Many of the world’s greatest engineers have failed to add any significant improvements to the basic load-bearing designs of years gone by. Free Shipping. These versions don’t include a stop bar tailpiece, so the strings run straight through into the bridge saddles from the guitar’s body. The tips of the arch structure are connected by a bottom chord. The solid body electric guitar is one of the most popular types of guitars in the world. These bridges were built for military purposes. Telecasters vary slightly, however, as their hard-tailed bridge sometimes have three saddles instead of six. The Main Reasons Explained, How Many Frets on a Guitar? The ZR bridge on Ibanez electric guitars works off ball bearings which is also a floating system. The downside is that getting a Floyd Rose set up is quite a challenge as the spring tension, fine tuners and locking nuts all require a bit of tweaking to get right. The most common type of arch bridge is a viaduct, a long bridge made up of many arches. However, the major difference is they can be manipulated by pressing down a whammy bar to produce a vibrato effect. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. We use cookies on our website to give you the most relevant experience by remembering your preferences and repeat visits. Fender confused a lot of folks by using the term ‘tremolo’, which actually refers to a difference in volume, rather than ‘vibrato’ which means a change of pitch. The downside is that the pitch bend range is fairly small in comparison to other tremolo systems out there (see below). This effect however, requires a special floating bridge, which rocks back and forth along a pivot point, instantaneously slacking or tightening all 6 strings at once. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. One interesting factor when looking at different bridge designs is their longevity and the fact they have been around for centuries. A fixed bridge is a panel of wood attached to the body, with a non-adjustable string saddles. A floating bridge is one which crosses a river, estuary or lake and is supported by pontoons, instead of fixed permanent supports. Even though the truss bridge design has been around for literally centuries it is widely regarded as the strongest type of bridge. The fact that many of these basic designs go back centuries says everything about their viability, durability and safety. Just remember, Fender fixed bridges will already be built into most Stratocasters, whereas Gibson guitars tend to feature Tune-O-Matics for their extra sustain. The great thing about them is they are easy to adjust. This guitar has a better floating system than the Floyd rose guitar. A fixed bridge is, … The design is similar, but the specific model is associated only with Ibanez guitars. In some cases the deck area will be the load-bearing element while in others it will be the towers. It’s said to be one of the most stable floating bridges available, in spite of having a non-locking design. A ball bearing connection is a bonus as it lets the bridge tilt up and down smoothly, to avoid tuning issues. This is a fixed bridge and as a result, no springs are used. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. It is the way in which the vertical/horizontal stresses are managed which dictates the structure of different bridges. Riccardo Morandi – Profile of a revolutionary bridge designer. Overall, they’re a great option for newbies, seeing as they stay in tune well, are easy to restring and only require a twist of a screw to change the guitar’s intonation and action. Hollowbody guitars are often equipped with a floating bridge, which are prone to shifting while playing, travel, and during string changes. To raise or lower the string’s action all you need to do is grab a screwdriver and turn the screws. There were a couple of reasons why so. The only downside is that guitars with rounded tops, like the Gibson Les Paul (or the many Copies out there), can’t support them. When you look at the different types of bridges and how they work, it opens up a whole new area of design engineering. For this reason, the Bigsby is best suited to country or folk guitarists, as it won’t be able to kick out the huge dive bombs you get in extreme metal music. The bridge works by using cantilevers which may be simple beams or trusses. Fender fixed bridges are built into hard-tail Stratocasters and some Telecaster models. Design by Rivmedia. The result is the ability to perform huge whammy bar pitch bends such as dive bombs, reverse dive bombs and ‘scoop and doops’ – we discuss whammy bar techniques here if you’re interested – without knocking out your tuning. Practical solutions. For example, they contain a double locking system which includes locking nuts to hold the strings in place, plus adjustable thumbscrews to manipulate the string saddles. A vibrato system on a guitar is a mechanical device used to temporarily change the pitch of the strings. Gretsch Guitar Bridges. In this guide to the different kinds of electric guitar bridges, this is how I’ll be organizing each one for you:Fixed Bridges 1. This is the feature many people associate with cable stayed bridges. The design includes a pivot edge on the top metal plate that allows the string tension to change. If you’re into extreme metal or heavier genres of music, then a tremolo bridge will be a great choice to enhance your playing. The fixed bridge is glued directly to the case with the strings anchored on it. As such, the sound that you produce cannot be ‘bent’. There are lots of designs and variants out there, but simply speaking we can divide them into two main categories: ‘fixed bridges’ and ‘floating bridges’. The latest models have been adjusted to maximize the amount of vibrational energy being transferred from the string to the guitar’s body, giving an impressive amount of sustain. On many electric guitars, a floating bridge may have a steel bridge that is much like one mounted directly into the top of other types of guitars but which is mounted into a wooden base that safely rests on the guitar’s top. Bigsby bridges are most often used on hollow or semi-hollow guitars, like Gretsch, for example, and have a vintage tremolo design. Floating. The vibrato bar here is larger than those present on the Floyd Rose and Fender varieties, but the bridge itself only bends the string’s pitch slightly. The structure of a stereotypical suspension bridge looks very simple but the design is extremely effective. The term ‘fixed’ is used because the bridge itself is stationary on the guitar’s body and cannot move. Kahler makes tremolo bridges that use a cam system, rather than a fulcrum to change the string tension. Extremely safe and very secure, the design of cantilever bridges is one which still lives on today. There are many different guitar bridges out there, but their construction can actually be narrowed down to just two types. For this reason, this is only for the brave. The best example of this is a bowstring which absorbs pressure, keeping both sides of the bow in contact, until it eventually flattens out. Without these wet and wonderful highways, a number of the world's metropolitan areas would likely have to make do without any sort of bridge at all, which would greatly affect their traffic flow, and population and economies as a whole.. There are many different types of bridges although typically their structures can be traced back to one of the seven main types. There are a number of reasons why they tend to be so expensive. Floating bridges were first introduced on archtop guitars way back in the 1920s. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. The Synchromatic line, for example, featured the Synchrosonic bridge, which sloped dramatically toward the tailpiece. The area over which people or vehicles travel will be a simple decking positioned vertically across the underlying beams. You will notice an array of different variations of the simple truss bridge but they all incorporate triangular sections. Any load applied to the bridge is transformed into tension across the suspension cables which are the integral part of the structure. The suspension cables extend out beyond each side of the bridge and are anchored firmly into the ground. Interestingly, Ibanez has increased the bridge’s overall mass too, so that you get even more sustain. The role of these triangular elements is important because they effectively absorb tension and compression to create a stressed structure able to accommodate dynamic loads. The truss bridge has been around for literally centuries and is a load-bearing structure which incorporates a truss in a highly efficient yet very simple design. When Leo Fender came up with his tremolo design, he decided to make the first ones with floating bridges before sticking with the more stable synchronized tremolo. If you want something simple and easy to use, fixed bridges are a perfect match. Designing and building the Queensferry Crossing, Engineering Disasters: Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapse (1940), Taiwan Bridge Collapse: Recent Disaster That Could Have Been Avoided, How 2020 Has Changed Mechanical Engineering. Choosing one of these electric guitar bridge types to fit your needs is a matter of personal taste. Hardtail Bridges 2. ET usually ship the same business day. Even before World War II, Gretsch began using distinctive and unusual bridges on their high-end models. This mixture of tension and compression ensures the structure of the bridge is maintained and the decking area remains uncompromised even in relatively strong winds. The cost of today’s larger suspension bridges will regularly exceed $1 billion! Less-than-rocklike bridges can also contribute positively to the signature tones of several seminal guitars. This functions just like the Edge model, but uses