Gotoh 510 or Wilkinson trem?

leogremlini

New member
Messages
2
I'm designing a strat, not sure which tremolo to use. I want a trem that's fluid (smooth, not stiff) and doesn't throw the guitar out of tune. I know tuning issues are mostly nut-related but a bad trem can cause problems. I also want a trem with a pop-in arm, I hate the screw-in ones Fender uses. The wobbly trem arm drives me nuts.

Based on these criteria, it seems like the Gotoh or Wilkinson would be the best choices for me. I've heard the Wilkinson can have some installation/setup issues though. How do the Gotoh and Wilkinson compare to each other? Pros and cons of each? What tremolo would you recommend (that Warmoth routes for) based on what I'm looking for?
 

stratamania

Senior member
Messages
9,451
I assume you mean the Gotoh Wilkinson Tremolo VS100 versus the Gotoh 510TS-FE1 both of which Warmoth sell and rout for.  (note not all Wilkinson are made by Gotoh)

They are both very good trems and should fit the bill for what you are looking for.

I have no idea about what you have heard about installation/setup but I venture to say that may be more user issues than the hardware. All tremolos require installation and setup.

Which one of these two in the end comes down to personal preference. I prefer the look of the Gotoh 510 for example of these two.
 

rauchman

Senior member
Messages
793
I have both trems in Warmoth builds.

Wilkinson VS100 has the ability to lock the saddle, but requires a specific body route.  Think of the route as standard 2pt Fender based, plus some extra wood routed out in the trem arm area.

I have the NS 510TS-FE1 (narrow spaced, steel block). The block is bulky and didn't permit the trem to depress much.  Ordered a FutTone brass block, which is shorter, which allows a deeper dive/depress.  I understand Wilk makes special saddles that lock the string in the saddle, much like a Floyd Rose, just done differently.

Gotoh also has some non narrow spaced 510 trems with their FST mechanism, which basically has an angled cut in the trem block where the string goes straight to the saddle and does not contact the bridge plate, however while the block is cut to allow a deeper dive, I believe the FST blocks are only in zinc.  Why they don't offer this on all their 510's and with an angled steel block is beyond my understanding.

I'm sure other things are at play here (the guitars these are on have different scale lengths, the Wilky is on a 25.5" and the 510 is on a 24.75" Tiltback Strat headstock), but of the 2, I like the 510 better.  They are both smooth, but for whatever reason, the Wilky doesn't feel as substantial. 

If it matters, they both are not as good as the G&L trem that comes on their guitars.  Of the 2pt trem's I've tried, the G&L is my fav'.  It has superb sensitivity and feels very substantial.  However, I believe the G&L unit uses Floyd Rose post spacing and not sure if there are routing differences to the Fender based route.

 

Seamas

Senior member
Messages
517
leogremlini said:
I've heard the Wilkinson can have some installation/setup issues though. How do the Gotoh and Wilkinson compare to each other? Pros and cons of each? What tremolo would you recommend (that Warmoth routes for) based on what I'm looking for?

I only have experience with the Wilkinson and had no setup or install issues. Pretty much a breeze. I had Warmoth do the rout and install the studs (bought the Trem from Warmoth too).
 

Rick

Senior member
Messages
4,507
For me I have the narrow spaced gotoh and it’s been trouble free.
 
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