Tuning Tips
for the
Trem King® Vibrato System

When tuning your guitar fitted with the Trem King® Vibrato System, tune as normal if you do NOT intend to use the Whammy bar during play. If you intend to use the Trem King® Vibrato System during play, you must use the Whammy Bar while tuning. Doing so allows the strings to move back and forth across the saddles and nut smoothly.

Here is the process:

Start with low "E". Pluck the string, press the whammy bar down to the body and release, and tune to pitch. Continue to pluck, press and tune until you can pluck the string, press the whammy bar down and when released the string stays on pitch. Repeat process with all strings.

By the time you get to the high "E", your guitar should be tuned AND STAY TUNED!

Trem King® recommends Big Bends® Nut Sauce for your nut, saddles and string trees when you change strings.


Adjusting the Trem King

Adjustment of Springs for Tension Bar and Tone Block:

NOTE: These instructions assume you are using 9-11 gauge and there is one (1) spring on the
Tone Block and one (1) spring on the Tension bar.
NOTE: The leather on your Trem King needs to sit 24 hours to compress before any attempt of
radius or intonation is made.
NOTE: Do not remove foam from inside springs. It is Not packing material. The springs
stretch a lot and the foam reduces noise.

1. Screw the middle screw (Tension Bar) in to about 3/4” or less from the body and attach Tension
Bar (This will firmly hold the Tension Bar against the two static arms and Tone Block)
2. Screw outside spring (Tone Block) about 1” from the body, or more. Do not attach tone Block
spring yet. (this allows the string pressure to push the Tone block firmly against the Tension
3. String guitar with desired strings. I have the Tension bar screwed in as above mentioned and
the tone block spring off for putting on the low strings E, A, D. By the time you put on the Gstring,
you can attach the Tone Block spring and finish stringing and tuning the pitch. Do not
use the Whammy Bar during this process.
4. Insert Vibrato Bar into Tone Block.
5. You should be able to pull up and feel the tone block firmly press against the tension bar after
release. Likewise, you should be able to push the bar down and have it pop back to zero. If
not, tighten the middle screw more for the Tension Bar. Loosen the Tone block spring for
More pressure. Try again.
6. After it is tight, re-tune to pitch. Make sure Tension Bar and Tone Block are firmly pressed
7. Allow to sit with the Tension Bar and Tone Block firmly pressed together for 24 hours before
final adjustments.
8. After a day, Tune guitar to desired pitch.
9. Insert Whammy Bar.
10. With back plate removed and looking at the spring cavity, press the Vibrato Bar all the way
down to the body.
11. SLOWLY let the Vibrato Bar come up until it stops by itself and you can remove your hand
without the Vibrato Bar moving any more.
12. Note the position of the Tension Bar - is should be firmly against the right and left arms and
the Tone Block.
13. Then, still looking at the spring cavity, SLOWLY start pulling the Vibrato Bar away from the
body. ONLY the Tone Block should move. Did the Tension Bar move? It should not. If the
Tension Bar moved, tighten the screw on the claw for the Tension Bar. If that spring is all the
way in, tighten the spring on the Tone Block a quarter turn at a time.
14. Repeat until the Tension Bar does not move after coming to rest on the right and left arms as
Tone Block moves away.
15. Then do the reverse; pulling up from the body and SLOWLY let the bar back down until it
comes to rest by itself.
16. Note position of Tone Block - it should be firmly against the Tension Bar. If it is not,
LOOSEN the screw for the tone bock spring. Loosening this spring lets the string pressure
pull the Tone Block back to the Tension Bar.
17. Repeat until the Tone Block comes to rest firmly against the Tension Bar and does not move as
Tension Bar moves away.
18. After achieving this balance, you can lighten the feel if you like.
19. Loosen middle spring (Tension Bar) a few turns. Tighten screw for Tone Block. Repeat steps
8-15. (The more you loosen the Tension bar, the lighter the feel when you push down. The
more you tighten the Tone Block spring, the less string pressure pulling the tone block back
and a lighter feel. Try to balance the feel up and down.
20. Repeat steps 8-15 to make sure it comes back to zero.

Adjusting Radius and Intonation

Adjust Radius and Intonation of saddles:

1. Remove vibrato arm.
2. Make sure tone block and tension bar are resting together with right and left arms.
3. Tune to desired pitch.
4. Remove Harness Bar.
5. Use allen wrench provided to set individual saddles to desired height to match radius of
6. Re - Tune guitar to desired pitch.
7. Intonate saddles by adjusting saddle adjustment screws.
Tip: make sure all intonation screws are firmly against the bridge plate after finding the correct
intonation spot. Use a small hammer to gently tap the screwdriver while it is positioned on the
8. Replace Harness Bar.
9. Re-check intonation.
10. Tip: Use the Vibrato Bar during tuning. Tune to the desired pitch on the string, then push the
Vibrato Bar down a little and let it come back up, keep tuning to pitch and pushing the bar
down until after pushing the bar down, the string is still on pitch. Go to the next string and
repeat process. After repeating the process, re-check previously tuned string to make sure it is
in tune. It should be. Continue until all strings are tuned and stay in tune when using the
Vibrato Bar.


• Trem King Highly recommends the use of Big Bends® Nut Sauce on the saddle pins, nut
slots and string tree (if any) for the best lubricant.
• In order for the unit to return to the neutral point, you must achieve a balance of string and
spring pressure.
• We recommend a good lubricant for the saddles, nut and sting trees. Use with each string
• Make sure vibrato arm is all the way down in the hole and the set screw is tight. REF: #9
• If just one or two strings are going out of tune, it is something other than the vibrato. Check
tuning gear,
NUT slot, string tree, neck bolts, and anything else that might be out of alignment.
• Tuning gear are notorious for becoming loosened. Check the screw in the button of the tuner,
the screw on the back of the headstock (if there is one) and the nut on the top of the headstock
that holds the tuner down.

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