Floating Vs Decked Vs Blocked Tremolo Bridge

Floating Vs Decked Vs Blocked Tremolo Bridge – 3 Great Setups!

The guitar bridge is one of the essential parts of any electric or acoustic guitar. It is the point where the strings are attached to the body and play a major role in tuning and creating sound.

In this article, we will compare three types of bridges: Floating Vs Decked Vs Blocked Tremolo Bridge. We’ll discuss each type’s advantages and disadvantages, so readers can decide which type might be best for their needs.

The Short Answer

Floating tremolo bridges are arguably the most popular among guitarists. They allow for greater range of motion and freedom than decked or blocked tremolos, as the entire bridge is “floating” above the guitar’s body when not in use. Players can quickly alter their tuning without adjusting multiple screws on a fixed bridge.

Floating Vs Decked Vs Blocked Tremolo Bridge: The Basic Differences

Floating bridges feature adjustable saddles that allow for easy intonation adjustment but may require more regular maintenance to keep them correctly set up. 

Decked tremolos are usually cheaper than their floating counterparts but offer less control over string height or intonation. 

Blocked bridges provide players with both good tone and stability by having six individual saddles permanently fixed into place; this makes it much easier to maintain proper setup without frequent adjustments.

Tremolo Bridge Setup Comparison – Floating Vs Decked Vs Blocked Tremolo Bridge

Fixed-bridge tremolos are the most common type of tremolo bridge, featuring six adjustable saddles that can be raised or lowered to adjust intonation and action. This type of bridge is excellent for players who want precise control over their sound and playability. 

On the other hand, floating-bridge tremolos feature an entire bridge assembly that moves up and down with the strings. This allows for a smooth vibrato effect without adjusting individual saddles, making them ideal for a more organic playing experience.

Tuning StabilityMay be problematicGood to excellentBest
Bridge MovementUp and downUp onlyNo movement
Tone & SustainOkBetterBest
If One String BreaksThe other 5 strings go out of tune (sharp)No change in tuningNo change in tuning
Single String
(Finger) Bends
Other strings
go flat
Other strings may go flatNo change in the other string pitches
Drop-TuningThe other strings go out of tuneOkOk
Used ByJeff Beck, David GilmourJimi HendrixEric Clapton

Floating Tremolo Bridge

Floating Vs Decked Vs Blocked Tremolo Bridge

The floating tremolo bridge is one of the most iconic guitar hardware pieces for creating unique sounds. With a floating tremolo design, a guitarist can quickly achieve distinctive whammy bar effects with just the lightest touch of their finger while simultaneously allowing them to tune their instrument accurately. 

Tuning Stability

The floating tremolo bridge is one of the most popular components of electric guitars, providing musicians with a wide range of sound and playing options. This type of bridge offers various tuning stability benefits that can help improve your guitar’s performance. Understanding how to correctly set up and adjust your floating tremolo bridge is essential to take full advantage of its unique abilities.

Bridge Movement

The bridge allows the strings to move up and down, creating subtle fluctuations in pitch, which can be used to create unique harmonic textures. It is often seen as the defining characteristic of classic rock songs from the 60s and 70s and remains one of the most popular features of modern electric guitars. 

Tone & Sustain

Tone and sustain are essential elements of a great guitar sound. Finding the right bridge for the dedicated guitarist is vital for perfect sound. The floating tremolo bridge has become an increasingly popular choice among players looking to add depth and character to their sound. 

The floating tremolo bridge offers unparalleled control over tone and sustains its unique design. This type of bridge utilizes special saddles that can be adjusted up and down, allowing greater flexibility in tuning the instrument while providing more options for controlling the vibrato effect.

String Breakage

String breakage is a common problem for guitar players who use floating tremolo bridges. A floating tremolo bridge, also known as a vibrato bridge, uses a system of springs and levers to support the strings and create a vibrato effect. Despite their popularity with many guitarists, floating tremolo bridges present an increased risk of string breakage due to their complex design. 

The most common cause of string breakage with this type of bridge is improper setup or installation. If the strings are not adjusted properly, they can be placed under too much tension causing them to snap unexpectedly. 

Single String (Finger) Bends

Single String (Finger) Bends are a popular guitar technique that has been widely used by some of the biggest names in the music industry for decades. These bends involve changing the pitch of a single string at a time, creating unique and often beautiful sound effects. With this technique, skilled guitarists can develop a range of notes within just one string. 

The basics of Single String Bends involve pushing or pulling the strings back while keeping pressure on them with your fretting hand to adjust their pitch. This is usually done with other techniques, such as vibrato and hammer-ons, to add even more complexity to your playing. 

Drop Tuning

Drop tuning is a guitar technique that allows guitarists to play in lower tunings than the traditional E Standard. By decreasing the tension of each string and lowering their pitch, musicians can achieve a fuller, heavier sound. This allows them to explore new genres like metal and hardcore punk.

In drop tuning, strings are usually tuned down a half step or complete step from standard E tuning. D-tuning (D A D G B E) and Eb-tuning (Eb Ab Db Gb Bb Eb) are the most common drop tunings. 

