How to Install and Set Up a Tremol-No System

How to Install a Tremol-No System in Your Guitar

Adding a Tremol-No system to your guitar is a great way to remove most inconveniences that come with using a tremolo bridge. Simplifying guitar setup, improving sustain and blocking the tremolo when you do not need it are some of its most notable benefits.

In order to get these advantages, however, it is essential that the device is set up correctly. As mentioned in my Tremol-No review, the official installation instructions leave a lot to be desired. It is understandable that many people never manage to get the Tremol-No properly working when trying to install it themselves.

To save you the frustration that can come with installing the Tremol-No system, I have placed a set of improved instructions on this page. On top of that, I added several extra tips you can use to get the best experience out of the device. Don’t worry about messing anything up, it is not too complicated and you can complete the entire process without making any permanent modifications to your guitar.

Which Tremol-No system do you need?

There are currently three different types of Tremol-No system on the market. They all function in the same way, but they have different ways of attaching to the guitar’s tremolo block. This is to accommodate for the different shapes and sizes of tremolo blocks out there.

With rectangular tremolo blocks up to 9mm thickness you need to use the small clamp model, larger square blocks (up to 13mm thick) require the large clamp model, and for trem blocks with rounded surfaces there is the pin type.

You can find a detailed list of tremolo manufacturers and matching Tremol-No models on this page and this page.

Keep in mind that if you modded your guitar’s tremolo with a thick brass sustain block, you will need to use the large clamp model. Measuring the thickness of the block lets you know for sure.

How to install a Tremol-No system in your guitar

What you’ll need

Step by step

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The easiest way to install a Tremol-No is when you start with tuned strings on the guitar and with a properly balanced tremolo. While you can do it without strings, this does make the process a bit more difficult.

Preparation

An Allen key being used to unscrew a small bolt from a guitar tremolo arm
Because we will flip the guitar over, it is best to detach the tremolo arm so that it does not get in the way. To do this, use the hex key that was included with the guitar to loosen the arm’s set screw.
A hand lifting and removing the arm from a Floyd Rose tremolo system
Once you have done this, take the tremolo arm and lift it out.
A screwdriver removing the screws of a guitar backplate.
Flip the guitar over and use a #2 Phillips-head screwdriver to remove the screws of the back panel. Put them in a safe place so you don’t accidentally lose them.
A hand lifting out the backplate of a guitar.
After you have taken out the screws, remove the back panel.

Removing the old tremolo claw

A top view of the Tremolo cavity in a guitar.
We now have access to the internal workings of the tremolo system. You are most likely to see three large springs, but depending on your guitar, you can also encounter two, four or five. When combined with a Tremol-No system, the maximum number of springs is four. This is because the Tremol-No takes up one spring slot.
A hand applying pieces of of blue painters tape to indicate the position of a tremolo claw.
Add two pieces of tape to the guitar to indicate the approximate position of the old tremolo claw. Later on, this will tell you where to position the new claw and makes balancing the bridge easier.
A small hex key used to safely remove a tremolo system spring.
Detach one of the large springs. Because of the springs’ strength, this can be a challenge. I find it easiest to use some kind of hook tool to pull on the end of the spring while I apply additional force with my other hand.
Top view of a Floyd Rose system in a guitar with its springs removed.
Repeat the previous step to remove the remaining springs.
A #2 Phillips-head screwdriver being used to remove wood screws from a tremolo claw.
Next we must detach the old claw. Use a #2 Phillips-head screwdriver to unscrew the two large wood screws from the guitar body.
A pair of flush cutters being used to cut the grounding wire on a tremolo claw.
To fully disconnect the tremolo claw from the guitar we also need to detach it from the ground wire. While you can desolder the wire, it is easier to just clip it with a pair of flush cutters. Try to cut the wire so that the exposed part remains as long as possible. The longer it is, the easier it is to attach to the new claw.

Installing the Tremol-No

Top view of a partially assembled Floyd Rose Tremol-No locking device.
Place the Tremol-No assembly inside the guitar’s tremolo cavity.
A screwdriver installing the screws of a Tremol-No system into a guitar.
Use your screwdriver to reinsert both wood screws. Thread them only as far into the wood as to line the Tremol-No claw up with the tape.
A underside of a guitar that is being worked on.
Like so.
Thumbscrews of a Tremol-No locking device being loosened by hand.
Loosen the two rightmost thumbscrews on the Tremol-No.
A guitar component being removed during maintenance.
Remove the sliding arm. This will help give us better access during the upcoming steps.
Two hands installing the spring in a Floyd Rose system with the aid of an Allen key.
Attach the middle tremolo spring from the claw to the floating block. Again, it is helpful to use some kind of tool to hook and pull on the end of the spring.
The underside of a guitar that is undergoing maintenance.
Repeat the previous step to attach the remaining springs.
A hand removing pieces of blue painters tape from the underside of a guitar body.
Remove the tape. We will not be needing it anymore.
A grounding wire of a guitar wrapped around a hex key to deform it.
Now it is time to attach the ground wire to the Tremol-No claw. The claw has a convenient mounting point with a bolt that clamps the wire to the aluminium. I like to wrap the wire around a hex key to make a small loop to make the clamping easier.
If there is not enough exposed wire left, you can use a wire stripper to remove some of the insulation from the end.
The grounding wire of a guitar being attached to the claw of a Tremol-No locking device.
Hook the wire loop around the bolt and secure it with the included hex key.
Side view of a Floyd Rose tremolo level and parallel with an electric guitar body.
To level out the floating bridge, adjust the wood screws until the bottom plane of the bridge is parallel to the strings and guitar body.
The sliding arm component of a Tremol-No being slid onto the device's smooth rod.
Add the sliding part of the Tremol-No back onto the shaft.
A hand using an Allen key to loosen the retaining bolt of a Tremol-No clamp.
Use the smaller hex key to loosen the bolt of the clamp so that it opens.
A Tremol-No small clamp placed onto an aluminium Floyd Rose block.
Place the clamp on the tremolo block. If you are using a pin-type Tremol-No because your guitar’s tremolo block has a rounded/beveled base instead of a flat one, you must insert the pin of the Tremol-No into the corresponding spring hole.

