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Bridge Types
vowofthevoiceless
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I've been wondering about this for a while:

What's the difference between all the different types of bridge. Obviously there's no "best' one, or all guitars would have the same type.

I'm not talking trem vs non trem, i mean hardtail, through body etc.

Or is it just whichever one looks best for the type of guitar that gets put on

Post Date: 3/31/2007 @ 5:46 am
RE: Bridge Types
wmcjhi
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Well I happen to not be sleeping too well tonight, so you're in luck.

Let's see, I'll just go off the top of my head here.
Firstly, I think you're getting bridges and body construction methods confused, but I'll get to that.

There are two primary categories of BRIDGES, Tremolo and Hard Tail (aka non-tremolo), although there are a great variety within each category.

One category can bend the pitch of the notes through varying string tension with use of the whammy bar, one can not. Generally Hard-Tailed guitars are supposed to sustain better, but that isn't ALWAYS the case.

From there, the type of trem and whether or not you have a neck-through design, string-through, etc. begins to depend on the quality of the guitar and the style of play for which it is suited (why everyone here always asks a new guy what he wants to play - it greatly directs your style of guitar).

Different Tremolo Types:
Standard Trem/Non-Locking Tremolo - Like you'll see on most stock Fenders (non-hardtail ones). It can be constructed a few different ways (floating, for example), but in general it'll allow you to make the strings more slack by pressing the bar toward the guitar. Some allow you to tighten the strings very marginally by pulling it back away from the guitar, but this amount is usually negligible and often eradicated after adjusting the bridge a bit. They are, however, also generally synonymous with tuning instability as the whammy bar is used more and more.

Locking Tremolo: You'll see the infamous Floyd Rose Double Locking Trem and the Ibanez Edge Tremolo in this category. Having one of these tremolo systems will replace not only the standard bridge but also the standard nut as well, as these systems do NOT use the standard tuning pegs for tuning. Instead, there are microtuners at the end of the bridgepiece (making these very distinctive in size compared to normal tremolos). These have the ability to be bent backward quite a lot in an ideal setup. Such a setup requires the body to be routed out significantly to allow the bridgepiece to bend toward it when pulling the bar back, although it isn't technically necessary. These are famous for (in the case of getting a GOOD one, not a cheap knockoff) staying in tune for nearly forever, even through excessive use of the whammy bar. They are, however, also a tad more difficult to change strings with as you'll have to undo those two locks to change your strings.

Ok, now on to body construction (first the neck), which is a different issue more related to sustain than anything else.

A neck-through design is considered the best as far as sustain goes and is usually more expensive if in the same product line (i.e. an Ibanez bass w/ and w/o a neck through and otherwise identical features). Les Paul type guitars feature such a design. It is a single piece of wood for the neck carried throughout the guitar. "Wings" made of another piece of wood are usually attached to this at the body end to fill out the shape. If, however, you have a neck/headstock problem, you basically need a new guitar, deep surgery aside.

Bolt-on Necks, a la fender, are also very popular and still sustain extremely well on good models. This way around, you have separate body and neck wood pieces and the neck bolts-on (surprising, eh?) to the body with...get this...NOT bolts. Screws instead, but who's keeping track. They can usually be interchanged with a bit of an educated head for what you're doing between similarly styled guitars and/or if one breaks.

Non we have either String through bodies or, well, not. Again sustain is at hand.

String through bodies, considered the better of the two in the realm of sustain, have holes through the body through which the strings travel to be terminated somewhere within. Strings (when being changed) are inserted through the back of the guitar and up through a hole, then through the bridge or stop-bar and up toward the tuners. Non-String through designs will have the strings terminate right at the back of the bridge, then go up through the bridge and tuners. Not as much sustain, but less work involved so often less costly.

There you go, it's precisely 3:35AM where I live right now, so if anyone finds an error or thinks of something my somewhat tired mind omitted/got wrong, please feel free to let me know.

Post Date: 3/31/2007 @ 6:35 am

RE: Bridge Types
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DeathCharge
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so you talked about trem bridges...

but left out stoptail (gibson LP), tune-o-matic (TOM) is what goes on most string-through-body guitars i believe, and then the hardtail which LOOKS like a trem but doesnt have the hole for the wammy bar.

www.soundclick.com/thebuddaproject

and a shoutout to Scotty for the JSX!

Post Date: 3/31/2007 @ 11:00 am

RE: Bridge Types
guitarinchris
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is the hardtail you talked about, DC, the type of bridge you bend the pitch up on the strings?

