#1
I am looking forward to buy my first guitar but i can't decide whether to buy an Ibanez grg121dx or an Ibanez gsa60.I like the sound and the look of of the grg121dx more but the gsa60 is a little bit cheaper and has a whammy/tremolo bar.Now I'm down to the ultimate question... Do I really need to have a wahmmy bar?I plan to play mostly rock and metal in the future but idk if a whammy bar is essential...
Last edited by BenzerGoldy at Jan 11, 2017,
#2
for cheap guitars, in general stay away from trems (whammy bar), the tend to go out of tune really easily. i have twenty odd guitars, and i think i only have seven that are tremolo eqipped, they both have their use. but again no to cheap trems.
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#3
trashedlostfdup i did consider that it would go out of tune easily but I always see my other friends do dive bombs and messing with the whammy bar and just wondered if i really do need one.Thank you very much for the advice,man.Think i'll go with the 121dx then
#4
If it's your first guitar? Don't get the one with the whammy bar. There are many reasons:

1: It makes maintenance much more complicated for a beginner.
2: It is absolutely nonessential, even for a rock/metal player.
3: A fixed-bridge guitar will be more versatile for you right now (you'll be able to change tunings quickly and try out different gauge strings without a full setup).
4: Not sure about the exact models you listed, but Ibanez's floating bridges tend to not be as reliable as a proper Floyd Rose bridge (if you let go of the bar in the wrong place, the strings won't return to being in tune by themselves).
5: If, at some point in the future, you find yourself playing/writing a song that needs one, you'll have sunk enough time into playing that you'll want to buy another guitar anyway.
6: The other guitar sounds better to you. Go with your gut.

EDIT: In response to you watching your friends do dive bombs and stuff, here's a quote from the other guitarist in my band:
"I found my whammy bar yesterday. I put it in my guitar while I practiced, and then I remembered why I put it away: I just waste time doing dive bombs and making cool sounds instead of actually playing the damn guitar."
Last edited by flakeoff101 at Jan 11, 2017,
#5
Are whammy bars essential?


No.
But there's more to do with them than just dive bombs.
And on some guitars, they actually keep the guitar IN tune better than the same guitar without them.
#6
short answer is NO. if you decide to be a player that doesn't use a trem that's fine many don't and never have. dive bombs etc are fun but hardly "essential. for certain players style you may need one (Van Halen for instance) but otherwise nope.
#7
Absolutely not, they are genre- and/or style specific and you are better off without them unless use have a specific use. I have never had a guitar with a working trem, they have all either been hardtail or blocked. In your case, you could compromise and get the trem and block it until you feel a real need for it.

Quote by dspellman
And on some guitars, they actually keep the guitar IN tune better than the same guitar without them.


Would you care explain that please?
Last edited by Tony Done at Jan 11, 2017,
#9
Quote by Tony Done
Would you care explain that please?

Floyd Rose?

Especially when compared to a boggo standard Les Paul.
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#10
T00DEEPBLUE

I still don't understand. I can see a locking nut helping, and I can see how tuning might be easier with the fine tuners, but I don't see how the floating trem is more stable than a hardtail or decked Fender trem. Does the floating action make them less susceptible to climate changes?
#11
Tony Done

Any system that has the potential to create friction against the strings is an area that's going to cause at least some degree of tuning stability problems. Even if it is perfectly set up. Even if the nut is well cut and slippery, even if the bridge is well designed and made from quality materials. There is always going to be a problem of friction being created if the strings are being allowed to move back and forth through slots or holes. As you know, non-locking systems try to minimize the amount of friction at each contact point to improve the ability for the strings to return back to exactly their original position before the strings moved. But completely eliminating all friction requires the fabled wonder material known as unobtanium. Until unobtanium is discovered, the problem to some extent is always going to exist.

A far more efficient way to solve the problem is to prevent the strings from ever moving out of their original position in the first place. And that' essentially what a Floyd does. Almost all other systems, vibratos or not, are just not as stable because they don't lock the strings in place.
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#12
Whammy bars are cool, but they get in the way a lot. They do go out of tune if you use them and that might be a problem for a beginner. Speaking of the fender style which i dont know the name of. That fender style bridge is nice and it wont go out of tune if you dont use it. It also has the capability of more adjustments compared to the tune-o-matic gibson style. Dont know anything about flyod rose styles though.
#13
Quote by Tony Done



Would you care explain that please?


