How Does a Fender Mustang Tremolo Work?

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How Does a Fender Mustang Tremolo Work?
Mustangs share few characteristics with other Fenders, apart from the rosewood neck. (tuners-guitar image by Jeffrey Zalesny from Fotolia.com)

The Mustang was first introduced in 1964 and featured a dynamic Fender vibrato unit. The vibrato unit is often referred to as a tremolo unit because it features a tremolo arm. There's very little difference between the two terms in this context.

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Construction

The Mustang tremolo incorporates a flat metal plate which sits against the body of the guitar. The tremolo system is incorporated into the bridge and tailpiece. Two poles hold the tremolo in place against the tailpiece. The strings run through the saddle part of the system and as they are tightened, they fix the tremolo system in place.

Operation

The Mustang tremolo is held in place with springs and can be dipped forward with the tremolo arm. Dipping the tremolo lowers the pitch of the strings and raising it back to the resting position returns the strings to their natural pitch.

Problems

The unit is unique to the Fender Mustang and enables the player to achieve a distinctive tremolo sound. It's impossible to install a Mustang tremolo system on any other guitar without first modifying the recipient guitar. The bridge may occasionally slip if the springs become too loose.

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