Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Victoria - BC, Canada
Re: Buying a new guitar... Please help me!
Oh, my apologies. Look at the Jem for example. You see the bridge? Unlike a hardtail, it is exactly mounted directly on the body. It's opposing edges also called knife edges are place on some posts that are drilled in securely to the body. Then there are springs in the back attached to the bridge that apply tension in one direction to oppose the tension that the strings innevitably place and try to pull the bridge into the other direction. So a floating bridge does as it is named. It floats. It's more complicated than it sounds because to get it to float at the right angle and for you to make the most of the bridge, you have to ensure that the tensions of the springs in back match the tension of your strings. Now that'd be easy if the string tension was always the same, but different strings different tensions. It's not only because of their size, but fabric and even the company that makes em. Then depending on how you tune your guitar, you will also have to adjust the springs to match it. It's easy if you grasp the idea and know how to execute it, but it's hell for someone who doesn't know. I thought i knew all about my bridge when i was young. Then one day after 6 months of playing without tuning or even needing to perform any care for it, i broke a string and that was the end of that. I could no longer run, i had to learn how to tune floating bridges. It took me about a week. And then just to change the strings, reset the bridge, match the tensions and lock it, it would take me and hour. Nowadays i can do it properly without having to fix it a second time in about 20 minutes.
So if you wanna save yourself some time and if you want to be able to alternate your guitars tuning a bit, i'd recommend a hardtail bridge, but if you want to join the legions of great musicians who use their tremolos to do some impressive tricks and brighten their music with little effects, grab any guitar with a floating bridge whether it be an ibanez guitar with their edge pro's or the Floyd Rose and patented copies out there!