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#2245823 - 11/16/10 12:43 AM The best modern tremolo unit
Gifthorse Offline
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Registered: 10/29/03
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I am not sure of the answer on this. Actually I haven't owned a trem for 16 years. I mentioned in the other post that my favorite back then was the Kahler Steeler Floyd Rose styled bridge.

But I really prefer something lower profile that stays in tune. G&L seems to have a nice unit like this.

Also do locking tuners on a headstock aid in tuning stability?

I will mention some of the bridges I remember from the wankage 80's.

The Washburn Wonderbar. This was supposed to be the holy grail for wankers. It was GIGANTIC!! It did stay in tune fairly well. Its selling point was that it didn't need all the routing a Floyd or a Kahler needed. It could fit on top of the body.

It was too big, and felt awkward as a result.

Kahler fulcrum series. Cheaper, more classic but didn't stay in tune, and seemed to have tons of maintenance necessary to keep it functional. You know like I would play it, leave for a few days and then the bridge is set way more forward than it should screwing up the action/intonation on the guitar next time I see it.

Kahler pro, Kahler Flyer. The Pro worked, and stayed in tune pretty well, but not as good as a Floyd Rose. It looked beautiful on the guitar, and it was very smooth feeling. It even had that stupid palm bar. I always wondered who the hell would have 2 bars on 1 unit? I mean the other one just got in the way. Rollers on the bridge killed the tone, and made the strings fall off the saddles if you did a 'dive bomb'.

Fender standard bridges. These feel great, but I haven't used one that stayed in tune from any extreme usage. But they have evolved over the years. My buddy has one with 2 pivots.

On my first electric guitar a 1972 Strat (sucked), it had 6 screws holding it down, and it did NOT stay in tune AT ALL. In fact being a poor 15 yr old I saved up and bought a Shecter Tremlock. I couldn't afford a Floyd or a Kahler.

AT this age I was very into the way the guitar looked. I was a beginner, and this was my first electric.

I stripped off the finish and in my Highschool woodshop I sanded off the resin, and refinished it myself coat by coat. It took me 3 weeks.


Then I brought it to a tech who was supposedly good. He works or worked on Earl Klugh's guitars.

Apparently the guy didn't look at what tremelo unit I had, and routed it for a Floyd (obvious). Then I went to pick up the guitar and was SHOCKED to see a big ugly hole in back of the new bridge on the guitar I slaved over for 3 weeks after school.

He knew I was a naive 15 year old and made up some BULLSHIT story about some burr or crack in the wood, and that he had to do that or the guitar would fall apart.

Later when I took it to another guy (better) Marc Balash, he laughed at that assertion and helped me out by putting wood putty in there and sanding it to be level. Of course it never looked the same, but Marc did his best as usual.

Never went back to the first guy 'dennis' was his name. Maybe he is good, but what a hack. To ruin a kid's guitar and then still make him pay..

Nowadays I am out of the loop. I would imagine there are more options than the ones I mentioned, and they are probably superior.

What is the best tremolo unit out right now?

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#2245824 - 11/16/10 12:47 AM Re: The best modern tremolo unit [Re: Gifthorse]
Gifthorse Offline
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Registered: 10/29/03
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Oh yeah the Shecter Tremlock was another failure bridge. Didn't stay in tune. Partly this was due to the fact that the locking nut was BEHIND the actual nut. This was stupid and didn't address the obvious problems of strings getting caught on burrs etc.

Back then it was Floyd Rose---or out of tune. I mean if you are doing Van Halen dive bombs, and Steve Vai tricks.

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#2245827 - 11/16/10 01:53 AM Re: The best modern tremolo unit [Re: Gifthorse]
GreySeraph Offline
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Registered: 08/14/09
Posts: 446
Loc: California
I absolutely LOVE the Edge Pro bridge on my Jem. I've tried Kahlers, Lo Pro, Floyd, Bigsby, Fender bars, ZR, etc, and I have never felt such a fluid, simplistic bar that stays in tune that well. It's not so much that it's a big unit as that it goes really deep compared to a lot of other bars. The whole design takes weight distribution into consideration, and really I never have to tune it except when I string-change/setup the guitar.
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#2245850 - 11/16/10 05:48 AM Re: The best modern tremolo unit [Re: GreySeraph]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
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Hahh! First thing I thought upon reading the thread topic-title was REAL, actual tremolo- y'know, like "amp tremolo"- NOT the misnamed "tremolo" (thanks, Leo! grin )- vibrato, "whammy bar" bridges on some guitars...

