Screwy idea... original or no? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-29-2002, 07:10 AM Thread Starter
 
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Screwy idea... original or no?

I was just looking through this book I have, and noticed on the back of the telecaster string ferrules... Of course it's a fixed bridge, but has a trem ever been made with ferrules on the back of the guitar,and a roller-nut style type saddle for the strings to sit in? I don't know if I'm describing this right, but it almost seems like a reasonable idea... The strings would be held in place by the tuners at the headstock like normal, and held in place by the body like a fixed bridge tele... Has this been thought of before? I'm guessing it probably has and may not have worked, but I'm just curious... of course there would have to be something over the top of this roller nut looking thing to keep the strings from popping out of place when the trem gets pulled back. Shoot me. I'm tired.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-29-2002, 08:38 AM
 
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Interesting idea, but if the strings are anchored at the tuners on one end and ferrules in the back of the body on the other, how do you alter the string tension?

Traditional Fender tremolo units load the strings right through the trem block, which is probably the closest thing to what you're talking about.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-29-2002, 08:54 AM Thread Starter
 
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I suppose something could be installed in the trem cavity that would allow adjustments to be made. Sounds like a lot of screwing around to do (building something like this) but I have all night to think about weird things
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-29-2002, 08:56 AM Thread Starter
 
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<ahem> yeah, so I guess the ferrule part itself would be a bad idea...
<cough> but the rest I'm thinking could possibly somehow work or not really at all.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-29-2002, 10:19 AM
 
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Ever seen a Kahler trem?

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-29-2002, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
 
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Never heard of it ... I take it they've already beat me to the punch?
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-29-2002, 10:31 AM Thread Starter
 
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I just took a look... those bastages! Can't I have something of my own?



Are they any good at least?
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-29-2002, 11:24 AM
 
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Not IMO - they are the Fisher-Price of trems - they stink.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-29-2002, 11:45 AM
 
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I had one for a long time... they're totally different from a Floyd... very light to the touch and smooth in operation, and a nice self-contained design.

Tuning stability was acceptable, but not as good as a Floyd, because of the slack string between the roller saddles and the ball ends, all the moving parts, etc. And if you wanted your strings to survive heavy use, you had to solder the wraps at the ball ends. Pain in the butt.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-29-2002, 12:11 PM
 
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Darren, you beat me to the punch on the soldering the ends of the strings.
One other problem I had with the Kahler (we're talking the flat mount types, as opposed to the Spyder Floyd Rose licensed types) was that, under extreme use (ie: often) the ball ends would actually pop right out of the retainers on the bridge... handy when doing work where the strings had to come off, but NOT handy when playing...
I just had the one guitar with the Kahler... it was interesting, to be sure. The directness of the Floyd Rose and licensed styles of bridges has always felt more comfortable to me.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-29-2002, 02:37 PM
 
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If the ball end of a string was fixed in a position by a string ferrule on the back of a guitar with a trem and it was in tune, if one moved the whammy bar down, plucked notes would go up in pitch, no?

The strings would be held in place by the tuners and nut and also at the ferrule in the back. If a trem wewre put in between, the strings would be resting on it rather than starting from it so it can't add slack. But since the bridge would tilt upwards when the trem arm is depressed, it would push the strings upward resulting in added tesion. Kinda like raising the action on a Tune-o-matic bridge while a note is sounding.

I'm not overly familiar with Kahler's (speaking of which) since their popularity died well before my first FR-style guitar, but-remember those bass trems? Also, remember how Kahler used to have colored hardware?

Mike 777 Haug
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-29-2002, 03:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike777
If the ball end of a string was fixed in a position by a string ferrule on the back of a guitar with a trem and it was in tune, if one moved the whammy bar down, plucked notes would go up in pitch, no?

The strings would be held in place by the tuners and nut and also at the ferrule in the back. If a trem wewre put in between, the strings would be resting on it rather than starting from it so it can't add slack. But since the bridge would tilt upwards when the trem arm is depressed, it would push the strings upward resulting in added tesion. Kinda like raising the action on a Tune-o-matic bridge while a note is sounding.
To get any appreciable change in pitch, you'd have to do more than just raise the action. You need to seriously change the tension on those strings. Floyds (and other fulcrum-type tremolos) do it by using a pivot point and lever action which moves the saddles to slacken or tighten the strings. Kahlers (the flat-mount type) do it in a similar way, only with a bar on bearings behind fixed roller saddles. (Various Steinberger trems did it either way... they had bridge designs with roller saddles like Kahlers and other bridge designs that had knife edges like a Floyd.)

The only way i can think you'd be able to have a useable trem with both ends of the string anchored into the wood would be to have the strings wrap around some kind of bar that puts a kink in the string and keeps a bit of excess string length available to slacken or tighten the tension.

