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The Breeze

Flying V Whammy Bar?

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Whats the best kind? I dont kno what kind I want. It is for my Limited Run Faded V from '02 so I want to make sure I get a good one. Whats the best kind u guys have used? No Kahler/FLoyd Rose Please

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You can use a Bigsby B5 with a Vibramate, or a B7 with the Flying V Vibramate - but that option will require drilling into the inside of the V.

 

Otherwise a Les Trem is a fully reversible option.

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A floating tremolo is one that is routed and sits perfectly level under string tension. cut the strings and it sinks into the body of the guitar. the floating tremolo allows you to pull back on the tremolo arm for high bends and you can press it down for the string slackening deep sounds. This is the tremolo that is typically used for aggressive metal and hard rock playing, and the most popular model is the Floyd Rose model (check out any Jackson guitar with a tremolo and the chances are that it's a Floyd Rose floating tremolo.)

 

 

 

First, a little advice...

 

I got a '02' V-factor with ambitions of customizing it because I am very much biased against the looks of the worn finish. Before I comitted to an idea I came to my senses and realized the best thing to do was leave it completely stock. If it was a standard '67' reissue in the worn finish with rosewood board, I'd go to town on it. Since these have some intrinsic value above the other worn guitars I'd really hesitate to mess with it. Even the reversable mods will likely make scratches or impressions on the contact areas.

 

That said, the best tremolo hands down is the Floyd Rose, IMO. The standard floyds obviously require routing, but there are some standalone floyds that are completely reversable, though they are rare and expensive (for a few hundred more you can get another V and have it routed)

 

The standard compromise is the Kahler tremolo. They aren't as dynamic as a floyd but they are reversable. HOWEVER, without a locking nut these are prone to slipping out of tune easily if you actually use the tremolo the way it is intended to be used (despite some Gibsons with a kahler, standard nut and locking tuners). The locking nut will not be reversable, and locking tuners are not going to get the job done.

 

The bigsby is reversable like the kahler, although it is not a tremolo. It adds a little vibrato. Anything more, and it slips out of tune. Not only do you have to pay for the vibrola, but you have to pay for the vibramate, making it fairly expensive itself. In addition you have to chose between spending more money for a roller bridge, which spares the strings but doesn't give the same tone as the standard bridge which can wear and break the strings with bigsby use. the bigsby is also massive making transport in a case difficult and is a thing of beauty or hideousness to the eye of the beholder.

 

The last is the gibson style vibrola. It is not reversable leaving 3 screw holes in the guitar, and like the bigsby, is not a tremolo and using it aggressively will disappoint.

 

 

Obviously, each has its pros and cons, but if you want an actual TREMOLO, the best thing you can do is buy a guitar that is so equipped, rather than make this Gibson something it's not. The flying V can and has been an awesome tremolo guitar, but more often than not, people who want to slap on a tremolo are not prepared to spend the full amount to do it right AND accept the value of the guitar will be severely compromised. If I were going to equip my V with a proper tremolo it would be routed for a floyd. Otherwise I would go with the Kahler and install the locking nut. The bigsby would be a novelty to someone who wants tremolo, but once you see how big it is and how little it does compared to a floyd, you'll probably be disappointed with the money you spent. And again, this is not the best guitar to try your hand with.

 

I believe that in time the overlooked stepchild "worn" guitars will have some currency as good players, and the 2002 V-factors (SGs and X-factor Explorers) are the only nicely appointed ones made giving them a value that will probably even surpass the garden variety Ebony and Alpine white models in time.

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I am not sure what you are correcting, since I don't see anything contradicting you. The stetsbar may be a floating trem but it's over $200 with some models coming close to $300. The rare bolt-on, rout-free FRs can probably be had for $300, and by the looks of the product description it may be a better solution than a bigsby (which costs the same) but it doesn't seem to deliver much more. The description says it's a cross between a Bigsby and a vintage trem. Neither of these were made for aggressive use and the lack of locking nut still doesn't address the tune slippage issue.

 

I'd pick that over a bigsby, but not over a used kahler, which would probably be a lot cheaper and more condusive to hard rock/metal use. Even then I wager any and all of these options no matter how reversable they claim to be will leave an impression/gouge in the guitar body from mounting and use.

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a gibson style vibrola retrofit is also going to leave two empty bushings from the old tailpiece studs (although you could dowel them out).

 

For a trem, I prefer a proper floyd with locking nut for effectiveness and stability, but having played with the vibrola and something somwhat similar in effect on a Dano I had, the vintage units do have a certain charm to their effect as long as you're not trying to divebomb them (more range of motion with a much smaller pitch alteration = easier fine control, imho although you can do the same and more with the floyd and some practice) although tuning stability can be hit or miss at times.

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I am not sure what you are correcting' date=' since I don't see anything contradicting you. The stetsbar may be a floating trem but it's over $200 with some models coming close to $300. The rare bolt-on, rout-free FRs can probably be had for $300, and by the looks of the product description it may be a better solution than a bigsby (which costs the same) but it doesn't seem to deliver much more. The description says it's a cross between a Bigsby and a vintage trem. Neither of these were made for aggressive use and the lack of locking nut still doesn't address the tune slippage issue.

 

I'd pick that over a bigsby, but not over a used kahler, which would probably be a lot cheaper and more condusive to hard rock/metal use. Even then I wager any and all of these options no matter how reversable they claim to be will leave an impression/gouge in the guitar body from mounting and use.[/quote']

 

FR and Stetsbar is worlds apart. Henceforth the correction.

I had a Stetsbar in a black V (it's in their gallery) for a year. It's a very different animal compared to other trems. The adjustment alone took a very long time. Experimented with high tension strings (Dean Markley) and tuned it in Eb (like Kiss, AC/DC and other sensible bands) and it was possible to do divebombs. The range of the springs is somewhat limited. But it's possible to make it do things not possible according to the info and installation instructions[biggrin]

Later on I found a '85 V and an '86 Explorer equipped with Kahlers. They're easier to get along with IMHO

FlyingV04STETSBARsideview.jpg

Any added part or sticker will leave a shadow in the finish over time.

Direct structural damage to the finish from a Stetsbar depends on the hardness of the finish. With the soft finish of the Faded I'd expect to see something unless you use the soft tissue to put between the trem and body that follows with the kit.

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