in a need to shim. Don't put off adjusting your trem because you worry about shimming, it'll probably never happen!

    Action adjustments after trem adjustments are dead easy because every saddle will need pretty much exactly the same adjustment, which simplifies thing greatly.

    Of course if you have a steel engineeers rule or string action gauge the job is simplified greatly - measure action carefully before you start, adjust trem, remeasure action, adjust saddles to achive first measurement reading. All the guess work and 'black art' vanishes.
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  13. #13
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    I wouldn't even worry about it at all. I have all my EBMM guitars floating and never had to shim.
    EBMM Axis Super Sport (Pacific Blue Burst)
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    EBMM Cutlass (Vintage Turquoise)
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeller View Post
    I wouldn't even worry about it at all. I have all my EBMM guitars floating and never had to shim.
    I like the sound of that! Thanks so much everyone.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeller View Post
    I wouldn't even worry about it at all. I have all my EBMM guitars floating and never had to shim.
    So, you've had the necks off, or do you mean that you didn't have to change the shims when you went to floating?
    2007 Stingray 5 HS Cherry Burst / Maple fretboard / 3 Band EQ / Ceramic Pickups
    2012 Stingray 5 H Pearl Blue / Rosewood Fretboard/ 3 Band EQ/ AlNiCo Pickup
    2012 Steve Morse Signature Morse Blueburst / Rosewood FB
    2012 Luke III SSH Vintage Sunburst / Rosewood Neck

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