Is a Tremolo (oops, a VIBRATO!) a must have for you?


Old Know It All
Dec 30, 2012
Paonia Colorado
I've been playing guitar 56 years and a vibrato was never a must for me.

Although being mostly a Strat player, and now a Silver Sky player, I've almost always had a vibrato on my #1 guitar. Usually decked though and with the arm left in the case.

That changed when I got my SE Silver Sky. It's the first guitar I've owned that the vibrato stayed in tune.

And now I have a couple of sweet CE-22's and the vibrato stays in tune with those too.

I've always loved Jeff Beck and Jimi Hendrix. But Jimi was almost always out of tune onstage because he'd use that Fender vibrato and knock his guitar out of tune with the first song.

Jeff used the two point Fender vibrato and roller nut and seemed to not have trouble staying in tune.

Anyways, now that I have guitars with vibratos that stay in tune it's become a must have for me.

How about for you? Is it important that your guitar have a vibrato?
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My only guitar with a trem is a strat that I blocked down. That said, I think my next guitar is going to be a PRS with a trem. I would like to have one (and actually use it) for some projects. Not for dive bombing, just for some extra vibrato.
I’ve gone 180. No tremolo was a deal breaker, but now, I want just stop tails. I think STs sustain better and stay in-tune better. I’m willing to sacrifice the trem (which in reality, I didn’t use that often) for those advantages.
Same, I went from preferring the Ibanez wizard neck 24-fret trem with the up route to preferring fat 22 fret necks with a stop tail in my long and aimless journey.

In fact a Mayer with a Paul's stop tail would be a dream.
I started using one when I got my SE Silver Skys because they were the first strat type guitars I've owned that stay in tune.

And then when Jeff Beck died I listened in earnest to a lot of his stuff and watched some DVD's, and I decided I had to get this thing down.

Now, with the new HDRX 20 amp and my guitars and pedal board tweaked to my idea of perfection, I can get those sounds and I'm having a ball.
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Guitars with trem always sounded better to me. More mass, I believe; not sure, I'm not a guitarologist.

But the same time I don't use them, I have blocked them for years.
Eric Clapton would agree with you. He never uses the vibrato on his Strat but he prefers the tone of a Strat with a vibrato. He blocks his too.

the picture is a crosspost, but the text not.
Three electrics are not depicted: my LP copy starter guitar (stoptail), a strat copy (vibrato), and a Rockinger Rudvog (vibrato).
The majority is vibrato equipped, and I tried to have different types (okay, my 513 have the same type): I have douple locking, a Bigsby, a Fishman, three vintage ones with 6 screws, one vintage one with two studs, a Duesenberg with roller saddles.

The smoothest are the Bigsby and the Fishman, followed by PRS. Such a vibrato adds an opportunity for playing variations.