June 2, 2009
But gee Wally, aren't all tremolo springs alike? Apparently not Beav...
Prosound Communications, the same people who make Xotic pedals and some other good stuff, have a relatively new line called Raw Vintage which includes trem springs & bent steel saddles.
A primary difference between RV springs and conventional ones is that they have less tension. Because of this, these are only sold in complete sets of five springs-- and the maker recommends using all 5. With that said, I spoke to a dealer who was able to get away with using 3, and still experienced a sustain improvement. He has a Suhr with a recessed Gotoh which only accepts 3 springs. He's using 10-46 strings and had to torque the claw in tight, but he likes these new springs and plans to keep using them.
There's so much mojo talk out there about ways to improve tone, and the buzz on Raw Vintage springs is that the low tension spec is closer to the way trem springs were originally. In other words, todays stock springs are stiffer than springs used to be which isn't necessarily better for tone. Anyway, that's the buzz.
Either way, it's one of the cheapest upgrades you can do as Prosound sells sets direct for $20. I just found the SuperSoundMusic eBay Store selling them at $17.
Another simple upgrade is KGC's machined bell brass trem blocks.