Bigsby tailpieces work somewhat on this principle, only the ball ends are anchored to the tailpiece, not the wood. In theory, you could anchor the strings to the back of the guitar, run them through a Bigsby tailpiece and then over a Tune-o-matic style bridge. You wouldn't get much pitch movement this way, and the tuning stability would be horrible. There would be just too many places for the strings to get hung up and for the loosening and tightening slack lengths of string to mess up the tuning.

[Edit: brainflash]
I suppose another way to do it would be to have the whole tail end of the guitar (everything behind the bridge) on one big hinge or fulcrum that would allow your strings to be anchored into the wood and still move enough to alter the pitch. Kinda like a Floyd but made entirely out of wood! But you'd be splitting your body in half, which would kinda defeat the point.

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-29-2002, 03:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve
Darren, you beat me to the punch on the soldering the ends of the strings.
One other problem I had with the Kahler (we're talking the flat mount types, as opposed to the Spyder Floyd Rose licensed types) was that, under extreme use (ie: often) the ball ends would actually pop right out of the retainers on the bridge... handy when doing work where the strings had to come off, but NOT handy when playing...
Heh. Yeah, string changes were a snap! (no pun intended) On my old Kahler-equipped Lado, i had to be sure to change my strings every couple of weeks, or the fatigue on the ball ends would cause breakage. They were nice, smooth machines, but i know what you mean about the directness of the Floyd... you're not as isolated from the strings. I guess these are some of the reasons why Kahler eventually started making Floyd-licensed designs (which had some really neat features).

Kahler had some really great innovations, and had some great designs that didn't require scooping all that mass out of the body. But i think the success of the Floyd Rose design really is a testament to the genius of Leo Fender and his original "synchronized tremolo" that he designed for the Strat way back in the '50s. Floyd Rose stood on the shoulders of a giant and took it to the next step. I'm still curious to see whether his new "Speedloader" system lives up to its claims.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-05-2002, 11:23 PM
 
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Darren,
Snap, ah yes.
This is a funny bit, too: I was using Floyd Rose bridges before, during, and after I had that guitar with the Kahler Flyer on it.
SO... there was a time or two when I found myself holding a string and severed ball-end, and the ol' needle-nose plyers in the other, ready to slap myself in the forehead. No soldering would fix /that/ blunder. Hah. Mind you, I just put those ones back into another set bound for a Floyd Rose bridge, and swapped.
I then learned to put the plyers well away from my work area, just to be safe.

The flat-mount Kahler design and principal were great, especially for those who wanted that unwavering action, and had issues with palming a floating fulcrum-style bridge. All of those permutations (theirs was the very best, least intrusive way to add a trem to a Les Paul, to be sure - and I once had to do a restoration job on a Paul that had a Floyd Rose put into it, very professionally, but it had literally rusted all to h3ll - fine tuners immovable, etc.) - and they had a device to add to one of their Spyder (sp?) series fulcrum trems that would 'un-float' the bridge by moving the arm into a downard-pointing position. The medium-end Peavey Vandenberg had this on it (I have a good friend who has this instrument). Nifty idea, but a little 'flexible' - not much accidental force on the bridge required to litterally deform the metal gadget that installed under the bridge to lock out the floating action. So much for locking in tune. Very fussy set-up to get it to lock in just right, and not alter tuning a noticable few cents.
In the end, this friend opted to have a Floyd Rose installed.

Mr. Rose certainly did take a superb idea, and raise the bar (pardon pun) - to this day, I measure all bridges against my experiences with the Floyd Rose, including the Edge/LoPro Edge (and I spent a good chunk of time with the Floyds, thanks especially to Ed Van Halen, followed closely by Brad Gillis). The ones I purchased (from back when I almost always kitted my guitars together, usually bastardized [email protected] instrument) are the ones 'distributed exclusively by Kramer' - still have the one box from the kit.
Now it's primarily in F3nder's hands. So, now Mr. Rose is trying to redefine his own design, taking it to yet another level. My concern is that the technology is much more proprietary than it ever was before (cutting ball ends off of favorite string-brand vs. purchasing specially made double-bullet end strings) thereby eliminating brand options. Maybe, if it catches on, other companies will opt in to offer up compatible sets... but would they really want to tool up for that? I think they'd end up just issuing their own specifications and tolerances to the same company, and just put their name on them. Same strings, basically.
Shall see.

'Scuse long rant - more often than not, I keep my commentary to myself, but when I get going, as you can see...
=]
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fixed bridge , floyd rose , floyd rose bridge , kahler trem , leo fender , les paul , matic bridge , peavey vandenberg , pro edge , string tension , trem arm , trem block , van halen

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