Headless bridge systems - where to buy?

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by J_Mac, Feb 9, 2018.

  1. J_Mac

    J_Mac SS.org Regular

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  2. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Define "reasonably priced".
     
  3. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    that bridge is like really terrible. everyone who has bought one of those chinese headless guitars has had issues with that bridge.
     
  4. Randy

    Randy Ooh, Degrasse Tyson-son Super Moderator

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    It's too bad how shitty those bridges are because I haven't seen any other headless systems where you can tune them from the top (which means you don't need to cut out the butt of it) at any price point.
     
  5. Randy

    Randy Ooh, Degrasse Tyson-son Super Moderator

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    To the original point, if I were building a 6-string headless I'd heavily consider the Jcustom fixed and R-trems. I haven't played their R-trem but the fixed and the S-trem copy (which I didn't mention because I think it's overpriced) are rock solid. The nice thing about those style trems vs. the others on the market is you can do all your routing from the top of the guitar, as opposed to having to line up a second cavity on the back for the springs and claw (like on the Hipshot and the ones that guy sells on Reverb)
     
  6. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    those are double ball systems right
     
  7. Randy

    Randy Ooh, Degrasse Tyson-son Super Moderator

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    Not exactly. They accept the string ball just like a regular bridge, and you can mate it with whatever headpiece you'd like; Jcustom actually offers single-ball headpieces as well.

    The only incentive for double ball strings with that system is, I've heard that the transposing effect (well, it's more of a pedal steel effect) of the S-trem doesn't work right because of the uneven tension from a single-ball setup. The fixed and R-trem (because it's basically just a self contained Floyd Rose) work fine with single ball strings, stability-wise.
     
  8. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    I have the one in the OP.

    Its ok. But one thing it does REALLLLLLLLY well is hold its tune. I can tune, play for a while, put the guitar in its hard case. Then maybe 2 weeks later, get it out for a jam, and its still tuned.

    @J_Mac
     
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  9. Soya

    Soya Poor person Contributor

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    The quotes i got from Mera and T4M for a 7 string set with no head piece were about $300.
     
  10. vortex_infinium

    vortex_infinium SS.org Regular

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    I own a Chinese guitar with one of those bridges and I have to say it's a very innovative design. Very clever how it works. I have no issues with mine as far as a cheap China instrument goes. Tune up and it plays just fine (I don't really play for more than an hour anyway). But go to bed then go to work and come back and all the strings are flat across the board. The quality just isn't there, half the tuning pegs feel good and the other half feel like they're misaligned and on the verge of breaking off. The little hex peg winder handle is magnetic and clips into the bridge so it's always there, but the hex side of it isn't snug in the turning pegs and isn't magnetic so while I'm tuning my guitar it keeps falling out. And perhaps a personal issue, but that piece of metal that says Licensed by is much higher than the string saddle next to it and I really feel like it pulls a lot of the nuance out of my palm mutes. Totally what I'd expect out of China.

    Everyone has something different to say about these China bridges. I just think their QC doesn't exist so you either get lucky or you don't. They're cool and they work. Wouldn't pay that price for it. If I had or was building a quality instrument I would most definitely not put one of these bridges on it.

    Sorry I have no actual suggestions for what you could use.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018
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  11. J_Mac

    J_Mac SS.org Regular

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    Thanks chaps :)

    I could stretch to a $250 top drawer bridge but it wouldn’t match my building ability :lol: it will only be my 4th gtr.

    I was hoping there would be a middle drawer option, around $100-150. Seems not though. The ABM saddles look cool because I’d like a multi scale of my choice. But it works out at nearly £200 over here :eek:

    I suppose I can always use the hardware on a future build if this one isn’t so good.
     
  12. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire ERG hoarder/pickup tester

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    Check out tengdu bridges. Pretty comparable to strandberg in design but it's made out of brass/steel iirc. Not as nice as my t4m or hipshot headless bridges but it's also 200$ or less (depending on string config)
     
  13. Grand Rabbit

    Grand Rabbit SS.org Regular

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    Think of it as something to motivate you to build at your absolute best. Sometimes, having these amazing pieces of hardware like a Mera headless system and some nice pickups, can give you the drive to plan everything as carefully as possible.

    IMO, it's not worth putting cheap stuff on one of your guitars. You go through 70-100 hours of work, living with this huge challenge every day, it deserves some quality equipment to go along with it.
     
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  14. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    Oh ya I’ve seen this guys stuff in Facebook all the time.
     
  15. Omzig

    Omzig SS.org Regular

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    These Tengda brigdes?

