Trem As successful as it has been for more than 62 years, the original Stratocaster Synchronized Tremolo is also one of the most modified and updated guitar components out there. While some players chase vintage-correct tone, others seek improved performance from drop-in units.
The CP Vintage Trem (approx. $156 at the current post-Brexit-vote bargain rate) from U.K. company Wudtone aims to satisfy both camps in a retro-fit replacement bridge. As such, this piece of hardware has the look and basic functionality of the original. The vintage-spec six-screw mounting, adjustable bent-steel saddles, bridge plate with bent rear edge, and cold-rolled steel block with threaded arm are all there. But look closer, and you’ll discover half-moon-shaped divots behind each mounting-screw hole in the bridge base, which let the plate pivot forward without hitching on the screw heads, beveled string holes to improve the strings’ break angle over the bridge saddles, a thin steel “strike plate”—an additional component to the original Fender design—between the bridge base and the body to both improve physical contact and enable a smoother pivot, and a nylon sleeve within the arm’s mounting hole to eliminate slop. All that, and it’s just very well put together out of top-quality materials.
Installed in a good parts-caster to replace a generic vintage-style unit of decent quality (a task aided by the comprehensive instructions Wudtone includes with the package), and after a little playing-in to get the new bridge settled, the CP Vintage Trem induced a firmer and louder tone from the guitar even unplugged. Amped up, this Strat exhibited a tighter, fuller low end, more high-end sizzle, better sustain, and improved clarity throughout the spectrum. What’s more, the trem action was noticeably smoother, with excellent return-to-pitch stability. All in all, the Wudtone CP Vintage Trem is an impressive unit, and worth considering either for your new build or as an upgrade to an existing guitar.
KUDOS Improves performance and tone without sacrificing vintage-style looks. Well constructed.