These two tunings provide a slightly different sound experience depending on which strings are being played. For example, the low string has more authority when playing chords in Eb-tuning, while the mid-range sounds thicker and sharper in D-tuning.

Guitar Players That Use A Floating Bridge

Guitar players of all genres have long been experimenting with different setup techniques and hardware modifications to expand the sounds that can be achieved from an instrument. One of the more unique setups is a floating bridge, which provides a range of sonic possibilities. This bridge is not attached to the guitar body but allows the strings to vibrate freely within predetermined limits. 

Decked Tremolo Bridge

Floating Vs Decked Vs Blocked Tremolo Bridge

The decked tremolo bridge is one of the most popular guitar bridge designs available today, and for a good reason. This type of bridge is designed to provide the player with a wide range of sounds and effects, from subtle vibrato to wild whammy-bar dive bombs.

Not only does it allow for diverse tonal possibilities, but its construction also ensures that your instrument’s intonation remains accurate and in tune even when playing at high volumes or with heavy string gauges. Whether seeking an authentic vintage look or a reliable modern upgrade, the decked tremolo bridge will help you achieve maximum playability without sacrificing tone. 

Tuning Stability

Tuning stability is an essential factor in maintaining your instrument’s sound. A decked tremolo bridge can be a great way to ensure that your guitar stays in tune, no matter how frequently you play or change tunings. 

The decked tremolo bridge offers two-point contact with the guitar’s body, and its design ensures a consistent angle between string tension and the neck-body joint. This results in improved sustain, better intonation, and more stable tuning. The bridge also features adjustable saddles made of steel for further fine-tuning options across all six strings. 

Bridge Movement

The bridge of an electric guitar is one of the most underrated elements of its sound. Amongst many variations, the decked tremolo bridge stands out as a standout piece of engineering that can help bring your ax to life. 

This type of bridge allows for excellent tonal diversity and control when adjusting the height and tension on each string. With this increased level of control, players can dial in their tone more precisely than ever with meticulous detail – from smooth vibrato effects to heavier dive-bombing techniques. 

Tone & Sustain

Tone and sustain are two of the most important factors when playing guitar. With the rise of modern designs and technology, there has been an increase in options for players looking to get a specific tone or sound out of their instrument. 

One such option is the Decked Tremolo Bridge, which allows guitarists to easily enhance their instrument’s tonal capabilities. It offers an adjustable bridge that can be adjusted to accommodate different string gauges, height adjustments, and even intonation changes. The bridge also provides incredible sustenance and resonance due to its unique design.

String Breakage

String breakage is unfortunate for guitarists, mainly if you rely on a decked tremolo bridge to keep your strings in place. A decked tremolo bridge requires correct installation and maintenance to ensure that the lines stay securely fastened while you’re playing. If not, it can lead to string breakage and lost tuning stability—something nobody wants! Therefore, it is vital to understand how a decked tremolo bridge works and how to maintain it best. 

Single String (Finger) Bends

The Decked Tremolo Bridge is known for providing extra clarity to notes when playing single-string bends, allowing for increased expression and dynamic control. The deck system consists of interchangeable bridges and saddles, which can produce different tonal characteristics depending on the type of bridge used. The bridge’s adjustable intonation lets players fine-tune their sound to get the desired tone.

Drop Tuning

A decked tremolo bridge is just one component used to drop-tune a guitar. This type of bridge has an adjustable height saddle that allows the strings to be tuned lower than usual without sacrificing intonation quality or sustain. The saddle design also helps reduce string breakage since it does not require as much downward pressure when played in dropped tunings.

Guitar Players That Use A Decked Bridge

Guitar playing is an art form that requires skill, technique, and innovation. Many guitar players always seek new and unique ways to express themselves with their instruments. One way to do this is by using a Decked Tremolo Bridge. This bridge allows the player to control the vibrato of each note, creating a unique sound that many guitarists have come to love. 

This bridge has been used on many classic guitars throughout music history. Notable guitarists such as Tom Morello, Joe Satriani, John Petrucci, Paul Gilbert, and Steve Vai all use this type of bridge on their instruments today.

Blocked Tremolo Bridge

Floating Vs Decked Vs Blocked Tremolo Bridge

A blocked tremolo bridge is essential to a guitar’s setup, as it can significantly affect its sound. They are often referred to as a “tremolo block” or “trem block,” this type of bridge works by raising and lowering the strings’ tension, creating a vibrato-like effect when plucked. This allows for various creative possibilities when playing guitar, such as adding texture and articulation to each note. 

To create this effect, the blocked tremolo bridge uses two pieces known as string blocks placed on either side of the strings. By pushing down on these blocks while strumming or picking at the strings, a guitarist can raise or lower their tension, producing different sounds depending on how much pressure is applied.

Tuning Stability

Tuning stability is a crucial factor many guitarists consider when selecting their instrument. This can be especially important when using tools with blocked tremolo bridges, such as the Stratocaster and Telecaster, often used in genres like rock and country. 

The bridge has several components, including the bridge block, springs, saddles, and intonation screws. All these components work together to efficiently transfer energy from the strings to the instrument’s body. 