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Post Date: 3/31/2007 @ 2:20 pm

RE: Bridge Types
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DeathCharge
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sorry chris, not sure i understand your question?

www.soundclick.com/thebuddaproject

and a shoutout to Scotty for the JSX!

Post Date: 3/31/2007 @ 2:27 pm

RE: Bridge Types
guitarinchris
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DeathCharge said:

so you talked about trem bridges...

but left out stoptail (gibson LP), tune-o-matic (TOM) is what goes on most string-through-body guitars i believe, and then the hardtail which LOOKS like a trem but doesnt have the hole for the wammy bar.


===================================================



This bridge that looks like a trem, a 'hardtail.' Just wondering if that's the kind of bridge that you push on and it bends the pitch on the strings higher?

Hope that was better Smiley

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Post Date: 3/31/2007 @ 2:37 pm

RE: Bridge Types
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NeeGNaGGLeR
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DeathCharge said:

so you talked about trem bridges...

but left out stoptail (gibson LP), tune-o-matic (TOM) is what goes on most string-through-body guitars i believe, and then the hardtail which LOOKS like a trem but doesnt have the hole for the wammy bar.


===================================================


Alot of Gibby les pauls come with tune o matics as well. Also there are the type (not sure what they're called) that you equip a Bigsby Vibrato arm to.

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Post Date: 3/31/2007 @ 2:53 pm

RE: Bridge Types
wmcjhi
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guitarinchris said:

DeathCharge said:

so you talked about trem bridges...

but left out stoptail (gibson LP), tune-o-matic (TOM) is what goes on most string-through-body guitars i believe, and then the hardtail which LOOKS like a trem but doesnt have the hole for the wammy bar.


===================================================



This bridge that looks like a trem, a 'hardtail.' Just wondering if that's the kind of bridge that you push on and it bends the pitch on the strings higher?

Hope that was better Smiley


===================================================


No. A hardtail is the kind you CAN'T. There are just different types of hardtail guitars.

Post Date: 3/31/2007 @ 3:33 pm

RE: Bridge Types
guitarinchris
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Awesome, thanks

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Post Date: 3/31/2007 @ 3:47 pm

RE: Bridge Types
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ax_murder
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erm, Tune-o-Matic is the bridge on LP's. Stoptail is the tailpiece that's used in conjunction with it.

there are bridges (I've seen 'em on SE PRS's) that combine both the stop tail and the tune-o-matic bridge into one piece of hardware.

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Post Date: 3/31/2007 @ 4:55 pm

RE: Bridge Types
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NeeGNaGGLeR
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Yeah isn't Hardtails just the term for tail pieces that are screwed into the body like on a LP? The Bridge on a LP is a TOM, correct? Then what is the term for bridges that have Bigsby's?

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Post Date: 3/31/2007 @ 10:29 pm

RE: Bridge Types
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ax_murder
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NeeGNaGGLeR said:

Yeah isn't Hardtails just the term for tail pieces that are screwed into the body like on a LP? The Bridge on a LP is a TOM, correct? Then what is the term for bridges that have Bigsby's?

===================================================


bigsby lol (I'm just guessing really, but since most bigsby-equipped guitars are typically equiped with TOM bridges, they usually just list them as "SG with bigsby" or w/e)

Fender uses "Hardtail" in reference to their non-trem strat bridges

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Post Date: 4/1/2007 @ 11:50 am

RE: Bridge Types
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NeeGNaGGLeR
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whoops yeah sorry < two typos in my previosu post, Stoptails is what I meant to say....and I didn't mean bridges with bigsby's I meant tailpiece's with bigsbys, like on this guirat that I might buy soon....

http://www.gretschguitars.com/gear/index.php?product=G6120BK&cat1=&cat2=&q=&st=1

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Post Date: 4/1/2007 @ 10:06 pm

RE: Bridge Types
vowofthevoiceless
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Sorry, let me rephrase my question.

What's the difference between different tailpieces.

On my guitar for example there is no tailpiece, you thread the strings through the back and then it goes over a tune-o-matic.

Does that have any advantages/disadvantages to say a les paul type tailpiece?

Post Date: 4/3/2007 @ 4:12 pm

RE: Bridge Types
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ax_murder
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some say that the strings going through the body like that gives you better sustain & resonance

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Post Date: 4/3/2007 @ 5:33 pm

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