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Alternatives to Callaham?

MichiganEsquire

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,016
Looking for a replacement bridge for a Strat build. Without getting into why, what would you get that is NOT a Callaham? Thanks.
 

Ron Kirn

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
6,814
any bridge is sufficient to the task... none can GUARANTEE superior tone over that from any other... Superior is a measure of your preference only, in this case the sound of one bridges sound over that of another.... a 30.00 "no name" has every bit as much chance of pleasing you as does a 200.00 over promoted piece....

fact is the one that's on there now may well sound better to your ears than whatever you decide to replace it with, if you can listen without any prejudices...

Ron Kirn
 
Messages
1,844
I would strongly advise you against using the Wudtone 'Holy Grail' tremolo bridge, Wudtone the company, and it's owner Andy are very very bad to try and do business with, you will wait months for the bridge while constantly getting emails from Andy telling you how he has the bridge that you have ordered off of him - for considerably more than what a complete Callaham bridge costs, in his hands right now ready to be shipped out to you, and he will string you along for months like this making you wait for a bridge that he has supposedly got in his hands ready to ship out to you.
 

mattmccloskey

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,704
There are lots of good trems available. The callaham is popular because it looks, feels, and sounds basically vintage, but with a few refinements and very good build quality. There are plenty of alternatives that do just as well.

That said, the gotoh bridges are all very well made and very reasonably priced. The 510 models with bent saddles and steel block work really nice, sound fine, and have a tension screw for the arm.
 

sidekick

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,524
As others have said, very decent other trems are available. If, (as I guess) you are looking for a vintage style, I'd suggest one of then higher-end Gotoh's, but with a Highwood saddle upgrade that you will needs to get from Highwood. They are 'vintage looking', but designed so the grub screws don't to poke into your hand.

I had them on a Callaham and found them excellent.

If you are prepared to go more 'modern', I'd suggest MannMade USA and you wouldn't have to bother with getting Highwood saddles.
 

Lex Luthier

Member
Messages
1,765
I recently picked up a ABM 5050 Strat trem and also put a set of Highwood Guitar Parts saddles on it. The ABM is every bit as good as a Callaham, plus it has an arm tension set screw so you can adjust how loose or tight you want the arm. I love the Highwood saddles, I've used them on various trems like Hipshot, Gotoh and Callaham, an excellent upgrade.
 

Gevalt

Member
Messages
1,937
I bought a steel block a few years back, from CeltRocka in Wales. Sounds great.
I highly recommend Raw Vintage brand saddles and springs
 

skydog

Member
Messages
12,320
I recently replaced an American Vintage trem with the appropriate Callaham. Untremed? I heard no difference. When using the trem, The Callaham is "silkier". I know that sounds weird, but that's what it feels like. There is no zero spot, the smallest movement is transferred to the strings.
 

Ferrous_Wheel

Member
Messages
241
I've loved every piece of Gotoh hardware I've ever bought, most recent being a VSVG trem. Great action, no play in the arm, and super comfortable bent saddles that form a nice big flat surface under the hand. Suhr uses the 510s (or some version of them) stock. I think anything with a bushing for the arm to fit into is a massive improvement.
 

macatt

Member
Messages
1,416
Wilkinson by Gotoh. (not the cheap ones by other makers)
They have a press in bar with a set screw adjustment. (the cheap ones' set screw will strip).

The Callaham bar will develop slop after a while (in my experience).

S Mac
 

K-Line

Vendor
Messages
8,100
I use the good old Wilkinson Vintage Trem. Softer steel on the saddles and block. Nice warmth that the hard steel blocks and saddles like Gotoh GE101 and Callaham do not have.
 

Laurent Brondel

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,652
AFAIK the V Trem only comes in 2 1/8" spacing, but it's a killer trem, and with the aluminum block, super light.
If the vintage 2 7/32" spacing is important, the Gotoh is really good. If having the string balls at the bottom of the block is important, get a Kluson steel or aluminum block, they're great.
Maybe a Kluson trem? If the saddles and plates are of the same quality as the blocks, they should be very good.
Raw Vintage saddles and springs are the best IMHO, the springs are softer like the vintage ones, and it does make a difference in how the trem feels.
 

moore-fiend

Member
Messages
484
Check out Killer Guitar Components.....they are in MA. I have their bridge, blocks, saddles and trem stopper in both my strats.
 

TheoDog

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
19,750
Hipshot makes some great stuff.
Marc Rutters, too... not sure if he has strat parts or just Tele.

What it wrong with Callaham? They have been in the high end hardware game for a long time producing top notch parts and prices aren't that bad.
 




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