Sure. I've got Floyds on half a dozen Les Pauls.

LPs notoriously have issues with tuning (particularly the two middle strings) due to strings sticking in the nut, often after bends. The Floyds completely eliminate that as an issue.

What I didn't like at first about the Floyds was their tendency to lift when you bend and increase the distance you have to bend to hit a note. Two things have helped with that. One is the use of a slightly different spring set and the other is the use of a larger/denser/heavier sustain block. This gives the Floyd a significant increase in inertia. There are also tonal benefits, but for that you'll have to refer to the cork-sniffing section of the manual .

I should note that there's no significant difference (so far) between the cheap Floyd Rose versions and the OFRs in terms of function. I've got OFRs sitting on the shelf to replace several of my cheapos, but (*knock on wood*) there's been no reason to do so.

Quote by Tony Done
Absolutely not, they are genre- and/or style specific and you are better off without them unless use have a specific use.


I dunno that they're limited to genre/style specific; I've seen folks playing all kinds of styles who will surprise me with a slightly less-than-conventional use for one. But if you don't have it, you can't do that. I think the "don't bother with them" bias is probably promoted mostly by people who either don't have a trem on a guitar or who blanche at the thought of changing strings on them.

I will admit that they're generally not the best choice if you're making tuning changes via string tension on your guitars, but I decided I didn't want to dedicate guitars to particular tunings anyway -- thus the Variax guitars. With Floyds.
Last edited by dspellman at Jan 12, 2017,
#14
Quote by geo-rage
Speaking of the fender style which i dont know the name of. That fender style bridge is nice and it wont go out of tune if you dont use it. It also has the capability of more adjustments compared to the tune-o-matic gibson style.


I play two kinds of trem bridge largely as hard tails (for no particular reason) -- one is the Kahler. The old ones won't move unless you really need them to, and the new "hybrid" ones can be locked down and won't move, period. Since they operate with either a locking nut or a behind-the-nut string lock, they just don't go out of tune. The second is the Wilkinson-style Fender (ish) trem. I have those on several guitars and honestly, they're low profile and look and feel like a hard tail until you put a bar on them. Since most of those are on guitars that have straight-pull headstocks, there aren't many tuning issues.
Last edited by dspellman at Jan 12, 2017,
#15
T00DEEPBLUE

If the string is binding in the nut that isn't a bridge issue, the nuts isn't slotted correctly, that is simple set up and completely unrelated to the bridge. I own a pair of Gibson Les Pauls, and both stay in tune for hours with me (and my admittedly heavy picking style) hammering away on them. My SL has a graphite nut on her, the Studio is box stock, the G was binding a little when I first bought it but some sand paper and about 5 minutes fixed that up.

Prefer solid bridges to tremelos mainly because I screw around with tuning A LOT often between songs and I never use the tremolo even when they are so equipped. My PRS isn't obnoxious with its trem and stays in tune if you aren't getting completely bonkers on it, but Floyd Roses make me want to kick puppies....I have tossed two otherwise perfectly serviceable guitar because I simply can't tolerate a the FR set-ups couldn't tolerate the constant screwing around with the bridge just to DARN IT the fine adjuster is all the way in, have to break the nut and start over......
Last edited by tripped1 at Jan 12, 2017,
#16
Quote by tripped1
T00DEEPBLUE

If the string is binding in the nut that isn't a bridge issue, the nuts isn't slotted correctly, that is simple set up and completely unrelated to the bridge. I own a pair of Gibson Les Pauls, and both stay in tune for hours with me (and my admittedly heavy picking style) hammering away on them. My SL has a graphite nut on her, the Studio is box stock, the G was binding a little when I first bought it but some sand paper and about 5 minutes fixed that up.


This isn't just a discussion that covers the bridge. It covers any area along the string's path that can generate friction. The nut is a particularly key area of this as so many guitars have by design, headstocks that simply do not lend themselves well to rock solid tuning stability.

I have Gibsons and Les Pauls and I can generally play them a few hours before needing to retune them. But I don't have to do any tuning on my Floyds whatsoever. The tuning on those things holds steady right up to the point of restringing them a month later. Even though the nut is well cut on my other guitars, they do need some minor tuning if they're left for the same period of time and that is perfectly normal for those kind of guitars. The tuning stability of them is good enough to not be a detriment, but they're still not as good as my Floyd guitars and they never could be without a total redesign.
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#17
I have a rather hard time with that. If the tuning is holding for months at a time they aren't being played, steel degrades as its flexed, its just the nature of the beast. Both the Ibanez and the Kramer than I had with FR set-ups needed tweeking just like any other guitar, a twist here and there as it were.

.....and the first time I broke a string at a gig, was the last time I used a Floyd Rose live, admittedly I haven't played anything more serious than an open mic night in forever, but still.
#18
Quote by tripped1
I have a rather hard time with that. If the tuning is holding for months at a time they aren't being played, steel degrades as its flexed, its just the nature of the beast. Both the Ibanez and the Kramer than I had with FR set-ups needed tweeking just like any other guitar, a twist here and there as it were.

.....and the first time I broke a string at a gig, was the last time I used a Floyd Rose live, admittedly I haven't played anything more serious than an open mic night in forever, but still.


You may have a hard time with that, but it is a fact that FR equipped guitars stay in tune longer than other designs. No, they don't stay in tune forever, that is what the fine tuners are for. Also, probably once between string changes, I need to unlock the nut and readjust the fine tuners. Between the locking nut and the springs putting counter tension on the strings, they just stay in tune better.

Breaking strings- yes that is a problem but if you keep fresh strings on the guitar your less likely to break them.
#19
Quote by Jeffh40
You may have a hard time with that, but it is a fact that FR equipped guitars stay in tune longer than other designs. No, they don't stay in tune forever, that is what the fine tuners are for. Also, probably once between string changes, I need to unlock the nut and readjust the fine tuners. Between the locking nut and the springs putting counter tension on the strings, they just stay in tune better.

Breaking strings- yes that is a problem but if you keep fresh strings on the guitar your less likely to break them.


More or less what I was getting at. " I don't have to do any tuning on my Floyds whatsoever. The tuning on those things holds steady right up to the point of restringing them a month later." I've been putzing with these things a long time, and after a month ever if the guitar is technically in tune....it isn't in key anymore. Not if you have played it at all. Hell, I found a my PRS about an 1/8 step sharp somehow between when I put it down last night and came from work. I did literally nothing but wipe the strings down and put it back on a stand.

Like I said I have had a few guitars with FRs on them. I like to change tunings, that makes the FR MUCH MUCH more annoying that it is worth, because you are always tweeking the stupid bridge and not playing the silly thing. Even on the PRS that does have a trem on it, I don't know where the bar is....don't really care I never use them.


Now to the OP, is the whammy bar essential? I certainly don't think so, you can do full chord vibrato with your wrist, ghetto dives can be accomplished by flexing the neck (I know they aren't as deep or nuanced) if you WANT those type of effects, by all means, go nuts, but essential? I can't say that I have ever missed them. Personally given the choice between a solid bridge and a trem I will reach for the solid every time. Less to putz around with, no messing with springs per tuning, per string gauge....before you get into FR silliness.
#20
Quote by tripped1
More or less what I was getting at. " I don't have to do any tuning on my Floyds whatsoever. The tuning on those things holds steady right up to the point of restringing them a month later." I've been putzing with these things a long time, and after a month ever if the guitar is technically in tune....it isn't in key anymore. Not if you have played it at all. Hell, I found a my PRS about an 1/8 step sharp somehow between when I put it down last night and came from work. I did literally nothing but wipe the strings down and put it back on a stand.

My Jackson w/ a Schaller Floyd stays in tune +/- 1 cent after a month of playing. Call me a liar if you want.

Maybe I'm just good at setting them up. It also helps to have a good quality Floyd to begin with.
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#24
Quote by BenzerGoldy
I am looking forward to buy my first guitar but i can't decide whether to buy an Ibanez grg121dx or an Ibanez gsa60.I like the sound and the look of of the grg121dx more but the gsa60 is a little bit cheaper and has a whammy/tremolo bar.Now I'm down to the ultimate question... Do I really need to have a wahmmy bar?I plan to play mostly rock and metal in the future but idk if a whammy bar is essential...


