How string gauge affects whammy bar tension

  • I've seen Carl's video before (and numerous debates about its validity that can get "pretty heated" to say the least). I'm not physics professor but my own personal take (for what its worth) is that Carl is a phenomenal guitar player but he should stick to playing ^^


    As far as I understand it; tension is tension. The strings neither know nor care what angle the claw is set at or which claws they attach to. As long as the overall tension is equal to the string tension it shouldn't matter how you angle the claw. The strings exert their pull on the pivot points not the claw. Now it you mover one pivot point back relative to the other that would have an effect (probably not a good one though !)

    I've come to the same conclusion over time, Alan, 'cause for the life of me I can't see how biasing the tension "behind" one pivot point or the other can make any difference. The fixed pivot points dictate that tension will always be the sum of the springs' individual contributions.


    The upward-travel range of a trem is determined solely by the distance between its rear-bottom edge and the guitar's body.


    IOW, I too don't "get it", all the fuss about claw angling. To me it's snake oil that's somehow persisted in being perceived as legitimate. If I'm wrong, I can only conclude that I (and you) must be missing something "obvious". :/

  • My thinking exactly, mate.


    The idea that somehow a biased tension can affect upward travel cannot be reconciled with the fact that said travel is limited by the height of the bridge (gap at rear between trem and body), and that the excursion at both the high and low E strings (using the conventional guitar as an example) is identical - the same distance.

  • You need a video for this? Haha... Heavier gauge = more tension = tightening springs to compensate for the larger guage to level the Floyd base. Also resetting intonation. I have guitars with Floyd’s I have 9’s, 10’s, and 11’s.


    Bigger strings and more tension = harder to bend, but a little bigger sound and stays in tune a lot better. 9’s I’m always tweaking, 10’s hardly ever. If you play a lot, even 12’s are easy to bend. Stronger hands. Play just every so often, 9’s ar better.

  • You need a video for this? Haha... Heavier gauge = more tension = tightening springs to compensate for the larger guage to level the Floyd base. Also resetting intonation. I have guitars with Floyd’s I have 9’s, 10’s, and 11’s.


    Bigger strings and more tension = harder to bend, but a little bigger sound and stays in tune a lot better. 9’s I’m always tweaking, 10’s hardly ever. If you play a lot, even 12’s are easy to bend. Stronger hands. Play just every so often, 9’s ar better.

    Completely agree with that statement, which should be obvious to most, however, it is a different issue in discussion here.

  • To be fair, slateboy, Nemo addressed the OP's question, which is indeed the title of the thread. He asked about overall tension, whereas the spring-biasing discussion is a "subset" of this, albeit a fascinating one.


    I think the OP's question has been well-and-truly answered 'though, so the organic development of the conversation into what it has become represents the logical flow of the subject from one of overall tension into a more-involved, individual-spring-settings debate.


    At any rate, it's good stuff IMHO; I've been meaning to ask about this for years and am still open to and hopeful of learning something about "mixed tension" of springs. The logical conclusion Alan and I outlined isn't the last word on the matter, at least I hope it isn't; I can't help but wonder what we might've been missing given that, as I suggested earlier, this has been "a thing" for many a year. If it were a simple matter of "obvious" physics' ruling it out, it would have died long before it was able to grow legs.