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Old 10-09-2012, 10:33 AM   #1
petered1
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floating bridge

Hi can anybody tell me what the purpose of a floating bridge is? what benefits has it got over having a fixed bridge? Thanks
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:51 AM   #2
J-Dawg158
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Fixed bridge doesn't move at all, so no tremolo bar. It usually has better sustain and stays in tune a lot better than a floating bridge, and has a lot less maintenance.

A floating bridge has a tremolo bar so that you can do all sorts of things with it ranging from a suttle vibrato-like sound to full on whacky and crazy effects(think dive-bombs ala Van Halen's "Eruption". The cost of course is it usually hurts the overall sustain of the instrument and requires a lot more maintenance and makes tuning more of a pain. Another commonly over-looked fact is that if you play licks where you bend a string and play other unbent strings, those strings will be slightly flat compared to a fixed bridge.

Think that age-old quintessential rock lick:

e------------------12---
B--------------12-------
G---14b(16)--------
D---------------------
A---------------------
E---------------------

Of course you can set you guitar up so that it doesn't "float" which means the bridge rests against the body of the guitar allowing you to only push down on the tremolo. "Floating Bridge" typically refers to a bridge set up so that you can not only push down on the bar to drop the pitch of the note, but also pull up on it to raise the pitch.

There is also the Floyd Rose system that helps floating bridges stay in tune better, but they require extra special attention to maintain and tune.
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:25 AM   #3
petered1
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ok thanks for that mate. So all floating bridges have a tremelo?
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:39 AM   #4
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Yea, the whole point in having a floating bridge is so that you can use the bar to change the pitch of the note by tightening or loosening the the tension of the strings.
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:12 PM   #5
t1mman
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To sum:

Fixed bridge: Doesn't move
Tremolo bridge: Goes low
Floating bridge: Goes High or low

the floating bridge is "floating" with a system that uses spring to balance the tenssion between the strings and the back (spring). So, when the tenssion on the strings fluctuates (bends, break in a string), all the strings will move.

Kind of like in a Tug of war. If you'd remove a couples of folks on one side, the other would have an easy pull.
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