|Super-Vee tremolo on the left,Fender tremolo on the right|
The BladeRunner is the non-locking tremolo from the makers of the Super-Vee double-locking tremolo that players like Eric Johnson are getting excited about. I was very interested to hear one of these guys in person. Our guitar is a Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd signature model,a guitar that comes with a vintage style trem with GraphTech saddles. The GraphTech saddles offer what I would consider a significant upgrade in most cases,so the BladeRunner was replacing an already good quality bridge. First impressions of the BladeRunner were very good. It has the look and feel of a quality part. The tremolo block is definitely not your run of the mill cheap stuff. It's also pretty easy to see the tremolo bar has a unique design as well. It's design allows more control over how the bar behaves.The biggest difference is the steel blade the trem uses in place of screws or posts on which to move.Once you determine that the E to E string spacing is the same (it should fit most Fender guitars) and whether you need a standard six hole or a modern two post mount,this should be as simple as dropping it in and setting it up. It comes with simple,well written instructions and assuming you can also set it up when you're done,you should be able to handle it.
So,what happened when I installed this one? Out of the box,the Super-Vee comes roughed in to the radius and intonation that is close to where most guitars will end up. That's a nice touch that shows this company actually has given some thought to what will happen to their product AFTER it leaves them. In my case,this guitar owner,one of my regulars,is a real basher. We're talking five springs on the trem,a custom string set of .011,.014,.018P,.028,.038,.050 and several refrets with the biggest railroad tie frets you can imagine. The roughed in factory specs,although welcome, wouldn't help here. Bridge height screws,in guitar usage,basically come in what you can think of as "small","medium" and "large". The screws provided with the Super-Vee will work on almost any Stratocaster...except this one. I ended up pulling out the shorter "E" screws,moving some from the middle over and replacing the "D" and "G" with screws that were taller.
|Alternate string angle - first try.|
These problems were in no way the fault of Super-Vee but I could see how this would really ruin even a skilled hobbyist guitar tech's Saturday. Will all these things happen to your Strat? Pretty unlikely,but if you had tried to install this part on THIS guitar,you would have had to have a) alternate bridge height screws around, b) a spare tuner parts bin and c) a grinder to modify the tuner.