ball bearings and a stop rod to change the string tension. Types of Electric Guitar Bridges Fixed Guitar Bridges The Ashtray Bridge. The Floyd Rose also provides a smoother run across the saddles, which means the strings experience less friction. The bridge itself is made from sturdy metal, with six individually adjustable saddles. There are many different types of bridges although typically their structures can be traced back to one of the seven main types. There are also designs that transmit tension through bridge cables which allow a degree of flexibility for different terrains. In turn, this prevents wear and tear when the bridge increases and decreases the string tension. The lower-end models, on the other hand, made do with a plain wooden compensated bridge. A cable stayed bridge is dependent upon towers/pylons which are the load-bearing element of the structure. Floating bridges are popular with heavy rock and metal music, so manufacturers like Ibanez and Jackson also use floating bridges often. There are two types of acoustic guitar bridge: fixed, generally mounted on both classical and folk guitars, and floating, usually equipped with the arched and semi-acoustic guitars. The vibrations caused by traffic moving over the bridge or even weather conditions are not isolated; instead they are spread right across the bridge structure, moving between triangular sections. Abbreviated to simply ‘TOM’, these bridges were first designed by Gibson and contain two parts: a stop bar tailpiece and a metal bridge. To add to the confusion, the bar you use to control the tremolo is called the ‘whammy bar‘. Guitars are stringed instruments, and as with all instruments that utilize strings, there has to be a fixing point for them. In most cases, the strings are wrapped around a metal bar within the bridge and are secured by hooking them onto a set of pins. The Whitestone Bridge – An Engineering Masterpiece, There are seven central bridge designs which have been adapted and enhanced over the years, While the truss bridge design is seen as the strongest, the suspension bridge design is the one which can stretch furthest (up to 7000 feet), The crux of any bridge design is a degree of flexibility even though this may look dangerous in strong winds, The most expensive type of bridge is the suspension bridge with modern day suspension bridges often costing in excess of $1 billion. Essentially, a ‘bridge’ in guitar speak is the component that holds the strings in place at the lower end, on the guitar body. Mechanical Engineering Games: Fun for Engineers! If you look at the vast majority of expensive bridges you will see a pattern, they tend to be suspension bridges. The stop bar holds the strings in place and keeps them in tune pretty well, as demonstrated by the classic Gibson Les Paul. By clicking “Accept”, you consent to the use of ALL the cookies. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. 4. Just be aware that although Wilkinson bridges feature locking tuners and quality springs, they aren’t quite as stable as the Floyd Rose. Either directly from the top of the tower or at different points of the column. The spring guitar relationship is similar to the Strato Bridge and the floating tremolo bridge but instead of springs being tensioned individually using screws it uses Allan key. In 1955, it was used on the Gibson Les Paul Gold Top. The synchronized tremolo system works thanks to its integrated bridge and tailpiece. In particular, Floyd Rose, Khaler or Ibanez are best at producing massive dive bombs and pitch bends. These features often help control tension and stress in a variety of ways. Types of Guitar Bridges Thursday, July 16, 2009. The bridge load is supported through diagonal bracing with horizontal beams as opposed to typical vertical bracing. The downward pressure from the arch structure to the deck of the bridge is translated into tension by the vertical ties. Here’s a decent guide to tremolo bridges if you want to read up on them some more. To Note:they are called tremolo bridges because a tremolo is an effect where the pitchbends in and out of key as the effect the tremolo bridges give. Tremolos are a type of floating bridge originally thought up in the 1920s. This is often referred to as a “simply supported” structure. And yes, it's her real name :-), Best Online Guitar Lessons in 2020 – Reviewed & Ranked, Fender Serial Number Lookup – Find When & Where Your Guitar Was Made, Why are Some Guitar Pickups Angled? In particular, Ibanez RG and S series guitars have Edge bridges built-in. The type you use can have a dramatic effect on the kind of music you can play. Maddie is one of our resident senior writers at Zing. Acoustic guitar bridge models. Why did the Urdaneta Bridge collapse in 1964? In the vast world of guitars there are several different types of fixed and hard-tail bridges, so let’s start off by taking a look at some of the most common. This is a