BFR Feb 2020
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Thread: The tremolo on my Luke vibrates heavily when hitting notes just a little harder

  1. #1

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    The tremolo on my Luke vibrates heavily when hitting notes just a little harder

    Hi friends, this is my first post here in the Ernie Ball forum, so hi to everybody!

    I recently got a new Luke III with the standard setup with a floating whammy bar.
    Now I have the impression, that this setup is very sensitive. Even without touching the whammy bar, when I hit the strings just a little harder (like one usually does for funky rhythm playing), the whammy bar always seems to vibrate a little when hitting the strings, causing a jangeling, ratteling sound, you know, like the one where you lift and rapidly release the bar, just without touching it. It isn't the springs, but I literaly can see the whammy bar vibrating a little.
    The problem seems to go away, when I remove the whammy bar from the guitar and it also seems to be much less prevalent, when I move the bar in orthogonal position relative to the strings. Of course it also can be tamed by holding the whammy bar while hitting the strings.

    I was just wondering, if this is the expected behavior or if there is something wrong with the guitar.
    If this is normal, how do you guys deal with it?

    Thanks for any tips!

    Stefan
    Last edited by stmandl; 05-10-2020 at 07:16 AM.

  2. #2

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    Welcome to the forum and congrats pon a great guitar!

    Sounds normal to me. Yes the Luke is set up as Lukather himself likes it, floating and two springs. If that is too sensitive for you, add a spring, and then do a few cycles of adjusting the tremolo springs to adjust/retune/test until you get it where you want it. Anything you like is fine but the factory setting is a gap of ~3 mm or 1/8" of a gap between the back of the trem and the guitar top. With 9 - 42 gauge strings that should give you enough up-pull to make the G-string go up in pitch to Bb. Incidentally, the B string will go up to about C#, and the E string will go up to F.

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  3. #3

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    Thanks DrKev for your answer. The guitar is set up exactly like you describe it. And also thanks for the hint with the two springs. That makes a lot of sense to me now. My old strat uses four springs, feels really different. For now, I don't really want to mess with the setup and instead explore the new possibilities. I already learned, that the whammy bar is so reactive, that I can add subtle modulations to my playing, but just touching it just a little bit. Really musical!
    Btw, do you happen to know where to get a tremolo spring that fits the Luke, when I would like to add one in the future?

  4. #4

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    You can try putting some pieces of cut up fuel line tubing inside the trem springs, which can help dampen vibrations.
    2007 Stingray 5 HS Cherry Burst / Maple FB / 3 Band EQ / Ceramic Pickups
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  5. #5

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    Hey Stefan, did no extra springs come with your guitar? I don't even remember if spring are part of case candy any more. (Thank you, darling Sunday beer). Just call your dealer and ask for some. They cost almost nothing.
    Forum Moderator, Guitar Teacher and Guitar Tech, Folder of Underpants, Stubber of Toes.
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  6. #6

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    Thanks all! Actually there was no case candy at all, only the whammy bar in a bag.

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