Guitar in generalGuitarsMark Knopfler gear

Step 2: The Dream Machine Tremolo

After the loaded Schecter-style pickguards, I am now proud to offer a second high-quality component to upgrade  your guitar to make it look and sound more like a Van Nuys era Schecter Dream Machine: the MK-guitar.com Dream Machine Tremolo.

Unlike the standard Fender Tremolo that is made of steel (or often even cheaper substitutes like zinc for the tremolo block), the Dream Machine Tremolo is made completely out of  bell brass. For all those who love Mark Knopfler’s sunburst Dream Machine, I have a gold-plated version, and the fans of e.g. Mark’s  metallic red Schecter Strat can get it in chrome-plated. Indeed, even the chrome tremolo systems on all vintage Schecter Dream Machines were made completely of brass!

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The Dream Machine Tremolo – available in gold-plated (24k) or chrome-plated bell brass

Brass –  the Magic Sound Secret of the Seventies

Schecter started as a part supplier in 1976. Their philosophy was to offer upgrade parts of superior quality for all important parts on a Fender guitar (plus some others) . You could get metal pickguards instead of plastic, or beautiful exotic woods instead of just plain maple, alder and ash. And all metal parts that are invloved in the sound production, like the bridge, saddles, and the nut, had to be of brass. Brass was known to increase the sustain and tonal qualities of an electric guitar. For this reason Fender also started the ‘Brassmaster’ series with brass replacement parts for their guitars in the early eighties, and their exclusive top-of-the line model The Strat (introduced in 1980) featured a solid brass bridge, brass knobs, and a brass nut. This does not mean that vintage Fenders with their steel parts sound bad- we all know how wonderful vintage Strats can sound – but the softer and warmer bell-like tone of brass is simply different. However, for all who are looking for the sound of a guitar with brass hardware, like all of  Mark Knopfler Schecter Dream Machine guitars, there is no other option than brass because this is what these sounds were produced with.

The chrome-plated tremolos on Schecter Dream Machine Strats were also of brass
The chrome-plated tremolos on Schecter Dream Machine Strats were also of brass

An easy mod in the late 70ies was to replace the tremolo block with a brass block (who knows, maybe Mark even had one in one  – or both – of his red Fenders – as said, it was very popular at that time).  But it is not only the block that contributes to the sound but also the bridge and the saddles themselves which are in most direct contact with the vibrating strings. Furthermore,  brass and brass is not always the same, as brass is an alloy of mostly two other metals: copper and zinc, and the zinc percentage  can vary between something like 5 to 40 percent. The Dream Machine Tremolo is made of a special, sonically ideal bell brass to produce the best sound without compromises. It rings like a bell!

Other Features

Just like the Schecter tremolo, the base plate of the Dream Machine tremolo is thicker and more solid than on a Fender vintage tremolo or other reproductions. Also the shape and the look with much rounder edges is a bit different, just like vintage Schecter stuff. And then there are the saddles, which are – as most of you have surely noticed on any picture of Mark’s Schecters – not of bended steel but much more solid, and also completely of finest bell brass. Gone are the times of rattling or buzzing string contact at the saddles!

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Highest Quality made in Germany

The Dream Machine Tremolo is not a cheap reproduction from the far east, it is made with high-technology computer controlled tooling exactly to our wishes, exclusively for mk-guitar.com by  Germany’s top-reputation guitar parts supplier – ABM in Berlin. The idea was the same as at vintage Schecter: to build the best that is possible!

If you want to upgrade your guitar and want to replace your tremolo system, you can get the Dream Machine Tremolo without mounting screws, springs, and tremolo arm (any arm with US thread should fit) , or you can get the full assembly to build  your dream guitar out of scratch.

I have one on my Dream Machine clone
I have one on my Dream Machine clone

Get it here in the mk-guitar.com shop exclusively:

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7 thoughts on “Step 2: The Dream Machine Tremolo

  1. Hey Ingo,

    Quite a bit off-topic here, not relating to this article. Sorry about that. I was just watching your video on the 7/9 chord licks and I was impressed with your playing off “Lions”. I was wondering if you could do a cover of “Lions” and maybe a video on techniques or licks or something on that area.

    Keep on fingerpickin’,
    Kris

  2. I’m really impressed by your interest in and determination to recreate those old Schecter parts. I have just upgraded my Strat with a Gotoh 510T bridge, which I think is fantastic, and one thing I love about it is the fact that the “socket” for the tremolo arm is higher than the base plate (if you know what I mean) and thereby makes the arm less wiggly. There’s also a little Allen screw to make the fit even tighter. If you are ever going to upgrade your bridge, I would recommend adding this feature. Then of course it wouldn’t be a true replica 🙂

  3. Hi Ingo, ive been very happy with the brass loaded pick guard, it’s added a whole new world to a US Strat that used to lie around collecting dust.
    My question regards the bridge – my American standard Strat does not have vintage specs, but ‘narrow’ spacings. Can you foresee any issues in fitting this brass tremolo bridge to such an instrument ?
    I know your instructions for the pick guard were comprehensive in terms of the extra hole that needed drilling. I was, and remain very impressed with the quality and dedication you give us. Thanks mate.

    1. With the Dream Machine tremolo you will have the wider string spacing, as Mark has on all his Fenders and Schecters.
      The American Standard tremolo is the one with only two mounting screws, right? So you need to drill holes for the 6 screws of the dream Machine tremolo. Otherwise I do not see any problems.

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