Final set-up

Top view of a small Tremol-No locking device in a guitar before fine tuning its position.
Now it is time to fine-tune the position of the components. Do this right and your tremolo will work just as well as it does without a Tremol-No. Do this wrong and your guitar will end up with unwanted friction that ruins your experience.
Adjust the position of the claw so that it is perfectly parallel with the trem block. The rod should be perpendicular (at an angle of 90°) to both the claw and the trem block. Essentially, you want it to resemble a big ‘H’. Not an ‘A’.
The final adjustment is best done by ear by checking for any remaining friction/scratching/binding sounds. Adjust the components until work as silently as possible.
A small hex key attaching a small clamp to an aluminium tremolo block.
Once the tremolo moves fluently without the Tremol-No making any sound, secure the clamp.
A hex key tightening the grub screws that hold a Tremol-No claw in place.
Then secure the claw to the woodscrews by tightening the two grub screws.

That’s all there is to it! You have now successfully installed a Tremol-No on your guitar.

How to use the Tremol-No

Using the Tremol-No is fairly straightforward. To switch the tremolo from full-floating to hardtail, tighten the thumbscrews on the sliding arm. To switch back to full-floating, loosen the thumbscrews.

A hand tightening the thumbscrews of a Tremol-No.

To switch to dive-only mode, slide the small block with single thumbscrew (referred to as the Deep-C accessory in the official documentation) up to the sliding arm when the bridge is positioned in its neutral position, and tighten its thumbscrew.

Troubleshooting

There are a couple of minor issues you might encounter after installing the Tremol-No. Rest assured, these are relatively easy to fix.

Thumbscrews coming loose

One of the major complaints about the Tremol-No is that the thumbscrews can come loose over time and even fall out. This can indeed happen, as guitars are exposed to plenty of vibrations. Some of these vibrations cause the thumbscrews to vibrate loose.

An easy way to fix this is to take the thumbscrews out and apply Loctite Threadlocker Blue 242 to the threads. After that, simply reinsert the thumbscrews.

Loctite 242 is designed to lock threaded fasteners and prevents them from loosening from vibrations, yet still allows you to remove them by hand if you so desire. Ideal for the thumbscrews on a Tremol-No.

Clicking/knocking sounds

On some guitars it is possible that, even after installing the Tremol-No correctly, the bridge area emits a clicking or knocking sound when it is locked in hardtail mode.

In my experience, this is often caused by a bit of play between the bridge pivot posts (also called pivot studs or tremolo posts) and their inserts.

A circled trem pivot post on a Floyd Rose bridge.
Pivot post (circled).

When the bridge is in full floating mode, the tension of the tremolo springs on the bridge prevents this play from being a problem. When the tremolo is locked and you rest your hand on the bridge, however, it can cause the pivot posts/studs to move around in the inserts and create a clicking sound.

To fix this, simply wrap the threads of the posts with a single layer of PTFE/plumbers tape. This seats the studs firmly in their inserts and removes any wiggle room.

Another possible cause for this sound is that the groove on the pivot studs has worn and is now too large. This problem is less common, as it takes a while for the studs to excessively wear. Another cause of pivot stud grooves wearing out is adjusting the tremolo bridge height when the bridge is under spring tension. Never do this!

Unfortunately, the only solution for worn-out pivot studs is replacing the studs with new ones.

Conclusion

If you want to avoid problems like a sticking or binding tremolo, it is essential to install a Tremol-No system correctly. The most important things to focus on are placing all key components parallel or perpendicular to each other and locking everything that does not need to move in place.

To avoid problems with the Tremol-No’s thumbscrews coming loose or falling out, it is a good idea to apply Loctite 242 to their threads. On the other hand, if you experience problems with clicking or knocking sounds, you are best off looking at the pivot studs and fixing any unwanted movement there.

Lastly, check that you have the right Tremol-No model for your guitar’s tremolo system. Depending on the sustain block that the guitar uses, you will either need the small clamp, large clamp or pin type Tremol-No.

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Recommended reading: Allparts Tremol-No Review

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