Hey Ultimate Guitar,

I have a "Les Paul" (an LTD) and I like it very much. It has a badass sound with EMG's, good sustain, 24 jumbo frets... I'm an enormous fan of Dimebag Darrell, guitarist for Pantera and I would really like to be able to do the high pitch harmonics he does with his whammy bar. I've already looked around a bit and saw the Stetsbar, Floyd Rose and Kahler. I'm wondering what would work best on my guitar without killing the sustain but also can do the harmonics trick.

Thank you
No offence, but you sound like you're 14 years old.

Generally speaking, a guitar that doesn't already have a vibrato bridge is probably not worth modifying to retrofit one. Granted this depends on what sort of bridge you're intending to use. But with the sort of guitar you have and the sort of literacy you have, you're probably going to want either a Floyd Rose or a Kahler. Those bridges are really the only ones that are going to have the range of movement and tuning stability you need for "TEH EPIC DIMESQUEELLLZZZZ" (kind of cringing that I used such a term)

But the truth is, it would be extremely impractical to do what you're considering to your guitar, mainly because your guitar has a TOM bridge. A TOM bridge is designed in such a way to sit relatively high over the plane of the body compared to other types of bridge, such as a Fender Vibrato bridge (or for that matter, a Floyd Rose). Because of this, the neck needs to be positioned at an angle relative to the body to make the guitar playable. You can see this angle relative to the body by placing a straight edge on top of the fretboard and comparing their difference in geometry.

This is a serious problem because Floyd Rose and Kahler bridges are relatively low in profile compared to a TOM. If you fitted such a bridge to a guitar with a neck angle, the end of the fretboard would choke out the strings on every note behind it. Making the guitar unplayable. So converting a guitar with a TOM bridge and a set neck/neck through to use a Floyd Rose/Kahler is a non-starter.

This diagram is a good illustration of what I'm trying to explain. The 3rd diagram from the top represents your guitar's current configuration, and the 4th diagram (the one on the bottom) illustrates what would happen if you put a Floyd/Kahler in it.

Even if it could work, those sorts of bridges require very extensive modifications to retrofit onto any guitar. Doing such a modification would destroy its resale value (even if the work done is competent), and the work itself would be very cost prohibitive.

Its more cost-effective to just buy a new guitar. Such an extensive modification is more trouble than its worth.

LTD actually makes an EC1000 with a Floyd Rose, so if you really like your current guitar, but you also want a Floyd, this is what you should've bought. I personally think the abalone all over the guitar looks hideous though.


The reason this guitar has a Floyd is because the guitar does not have a neck angle.
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I also have to do that. Cottaging this weekend
Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Feb 12, 2015,
toodeepblue raises a lot of points

go with a Kahler hybrid. If you do go with a kahler hybrid use a floyd rose locking nut. My out of the box idea I'm going to mention is a whammy pedal because it requires no routing. I've never used one but it's an easier solution. But floyd rose or kahler both can do dive bombs and all.

how much it costs to put a floyd rose or kahler on a guitar though it's a better idea to get another LTD. a schecter, kramer assault (les paul with floyd rose. I have one in my photo albums) or perhaps an Agile. Floyd upgrades has a ton of upgrades if you do get a guitar with a floyd rose.

why kahler?
the hybrid model can lock and be a fixed bridge guitar
faster string changes - no cutting ball ends off of strings
set individual string heights, meaning any guitar can have one regardless of fret radius
once the string tension is set you can adjust the tuning to anything without all this extra work like a floyd rose
you can control how smooth you want the push up or pull down on the bar

apparently more string breaks (use thick / heavy cored strings to prevent this
without a locking nut your tuning stability won't be great
you cannot use ultra heavy gauge strings. I think the maximum is 11-50 for the string hooks (i could be wrong)
the cost of routing is pretty high as it's a lot of work. In the end INCLUDING a kahler in the states unless you've either got the right tools or know a guitar tech personally it's around 400-600$ USD for the bridge and a guitar tech to route the guitar.

glad to see you're liking the LTD though. They are a brand I have a lot of respect for.
You don't need a trem to do pinch harmonics, that is a technique and gear issue.
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You don't need a trem to do pinch harmonics, that is a technique and gear issue.

I think he's talking about the 'end of Cemetery gates' PH + trem rape thing.
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It's designed for tune-o-matic and stopbar tailpiece systems, no routing or anything required.

Don't even consider that POS. I've watched it struggle through several NAMMs now (and it's finally available), and while it's probably going to sell to a number of the prissies who are afraid to put a hole in their LPs (but who can't wait for the finish to check, crack and fall off), it's simply not a good piece. In My Humble Opinion, that is. Your Mileage May Vary, Hike Your Own Hike, et cetera, Peter Cetera, yada yada.

I have several guitars with Kahlers (some of which date to the late '80's), and while I think they're excellent trems, I'm thinking that what you're going to want to play with is still a Floyd Rose, especially if you're going to be doing all that DD harmonic wailing. The Kahler will do it; the Floyd will make it easier, and it can be more easily tweaked (spring tension, etc.) if you need to.

I'd like to suggest that you do NOT put one on your current LP-ish guitar. It's not worth it. You're going to spend for the trem and the installation (which costs about as much as the trem) and you're likely to end up with a guitar that has a Floyd sticking up farther than your case will allow, etc. Neck angle is an issue.

I have a handful of LP-style guitars with Floyds, including a Gibson Axcess Custom. All were designed for the Floyd installation from the get-go. Three of them are Agiles, including one custom-built neck-through construction and another that has a 24-fret board.

One additional recommendation I have is that you have one of the aftermarket larger brass sustain blocks installed on your trem. It's a good thing.
Last edited by dspellman at Feb 12, 2015,