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Quick Hit: Killer Guitar Components Killer Compensated Claw

This replacement claw for vintage-style Strat tremolos provides a subtler, more Bigsby-like response.

There are almost as many prescriptions for tremolo happiness on vintage-style Strats as there are vintage Strat fans. One popular technique: adjusting the two claw screws so that the claw sits at an angle relative to the trem block, with greater tension on the low strings than the high ones. This nudges the Strat trem toward a Bigsby-like response, with less “dump” on the low strings.

The Killer Compensated Claw provides the same result with minimal setup hassle. Its teeth are angled for greater tension and less dip on the bass strings. Pitch changes are relatively subtle and harmonious. The solid-milled brass component is far more substantial than a traditional claw. Another refinement: a screw to connect a ground wire without soldering (optional heat-shrink sleeve included). My before-and-after recordings reveal no significant tone improvement for my lipstick-tube Partscaster, but I prefer the Killer’s gentler pitch changes and bouncy, responsive feel. Recommended for Stratophiles who use trem for subtle inflection rather than deep-sea diving.

Test Gear: “Parts” Strat with lipstick-tube pickups. Logic Pro amp model.


Solid brass hardware. Improved trem response and feel for some players.

No dramatic tone upgrade.


Killer Guitar Components Killer Compensated Claw


Ease of Use: