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Hostilian
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Oh, so I want to buy a guitar with a tremolo bar and so went into the shop with a few in mind.

PRS, ESP, Gretsch and Ibanez.

Tried the Ibanez SR520 and didn't like it at all. Looked good but sat really poorly.

 

Tried a Gretsch Electromatic and while I liked the look and sound, didn't like the size or the position (no playin high frets with this baby).

ESP they didn't have any in stock but I want a guitar in something other than black (my current one is black). ;)

PRS. Quite liked the Custom 24 SE but I am not sure about their own trem bar. They have Floyd models but are these any better?

Not sure if the Tremonti are worth looking at (but I wanted a 24 fret)..

 

So basically the PRS is the current leader but it still didn't grab me in store (though I liked it better than the S2, with its fat neck). How do the trem systems hold up on their own and vs FloydRose?

 

Anything else I should consider? Mainly for Rock though possibly Blues.

 

Thanks! :)

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Well...

 

I have a PRS SE Custom(24 frets and a PRS trem), and MIM Strat  and a Jackson soloist(also 24 frets, but a FRO2000 trem).

 

The PRS is miles ahead of of a standard Strat trem. I find it's more comfortable; the tuning is more stable and there's a greater range of movement in the PRS.

 

The PRS next to the FR... the FR will stay in tune through much harsher treatment. I've been able to 'bounce' the Jackson, holding just the trem bar, and then continue playing in RS and getting good note detection.

 

As for actual construction - the Jackson is neck-through, with a contoured heel, so it's very comfortable at the higher frets. That said, I couldn't complain about access with the PRS(a set neck). Both the necks and fingerboards on both guitars feel nice to me. Neither is oppressively heavy, or poorly balanced.

 

Where the guitars really do stand apart is in sound. Going through my amp(Blackstar HT Soloist 60), it would be difficult for them to sound more different. Whether this is the pickups, the body... can't really say, but the PRS sounds, to me anyway, fuller and warmer.

 

All things considered, unless I really needed the FR, I'd take the PRS, tho YMMV.

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  • 2 weeks later...

If you're mainly doing rock and blues, the PRS SE tremolo is fine.

 

It's better than the regular Fender Strat tremolo. On my Strat that has the regular old-school Fender tremolo, I don't even bother to use it. Gets out of tune so much, that I just bolted it down. I got a Floyd Rose on my other Fender Strat, and while it's great for dive bombs and what not, I often don't play that guitar too much.

 

Floyd Rose can be pain to restring, and especially if you want to change tunings.

 

I got a budget G&L guitar (Leo Fender's second guitar company after he sold to Fender), and it's got a Strat sound but with a much better tremolo.  I use that all the time for blues, Jimi Hendrix stuff, SRV and Rockabilly, that needs some whammy bar action. Jeff Beck stuff is good, too.

 

I imagine that PRS SE tremolo would be fine for all of that stuff, too. There are some YouTube vids trying out the PRS SE tremolo, and they abuse it, and it held up pretty good when they compared it to the regular higher-end PRS with a more advanced tremolo. I was pretty impressed.

 

I admit, Floyd Rose guitars can be fun, though, and I've got two guitars with them (the second one on my Ibanez), but that's just when I want to play metal, or some Van halen, etc.  Most of the time my non-Floyd Rose tremolo guitars are fine, or my Gibson Les Paul (which of course has no tremolo).   So much easier to change tunings, and restring.

 

One other note: My two Strats, one with the Floyd Rose and the one with the regular tremolo, have a different tone. The Floyd Rose seems to lessen the sustain and doesn't quit sound as deep or full, as my non-Floyd Rose Strat.  They are both Fender Strats, with the only difference being the tremolo (and the fact the Floyd Rose has a locking nut on it).

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  • 3 weeks later...

I had only ever played a hard tailed guitar up until a month ago and I my self was looking around for a new guitar, so I went for one of these http://www.andertons.co.uk/solid-body-electric-guitars/pid32041/cid671/chapman-ml1-hot-rod-electric-guitar.asp. It has a floyd rose term I'm no brilliant guitarist but this guitar dose feel nice to play , mine is a hot rod version but they do do a standard versions to

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Yeah, PRS SE tremolos hold up pretty well, from my time in the store with them, and also based on reviews from various YouTube videos. The Anderton's music YouTube channel (with Rob Chapman) did a comparison of the SE and the high-end PRS line and they abused the trems, and were surprised at how well the SE held up. Not as good as the higher end PRS, but pretty close.

 

I also agree with the other poster about G&L guitars. (G&L is Leo Fender's 3rd guitar company, after he sold Fender and left Music Man). I got a budget G&L Tribute Strat and the tremolo is pretty darn nice for a non-Floyd Rose tremolo. I got the G&L with an H/S/S pickup configuration, so I could stick in a custom Van Halen humbucker pickup, and I can do dive bombs. Can't go too crazy, though, but it's good enough for me.  The budget G&L tremolo holds up way better than my Fender Strat vintage tremolo on my other Strat. I hated the vintage tremolo so much that i just boarded it up so it's basically a hard tail now.

 

Also I got another Fender Strat, a USA model from the 80s, with a Kahler floating tremolo which is basically Fender's answer at the time for Floyd Rose-equiped guitars. Cool to do Hendrix-type stuff, without going out of tune.

 

You could also look at Music Man Sterling guitars. Like PRS, Music Man was only a high end guitar company, but like PRS and their SE line, Music Man recently put out a budget line under the Sterling moniker, and they've been getting some praise. Built in Asia (Indonesia I think?).

 

Take a look at the AX40 or AX40d Sterling Music Man guitars. They are based of the popular Music Man Axis guitar, that was formerly Van Halen's EVH model. The AX40 and AX40D have licensed Floyd Rose tremolos.  I tried an AX40D in the store, and I was surprised at how similar it was to the Axis (which is a $2000+ guitar in the US). The AX40D comes with the same Dimarzio  (EVH) pickup used in the USA-made Axis, so it sounded really good. The cheaper AX40 has a different (lower cost) Dimarzio pickup. You can really abuse these guitars for all sorts of whammy tricks. I haven't tried the cheaper AX3 Sterling models, though, so can't comment on those.

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