The Schaller Lockmeister locking tremolo can be mounted to the guitar body with studs or directly to the body, giving you a range of options for customizing your ax just the way you like it, without a lot of extra work.
Its dimensions match that of the Floyd Rose bridge, so you can swap bridges easily.
The steel base plate improves tone and sustain
All metal surfaces are coated to prevent corrosion
Available in a variety of surface finishes, block sizes, and nut sizes for any type of guitar
Schaller manufactures a variety of guitar bridges and spacers so you can easily replace your Floyd Rose with something new and different.
It works by using a rocker mechanism. A spring-loaded tremolo arm pushes the strings down, and the strings wrap around a steel bar so they all remain stable and in tune.
The simple design is great for blues and classic rock players who just want a no-frills tremolo effect without the maintenance of a Floyd Rose
Can be easily adjusted with Allen wrenches
Comes in two different series, Lightning and Kalamazoo, with six different sizes to fit a variety of guitar bodies (including hollow-body electric guitars)
While you can’t really do a lot of flashy divebombing guitar solos with this one, the Bigsby Vibrato definitely gives your sound a retro vibe (no pun intended) while still being quite versatile for its price point.
You will need to slightly modify the body of your electric guitar to install this vibrato system, but Bigsby makes it easy to do so by including all necessary hardware and instructions.
Some models use a simple hinge that goes on the back of the guitar and others are mounted on the front of the guitar with a hinge and screws.
Additionally, it’s important to note that the Bigsby Vibrato is a tailpiece and not a full bridge, meaning it works in conjunction with your current bridge.
If you are looking for a bridge replacement and want one which works with the Bigsby Vibrato, these are the most common models used:
Gretsch Rocking Bar
any Tune-o-Matic style roller bridge (locking bridge models are available in this design as well)
The Kahler tremolo bridge was first built in 1981 at the height of heavy metal mania, so it was perfect timing.
The Kahler bridge is built on a rotating cam system that raises or lowers the pitch of the strings without losing contact with the guitar’s body, making it more stable than the Floyd Rose fulcrum system, and easier to control when using a whammy bar.
The VSVG 6-point tremolo has locking saddles and a pop-in tremolo arm, so you won’t have to worry about it coming unscrewed or falling out.
Staggered string holes so the strings don’t get caught in the saddles
Longer base holes for a smoother vibrato which returns to an accurate pitch every time
Available in three finishes: nickel, black, and gold
One of the nicest perks of the Wilkinson tremolo over the Floyd Rose is that there’s a screw key to adjust the string intonation, although it ships pre-intonated, so you won’t have to make too many adjustments.
Depending on the type of guitar body you install it on, you might have to redrill a couple of mounting holes.
You can easily adjust the angle of the tremolo arm with a set screw so it doesn’t hit the 5-way switch on a Fender Strat or the volume knob.
Additionally, the tremolo block is shaped so that the ball ends of your guitar strings sit perfectly flush and will stay in tune for longer.
Keep in mind that the PRS SE bridge can only be locked if you install a block or something like the Tremolo-No unit, which will let you set the bridge “on” or “off” without affecting your guitar’s intonation.
How do you restring an electric guitar with a floating tremolo?
The most important thing to remember about stringing a guitar with a floating tremolo bridge is that if you need to change more than one string, you should change each string separately to maintain proper tension on the bridge.
The restringing process will be a little different depending on what type of bridge you have.
If you have locking nut plates at the nut of your guitar, take those off first with an Allen wrench.
Then, gradually detune and remove each string from each tuning peg.
When you loosen the saddles at the bridge of your guitar, remember to only loosen the one that corresponds to the string you want to change.
Make sure you keep track of the metal blocks on the bridge that help hold each string in place, as they’re small and therefore easy to lose.
If you’re planning to use a different gauge of guitar strings, you’ll need to change all your strings in order to keep the intonation consistent.
You’ll also have to adjust the bridge slightly since the gauge of the strings will cause it to lean forward or backward.
Depending on what type of floating tremolo bridge you have, you might need to cut off the ball ends of the guitar strings to get them to fit.
Keep in mind that the ends of the strings are color-coded according to which string is which, so make sure you keep track of each string’s color as you work.
Tighten the saddle once the string is in place, then feed the string through the hole in the tuning peg just like you would for an electric guitar with a fixed bridge. Tune up and you’re good to go!
Can you use a whammy bar on a fixed bridge?
Yes, you can use a whammy bar on a fixed bridge, because the whammy bar just lifts the strings up, which is a normal part of the bridge’s design.
What’s the difference between a floating tremolo and a locking tremolo?
A floating tremolo allows you to push the bridge down or pull it up, which gives you a wider range of vibrato and pitch bending effects.
With a locking tremolo, the strings are clamped at the nut and the bridge to keep them in tune. Floyd Rose patented this concept as a “double-locking tremolo”.
Keep in mind that this is different from a fixed bridge, in which case a whammy bar will lift the strings but the bridge won’t move.
If you’re a newer guitarist, some of this information can be a little daunting.
When you bring your guitar to the shop for a setup (which you should do periodically if the climate changes, since temperature and humidity can affect intonation), don’t be afraid to ask questions about how it all works.
Once you learn the basics of Floyd Rose and Floyd Rose-style bridges, you’ll be able to fully express yourself as a guitarist without worrying about your guitar going out of tune or intonation.