Once I got rid of the behind-the-nut locking-clamp, my Kahler Fulcrum actually staid in tune quite well under all manner of abusive garglebombing and slack-stringed weirdness. And this was with NO locking at EITHER end! I always cleaned and lubed it very well, and put a tiny dab of Teflon gel lube in each nut-slot. My Strat-style guitar also had no string-trees or retainers of any kind on its headstock for the strings to get hung-up in. It had standard Schaller tuners with no more than 2-1/2 to 3 turns of string very neatly wound around their posts. I later had a Wilkenson roller-nut installed, as well, which worked quite well.


I always managed to pull better tuning-stability out of vintage Fender style whammies than some of my friends back-in-the-day; EVH himself used to say that you had to work 'em (even Floyds) just-so to get the best performance out of 'em. Pulling the string-slack back from the headstock, whether one string at a time, or pulling back on the "trem" handle after use, seems to help a LOT. Jeff Beck sure gets some good use out of two-post versions of the classic Fender type whammies, too...


Hmmmnn, if I were looking for a new "trem" bridge... Hipshot has some interesting looking units. And their "Trem Setter", and similar devices from other makers, sure can help. Those Wilkensons are nice, too. Hmmmmnnn...
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#2245978 - 11/16/10 11:25 AM Re: The best modern tremolo unit [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
Scott Fraser Offline
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Registered: 03/20/05
Posts: 3912
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: Caevan O'Shite
Hahh! First thing I thought upon reading the thread topic-title was REAL, actual tremolo- y'know, like "amp tremolo"- NOT the misnamed "tremolo" (thanks, Leo! grin )- vibrato, "whammy bar" bridges on some guitars...


Me too.

Quote:
Jeff Beck sure gets some good use out of two-post versions of the classic Fender type whammies, too...


He uses a roller nut too, although I can't say how helpful that is. If it were truly revolutionary all vibrato-bridge guitars would have them
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#2246110 - 11/16/10 11:36 PM Re: The best modern tremolo unit [Re: Scott Fraser]
GreySeraph Offline
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Registered: 08/14/09
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Have you guys ever looked into how Carl Verheyen sets his fender vibrato up? It's freaking cool because each string is set to also pull up at EXACT intervals.
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#2246133 - 11/17/10 04:11 AM Re: The best modern tremolo unit [Re: GreySeraph]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
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Originally Posted By: Scott Fraser
Originally Posted By: Caevan O'Shite
Jeff Beck sure gets some good use out of two-post versions of the classic Fender type whammies, too...


He uses a roller nut too, although I can't say how helpful that is. If it were truly revolutionary all vibrato-bridge guitars would have them


Well, they DO work very well; I've used 'em. And saying that- "if it (roller nut) were truly revolutionary all vibrato-bridge guitars would have them"- is kinda like saying 'if Floyd Roses were truly revolutionary all guitars would have them', or locking-tuners, or slippery graphite-composite saddles and nuts, etc. etc. etc....

Originally Posted By: GreySeraph
Have you guys ever looked into how Carl Verheyen sets his fender vibrato up? It's freaking cool because each string is set to also pull up at EXACT intervals.


Please, tell more- got links? Pics? Vids?
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#2246139 - 11/17/10 04:34 AM Re: The best modern tremolo unit [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
picker Offline
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The PRS & The Parker Fly trem systems are the best I ever used. Both go back in tune effortlessly.

