Probably a very foolish question...


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Bridges? Tune-o-matic (with a bridge + Separate tailpiece) and Trem/Hardtail...
How big of a difference is there? Or, for example, Callaham vs. the Vintage Fender on Wamoth's site... What's the differance

Basically, I'm hoping Jack will come on and say "Necks are all that's important (and pickups too--of course)... The Callaham is quite a bit more expensive...
I'm also wondering about the impact of the bridge on say, a Gibson vs. a Fender's impact on tone...

These are probably all stupid questions, like all that I ask, but I'm curious, and no one else has asked them, so I thought that I would

Thanks for any help...
In my experience, tunomatic + stoptail setups enable tons of sustain. Maybe that's all wood and pickups, but I don't think so.

Although, I haven't done any identical side-by-side tests of anything. I just know any guitar I've got with TOM oozes sustain, whereas those with fender style bridges don't.
The hardest part of answering questions like this is seperating all the variables. I've done builds with tele bridges and tremolos on other teles but the bodies, necks, pickups etc.are all different. I never build the same thing twice and you really need to have two otherwise identical guitars to A/B the bridges. :dontknow:
Thanks Guys!

Several of the guitars I think of for massive sustain have Tune-o-matic/Stoptals... I've always loved the Tune-o-matic/Stoptail you put on your avatar guitar, Nathan a !

I know what ya mean willyk, thanks for the reminder. I often forget about that and expect you veteran builders to know everything.  :icon_biggrin: 
Thanks  :toothy12:  Glad you like! That guitar has more sustain than any I've ever played. Must be luck with the woods. Just a black korina body and maple/rw neck.

For what it's worth, I've been really wanting to try out the recessed tunomatic + string thru design. I wish I had waited till they introduced that option and ordered my tele deluxe there with that. It's so sleek. Though I have no idea if it would increase or decrease sustain.

I got an SG with a tune-o-matic bridge and a Bigsby, and that thing is a complete monster of tone and sustain.  I think that the Bigsby somehow adds to the resonance of the guitar - or maybe it just seems that way because Bigsby's kick so much ass...
Nathan a: I just love your guitar in general... I don't like many teles, but yours is just different than a lot of teles.
I've always wondered if there was any truth to what string-through guitar's claim (more sustain)...

Rockdude: That's one of the things i need to figure out: is the bridge/tailpiece (as opposed to a tremelo with no seperate bridge) any better? Those 6 lousy screws on a trem can't transfer sound that well can they? That's why a Bigsby makes  a ton of sense to me... How does it keep tune? Do you have any spare pics of an SG with the giant bigsby on it? I haven't liked the look of one on a Jazz guitar, but different bodies could change it all... But don't go and make new pics just for me...

Thanks for your help, guys!
Hey, man, I have a Strat with the vintage hardtail, stringthrough.  I also have a Gibby SG with a Tone-Pros locking stop tail.  Both of these guitars are sustain monsters, but as others have pointed out, there are so many differences between them, that an A/B comparison is not really very accurate.  I did notice a difference in sound when I traded out the stock bridge on the SG for the Tone-Pros, but really my goal for doing it was just so the bridge wouldn't fall off when taking all the strings off.  I DO notice a huge difference between hardtails and trems, especially modern Floyd type trems.  My conclusion is that there are a lot of variables involved in creating a guitar with gobs of sustain, and if you make as few comprimises with as many of those variables as possible, you won't go wrong.
i think the whole TOM = lots of sustain is a total myth.
my strat with trem will sustain as well as any gibson i've played. it's all about your setup. many things to consider.

i think, and this is an opinion, the hardness of the saddles will affect tone the most. a cheap bribge may have soft cast saddles. but i'm sure warmoth doesn't carry anything that cheap.

i never liked that a Tune-o-matic is simply held down by the strings. i also don't like that the saddles and height posts don't have a way to lock. there are too many peices between the string and the body. i think the simple and efective design of the fender hard tail is a better way too transfer energy to the body.
Thanks guys for your kind input.

