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Freelock -Trem lock.
Published by Digital Black
08-06-2005
Freelock -Trem lock.

The people at Freelock ( www.freelok.com ) have kindly given me one of their products to install, use and review.

Here is what you get when you buy one.

Notice the very indepth instruction sheet. ( two sides )

Parts list.
Brass block for mounting to the guitar body
Steel rod slider.
Brass plate for mounting to the trem.
3 brass mounting screws
2 brass hex head screws for trem mounting plate ( 1 is spare)
1 hex allan key
1 color instruction sheet.
Installation:
This is designed to fit any guitar with any trem, floating or not. By turning the screw knob it locks the trem from moving allowing you to change tuning or just enjoy the benfits of a fixed bridge setup. It took less than 10 minutes to install. The locking knob does protrude slightly off the back of the guitar. You will have to cut a hole in the backplate cover or leave it off. I opted to leave it off for now. It however, does not stck out far enough to become a problem. The instructions do call you to make sure the trem is level and setup before installing. Also they do not recommend having the springs set in slanted manner. I.E. "/|\" . you have to have it "|||". This is beacuse the brass block will rub against the springs possibley binding them. It also calls for some graphite grease, the kind you use for key locks. This was not included.
I choose to install this on my RG7420 with a TRS Floating trem. Due to it's size I was able to leave one spring slanted ( my preference) and it did not affect operation in any way.
Here is the finished installation.

#2

After using this for one week here are my thoughts.
I do like that the parts are machined perfectly and are pretty heavy. I did notice the whole guitar became more alive. This is because vibration of the strings now has a solid route from the trem to the body. ( I am a frim beliver that more mass on a guitar only helps add mojo)
Trem operation with it unlocked remains the same. Only flutter effects with the trem are kinda less pronounced.
With the freelok in the locked position I can have the guitar as a hardtail. This is a much better way then blocking the trem because no other adjustments to your trem are needed. Once you find a perfect setting for it unnlocked the freelok does not alter that.
Example. In less than 30 seconds with a tuner; went from floating to locked, loosened the string locks at the nut, changed tuning from BEADGBE to ADADGBE perfectly. Took the same amount of time to change everything back to standard and free floating!
Very little tension is needed on the knob to lock this downn , even with the added pull of a sevenstring. A testament to the machining of the parts.
This sells for 50.00 and is well worth the price for all the added benifits.
I am very happy with this new option!

What I'd like to see:
Could a unit be made that also acts as a tremstabilizer and a lock? Could the knob be made a little smaller to pretrude less from the back? Can a small amount of the graphite grease be included with the procduct?
  #1  
By Josh on 08-06-2005, 08:22 PM
Nice review, Sep. This looks like a great idea, but unless I route a custom access hole in my trem cavity cover, I'd have to take it off every time I wanted to lock/unlock the trem.

But hey, I'm lit up a little, I have a dremel, and I'm feeling rather adventurous! Is that bad?
  #2  
By Digital Black on 08-06-2005, 08:27 PM
Yeah you have to cut a hole in it or leave it off.
  #3  
By Metal Ken on 08-06-2005, 09:13 PM
perhaps rather than graphite grease, if you're cheap or lazy, try using a pencil?

Anyway, looks badass. I think i might get a Tremel-no for my UV777PBK and this for my UV7BK and A/B them to see the dif's.
  #4  
By Drew on 08-06-2005, 09:54 PM
You have to route your cavity cover or leave it off to use a Tremol-no too, though, so it's not the end of the world.

Good review, Seph - now I'm REALLY pathetic for still not getting tremol-no installation pics up, lol.

How far can you detune before the spring pressure causes it to slip?
  #5  
By Digital Black on 08-07-2005, 01:22 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew
You have to route your cavity cover or leave it off to use a Tremol-no too, though, so it's not the end of the world.

Good review, Seph - now I'm REALLY pathetic for still not getting tremol-no installation pics up, lol.

How far can you detune before the spring pressure causes it to slip?
Good question.
It handled both the low B and E being tuned 1 step down at the same time. I'll give it a try tomarrow and see what happens.
  #6  
By Chris on 08-07-2005, 01:27 AM
Great review!

I demand some kind of cool hardtail trinket-gizmo be produced immediately! I have gadget envy!
  #7  
By eleven59 on 08-07-2005, 01:56 AM
Bah, that's nothing. Where's the gadget that will turn a hardtail into a floating trem?
  #8  
By Digital Black on 08-11-2005, 05:19 PM
Update. Some info I recieved from Freelok that might be of interest.

The extra set screw is for those who do not wish to use the thumb screw. So if you are going to hardtail your trem and leave it that way; you can keep the backplate on and not cut it.
Tremsetters can be used with the freelok at the same time with no issues.
The thumb screw was supposed to be 1/8 inch shorter allowing for more clearence. Newer editions of the freelok will have this adjustment.
I was told there were looking into getting small tubes of graphite to include with the product.
  #9  
By Kevan on 08-12-2005, 03:16 AM
I suppose if you're gonna DRILL into your guitar for that thing, you might as well DRILL into it for the TremSetter.

  #10  
By dpm on 08-12-2005, 03:40 AM
There's a plague of these devices upon us!

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Bridges,...converter.html
  #11  
By Jerich on 08-12-2005, 08:49 AM
Tremsetter...Much more worthy then a Locker......heheheh!!!!we need more gagets for Piezo's....
  #12  
By Drew on 08-12-2005, 09:40 AM
Keep this one on topic, guys. This is a review - if you want to debate the relative merits, start a thread elsewhere.
  #13  
By DBDbadreligion on 03-08-2006, 11:03 PM
with this freelok can u put it in hardtail mode then change strings, as if the trem were blocked off?
  #14  
By Metal Ken on 03-08-2006, 11:57 PM
Thats the idea, yeah.
  #15  
By DBDbadreligion on 03-09-2006, 06:46 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metal Ken
Thats the idea, yeah.
ok kool, so it's a little bit like the tremol-no?
  #16  
By Drew on 03-09-2006, 09:39 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by DBDbadreligion
with this freelok can u put it in hardtail mode then change strings, as if the trem were blocked off?
Although even with a Tremol-no I wouldn't recommend taking ALL of the strings off at once with it locked, as that puts seriously uneven tension on the device. Would it hold? Possibly, I've never tried, but definitely only with a set screw on the Deep-C and the thumb screws locked as well. Would the Free-lock hold? Definitely not with just the thumbscrew, possibly but again probably not with a set screw, and again I wouldn't recommend doing that with any device of this sort.

That said, you can lock either of them down, I'd imagine, and restring going a string at a time just like you would a fixed bridge. You might need to use the set screw on the Free-lok to do this, and I always use the Deep-C when changing strings on my UV.

Honestly, you shouldn't even really be pulling off all the strings on a fixed bridge guitar for extended periods of time, as I've heard it's not really good for a guitar neck to have all the tension in one direction taken off like that.
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