Wudtone Tremolo

PDC

New member
Messages
18
Just installed a Wudtone Vintage-Style 6-screw tremolo and wanted to share my thoughts.  This went on a very well constructed ‘78 Eruption ‘Tribute’ guitar.  Hard ash Franky body, Musikraft ‘Franky’ neck.  The guitar came with one of those Brass 6-hole trems with the square brass saddles that are found on many original 80s era Jackson and Charvel guitars.  When properly adjusted with fresh strings, the brass unit did an admirable job of holding tune.  But as with all vintage 6-screw style trems, there was always the feeling of a light ‘bump’ or ‘detent’ as the bridge plate slid down the mounting screws when the arm was fully depressed.  This invariably resulted in the low “E” and “A” string not returning ‘quite’ to pitch.  I will say, the unwound strings held tune pretty darned well after I did a full truss rod / action / intonation dial-in on this guitar. 

I waited quite a while for my Wudtone - I ordered from BYO guitars.  I needed a trem with vintage (wide) screw spacing and modern (narrow) string spacing.  Unfortunately, that was the only dimension they did not have on the shelf and had to get one directly from Andy at Wudtone in the U.K. The folks at BYO were extremely nice and communicative throughout the process of obtaining my bridge directly from Wudtone And waiting for custome to clear their shipment.  (Apparently, the Wudtone re-finishing kits contain certain chemicals that customs likes to inspect thoroughly before releasing the order!)

The tremolo is EXTREMELY well made.  The machining is precise.  The pieces all fit together and have a very ‘solid’ high quality feel.  The unit installed easily in a matter of minuted during a normal string change.  It was just a matter of backing out the mounting screws for the brass unit and threading in the new screws with the new unit in place.  I do like the ‘whacker’ plate that sits between the body and the baseplate.  I wiped mine lightly with a film of WD-40 to minimize friction between the ‘whacker’ plate and the bottom of the tremolo baseplate.  The two pieces glide like a hockey puck on ice.  FWIW - I did swap a set of ‘String Saver’ saddles in place of the traditional ‘bent steel’ style saddles that come with the Wudtone.

After installing a fresh set of strings, I set action and intonation.  I followed the general pattern of the 6 saddles from the brass tremolo because I had previously sent the intonation with that bridge ‘dead-on’. 3 of the strings required no intonation adjustment at all.  The others were within one full turn of perfect intonation.  After stretching the strings out and adjusting the springs to allow the trem to ‘float’ ever so slightly, it was time for the test: I did 2 full dive bombs to ‘slack’ - released the bar - and then checked tuning with no additional ‘finessing’ (like pulling the bar all the way back and releasing). The guitar was in literally ‘perfect’ tune.  And there were no ‘bumps’ or ‘detents’ or other odd sensations anywhere during the travel of the trem arm.

To be clear, I had previously spent quite a bit of time on the brass nut on this particular guitar, carefully rounding the nut slots and sloping them off the back of the nut toward the tuning pegs - this is OFTEN the point where an open trem system will ‘catch’ or ‘hang-up’ resulting in most folks blaming the bridge.  I also use a drop of WD-40 in each nut slot when I change strings. 

My other guitars with non-locking trems all have 2-point Hipshot Tremolos - the ‘contour’ and the more traditional looking ‘bent-plate’ versions.  I’ve got those guitars dialed in to where they hold tune as well as any Floyd equipped guitar I have ever owned.  The Wudtone works as well as my Hipshots.  But the big improvement is in the TONE.  Something about the 6-screw design just makes the guitar sound BIGGER and FATTER than the 2-point trem equipped guitars that I own.  (Which already sound better - to my ears - than my Floyd guitars that clamp the strings at the saddle and at the nut)

At this point I would not hesitate ordering my next guitar body with a traditional 6-hole trem route and use the Wudtone Tremolo.  It’s a winner.
 

Verne Bunsen

Senior member
Messages
2,473
Great review, thanks! I looked at these for a recent build but ended up going with a Super Vee Blade Runner. I will certainly keep Wudtone in mind for the future... And yes, pics please!
 

gingataff

Active member
Messages
71
I think I ordered one around the same time as you, maybe October or November last year. Vintage base but modern saddles. Andy told me he was waiting for a delivery but when he got them they were all lefties so he had to place another order. When I finally got mine I was pleased at first but noticed a few issues. Some of the corners definitely look a bit handmade but worse was some of the screw holes are noticeably uneven, with jagged edges. In fact the hole for the trem arm has a jagged edge which cut a groove into the arm when it was screwed in. I sent pics to Andy and he said that it should be fine, and contact him if there are any tuning stability issues.
I haven't installed it yet so hopefully it will be fine, but I'm a bit disappointed as it seems like it was made in a hurry with little QC.
 

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arealken

Senior member
Messages
226
I bought a couple. One was sent with the wrong shim, but they sent the correct shim. Seems like an excellent tremolo, but I just went off the hype. I doubt very seriously if I would order again.



































































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