Wednesday, March 30, 2011

New guitar Bridge ideas

Leo Fender came up with some very innovative ideas. He first designed, and then improved upon, many electric guitar designs, pick up systems, and related parts. However, with the passing of time, new ideas pop up from time to time, and then things just change. Take for example guitar tremolos.

Leo Fender had some great tremolo ideas in his time. My personal favorite design is the string thru body, but that is not the only tremolo idea that Leo had. In my opinion, the single most important idea that he came up with is the tremolo and the tremolo bar. He came up with the idea of using a tremolo bar in order to create those diving sounds. The design has been used for decades and decades, but time has shown that it has some flaws.

To begin, with the tremolo bar, came some minor tuning issues. You see, each time that the string tension changes, the tuning is altered. To remedy that problem, folks have added tilted head stocks, added “string trees”, re-designed bridge parts and pieces, added springs to the rear of the tremolos, and on and on. The radical idea of completely locking the strings “in tune” came along (via the locking nut and the floating tremolo), and that seemed like the final answer. But, even that idea seems to be tweaked every few years or so.

So, lets take a look at some of the newest tremolo designs. Several new tremolo designs come to mind, and they each solve different problems, and use different approaches in order to reach the “stay in tune” dream.

Super Vee

As taken from the Super Vee website:

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.”

Trem King TK-1

As taken from the TremKing website:

The TK-1 is a drop in replacement for most vintage style tremolo units. Some routing inside the spring cavity may be needed on certain models. Installation instructions and a template showing the necessary cutout is provided with each unit.”

Stetsbar Pro2 S-Style

As taken from the Stetsbar website:

Stetsbar is the modern, professional, linear tremolo system that retro fits to stop tail, hard tail, Tele and Strat style guitars without any modification - no new holes, no routing! Hi-tec micro roller bearings combine with a bridge that moves with the trem to give the Stetsbar unrivalled pitch range and stability for its class coupled with a extremely smooth up and down action. With a straight forward, rapid fit to guitars like the Gibson Les Paul, SG, ES335, Flying V, Fender Telecaster, Stratocaster and many more, Stetsbar is the trem of choice for professional and amateur guitarists worldwide and - with the OEM version - for guitar builders who need the best. Available in four models and gold, nickel, chrome and black finishes, now is the time to experience the difference that Stetsbar will bring to your guitar!”

Wilkinson ATD HT440 self-tuning hard-tail guitar bridge

There is not much to be found on line about these little gems. Here is a Youtube page about guitars with them installed.


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