If you think you need the trem bar, get the trem. I don't, and actually prefer guitars without it but... different strokes. To cover modern Jeff Beck, you might need a good trem.
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#25
Quote by tripped1
Like I said I have had a few guitars with FRs on them. I like to change tunings, that makes the FR MUCH MUCH more annoying that it is worth, because you are always tweeking the stupid bridge and not playing the silly thing. Even on the PRS that does have a trem on it, I don't know where the bar is....don't really care I never use them.
Yeah, if you're changing tunings a lot it's not worth it. That said, I agree with the notion that if you don't need to change tunings a lot, just about nothing comes close to a Floyd for tuning stability, and I say that as the former owner of a bad licensed Floyd, and the current owner of two hardtails (a Tele ashtray and a floating synthetic ebony w/ tailpiece) and a Bigsby, all of which have excellent tuning stability (yes, even the Bigsby and yes, even when I use it, although obviously not as good as the other two).

My experience is that when I play a hardtail I don't feel limited by the lack of a tremolo, but when I have any sort of trem, be it a Floyd or a Bigsby or a synchronised or whatever, I use it and I feel like I gain something from having it. The short answer to the question is no - trems are not essential, but the long answer is that they may be essential to you. The things you can do with a tremolo can usually either be imitated or substituted for something else if you don't have one, but it won't sound exactly the same and some of the flashier Floyd tricks are out of reach for those of us with hardtails.

As far as those particular guitars are concerned, I agree with those saying that the budget trem will probably not be worth it.
#26
Quote by Axelfox
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#27
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
The "get in touch with the note" bit sounds bizarrely similar to a Victor Wooten video about outside notes... Secret virtuoso maybe?
#28
Is a Floyd necessary? Only the player can answer that question.

Do you need a Floyd to fit your playing style or your desired playing style since you are just starting out?

If so you need to save up enough money to buy a guitar that is equipped with a decent actual Floyd Rose brand system or Gotoh, Schaller certain models of the Ibanez Edge etc. and for a beginner unless you plan to learn to do your own setups or want to take it to a tech all of the time then it may be something you'll want to wait until you have progressed and are ready to upgrade your guitar before getting a Floyd style tremolo.

Do not buy a cheap guitar with a cheap Floyd copy even if it is an Ibanez because some models of the Ibanez Edge tremolos are proper turds and that is what you are going to get for cheaps.

Have you considered buying used you could possibly find something with a decent Floyd for not much more than you will spend on a brand new lowbudget model. Buying used will almost always get you more guitar for your money.
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#29
Quote by trashedlostfdup
for cheap guitars, in general stay away from trems (whammy bar), the tend to go out of tune really easily. i have twenty odd guitars, and i think i only have seven that are tremolo eqipped, they both have their use. but again no to cheap trems.



My first guitar was a Washburn RX 10 it's a $100 guitar I could sit here and dive bomb with it all day it never goes out of tune. It's kinda the exception to the rule but there are some cheep trems out there that don't suck.
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#30
dspellman

I've got no experience at all with using trems - I play electrics pretty much the same way as I play acoustics, and only for slide. I can see the advantage of a locking nut, but that is a separate consideration to a floating trem. I'm in no position to argue with you, but the idea that a floating system can be more stable or have better sustain than a fixed one is counter-intuitive to me.
#31
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE


always get a laugh from this vid. kids not totally wrong but it's still an epic fail. he also picked one of the few VH songs to start the video that eddie didn't use a trem on or make any trem noises.
#33
You mean a Vibrato? as that would be the correct term, The term Tremolo refers to amplitude modulation, Which you can do with an electric guitar using tone and volume pots , However the Whammy bar as you refer it to is only capable of pitch modulation, Thus Vibrato, I just love throwing a monkey wrench into the machine,
#34
Quote by nastytroll
You mean a Vibrato? as that would be the correct term, The term Tremolo refers to amplitude modulation, Which you can do with an electric guitar using tone and volume pots , However the Whammy bar as you refer it to is only capable of pitch modulation, Thus Vibrato, I just love throwing a monkey wrench into the machine,


you are about 63 years to late for this. . fender called it a tremolo bar and that's what it is now.
#35
Quote by nastytroll
You mean a Vibrato? as that would be the correct term, The term Tremolo refers to amplitude modulation, Which you can do with an electric guitar using tone and volume pots , However the Whammy bar as you refer it to is only capable of pitch modulation, Thus Vibrato, I just love throwing a monkey wrench into the machine,
"Tremolo" or "trem" in this context is a colloquial use of the word that comes more naturally to most of us than "vibrato". Sure, it's technically incorrect, but it's what we're used to. Besides, in practice most physical means of producing vibrato do produce some tremolo, too.