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Would this help keep a trem in tune?

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  • Would this help keep a trem in tune?

    I'm imagining a headless guitar with the tuners mounted in-body, behind the bridge. A vibrato system for this thing would basically have a hinge between the bridge and neck, and the entire assembly (bridge/tailpiece/tuners) from the bridge back would move as one piece.

    The idea being to keep all the "bridge end" contact points stationary relative to each other, to minimize string slipping/binding problems that cause tuning issues with other types of non-locking tremolos.

    What do you think about the idea?

  • #2
    Isn't that just the Steinberger headless system? They made headless guitars with tremolos.
    "Enzo, I see that you replied parasitic oscillations. Is that a hypothesis? Or is that your amazing metal band I should check out?"


    • #3

      Also, Kahler made a non locking trem with bridge saddles that were elliptical. It used a roller nut. The whole thing starts getting too finicky and failure prone IMHO. What's wrong with locking systems? My Floyd licenced trems always perform well.

      One advantage to the Kahler system is that the elliptical saddles were cammed for each string. The pitch shift when using the vibrato kept the strings in relative tune to each other. So you could play, say, a D chord and trem down a step to a C chord, instead of the chaotic jumble of pitch that most trems cause. Kinda cool but it never caught on.

      "Take two placebos, works twice as well." Enzo

      "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

      "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A


      • #4
        This is an idea for a kinda cigar-box/travel guitar I want to try and build (for my first attempt at building an instrument). I want to keep the construction as simple/cheap as possible so using standard tuners, single-ball-end strings, and standard bridge hardware is a plus. Mainly I'm curious to know how the tuning stability would theoretically compare to conventional non-locking systems. If it should be better, great! If not, I'll go for a fixed bridge.

        I don't have anything against locking systems, but I want the strings electrically isolated from each other at the bridge end, so the less metal hardware the better.


        • #5
          It would depend on the design/execution of said hinge. Tuning problems come from two basic places.... one is string friction at contact points, the other is the hardware's ability to find the neutral position consistently. On every vibrato there is a range of where the tensions will set the hardware for a neutral position, it is just a matter of how narrow of a range you get. Floyds that don't stay in tune are a good example. The posts could be loose, the knife edges shot, the springs not in great shape, etc. If you could have a system that could support the instrument at a point where there is critical pressure AND let it return to zero easily, then you have something there that works.

          Plus, your tuners on the body will still need to come off at some point. you could call it either a nut or a saddle, but in either case you've just commuted the problem to a different part of the instrument... were you going to make that locking?


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