#1
Ok so I'm gonna make a guitar and I know everything I need except the trem system and nut. I need a trem without fine tuners, or locking nut, any suggestions? what will the tuning stability be like? will it need a lot of maintenance? and what will be a good nut? any good ways to improve tuning stability?
Last edited by Intralimpidus at Mar 11, 2016,
#2
a tremolo without fine tuners you can go with this certain floyd rose. It still locks the strings and all but just no fine tuners. It's made by Schaller so really high quality they are roughly but don't quote me on it around 150 USD.

guitar fetish , stewmac and ebay have some 2 point fulcrum alternatives that you may like as well that are more affordable and which go up and down

for tremolos I do suggest locking nuts though if you're going to pull up on the whammy bar. Some argue if you put locking tuners on a guitar you're going to have just as good of tuning stability but I'm not convinced. However if you really don't want a locking nut the easiest route to go is a graphtech tusq nut.
#3
You could just get a standard Fender Strat-style bridge like a Wilkinson.

How good the tuning stability will be depends on so many other factors outside of the bridge itself. Such as the way the guitar is strung, the nut, how you set the guitar up, the headstock design etc. Trying to give an answer to 'How good is the tuning stability on non-locking bridges' would require making too many assumptions to be very accurate in your circumstances.

But generally, don't expect the tuning stability to be as good as a Floyd Rose.
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#4
thanks for the feedback, the reason I don't want a locking nut is because I like to do drop d and stuff (don't worry i'll have a tremol-no.)
#5
oh then I know just the thing to get and you can keep the locking nut on.

there's a floyd rose add-on which isn't too expensive called the D-Tuna. Of all people Eddie Van Halen invented it. You pull back on the low E saddles string lock (makes sense when you see it) and the guitar can go back and forth to a dropped tuning.
#6
Quote by Tallwood13
oh then I know just the thing to get and you can keep the locking nut on.

there's a floyd rose add-on which isn't too expensive called the D-Tuna. Of all people Eddie Van Halen invented it. You pull back on the low E saddles string lock (makes sense when you see it) and the guitar can go back and forth to a dropped tuning.

Just to add on for TS:

The D-Tuna will only work on a Floyd Rose with fine tuners and built to Original Floyd Rose specs & dimensions. Plus the bridge needs to be setup for dive only with a D-Tuna, and is best to be on a top mounted & decked FR. If you have a routed cavity under your Floyd you may also have to do some modifications too get the D-tuna to work after you block the bridge for dive only. The bottom line is, they only work with a very specific setup, you cant just put them on any trem or FR styled trem.

EDIT:
I guess I might as well add my input. If you want to have a trem with no fine tuners with great tuning stability and are building the guitar from scratch. I would build it with a straight pull (non tilted) headstock like fender uses, and have a roller nut, staggered tuners for you can eliminate string trees. And then I would use a trem with roller saddles or one that will fit roller saddles.

A 2 point trem may even be better than a 6 point to further reduce friction. Between the straight pull headstock, staggered tuners to eliminate string trees, roller nut & saddles you should eliminate most of the friction in the system. But I would still chose a FR with fine tuners & a lock nut over all that instead.

If you build a top mounted FR guitar and have it decked it will eliminate %90 of your problems. You will be able to change tuning easily, if a string breaks it wont make the others go out of tune, string changes and changing gauges will be much faster/easier than a floating FR and you will have rock solid tuning stability no matter how much you abuse the trem. Just my thoughts about it.
Last edited by Way Cool JR. at Feb 4, 2015,
#7
Quote by Way Cool JR.
Just to add on for TS:

The D-Tuna will only work on a Floyd Rose with fine tuners and built to Original Floyd Rose specs & dimensions. Plus the bridge needs to be setup for dive only with a D-Tuna, and is best to be on a top mounted & decked FR. If you have a routed cavity under your Floyd you may also have to do some modifications too get the D-tuna to work after you block the bridge for dive only. The bottom line is, they only work with a very specific setup, you cant just put them on any trem or FR styled trem.

EDIT:
I guess I might as well add my input. If you want to have a trem with no fine tuners with great tuning stability and are building the guitar from scratch. I would build it with a straight pull (non tilted) headstock like fender uses, and have a roller nut, staggered tuners for you can eliminate string trees. And then I would use a trem with roller saddles or one that will fit roller saddles.

A 2 point trem may even be better than a 6 point to further reduce friction. Between the straight pull headstock, staggered tuners to eliminate string trees, roller nut & saddles you should eliminate most of the friction in the system. But I would still chose a FR with fine tuners & a lock nut over all that instead.

