#1
anybody here got a stetsbar on their guitar? I'm interested in them and am curious to know the pros and cons of the system.
banned
#2
I think they look ugly as hell personally. The pros are naturally that they don't require modifying your guitar much. They do a pretty good job at keeping in tune as well. The con is basically that it makes your guitar look ugly, IMO.
Quote by barden1069
A "tubescreamer" is a person paid by a guitarist to stand behind the amp and scream at the tubes. This terrifies the tubes into overdriving and delivers a thick, harmonic-rich tone.
#3
Cons: Expensive for a trem with some inherent issues; spring has very little resistance and feels cheap; messes with your tone; tough to keep set up/never works properly with some guitars; ugly.
Pros: Probably won't murder you in your sleep; don't require any drilling; good range.

For the most part, these drop-in trems for TOM guitars are just awful. They're trying to offer you a feature that is hard to get right even on a guitar that was built for a trem, but without any of the mechanical advantages of having a proper route or string length behind the bridge. If you want a competent trem, get a guitar that was built for one, or be prepared to route your guitar.

The Bigsby is fairly successful as an aftermarket trem because it adds string length and a proper lever and it doesn't try to accomplish much in the way of range. Once you get past that, into the territory of the Stetsbar, Les Trem, Bowen Handle, etc., you're trying to have your cake and eat it too, and the results are pretty bad. They all feel super cheap, they all have a lot of play in the bar and feel like a toy due to low pull weight (this is where the string length/short spring come into play) and look hideous. None of those things are awful, and if you get a good setup and your guitar takes well to it, the Stets is probably the best option in this category, but I still don't think there's such a thing as a competent full range TOM trem. When I say "best" I mean "least terrible in a sea of half-assed options," so it's the one to have if you really think you need one, but I still can't recommend it.
#4
Roc8995 covered most of it.
Remember that if you put one of these things on a Les Paul without a locking nut, you've also put yourself at the whim of a guitar that's notorious for problems with maintaining tuning, thanks to the headstock/string angle/nut issues.

I fought it for years, but finally just went with the Floyd, and now I'm running at least 4 LPs with Floyds on them.
#5
Quote by Roc8995
Cons: Expensive for a trem with some inherent issues; spring has very little resistance and feels cheap; messes with your tone; tough to keep set up/never works properly with some guitars; ugly.
Pros: Probably won't murder you in your sleep; don't require any drilling; good range.

For the most part, these drop-in trems for TOM guitars are just awful. They're trying to offer you a feature that is hard to get right even on a guitar that was built for a trem, but without any of the mechanical advantages of having a proper route or string length behind the bridge. If you want a competent trem, get a guitar that was built for one, or be prepared to route your guitar.

The Bigsby is fairly successful as an aftermarket trem because it adds string length and a proper lever and it doesn't try to accomplish much in the way of range. Once you get past that, into the territory of the Stetsbar, Les Trem, Bowen Handle, etc., you're trying to have your cake and eat it too, and the results are pretty bad. They all feel super cheap, they all have a lot of play in the bar and feel like a toy due to low pull weight (this is where the string length/short spring come into play) and look hideous. None of those things are awful, and if you get a good setup and your guitar takes well to it, the Stets is probably the best option in this category, but I still don't think there's such a thing as a competent full range TOM trem. When I say "best" I mean "least terrible in a sea of half-assed options," so it's the one to have if you really think you need one, but I still can't recommend it.



good thing I didn't buy it then! thanks mate.
banned
#7
Haven't tried it. Looks a lot like a Bowen handle which is not very good.
Again, look at how it's made, and what mechanical issues would result. There is very, very little string length behind the bridge; this is partially what causes the toy-like feel and poor play in the bar. The springs are very short and are underneath the unit, which means it will probably be difficult to set up properly or use different tunings, especially given what a short throw the lever has. This is what makes the bar difficult to set up to feel smooth, since you often have poor tuning stability or an unnecessarily difficult initial pull.

I think the drop-in, short spring TOM trem is an inherently flawed design and until someone can show me a competent one I have to recommend against them in general. Almost every other well-made and successful trem unit extends the strings far behind the bridge, uses long, easily adjustable springs to offset string tension, and has multiple ways of adjusting the spring feel and tension. These TOM trems tend to have none of those things, which is why I think overall they are just not a good idea.

Plenty of people have and enjoy all of these units (they keep making them, after all) but I just don't think they're worthwhile unless you have to have a trem and your only option is putting one on your TOM guitar with no modification. Most people aren't in that boat, so there are plenty of better options.