Video: Bigsby vs. Floyd Rose vs. Floating & More—A 7 Whammy Shootout

When surveying the spread of vibrato systems—aka whammy bars or tremolo systems—on guitars, you'll find a lot of innovation, with more than a few exceptional systems standing out.

As Andy Martin mentions in the video above, there's a lot of confusion and controversy surrounding the labeling (and mislabeling) of tremolo and vibrato systems. Technically, the name "tremolo" refers to changing volume while "vibrato" changes pitch. But when Leo Fender called his pitch-changing guitar effect a tremolo, he set a precedent for the nomenclature that has carried into modern times. For the purposes of this video, we're adhering to Fender's definition of a tremolo system.

No matter what you call them, we're here to help you find the right one for you needs. Andy checks out seven standout tremolo systems, digging into which kinds of players are most attracted to which systems and why.

You can hear comparisons between classics like the Fender Synchronized Tremolo—found in many vintage Fenders (like the '65 Strat Andy plays) and modern reissues—and the iconic Bigsby Vibrato, which first debuted in 1951. Andy also digs into innovative, high-performance models from the late-'70s, like the Floyd Rose Double Locking Floating Tremolo and the Kahler Locking Tremolo, and a Stetsbar you can put on any model.

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