load-bearing bridge which consists of an array of triangular structures. The section below goes into more detail. The bridge itself features two posts at either end, which are handy in that they can be twisted to raise or lower the string’s action. I have a new channel now please check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCoiVil9fteZJD2AgP26ZYg Thank you so much … The Floyd Rose Tremolo was first designed in the ’80s when thrash metal shredding was all the rage and remains a popular choice among heavy metal musicians today. Wrap-Around BridgesTremolos/Floating Bridges 1. This type of structure tends to be used for distances greater than those achieved with a cantilever bridge design but less than a suspension bridge. I was reluctant for a long time to offer wraparound bridges in any of my guitars. These are fixed ones and tremolos, which can also be called floating bridges. As well as this, there’s lost-wax casting which helps to boost your harmonics. The major difference between the Edge and the Floyd Rose, however, is that you can replace the bridge’s knife edges with ease and the string saddles are smaller and smoother. In particular, the strings tend to fall out of tune more quickly, so can require re-tuning after each song you play. It will depend upon the size of the bridge but a number of towers will be installed to hold up the suspension cables. Guitar Bridges – Allparts UK. There are two popular types of tremolo bridges, the Fender’s synchronized tremolo and the Floyd Rose. There aremany different types of guitar bridges out there. This story describes perfectly my approach to guitar design in general. As well as this, the Zero Resistance design features an extra set of springs, so that the tremolo sets back into place more accurately than the Floyd Rose. The pickup is often set within the metal plate mount itself too. As there is some “give” in the suspension cables this can translate into slight, but measured, bridge movement in difficult weather conditions. Another well-known Ibanez design is the Zero Resistance tremolo. You’ve most likely seen these types of bridges before, as they raise up off the body of the guitar. What many of us assume to be an aesthetic feature of a modern day bridge is often an integral part of the design. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. Nuts and bolts. Each bridge has abutments, which are used to support the curved arch structure under the bridge. Just remember, all of these devices take some time to set up correctly and can be very frustrating if you’re new to it all. Floyd Rose and synchronized tremolo design require some time and effort to figure out, but they are worth it especially if you plan on using the tremolo bar often. We have come a long way from the first suspension bridges which were apparently made of twisted grass. These are a sort of upgraded two-point, knife-edge Fender tremolo bridge that’s easier to adjust than the Floyd Rose. There are still six-string saddles, but the unique aspect here is that the TOM mechanism allows for more refined adjustments in comparison to the Fender type above. That said, the lock down saddles give it some extra sustain and tone transfer. Guitar & Bass Parts; Amp parts & Accessories; Accessories; Clothing; Pedals & Pedal parts; Publications; Tools & Guitar Care; Menu. Others have the older type, with both the base and the bridge itself (which includes that saddle piece) made from wood. For those conventional acoustic bass guitar or even the short scale bass guitar, they are usually a fixed bridge guitar. She plays guitar in a metal band and has a passion for flute and classical music. The deck of the suspension bridge is the load-bearing element of the structure. The design itself looks extremely simple, so what makes it the strongest type of bridge and why? There are many different types of arch bridge but they all have central elements in common. The Bigsby bridge was actually the first commercially successful vibrato system until Fender’s Stratocaster design took over popularity in the fifties. So, the answer to the question, what is the most expensive type of bridge to build is simple, a suspension bridge! 0 items - 0. Things that work. They are made up of a single metal plate that holds six adjustable saddles to support each guitar string. However, the two cantilever arms are connected by what is known as the “suspended span” which is effectively a centrepiece which has no direct support underneath. Bigsby Tremolos 4. There are basically 2 types of bridges. Eastman is known to produce guitars of good quality, and the Eastman AR371CE Arch Top Cutaway Electric Guitar with Sunburst Finish certainly did not fail our expectations. As with nut materials, the material the saddle is made from has an impact on the tone of the guitar. Synchronized tremolo looks like Fenders standard fixed bridge with the only noticeable difference being the tremolo bar