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Introduction To Electric Guitar Bridges

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There is no way any single person can answer your question in one post.

That's like asking, 'could someone explain how an automobile engine works, pistons, camshaft, distributor, plugs, how they interact, and in what car each different engine would work best in?'

There's simply -no way- someone can explain that to you.

Try searching the various guitar building forums using their search engines for a few days, or even go to guitar parts suppliers and search over their catalogs, you'll start catching on sooner or later.

You're gonna have to bring yourself up to speed on your own somewhat before we can start directing you one way or another.

Remember: you only get as much out of something as what you're willing to put into it. :D

As a related side story, I bought a crapload of rack gear about a year ago and went to a rack gear forum hoping they would help me 'hook mah bad thang' up, until I read their FAQ sheet, which I reprint here below, which I think speaks to your question, if you get the connection... :D

So you've bought a whole stach of rack gear and want to know how to hook it up?

Well, how would I know? I don't know what tones and sounds you're looking for. And if you've bougth all this gear you should have tried it anyway and then you already know how to hook it up, he he....

Ok, I'm not trying to be an ass here but there are no rules. There is no wrong or right way to do things. We can tell you about how it's been done before, but how original is that? Alot of cool tones are discovered when people do things the wrong way. We can go on all day about the settings Luke's 94 rig and the settings on his Eventide, but who wants that now anyway.

What we can tell you is that it might be a good idea to hook it all up before you put it into a rack and wire all the cables to length only to find out the order you've put them in causes some unit to hummmmm.

So get all your fancy new gear out on the floor and hook it all up. Try different configurations if your unsure of what order you want. It is also a good idea at this stage if you have a multimeter to go through all the units to see which might 'cause ground loops. If you don't know how to do this or don't know what ground loop then this is a good time to find out.

Then when you're happy about the order and how it sounds it's the time to start tinking about putting the gear into the rack. I would start with Furman or other power strip, then add pre + power amp, then switcher + mixer one unit at the time. Make sure all units are properly grounded and your not getting ground loops. Then add one fx at the time. With each unit hook it up and test it to see that it works and that you're not getting hum or noise problems. If you get problems this is the right time to deal with it. Do not cut cables to length yet. Stick with using old crap for the testing as you might want to play around with the order in the rack. Some units might not like to be next to each other so you might have to shuffle things around.

Now when you are finished with this all units should be inside the rack, hooked up (with crap cables) and working and you should have no noise or hum issues. Now is the right time to get out the 50m of Van Den Schmul and Phneutrik and what not and make all the signal cables and cut all the power cabels to length. That should keep you busy for another day or two.

No you might wonder how to deal with all the problems that might occur whilst doing all this, well that what HRI is for.

If all this seems to frightening then there are guys like Pete Cornish, Brian Swerdfeger, CAE, Steen Skrydstrup, Paul Lenders, Dave Friedman etc. that do this for a living.

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You need a trem for wibbly divebombing action, preferably a floyd. If you just want light wiggles, a non-locking trem will do. If you don't, get one of the hardtail bridge. The End.

Honestly, beyond the fact I don't think Floyds are at all appropriate on non-shred guitars, tonally, functionally or aesthetically, it's all up to you. Want a strattish sound? That spring 'reverb' effect? Get a strat trem, vintage or 2 stud differences have been discussed ad nauseum all over the web. Tele, with the hunk 'o' steel (or brass, whatever) surrounding the bridge pickup? Go for it. TOM? Stud tailpiece? Brass? Aluminum? Read websites, search, and go with what you think sounds right. Or, best solution, just go play a few guitars with various bridges on them and decide what works best for YOU.

A bridge isn't magically going to define your tone, or be appropriate for one style vs. another. It's all about personal preference. You can play metal on a stop-tail or TOM guitar, or you can play Jazz. Whatever. It's your decision. I go with bridges I think look good, feel good, and fit the purpose they were designed for well. I rely on solid construction, material choice, pickups choice to pull quality tone out of the instrument.

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