Tremsetter Installation

youtube Jvl0fLOzwi8


How to install the Tremsetter.

Video Transcription

[on-screen text reads: Dave Borisoff, Founder of Hipshot Products]

Dave Borisoff: Hi, I'm Dave Borisoff, Hipshot Products. Today I'd like to install a Tremsetter. The guitar I chose to install on is a Fender Stratocaster equipped with an American standard tremolo. Hipshot Tremsetter is installed well on just about any fulcrum style tremolo, including Floyd Rose, American standard tremolo, vintage six screw tremolos, and of course a Hipshot ball bearing tremolo. Before I install a Tremsetter on this guitar, I'd like to show you some of the disadvantages of a fulcrum style tremolo and how the Hipshot Tremsetter solves these problems.

Problems the Hipshot Tremsetter solves

One of the problems we have on this fulcrum style tremolo is when I bend the string up, I'm increasing the string energy of the string tension on the tremolo, the tremolo sags forward. You can hear it right now as I bend my G string up. Listen to my low E as it dives in pitch. With Tremsetter installed, no more tremolo sag. Notes are in tune.

Another problem we have is what we call tremolo flutter. You can easily see this just by looking at the tip of your tremolo arm as I pick a string. Notice how the tremolo arm bounces. This is really your string energy being absorbed or wasted by your fluttering tremolo. The Tremsetter virtually eliminates all my flutter, so all my string energy's coming out my amplifier, not being absorbed by my tremolo.

And of course, the main problem is that the fulcrum style tremolo doesn't come back to tune. So I'm going to plug in my little tuner here. Okay. Get the guitar in tune, use a tremolo one time. See where it comes back. Comes back sharp. The Hipshot Tremsetter ensures that the tremolo comes back to its exact original position, ensuring that your guitar is in tune. So here it is. Now we're going to use the tremolo one time like we did before. It's in tune.

Tools you will need for installation

Well, let's begin. The first thing you'll need is the following tools, a small soldering iron in some solder or crimp on terminal, wire cutters, needle nose pliers, small Phillip screwdriver, 3/32nd Allen wrench, A small scale or ruler, drill motor, 16th inch drill bit, and a long 3/16th drill bit, which you can obtain at a local hardware store. The Tremsetter Kit, which includes main buck spring assembly, hinge clip, two number four screws, double claw, and two single claws. Make sure your guitar is in tune, intonated properly, and the tremolo floating in the right position. On these guitars on the American standard tremolos, I like to see a thin eighth of an inch from the bottom edge of the tremolo to the face of the guitar.

How to install a Tremsetter

All right, let's install a Tremsetter. First, change out the original claw for the Tremsetter single claws. I'm not going to touch the tuners. The guitar is in tune, tremolo is in the right position. I'm just going to replace the original claw with the Hipshot single claws. A little tip I've learned is to use a crimp on terminal instead of soldering. This just eliminates a lot of hassles. And I'm going to bring the guitar up to pitch by turning in the claw screws. When I get the guitar in tune, I know that my tremolo is back to its original position and there we are.

Now my guitar is in tune and I've replaced the claws, so I know that the tremolo is back in its original position. It's important to note that the tremolo is hanging free. It's not touching my work surface. Next thing to do is to mount the hinge clip. To do this, I'm taking my tremolo arm, just inserting it into a string hole of the sustain block and pushing down to raise my tremolo to full string raised position, or pulling the strings up as high as they'll go. I'm going to take a scale and measure three and three eighth inches from the front edge of the sustain block. Take my awl and make a mark exactly in the center of my claws. Taking a 16th inch drill bit and I'm drilling very carefully where I've made my mark and I'm going in about a quarter of an inch. I don't want to go through, I might hit a pickup on the other side and you don't want to do that.

Take my awl, make sure that the hinge clip is straight. Mark right in the middle of this back hole. Take the second screw, check to see if it's straight. Yes indeed. Using a 3/32nd allen wrench, I loosen the set screw on the brass collar. I want to be careful that the pull rod of the Tremsetter does not pull out and parts fly everywhere. I align the square cutout, square hole in the back of the Tremsetter bracket with a hook on the hinge clip. I line the pull rod up with the center hole of the sustained block. I push the pull rod against the far cavity wall. I'm going to make a mark. This is where I'm going to drill my 3/16th clearance hole. I have an extra long 3/16th drill. This helps me get the drill motor lower to the face of the guitar, and I can make sure I drill a nice straight clearance hole. I like to use a little card or something to protect the face of the instrument, and I'm going to carefully align with my mark. Take my time.

I drilled this clearance hole about a half to three quarters of an inch deep. Now remember, we brought our tremolo up to pitch by tightening our claws. Now I'm going to back the claws off a half to three quarter of a turn each. This will cause the strings to go flat. Do not retune. Okay, now again, square hole of the Tremsetter bracket hooks into the hinge clip. Now I'm going to actually put the hook of the Tremsetter into the sustain block, check to be sure that the pull rod moves freely in the clearance hole. Okay, Tremsetter is in place. I insert my 3/32nd allen wrench into my set screw, exert pressure on my brass collar to open up a gap at point B. Insert a heavy gauge guitar pick, relax to pinch the pick at point B.

Now I'm pushing the brass collar up against the end of the threaded tube of the Tremsetter, but not hard enough to loosen the pick. Tighten the set screw off to the side, snug it up, but don't over tighten because you don't want to damage the pull rod. Pull out the pick and listen to point B snap shut. Okay, a quick review. We got the guitar in tune, so the tremolo was in its exact original position. Then we loosened the outer two wood screws slightly, that brought the tremolo to a lowered position. We installed the Tremsetter, inserted the pick at point B. Pushed the brass collar up against the threaded tube, tightened it. When we pulled the pick out, it returned the tremolo back to its original position.

Okay, what's important is that when the tremolo is in a neutral position, your hands are off the tremolo, that there be no gaps at point B or point A. Now if you have a little gap at point B, you can tighten your claw screws slightly, drawing the tremolo towards the neck. Closing the gap at B. If you have a gap at A, you can loosen the claw screws bringing the tremolo towards the butt end of the guitar, closing the gap at A. When the guitar is in neutral position, there must not be any gaps at point A or point B.

I hope this little video's been a help to you in installing Tremsetters. If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to contact us at Thanks a lot.



Dave Borisoff

Founder of Hipshot Products

Related items