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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Fender Japan Contemporary Strat System 1 Tremolo



Feb 18th, 2010 10:09 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

A lot of Fender Japan System 1 Tremolos from mid 80s Fender Japan Strats have parts missing like Tremolo arms, fine tuners, behind the nut string locking parts etc and the usual Floyd Rose or Fender parts don't fit.

I had a tremolo arm missing and some behind the nut string locking parts missing and a few fine tuners missing, so I removed the behind the nut string lock and installed a USA string tee on the 1st and 2nd strings and I took the fine tuners off the bridge and ran it as a hardtail for a while but I found out by accident that a Fender Chinese Squier Tremolo ~5 mm threaded arm screws in to the System 1 bridge tremolo hole with a pretty tight fit just fine but a USA Tremolo arm won't and maybe a Mexican might, so now I have a pretty good System 1 Tremolo with no behind the nut string lock or bridge fine tuners that acts like a usual Fender tremolo except it's better in some ways because of the bridge string rollers and the 2 point pivot bridge and the stock nut that was already made to handle the behind the nut string lock back and forwards string movement across the nut, unlike a Floyd for instance.

The tremolo stays in tune just fine and locking tuners are another option.

(This message was last edited by leadowner at 03:58 AM, Feb 21st, 2010)

Contributing Member

Suburban MD.

Model Citizen, Zero Discipline
Feb 18th, 2010 11:21 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Dang! I thought this was going to be a question I knew the answer to! Had one, learned everything I could about it, then sold the guitar. (One the fine tuners was stripped, 2 more were headed that way!)



Mar 22nd, 2010 09:37 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

An update.

The Squier (import) tremolo arm worked but I was changing the standard Floyd Rose bridge on another guitar and I looked at the System 1 bridge mounting bolts spacing and it looked similar to the Floyd rose spacing so I thought I'd try a Floyd Rose bridge in place of the System 1 bridge and maybe it might work.

Well it does work. I think the System 1 bridge mounting bolts spacing is a bit wider than a Floyds but a Floyd Rose bridge with a mounting bolt width cutaway for one mounting bolt on one side and a wider cutaway for the other mounting bolt like the Gotoh standard Floyd Rose bridge for example works with the System 1 bolt spacing.

An original Floyd Rose with 2 mounting bolt width cutaways for the mounting bolts might not fit or it might fit, I don't know as I havn't tried it.

I replaced the System 1 bridge mounting bolts with the ones that came with the Gotoh Floyd Rose because the System 1 bridge mounting bolts are a bit too thick for the edge of the Gotoh Floyd Rose to fit properly and the Gotoh Floyd Rose bridge mounting bolts just screwed in to the System 1 bridge sockets so all was well.

Anyway, I now have a Gotoh standard Floyd Rose bridge on my Fender Japan Contemporary and everything works and the string spacing, string height action, tremolo up and down is fine.

So a System 1 bridge can be replaced by a Gotoh standard Floyd Rose bridge and the System 1 behind the nut string lock can be used or replaced by locking tuners and a optional roller nut or a Floyd Rose locking nut can be installed.

So if your System 1 tremolo is in bad shape, swap it for a Floyd with optional locking tuners/roller nut.

Also if someone has just lost the System 1 tremolo arm and wants to stick with the System 1 bridge then it might be possible to replace the System 1 tremolo arm assembly that fits into the underside of the tremolo baseplate with a Floyd Rose tremolo arm assembly instead, it looks possible but I havn't tried it.

(This message was last edited by leadowner at 11:27 AM, Mar 22nd, 2010)



Why do I keep fixing things that work?
Mar 22nd, 2010 11:54 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I went to wammiworld.com and found the System 1 parts there. Really expensive through them, so, the adaption of another trem is probably better. But to keep it all stock/original, this is it!
WammiWorld is a sub catagory of Kahler parts.
So, you could also go to KahlerUSA.com and find their parts menu, then navigate to their parts info on their parts page to finally get to the info on the System 1.
I personally would really like to get the Ibanez Zero-Trem for all my Floyd type bridges.....


Contributing Member

New Jersey

saving the otters one guitar at a time
Mar 22nd, 2010 09:48 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

For some of the contemporary strats and telecasters, the best thing to do is to take the bridge to a machine shop and have the fine tuner screw holes drilled and tapped to utilize either helicoils or threaded inserts and then use the standard Floyd fine tuners. They are a decent tremollo system and worth it to maintain. Any departure from a floating trem system should also include the replacement of the nut to a traditional style of nut. There are a couple of posts that illustrate the removal of a locking nut and installation of a bone nut and these involve grafting a bit of rosewood north of the nut. These guitars are absolutely high quality instruments with necks that are fantastic. Its best if you can return the guitar to its original floating trem configuration and most of the time this is a reasonable repair. I have a 2HB contemporary tele that I converted to a TOM and stop tailpiece but that was before I had developed many of the skills that I have collected since. The guitar is still my #1.



Sep 19th, 2017 08:11 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Hate to bring a thread back from the dead however this is the only thread with an answer to my question.

I have a system 1 and I want to replace it with a Gotoh GE1996T. I checked the spec sheet for the Gotoh and the Spacing for the studs is 74mm and I believe the System 1 is 80 mm. Is the knife edge on the low E side really long enough to compensate for the difference in the stud spacing?


Contributing Member

New Jersey

I'm back with the otters again
Sep 21st, 2017 08:53 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The only way to tell is to pull the trigger and buy them trem. There are so many things that might be wrong such as the location of the saddles and ability to intonate. Id love to know of a recipe to bring one of these guitars back to full functionality. My feeling are that the best way to do it is to actually repair the existing parts and replace the missing ones. These guitars are as a rule very well made and if the original parts are all there, the trems are totally tuning stable when used with a locking nut. But I've seen failures from people who have tried and I've seen butcher jobs on guitars where people have tried and failed to force something inappropriate to work. For a pursuit like this, take your time and don't compromise.

FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Fender Japan Contemporary Strat System 1 Tremolo

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