If I was gonna get an aftermarket unit now, I'd go for the Wilkinson with the locking saddle pieces.
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#2246199 - 11/17/10 08:02 AM Re: The best modern tremolo unit [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
Scott Fraser Offline
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Registered: 03/20/05
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Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: Caevan O'Shite
Well, they DO work very well; I've used 'em. And saying that- "if it (roller nut) were truly revolutionary all vibrato-bridge guitars would have them"- is kinda like saying 'if Floyd Roses were truly revolutionary all guitars would have them', or locking-tuners, or slippery graphite-composite saddles and nuts, etc. etc. etc....


Then I guess I'm saying all the other stuff too, although that certainly wasn't my point. A lot of that is what I would term sideways movement in evolution. A lot of people would argue that a Floyd Rose is distinctly NOT better than a Wilkinson or Fender non-locking trem. And locking tuners? One of my guitars has them, & it makes changing strings really fast & easy. Does it make the guitar enough better that I will take the time & effort to put them on all my guitars? Probably not enough of a big deal to justify the expense. They are cool, but certainly not game-changingly cool. OTOH, a bit of undeniable progress has been the replacement of 3 way Strat switches with 5 way switches. Nobody in the history of electric guitar playing has ever said "The 3 way switch is better because I like to take at least 2 bars to carefully set it to short between two positions, & besides those in between sounds are no good anyway." Noise shielding interior cavities is an area of undeniable progress, as is proper chassis grounding of amps. Much else is just expanding the palette of personal choices.
BTW I have no personal experience with the roller nut & thus no opinion, but the fact that it's only offered on the Jeff Beck signature model tells me it's not a popular personal choice & I kinda wonder why that is. Does it aid in returning to pitch?
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#2246275 - 11/17/10 12:18 PM Re: The best modern tremolo unit [Re: Scott Fraser]
harvey Online   content
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Registered: 04/05/09
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Played a sub gig the other day and the other guitarist had a 'bowen handle' on his LP. Had a brief play and it felt quite Bigsby-like. Anyone heard of these?
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#2246302 - 11/17/10 01:52 PM Re: The best modern tremolo unit [Re: harvey]
GreySeraph Offline
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Loc: California
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZnQt9yiBMg&feature=related

at about 2:45 he starts talking about his vibrato setup, but watch the whole thing. I'll give you more vids/links if you're still interested.
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#2246365 - 11/17/10 06:03 PM Re: The best modern tremolo unit [Re: GreySeraph]
RetroRocket Offline
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Registered: 02/09/10
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What guitar do you want the tremolo for?
If it's for a Strat I'm surprised no one's mentioned the Super-Vee Tremolo System.
GP did a review on it a few years back and gave it an "Editors Pick" award.
I've been using one for about two years now and it works great & stays in tune and there's no body routing needed.
Also, the guys there have always been helpful when I needed replacement parts (which they provided at no charge except shipping) - BTY, I only needed parts I messed them up myself from not having a good set of allen wrenches.
"Our "Drop -In" Double-Locking Tremolo System that Does Not Require Any Permanent Modifications to Your Guitar. Patented Design Features makes the Super-Vee Dive-Bomb Proof with zero-friction action. It Always Stays in Tune."
http://www.super-vee.com/press/GuiterPlayerSuperVeeReview_US.pdf

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#2246372 - 11/17/10 07:00 PM Re: The best modern tremolo unit [Re: GreySeraph]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
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Originally Posted By: harvey
Played a sub gig the other day and the other guitarist had a 'bowen handle' on his LP. Had a brief play and it felt quite Bigsby-like. Anyone heard of these?


Yeah, I remember when I first saw ads for those, back in the '80s. I think I only ever got my hands on one once, though.

Originally Posted By: GreySeraph
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZnQt9yiBMg&feature=related

at about 2:45 he starts talking about his vibrato setup, but watch the whole thing. I'll give you more vids/links if you're still interested.


Oh, OK- yeah, I've done that, myself; it'll vary with what string-gauges you use, and not all the up-pulled intervals will be exactly spot-on perfect; it's a matter of what you want the range of the bar to be, dependent on where the zero-point, the balancing-point, of the floating bridge is.
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#2246416 - 11/18/10 01:59 AM Re: The best modern tremolo unit [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
Larryz Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
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I like the bone nut on the Strat much better than the roller nut...but I'm not a real whammy bar kind of guy...and on the amps, I do not need the tremolo setting and can get the sound by cranking up my phase pedal...the roller nut does allow getting rid of the string trees on one of my Strats which looks cool...if I ever order a Bigsby equipped guitar (like the Taylor T-3) the roller bridge will be a very important consideration...


