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I've got an Epi Zakk Wylde Custom, and have found myself between a rock an a hard place.

I really enjoy using a tremolo with my playing, but I love the les paul, and would really like to add a tremolo.

I'm thinking of the "stetsbar", a bigsby, or a "les trem".

Anyone of you guys tried any of these tremolo systems? How much tremolo can each give me (are they bi directional, do they both give a half a step?) and which one is better and stays more in tune?

Also, anyone of you guys have tried those "rockinger les trem"- the one that Eddie Van Halen used in his guitars before the floyd? Do they even make those anymore?

Lastly, does anyone know if there's any bi directional tremolo out there available for les pauls besides the stetsbar.

(No modifying/drilling)

edit: Also, would you recommend I install a brass nut?

Edited by Fowl2338
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The Kahler is available at wammiusa.com and is intended for les pauls and such,but as it is explained on the site you should measure your inserts first to insure it will fit...but a small bit of routing is required.

If it was me I would install the kahler,but I am not shy about routing out a top..

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The Bigsby type of tremelo is only meant to give a "vibrato" effect and can't really do the full-on stuff like a Floyd. Gibson now make a Les Paul with a Floyd Rose. Its called the Les Paul "Access" It not only has a tremelo but a smoother neck-to-body join. I saw it online a while ago but I'm not sure when its available. The thing to keep in mind here if anyone's thinking about chucking a Floyd on a Les Paul is the string spacing

The next question I ask is "Can you buy the Floyd Rose gear that's on this guitar?" If not I'm sure the suggestion from Wes is good advice, go the Kahler

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The biggest issue with putting a Floyd Rose on a Les Paul is not the strings spacing, but the neck angle. Two very different bridges between a TOM and a Floyd Rose. A Les Paul pretty has to be designed around an FR. Otherwise they are a nightmare to install correctly.

I'll second Wes on the Kahler. The rest of the ones you listed are used for vibrato effects and not really meant for heavy bends.

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The biggest issue with putting a Floyd Rose on a Les Paul is not the strings spacing, but the neck angle...

You're absolutely right, I knew there was more to it but the memory fades!

About a 100 years ago I saw a band from Rockingham called "Fury" and the guy had a Les Paul just like mine. During conversation I noticed there was a gaping hole in it and he said he had tried to install a Floyd Rose "But it just didn't work"

At the time all I could think was, "Surely the neck is rigid enough to withstand the changes in string tension?" But over the years and the ponderings I'm like "Ah, yes of course!"

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Ok, so it looks like everyone is agreeing on the Kahler.

And no worries, I wasn't even considerign throwing a floy on there. I would make a flat top LP with a floyd before ever putting one on an existing carved top.

And what about the brass nut?

And I'm assuming noone has tried or heard any good reviews on the "les trem"..

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Kahler makes a string lock that will install behind the standard nut...but I would personally(again) go the more difficult rout and modify the neck to accept a floyd nut..

I like the combo of a floyd nut/kahler bridge

You sure you just don't like Floyds nuts :D

I couldn't resist. It was just there. Take care Wes. So you want to go to Vegas and see Perry this summer when he's in the states?


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It is necessary to calculate the neck angle in order to determine whether the instrument can be outfitted with a Floyd Rose. Set a straightedge on the center of the fingerboard and allow it to extend to the bridge. If the gap between the straightedge and the body exceeds 11/16", the instrument should not be outfitted with a Floyd Rose.

I pulled this info off the Les Paul Forums. It's from luthier Denny Rauen.

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I'd go a khaler...nothing else will really wok for extreme stuff and even bigsbys are a a subtle and acquired taste. The khaler allows the nut to be locked behind the existing nut and you get a suitable lock and has fine tuners on the bridge. I had an old rocklinger thing...useless really and can mark the top...poor mans bigsby really.

But a khaler is a commitment...it will put a hole in a top...not like a floyd or anything....but still. I f the guitar is valuable you may want to think twice and get a cheap second trem guitar like a strat that works. A khaler is a big investment.

I have a project to put a khaler on an LP and it seems to have gone off ok so far.

Funny how things change...we were having people trying to hardtail guitars for the longest time and string throughs....but a trem can always be a good addition if it works. One benefit of the khaler if it is set up right is that they can be locked tight...but the design isn't affected by palm muting which is pretty cool.

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I once had an effects box I think it was a Boss ME30 and it had a tone bender option in the pedal

Why can't they incorporate this technology into a guitar's wiring and have a Gibson bridge so get the best of both worlds?

Btw I was fishing with a mate once and we noticed nearby was a young lady. We got into conversation (as you do) and she reckoned she got into fishing cos her father was Greek


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