Did Blackmore/Uli set their trems to floating?

Tatosh GuitarTatosh Guitar Posts: 2,323
edited December 1969 in Technique Forum
Yesterday I was thinking on this. I know Van Halen sets his floyds on the wood, so they don't float, and I have seen regular 6 point classic strats with a certain degree of floating. Some dude actually did set my old strat copy like that in the 90's and that thing could go both up and down without going out of tune. That taught me the importance of a proper set up, but I digress...  :wacky:

Anyway I was wondering that considering all the crazy stuff Blackers and Uli were doing in the 70's with a regular strat, if they were just going one way ala VH or both ways before the invention of the floating Floyd Rose.  :exclaim:

Anybody knows?  :smile:


  • I could be wrong, but I don't think they did -- at least not back in the day.  For one thing, I don't recall hearing any pulls UPs -- just dives.
    I threw me guitar out. Why bother? Why bother? Use it as a coffee table. Because I can't play it like that. 
    -- David St. Hubbins.
  • [quote author=Dinosaur David B link=topic=17895.msg268779#msg268779 date=1450803143]
    I could be wrong, but I don't think they did -- at least not back in the day.  For one thing, I don't recall hearing any pulls UPs -- just dives.

    Yeah that's what I thought. But my memory is hazy at this point hehe. I guess I'll stick to the standard fender trem then for playing that type of stuff...  :up:
  • HaffnerHaffner Posts: 8,005
    Didn't Blackmore do that thing Beck used to...pull the string up a little behind the nut to either knock something into pitch or as a bend alternative? He, Iommi, and Page copped that from the Yardbirds. Actually I might be wrong, it was probably older than that.

    Anyway, EVH (I'm a big fan by the way) mentioned Page doing that "Heartbreaker" behind the nut thing and how he (Edward) sought to expand upon that sound.
  • StitselStitsel Posts: 2,190
    I remember an old Blackmore article where he said he sets it to float, about an 1/8 of an inch or so, so he could both pull up & dive.....
    Alot of both their whammy work was more than just divebombing; In Rock had some particulary violent whammy abuse (Flight Of The Rat, Hard Lovin' Man to name a few) & Uli's Scorps work had a very similar bar style IMO, these guys weren't going for a dreamy/shimmering vibrato effect.....it sounded wild,out of control and abrasive! In fact, now that I think about it, they're my two favorite whammy bar players, if for no other reason than their aggressive feel!

    How those guys stayed in tune ( or seemed to  :036: ) is amazing!
  • Interesting. Now that you mention it, Blackers was indeed almost going out of control in the early albums, especially In Rock. I'll have to check it more carefully.

  • StitselStitsel Posts: 2,190
    He wasn't just dive-bombing :wink:

    I personally set my stock Strat (a Blackmore Sig. no less!) bridge at that same exact setting,10-42s tuned to E Standard & with the bridge slightly floating.I've worked on a few tricks of my own to keep the damn thing in tune but really every Strat I've ever owned has been the same.I love my Super Strat with the Floyd & humbuckers, but really nothing sounds or compares to that Fender.Getting crazy on the bar doesn't bug me too much 'cuz A.) it has a better feel than the Floyd IMO, B.) I've kind of gotten it down where it stays in tune better (graphite nut & Nut Sauce, graphite string trees), but everyone will tell you a different way to do it & what do I know? I'm still experimenting & trying & basically I haven't found a way to make a stock Strat bridge stay in perfect tune after serious violent whammy work.Supposedly there's people that can do it, methods that work etc. that can make it happen but I'm still trying to find that elusive pot of perfect tuning gold. That said, I don't stress too much on it & whammy at abandon & will, & have fun doing it too.I can always retune.People who get too anal about it .....whatever. I care more about Rock & Roll & pissing people off than I do about some snobby prima donna Neo Classical wannabe pointing out I'm out of tune....& yes I care about being in tune!
  • HaffnerHaffner Posts: 8,005
    [quote author=Stitsel link=topic=17895.msg268838#msg268838 date=1450916807]

    I care more about Rock & Roll & pissing people off than I do about some snobby prima donna Neo Classical wannabe pointing out I'm out of tune....& yes I care about being in tune!

    Me too.
  • AgrippaAgrippa Posts: 5,980
    I don't know, but I too have read somewhere that Ritchies trem was set up floating.

    As David Torn demonstrates here, you don't need that much "pull up" to make good use of a floating trad trem.
    I alway thought Torn got his trademark "wobbly" sound using a transtrem, but he gets that sound quite nicely using a six screw trad trem, it seems.

    I love David, but he's an acquired taste, I admit.
  • jebbuddajebbudda Posts: 5,030
    I know that Uli had Scorpions bass player Francis Bucholdtz (?) design something for his strats way back when . I've seen a few pictures of his strats having bigger whammy bars .

    I guess when Uli did songs like Polar Nights he had to switch guitars after all those dive bombers and explosions .

    I grew up with a die hard Deep Purple fan . He had multiple bootlegs from the early 70s that were really cool. I still have a few on cassette . No question RB was a serious strat abuser . He'd go off on these solos and his guitar would be TOTALLY out of tune .  One version of Child in Time he couldn't really get that outro line happening he was so far out of tune . He'd just continue to bash the hell out of it . The more out of tune the worse the abuse .

     On other songs you could tell he would drop out and most likely get another guitar . Sometimes he would attempt to tune up as he was playing . I suppose it really depended on the night . Sometimes he really went overboard with the noise on these bootlegs . 

    I'm pretty sure RB had a line of strats ready and waiting and never played the same guitar for very long before he knocked it all out of tune .

    Wasn't KRAMER the first guitar company to introduce the floating trem system ? My understanding is that Floyd Rose came to them . I know for sure that one of the principles of KRAMER has all the rights to FR trems today .

    My guess is the floating trem system showed up in the late 70s early 80s ?  Eddie Van Halen was a KRAMER endorser in 1980 wasn't he . All the metal guys played KRAMERS in the 80s . 
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