If you build a top mounted FR guitar and have it decked it will eliminate %90 of your problems. You will be able to change tuning easily, if a string breaks it wont make the others go out of tune, string changes and changing gauges will be much faster/easier than a floating FR and you will have rock solid tuning stability no matter how much you abuse the trem. Just my thoughts about it.


Thanks for the feedback. If I have a les paul style headstock, would it be the same as a straight pull headstock if I cut the nut slots facing towards the machine heads? Also what are staggered tuners and what is a 2 point trem? and what to string trees and roller nuts do?
#8
Quote by Intralimpidus
Thanks for the feedback. If I have a les paul style headstock, would it be the same as a straight pull headstock if I cut the nut slots facing towards the machine heads? Also what are staggered tuners and what is a 2 point trem? and what to string trees and roller nuts do?


A Les Paul style headstock and a trem really don't work well together. Some Bigsby guy will eventually pipe up, but the truth is, you may as well not have a trem as have a Bigsby on an LP and be hoping it will stay in tune. I have only Floyds on LP-style guitars...with locking nuts.

It would not be the same a s a straight pull headstock because it's not a straight pull. Two things plague tuning on an LP headstock. One is the tiltback of the headstock, the other is the turn the strings make in the nut, heading for the tuners.

Staggered tuners simply have different height posts where the string connects to the tuner.

A two point trem has two points at which the trem attaches to the body of the guitar.
#10
Quote by NakedInTheRain
stetsbar gets great reviews. i'm about to install one on my hagstrom.

I wouldn't consider a Stetsbar to be any better designed in terms of tuning stability as a Bigsby.

Les Pauls and non-locking vibratos typically have poor tuning stability for reasons dspellman has already mentioned. The angled headstock might look cool, along with the non-straight string pull from left to right at the nut, but that design gives the strings a tendency to go out of tune at the nut because of the friction the headstock design creates in that area. Filing the nuts in such a way to lessen the angle in which they turn the face the tuners does help, but it'll never be as good as a headstock design that has straight string pull. Prevention is always better than the cure.

If you had a fully locking system, it wouldn't matter what design of headstock you have because the strings will be locked regardless of what angle they enter of the nut. Which is part of the reason why locking nuts are awesome.
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#12
Quote by NakedInTheRain
stetsbar doesn't have any friction at the bridge unlike a bigsby, unless i am mistaken?

You are mistaken.

A significant part of the problem is that the bridge saddles are not rollers.
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#14
Quote by NakedInTheRain
why would it need roller saddles? the bridge moves forward and back as you rock the trem...the strings stay seated in the saddle.

For the same reason that you need a good quality string nut that is cut properly.

The strings stay seated in the saddle under string tension, but they're not locked down. So they have a tendency move back and forth inside of the saddle as you move the bar. If you ever look at the strings at the nut of a guitar as you dive the bridge, the strings will slide back and forth through the nut, as with a non-locking system, there's nothing to prevent them from moving. The strings need to move along some point of their length for the tension of the strings to slacken. Otherwise the vibrato would have no effect at all.

The exact same thing happens at the bridge saddles. And if they do end up overcoming the friction being induced by string tension (which is more likely to happen the further you dive the bar) the strings will ping inside the saddle. And the strings will have a hard time returning to their original position as you apply more tension to the strings as the bar is released, due to the strings binding at the saddles. The result is that the guitar goes out of tune. So its not a great design.

Roller string saddles are a design improvement because they more freely allow the strings to move through the bridge, which is a necessary evil because of the way the bridge is designed. But because there's much, much less friction preventing the strings from going back to their original position, the guitar is more likely to hold its tuning when you release the bar.
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#15
the exact same thing doesn't happen at the bridge saddles. sure the strings pass through the nut. but the bridge itself moves towards the nut and away from the nut horizontally. it effectively changes the scale length. i don't see how you put this in the same class as a bigsby, which adjusts tension of the strings from behind a fixed bridge, effectively dragging the strings through the bridge. surely that has to have more way more friction potential.
#16
Quote by NakedInTheRain
the exact same thing doesn't happen at the bridge saddles. sure the strings pass through the nut. but the bridge itself moves towards the nut and away from the nut horizontally. it effectively changes the scale length. i don't see how you put this in the same class as a bigsby, which adjusts tension of the strings from behind a fixed bridge, effectively dragging the strings through the bridge. surely that has to have more way more friction potential.

So you're saying that the bridge saddles themselves actually move forwards and backwards as you dive and pull up on the bar?