    [​IMG]

    Ive been looking over these on aliexpress they work out to about £22 each if you buy them as a set of 6+

    https://www.aliexpress.com/store/pr...adless-Guitar-Bridge/1837209_32847781153.html

    same seller also has them on a tremolo plate,which is more my thing as i don't really like fixed bridges

    [​IMG]

    But @ almost £200 is i think thats pushing it a bit for a chinese made trem

    Ive used TFM single's on a fanned fret 7 and i do like them they are very well made but looking at the above design i think the Tengda will have the same issues i have with the TFM bridges,those being

    1. the action height grun screws,there single string sloted and don't have a very fine/tight thread this means you can go from to high to,to low string action as you need to do 180 Degrees turn up/down to align the string slot,i re-grooved the grubs from - to + so i now only have to turn 90 degrees to find a slot much better.

    2. they only attach to the base plates with a single screw so can twist under full string tension just enough to cause the tuning barrels to rub against the bridge next door,looking at the above large Tengda pic there seems to be a raised block on the mount plate that i haven't seen in other pictures
    that might help cure the slight twist,couldn't really say till i got hold of some.

    I quite fancy the (new is it?) hipshot headless trem

    [​IMG]

    https://hipshotproducts.com/collect...oducts/6-string-guitar-headless-tremolosystem

    but i cant find a UK stockiest....same for the Jcustoms headless stuff,Roll on Brexit and USA-UK free trade ;)
     
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  16. Walshy

    Walshy SS.org Regular

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    US-UK free trade is what I'm holding out for too after Brexit! It'll be beautiful.

    We're really short on options over here, J. I'm finishing a prototype fanned build at the moment and had to go with a regular tuner headstock and handmade single saddles for this one as I can't afford the Mera headless stuff yet. I didn't wanna get too fancy on the first one either.

    Mera have got the goods. You just need to realise such quality cannot come cheaply.
     
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  17. Technology4Musicians

    Technology4Musicians SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for sharing Your opinions. I really appreciate it. I hope not to violate the forum's rules but I want to specify some aspects regarding your thoughts. I don't know when you bought your set butduring these years we have improved our design.

    We have a saddle with a really narrow thread. It is composed by two different parts: a threaded drum and a small saddle which is inserted into it and can rotate inside it. With a special tool that we provide with our bridges you can micro regulate the strings' height, and you can even do that with the strings mounted and in tension.

    20180213_225252_1000.jpg
    20180213_225215_1000.jpg
    Both our tremolos and single baseplates have multiple threaded holes for the diapason regulation. We used two screws to hold the saddle to the baseplate only for bass' bridges. For guitar's bridges we think that one is more than enough. We have customers that used them for ten, even eleven strings guitars (with two or three bass strings) and no one has reported this type of issue. Anyway it can be added a second M3 screw without any modification.

    20180213_225104_1000.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
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  18. Omzig

    Omzig SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for the post/update TFM :)

    I purchased my single bridges way back in 2012 (i might have been the first person to use them on this board at that time?) so its been a few years ago now,I was unaware you'd made changes to you height adjustment grubs & the new design looks great and would nix any issue i have with to high/low of the older single slot grub system.

    taking another look at my bridge's it seems the twist/slip issue is down to the older (white) nylon tension washer that is allowing the tuning section to slip slightly,I also note that the grubs that attach the tuner section to the base plate have washers which might also be causing a bit of an issue,i'll throw some new grub screws with larger heads on order for them so i can remove the washers i'll also add a second screw at the back,looking at your new pics it seems you've also removed the nylon tension washer is the new setup brass/steel ?

    One other thing while your here thought,Have you made any changes to the ball end grip section in the bridge tubes? i only ask as with these older ones i have to keep the ball ends of my strings horizontal while tuning up (i just stick a tooth pick in there till it's under enough tension) if i don't and they twist they just slip out of the clasp.

    Again thanks for the update nice to get an update/correction

    Cheers
    Omzig
     
  19. Technology4Musicians

    Technology4Musicians SS.org Regular

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    We have substitued the teflon washer with micro ball bearings and changed the gear ratio. I have more than one doubt that the teflon washer can cause the slipping. Make sure that it is not the string's winding around the ball end that loosens. It can happen. In this case we recommend the use of reinforced plain strings (like Ernie Ball RPS). They prevent also the break.
    Regarding the washers under the M3 screws they cannot cause the slipment IMHO, but if you place a second M3 screw you will be more confident that the saddle will not move.

    We have slightly redesigned also this detail and we also now offer the option (basically for our tremolos only) of a double locking system (without using the string's ball end).

    Thanks to You Omzig.

    Ciao,
    Alberto
     
  20. Omzig

    Omzig SS.org Regular

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    Many thanks for your reply Alberto,I'll do as you suggest and report back with my results :)

    Im in the planing stages of a 6 string headless build atm so i might be well contacting you guys soon about a headless tremolo system,As i say i was on the look out for one of the headless hipshot's but it doesn't seem like hipshot want to sell to anyone this side of the pond!

    Cheers
    Omzig
     

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