Floyd Rose vs Hipshot US Contour Tremolo Bridge

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by DanMapleSH, Nov 27, 2018.

  1. DanMapleSH

    DanMapleSH SS.org Regular

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    I was looking at getting a Hipshot US Contour Tremolo Bridge instead of a Floyd Rose for a possible custom build. I was wondering if I would be able to shred on a Hipshot US Contour Tremolo Bridge like I would on a Floyd Rose. Anyone have experience with the Hipshot US Contour Tremolo Bridge for shredding but can compare it to a Floyd Rose?
     
  2. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    i mean massive dimebombs and squeels wont be do-able without a locking system, but in general I would go for the Hipshot personally.

    Its incredibly smooth, can do enough pull in both directions, tone is nicer (I find Floyds to have an excess of twang?) and it will flutter fine aswell.

    Im nearing the stage on my own project where soon hardware will be going on, and its this exact bridge i will be using.
     
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  3. cardinal

    cardinal F# Dive Bomber

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    I have guitars with both. The Hipshot feels great and is easier to adjust. With a well-cut nut and locking tuners, it will stay in tune reasonably well even with significant trem use. The arm holder is great IMHO; the Floyd collars dive me crazy.

    But you have to have the right expectations: If you're a heavy trem user with full dive bombs and big pull ups, even with a well-cut nut and locking tuners, with the Hipshot you'll have to touch up the tuning here and there with some frequency. It's nothing so terrible as to force you to retune in the middle of a song, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to use a clip-on tuner or pedal tuner to quickly touch things up in between songs. The Hipshot (or any other non-locking trem) just is not as stable as the double-locking Floyd, which in my experience just does not go out of tune unless something is wrong with it.

    As for tone, I have no idea. Guitars just sound so different from one another; I've never had a guitar with one of the bridges retrofitted for the other, so I can't say what impact the bridge is having verse whatever else the guitar has going on.
     
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  4. Crash Dandicoot

    Crash Dandicoot » Supra-ise!

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    It depends on application, I find. As others have stated, heavy divebombs and the sort on a non-locking setup won't compare to a double-locking one at the end of the day. If tasteful fluttering and accenting of your playing is more your speed, a non-locking tremolo sounds more up your alley. Personally speaking I find the conversation can get a bit more specific than simply Hipshot Contour Vs. Floyd - there are a lot of variants of the original Floyd design and I'd argue the OFR is not the best version. The Gotoh designs (Edge / Lo Pro or their own licensed Floyd Rose) are fantastic and (in my opinion) a more robust bit of engineering than the original. Then there's things like this. It's a custom so I say thinking outside the box is always a neat option.

    Tone wise I can't say I've ever noticed a huge difference, and I run Floyds as my first preference. Granted, I put brass big blocks in all of them by default, so my opinion on the matter is likely skewed.
     
  5. Albake21

    Albake21 "Just get a used Ibanez Prestige."

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    I own both and I really go back and forth on the two. It really depends on what matters to you most. I guess I'll make a list between the two.

    Hipshot:
    - Smoothest trem I've ever used
    - Sounds slightly smoother and better to my ears over the Floyd
    - Way easier to setup, change tunings, change strings, etc.

    Floyd:
    - Stays in tune way better
    - Massive dive bombs with no issues
    - (IMO) I enjoy having more to setup with the Floyd

    Just my :2c:, neither one is better than the other. I'd say I would always suggest the Hipshot if someone isn't used to or fluent with Floyds as it's way easier to setup.
     
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  6. bmth4111

    bmth4111 SS.org Regular

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    Dumb question but will string tension be the same on a contour vs a Floyd bridge with the same gauge strings? And with the stirring gauge ready the same way on the bridge.
     
  7. cardinal

    cardinal F# Dive Bomber

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    Supposedly the Floyd nut makes the string tension feel much stiffer because of how it clamps the strings right at the nut, making the extra length to the tuners irrelevant. I'm not entirely sure I can say I agree with that from my experiences because every guitar to me just seems to have a different feel and tension. The ones that I have with the Hipshot trem do feel very slinky, but I've had some Floyds that feel similar too. I've never swapped the tremolo units on the same guitar to really to an A/B comparison.
     
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  8. bmth4111

    bmth4111 SS.org Regular

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    Hmm yeah I always wondered if the locked nut would have that effect over the contour.
    Seeing all these contour bridges makes me wonder how good they really are But my main issue now I'm trying to sort out is having a higher string tension.
     
  9. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    You could put a locking nut on the Contour, too. It’s not an either-or thing.

    For the Contour users, can you dive as much as the Floyd? One of the things I don’t like about the Kahlers is if I press the arm literally to the body it only takes the high E string down 1.5 steps. My Floyds go way lower.
     
  10. oversteve

    oversteve SS.org Regular

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    But when you tighten the top lock the strings go out of tune slightly, you need finetuners to compensate that and hipshot has none

    for the same string on the same scale the tension is constant for the given note with or without top lock, what will differ is the force you will need to apply when doing bends, also it's not only about top lock, trem setup with 5 springs will feel way stiffer then with 2 springs when bending.
     
  11. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    Ah, good point. I forgot the Contour doesn't have fine tuners.

    And I wish it was named something other than the boring Ford car from 20 years ago. It's hard to get excited about that. Probably just my issue, though, lol.
     
  12. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, it should definiely have a more inspired, evocative name like their other bridges: "_ String Fixed Guitar Bridge", "_ String Hardtail Guitar Bridge" and "Telecaster replacement bridge". :)
     
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  13. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    :lol: Or an Ibanez model name.

    EDIT: Now that I think about it, the Sophia trem is a cool name, because every time you say it, it sounds like a girl you're talking about.

    "Who are you talking to?"
    "It's about a trem."
    "Hello trem, what are you wearing?"
    "Khaki's"
    "She sounds hideous."
    "Well, she's a trem, so..."
     
  14. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

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    "We present the new Hipshot multiscale tremolo, the 'Super Eagle Death Claw of Evil Blood HMSTS627XX7334XXX69X666"
     
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  15. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    With a really good low friction nut and locking tuners, tuning on a Contour and a Floyd should be pretty comparable. I'm using one on one of my Strats these days, and with locking tuners and a well-cut conventional nut, I haven't had any problems with tuning.

    Where the DO differ, however, is range. I initially bought the Contour for my other strat, and while I liked how it felt (and sounded - I passed a couple emails back and forth with a rep at Hipshot, and he attributes part of the sound of the bridge to a zinc sustain block), I eventually took it out and put the Gotoh Wilkinson it had replaced back in, simply because the range was a LOT lower with the Hipshot. Full dive, the strings stilll hold pitch, it never goes totally loose like a Floyd (or the Wilkinson). It's an awesomely smooth trem, I really like how it sounds (it has a clear and open attack, the Wilky was more midrangey, but to be fair that also has an oversized brass block in it these days), and it looks gorgeous, but it's simply not as aggressive. So, that one is my "blues" guitar, while my alder/maple Strat with the Wilkinson is my "rock" guitar.

    If you do go Floyd, definitely get their push-in arm holder. It's awesome.
     

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