Edited by Larryz (11/18/10 02:00 AM)

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#2246423 - 11/18/10 02:21 AM Re: The best modern tremolo unit [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
GreySeraph Offline
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Registered: 08/14/09
Posts: 446
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Caevan O'Shite
Originally Posted By: harvey
Played a sub gig the other day and the other guitarist had a 'bowen handle' on his LP. Had a brief play and it felt quite Bigsby-like. Anyone heard of these?


Yeah, I remember when I first saw ads for those, back in the '80s. I think I only ever got my hands on one once, though.

Originally Posted By: GreySeraph
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZnQt9yiBMg&feature=related

at about 2:45 he starts talking about his vibrato setup, but watch the whole thing. I'll give you more vids/links if you're still interested.


Oh, OK- yeah, I've done that, myself; it'll vary with what string-gauges you use, and not all the up-pulled intervals will be exactly spot-on perfect; it's a matter of what you want the range of the bar to be, dependent on where the zero-point, the balancing-point, of the floating bridge is.


but he sorta did make it pretty on...
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#2246446 - 11/18/10 06:01 AM Re: The best modern tremolo unit [Re: GreySeraph]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
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Originally Posted By: GreySeraph
but he sorta did make it pretty on...


Oh, definitely! thu cool The most important ingredient is the chef! I was just meaning that, you can adjust it so that one string goes to a specific interval, but the other strings will inevitably be more or less close but not spot-on; there will be a little room for the player's ear and hand to make it just-right, rather than having a "stop" to just pull to.

Setting up a floating Fender Strat-style trem to pull up to a m3rd on the 3rd/G-string is fairly typical.
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#2246541 - 11/18/10 12:06 PM Re: The best modern tremolo unit [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
dv8.Maker Offline
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Registered: 11/06/06
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Loc: Boston
My Caparison uses the Schaller S-FRT II Bridge and the thing is a beast. I can flange, dive bomb, drop tune, and this thing keeps on ticking in tune. It also has a great feel, and is as solid a trem as I've ever seen.

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#2248070 - 11/24/10 05:54 PM Re: The best modern tremolo unit [Re: Gifthorse]
pytaro Offline
Member

Registered: 11/24/10
Posts: 1
I'm a trem user and right now the Trem King and the Super Vee are the best new trem on the market and nice and clean looking too!

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#2248239 - 11/25/10 12:56 PM Re: The best modern tremolo unit [Re: pytaro]
Larryz Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
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Welcome aboard pytaro...

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#2248275 - 11/25/10 05:22 PM Re: The best modern tremolo unit [Re: Larryz]
Terrell Offline
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Registered: 07/28/08
Posts: 1722
Loc: Austin, TX
I know it's not in "vogue" and big and ugly, blah blah. BUT, Nothing stays in tune like a Floyd with a locking nut. NEVER out of tune. Nothing is more settable or customizable for string height and intonation. While giving you the longest possible string sustain. So, if you're going to float the bridge, just do the Floyd! A trem setter is also awesome little mod for locking the float for bending double stops, pedal steel, etc. More or less, you reach in the cavity and turn a thumb screw and then the floated Floyd is fixed. You turn another thumb screw and the floated Floyd only dives.

If you're not going to lock the nut, don't go with a Floyd. But, don't go with Rollers anywhere (Kahler or nut)! They suck string sustain by buffering the vibration of the string. They rust our with palm sweat. The fewer moving parts in the string path, the better the mechanical stability for string sustain.

Locking tuners are so nice no matter what. I always recommend them if you hot-rod a axe. Pull through, lock, cut, tune, play... Nice!

The Trem King looks kewl. I'd want to play one to test the sustain and feel. Super Vee is a classic feel. I'm not a classic guy.



Edited by Terrell (11/25/10 05:25 PM)

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