That seems like a rather overcomplicated solution to the problem. And even in this case, there's nothing to prevent the strings from going out of tune if the strings are under less/more tension behind the bridge than in front of it, which happens as you're tuning the guitar, because as you're tuning, the strings can still bind at the bridge saddles. Why not just replace the saddles with rollers and help eliminate that problem? Why go to the trouble of designing a bridge in such a fashion and not do that?

I don't see how this invalidates my criticism because this problem can occur if the saddles are moving with the rest of the bridge or not. If you dive or pull up on the bar, the inconsistency in tension behind or in front of the bridge saddles can still exchange with one another.
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#19
Quote by NakedInTheRain
i think the thing that invalidates your criticism is your lack of knowledge about the design.

It's been over a week since you wrote this and you still haven't explained why my criticism of the bridge not having rollers still causing the strings to bind when tuning is invalid.

Probably because it is valid.
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#20
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It's been over a week since you wrote this and you still haven't explained why my criticism of the bridge not having rollers still causing the strings to bind when tuning is invalid.

Probably because it is valid.

why would i waste my time arguing with someone who doesn't even know how the stetsbar is designed? watch a youtube video or something at the very least. or don't. i care little.
#21
Quote by NakedInTheRain
why would i waste my time arguing with someone who doesn't even know how the stetsbar is designed? watch a youtube video or something at the very least. or don't. i care little.



I have looked into the system like you said I should and I stand by what I've said. Including rollers on the bridge saddles should've been a no-brainer if they were going to design the bridge in such an elaborate fashion.
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#23
This is getting very off-topic of what TS originally asked for, so I'll keep it brief. If you want to talk more about it, stick it to PM's please.

It seems very odd that you 'care little' about what I think and now you're asking me how its designed. Backpedal much?

I don't really need to tell you how its designed because I've already explained what I believe to be its shortcoming. Even if the whole bridge plate assembly moves as the bar moves, theoretically eliminating friction (or at least that's what the marketing blurb says), elongation of the strings due to their elasticity is inhibited by the friction that the bridge saddles are creating. It doesn't matter if the baseplate and the bridge moves as the bar moves, such an event can and will still occur. The strings behind the bridge are not going to exchange their elongation due to their elasticity easily.

This phenomenon is the reason roller bridge saddles for fixed TOM bridges exist; they're effective even if the bridge itself never moves out of position relative to the strings due to their elastic nature.

I'm not saying I'm an expert, but that's just my observation. Take that for what its worth.
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#24
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
This is getting very off-topic of what TS originally asked for, so I'll keep it brief. If you want to talk more about it, stick it to PM's please.

says the dude who bumped the thread after a week...nevertheless, this will be my last post in this thread.

It seems very odd that you 'care little' about what I think and now you're asking me how its designed. Backpedal much?

your previous posts indicated your understanding of the stetsbar system was erroneous. as i said, i'd rather not argue with someone about something they don't understand. i asked you to describe the design to me to prove that you actually do understand how it works.

I don't really need to tell you how its designed because I've already explained what I believe to be its shortcoming.

if you don't know how it's designed, how can you identify a shortcoming? criticism comes after you understand the whole picture.

Even if the whole bridge plate assembly moves as the bar moves, theoretically eliminating friction (or at least that's what the marketing blurb says), elongation of the strings due to their elasticity is inhibited by the friction that the bridge saddles are creating. It doesn't matter if the baseplate and the bridge moves as the bar moves, such an event can and will still occur. The strings behind the bridge are not going to exchange their elongation due to their elasticity easily.

This phenomenon is the reason roller bridge saddles for fixed TOM bridges exist; they're effective even if the bridge itself never moves out of position relative to the strings due to their elastic nature.

right, i'm just going to take your word for it, because i've read this a few times and i'm not really sure what you're on about. however, i'm pleased to see that you've fixed your earlier misunderstanding about the design.

I'm not saying I'm an expert, but that's just my observation. Take that for what its worth.

i just hooked my stetsbar up to my guitar and strung an A string. moved the bar through the whole range. i saw and felt the string moving through the nut. the string did not move through the bridge as far as i could see and feel. perhaps it did move through a tiny tiny tiny bit (which i think is what you're trying to say should happen?). there's a word for that - negligible. quite different to a bigsby, i'd say.

that's my actual product-in-hand observation...take that for what it's worth.
#25
right, i'm just going to take your word for it, because i've read this a few times and i'm not really sure what you're on about.

Strings stretch. Strings supposed to elongate over saddle to allow for even tension in front of and behind bridge when tuning. Bridge saddles do not allow for this. Saddles bad.

I hope that 'Explain it like I'm 5' cleared that up for you.
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