Guitlouie: Thanks for the advice. Trem's don't seem like the best system to me, but the fun of a trem (i've never had one before) and the fact that a strat is not a strat without one keeps it in balance--tone vs. the mad person in me who loves the whammy bar  :icon_jokercolor: So I suppose I still have time to decide...

DiMitriR33: I don't think I've ever heard about saddle hardness, but I've not journeyed very far into the depths of guitar knowledge, and what you say makes sense to me... So I'll take your advice. One of my concerns is that I'm a little tight on money, and I don't want to spend the $120 for a Callaham if the difference between it anda $45 Vintage 6-hole from Warmoth is very small...

I want to make sure my money is where it counts most...
And that's probably pickups


So thanks for your help, and even if I didn't mention it, everything you've said is being taken into consideration, and I don't mean to disagree with or brush of anyone's ideas
Thanks again
Sorry Guitlouie, I didn't really mean to say that a Strat would not be a Strat without a trem. I love your hardtail strat, and the system seems to make a lot of sense, cause it has more of the bridge touching the body, right? Better transfer of sound?  :icon_scratch: I really don't know what I'm gonna do, but I will think long and hard on it. So, I just wanted to appologize for that statement about Strats and trems. There are a lot of cool strats without trems.
I still think that trems are fun for the bad person inside me  :icon_jokercolor:

Thanks again guys!
I'm sorry for making so many posts, but I cannot contain myself.
I may be ordering my neck and body in two days!!! I'm just sooo nervous that I'll make a mistake, but sooo excited!!

Thanks again for your help, guys!
Hey, man, it is all cool.  I am a hardtail guy through and through, but I completely understand that this is not the norm.  I will say though that I love seeing guys play strats with trems who never seem to touch them!  I would never use one, with the exception of doing a few Ventures covers, but I can manage with just a few well placed wiggles of the old fingers, but I just chose to forgo the trem because then I would be one of those guys.    Like I said though, there is certainly no offense taken, to each their own and all that!  I hope the process of making these decisions is not too painful, but it is good to get many opinions, and take your time deciding!
Thanks for your understanding

Yah, I don't know how much I'd even need a trem, what with bending and all... I do bend a ton, so being able to go down too would be pretty sweet  :icon_jokercolor: (my favorite smiley) I won't be ordering any hardware for a few months, but I do need to specify the bridge rout...  And finally decide on body wood... And pickup routing... Sigh

Thanks for your help, everyone!
Regarding sustain, I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the height of the pickups.  If the pickups are too high, and too close to the strings, your sustain will fall off dramatically.
Think the thread was primarily about "which bridge gives the best sustain".  Pickups/electronics being equal, I don't see that much difference between hardtail/tremolo bridges, as long as you're not using a cheap lightweight tremolo bridge. All other things being equal, the chunk of wood used to make your neck is going to make more difference than the bridge used.
Hey everyone

Thanks, Jack for finally saying what I was waiting for. I do know about the neck's importance and that's where I'm spending most of my money, so I was wondering, among other things, if it's really worth it to spend $120 on a Callaham bridge compared to a $45 Fender Vintage 6-hole... I want to put my money where it'll count the most: which I think is electronics...

WMHOLP, thanks for reminding me of that. I had nearly forgotten!

Thanks for the great advice, everyone. I'm thinking that I will end up getting a trem simply because I cannot resist the fun factor  :icon_jokercolor: (My favorite and massively overused smiley)
I mainly just need to decide what type of bridge routing to get... so, now I need to decide on 6hole or 2hole (wilkinson)...

Thanks again
"if it's really worth it to spend $120 on a Callaham bridge compared to a $45 Fender Vintage 6-hole.."

The Callaham IS a better quality product, and worth some extra bucks, not worth the extra $75 to me personally; but in terms of sustain it's a wash.