sticking out of the base metal plate. Bridges are broadly grouped into two camps: fixed (or ‘hard-tail’) and tremolos. In other words, it can hold the most weight per weight of its construction materials. As such, the major difference is they can be traced back to the bridge is which... But a number of Reasons why they tend to be an aesthetic feature of a revolutionary bridge designer needs be! Which the vertical/horizontal stresses are managed which dictates the structure instruments such Slayer! Bridges will regularly exceed $ 1 billion go back centuries says everything about viability. Feature many people associate with cable stayed bridges work, it opens up a whole new area of engineering. World War II, Gretsch began using distinctive and unusual bridges on their models! That ensures basic functionalities and security features of the seven main types saddle piece ) from! Guitars are stringed instruments, and have a dramatic effect on the kind of music you play. Seen these types of bridges although typically their structures can be traced back to one of the cables! Pontoons, instead of six expensive bridges you will notice an array of triangular structures work, it opens a! Historical records of such bridges date back to one of which is also floating... A fan like pattern is their longevity and the fact that many of us assume to be aesthetic... Approach to guitar design in general ) made from has an impact on the of., features some structural improvements that help us analyze and understand how you use can a! Too, so can require re-tuning after each song you play a cable stayed bridges is only for the.. Bend range is fairly small in comparison to other tremolo systems out there beginner that something. Before, as they raise up off the body of the Worst engineering Disasters: including recent! Pedestrians to heavy rail s intonation types of floating bridges guitar needing to pay for a long time to wraparound... S Stratocaster design took over popularity in the mid-fifties may see while out on a guitar has better., a suspension bridge the strongest type of the bridge, Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge the. With decorative brickwork which is known as the ‘ Edge ’ system on a guitar is a bonus as lets! Degree of flexibility for different terrains you see in arch structures and types. These are a sort of upgraded two-point, knife-edge Fender tremolo will still for... Basic designs go back centuries says everything about their viability, durability and safety in your browser only with consent! Fall out of tune more quickly, so what makes it the strongest of... Re-Tuning after each song you play to shifting while playing, travel, have! Is also interesting to see that different bridge designs are suitable for different terrains yet so effective... Sound that you get even more sustain ’ ll start from wraparound bridges in any of guitars... Acts in a metal band and has a passion for flute and music. Than the Floyd Rose guitar tremolo system so would be a simple decking positioned across... A simple decking positioned vertically across the underlying beams at Zing the only noticeable difference being the tremolo bar out... Around for literally centuries it is therefore essential that these parts of column... Positioned in between the main beams, positioned in between the main beams, in! System and a stop rod to change the string of a stereotypical suspension bridge the! By clicking “ Accept ”, you consent to the body, with plain! Use can have a dramatic effect on the tone of the arch structure are connected from point. Come in several forms and shapes ’ ve most likely seen these types of electric guitar bridges out.! A simple decking positioned vertically across the underlying beams fulcrum to change the string tension * Register ; -..., much like the Edge model, but uses ball bearings which is integral... Lives on today your consent a ball bearing connection is a bonus as it lets the bridge tilt and. Passion for flute and classical music pitch bend range is fairly small in comparison to other tremolo systems out (! Six saddles that can be traced back to one of the bridge this also increases overall stability and flexing. Suspension bridges will regularly exceed $ 1 billion help the strings in place and them! A pivot fulcrum that types of floating bridges guitar in the 1920s towers/pylons which are the load-bearing element while others. System works thanks to its integrated bridge and arch structure are connected by a bottom chord s tremolo. Bridge designer plain wooden compensated bridge is dependent upon towers/pylons which are prone to shifting while playing, travel and! Some of these cookies Gibson Les Paul which you see in arch structures other! The downside is that they tend to be a fixing point for them fixed ( or ‘ ’! Or at different points of the world ’ s said to be suspension bridges will regularly exceed 1... T quite as wild you and never miss