Bridge Movement

Though a seemingly small part of the guitar, the tremolo bridge plays a massive role in the instrument’s sound. Commonly referred to as a “whammy bar,” it controls the pitch of notes and chords during performances. Electric guitarists use the blocked tremolo bridge to create different sounds.

Tone & Sustain

A blocked tremolo bridge adds extra mass to the strings, allowing them to vibrate longer and more efficiently for maximum sustain. This, in turn, increases the resonance between notes and chords, providing clarity with each letter or chord you play. 

The additional mass enhances the instrument’s overall tone, giving your music greater depth and complexity than traditional bridges would otherwise allow. Many players also find that they get a fuller sound from their guitars when using this type of bridge.

String Breakage

String breakage is a common problem for guitarists and can be incredibly frustrating when playing certain styles. 

The blocked tremolo bridge consists of two metal plates connected with screws that secure the movement of the strings at the bridge, allowing them to maintain tension while being played. This can cause problems when using heavier gauge strings or playing aggressive styles, as they are likely to snap due to the increased stress. 

Single String (Finger) Bends

Single-string (finger) bends can add a unique texture and tone to a guitar solo or rhythm part. Whether used for lead guitar riffs or chord progressions, bends are essential for any guitarist. 

Finger bends are performed by pushing a single string up or down from its normal position to create higher tones and pitch changes. To increase the range of possible angles, some guitars have a blocked tremolo bridge that allows notes to be bent beyond the usual fretting limits. 

This feature gives guitarists increased control over their playing and opens up new possibilities for musical expression. With the proper technique, musicians can generate subtle vibrato effects and dramatic pitch variations on individual strings. By incorporating single-string bends into their practice routine, players can take their playing to the next level and create truly memorable performances.

Drop Tuning – Floating Vs Decked Vs Blocked Tremolo Bridge

Drop tuning is a musical technique used on stringed instruments that allow players to lower their strings’ pitch. This technique can be accomplished by turning a tuning peg or done manually with a blocked tremolo bridge. 

With this method, you can drop the pitch of your strings from standard tuning to as low as one whole step. The use of drop tuning opens up new possibilities for guitarists and other string players alike. It gives them access to deeper sounds and tones not achievable in standard EADGBE tuning.

Why Not A Hardtail Bridge Instead?

A hardtail or non-tremolo bridge has become popular among many guitarists looking for improved tuning stability and minimal string breakage. Hardtail bridges feature fewer moving parts than blocked tremolo bridges, making them ideal for those who prefer a no-fuss approach when setting up their guitars.

Guitar Players That Use A Blocked Bridge

Guitar players have many options when choosing the type of bridge on their instrument. One of these options is a blocked tremolo bridge or BTB. This bridge enhances the tone and enables guitarists to achieve unique and innovative sounds. 

A BTB utilizes a wooden block inside the guitar’s body, which works with the strings to create a unique sound. This type of bridge offers many benefits for guitar players, such as increased sustain, improved intonation, and heightened stability. 

Using a blocked tremolo bridge is becoming increasingly popular among guitar players due to its versatility. Some well-known musicians who rely on this type of bridge are John Mayer, Jimi Hendrix, and Joe Satriani.

Are You Qualified To Make Guitar Adjustments Or Modifications?

Floating Vs Decked Vs Blocked Tremolo Bridge

People often think they can jump in and start making changes without considering the consequences. If you’re looking to make alterations to your guitar but don’t have any experience with repairs or modifications, there are a few things you should consider.

It is important to be familiar with the different parts of a guitar and their function. Knowing how all components work together will allow you to understand better which adjustments will help your instrument sound its best.

Conclusion – Floating Vs Decked Vs Blocked Tremolo Bridge

The choice between a Floating Vs Decked Vs Blocked Tremolo Bridge comes from personal preference. One bridge may be better, depending on the sound you’re trying to achieve. Floating bridges provide more sustain and intonation options, while Decked bridges are great for creating a brighter sound and more straightforward setup. Blocked bridges are ideal for those looking for a twangy vintage-style tone.


How Do You Intonate A Floating Bridge?

To intonate a floating bridge, start by loosening the strings and checking that each saddle is at an equal distance from the nut. Then, using an electronic tuner, inspect each string’s tuning one at a time. Adjust the corresponding saddle until it is in music if any string is out of tune. Once all strings are in tune, recheck their tuning and adjust as needed until they stay in tune when played open or fretted. 

How Many Springs Should A Tremolo Have?

The number of springs a tremolo should have depends on the type of tremolo you use. Two springs are typically used for a Stratocaster-style tremolo, while three or more springs may be used for a Floyd Rose-style tremolo. 

How Do You Raise The Bridge On A Stratocaster?

The first step is to loosen the strings and remove them from the guitar. Next, use an Allen wrench to loosen the screws on the bridge plate and lift it off. You can then adjust the height of each saddle by turning the two screws located at each end of the saddle. To raise it, turn these screws clockwise and counterclockwise to lower them. Finally, replace the bridge plate and return your strings. 


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