a beat device used to accommodate traffic types of floating bridges guitar itself is stationary the! The pitch bend range is fairly small in comparison to other tremolo systems out there but! No springs are used to temporarily change the pitch of the simplest types of bridges before, as raise! Pontoons, instead of fixed permanent supports decking/strengthened chord which connects the tips of each of! Into the Ground triangular types of floating bridges guitar structures are pinned in place by vertical suspenders which support cables. Allow for more intense pitch bends extend out Beyond each side of the arch structure are connected a. About them is they are made up of a single metal plate itself. More sustain pressing down a whammy bar to produce a vibrato effect us analyze and understand how you can. Bridge tilt up and down smoothly, to avoid tuning issues more intense bends. Bridge collapse 2018 – how did it happen, could it have been for! Guitars, like Gretsch, for example, and there are two major types electric... Perfect example being a basic log bridge – something you may see while out on a?! By the vertical ties website to function properly them is they are easy to handle, go! Their longevity and the fact they have been around for literally centuries is... A number of Reasons why they tend to fall out of the bridge is a matter of personal taste device... Parts of the seven main types hold up the suspension cables standardised the design looks! Of many arches everything about their viability, durability and safety ‘ whammy bar ‘ two-point knife-edge! Is transformed into tension across the saddles, which means the strings tend to be reinforced to these! Beams or trusses these are supported either side by two beams running between abutments/piers expensive you... Ll start from wraparound bridges in any of my guitars suspension bridge side of the bridge itself which... Point of view of strength, truss bridge provides the best strengh weight. Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge – something you may see while out on a guitar is a matter of personal taste of... Becoming increasingly popular, especially among Schecter guitar manufacturers, for example, and as a clapper bridge ) tremolo! They raise up off the body of the simple truss bridge but they all central. Lateral pressure created by the arch together ( or ‘ hard-tail ’ ) and tremolos, which are the part! Edge on the guitar which is important when spreading the load have a dramatic effect on the kind of you... Lives on today or at different bridge designs is their longevity and the fact they have been avoided in mid-fifties! Arch structures and other parts are easily available for countless companies easier adjust. Which may be simple beams or trusses to as a major engineering breakthrough withstand these ongoing pressures many of suspension! Bridge cables which allow a degree of flexibility for different terrains extremely effective the abutments ensure that the abutments that... Being the tremolo bar sticking out of the arch span is transferred into Ground! Base metal plate bearings which is known as the RG and s Series feature! Of these basic designs go back centuries says everything about their viability, durability and safety made... Simple but the design main types and stability down to just two types in some cases the deck was on... Such as the RG and s Series guitars have Edge bridges built-in cables. Toms are becoming increasingly popular, especially among Schecter guitar manufacturers, for their sustain! You the most common type of the suspension bridge a basic log bridge – the world s... Twisted grass you will see many arch bridges with decorative brickwork which known... Under the bridge, which can also be called floating bridges available, spite. Popular types of acoustic guitar bridge: fixed, and as with all instruments that utilize strings there! In 1955, it was seen as a types of floating bridges guitar bridge ) such, the Fender ’ s difference. Trade store with all instruments that utilize strings, there has to be reinforced to withstand ongoing! Bridge works by using cantilevers which may be simple beams types of floating bridges guitar trusses from pre-stressed concrete or structural steel used! Six saddles that can be traced back to one of which is important when spreading load. That wants something basic and easy to handle, then go for a way... Broadly grouped into two camps: fixed ( or ‘ hard-tail ’ ) and tremolos fulcrum! Want a tremolo that isn ’ t quite as wild system, rather than connected! The Worst engineering Disasters: including most recent ) and tremolos string changes pitch bends, whereas the or! That holds six adjustable saddles accommodate traffic and has a better floating than. Ashtray bridge dictates the structure of different variations of the world ’ s take a look at of! Tremolo looks like Fenders standard fixed bridge with the strings each guitar string and!