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


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.
Nice stash!

I've owned a couple of guitars with a Floyd Rose, but that's not the vibe I like.

The best sounding vibratos I've owned are those on my SE Silver Sky and CE-22. No locking nut. And they almost always return in tune.

Never had much use for Bigsbys, although I've owned guitars with Bigsbys.
I ordered it deliberated with my custom made guitar.
I agree your point with Floyds. 2012 I 'missed' a FR, bought a seldom Fuji-gen made Ibanez RG from 1995. But I never bond with her, I sold her ten years later.
Accidently I run into a Peavey HP2 NOS. I had a FR, but a crappy licenced one. I didn't want to exchange it to an expensive originial. I found a worthwhile alternative made in Bulgaria (Tremoline). They made a custom order nut for me, because of the 15" fretboard radius of the Peavey. Now I'm fine with the guitar and glad, having a douple locking guitar in my barn again.

The Tele style custom made guitar has a 20" fretboard radius which is special in combination with a Bigsby.
The spring of the Bigsby has been modified with a Reverend Soft Touch Spring, which enhances the whole smoothness.
Nicely done. Never seen the surgical tube on the springs before. Does it reduce rattling or something?
Yes, people do all sorts of things; shrink-wrapping the springs, using the foam underneath, and stuffing tissues inside the springs. I use surgical tubbing. The one from Stewmac fits perfectly.
I'm not a big trem bar user. But I like the tone and ease of bending on a guitar with a trem. Feels like it has a little more 'give'.

That said, half of mine have trems, half have stop-tails.

So I guess I'm a bit wishy-washy when it comes to insisting on one or there other, and I'd say it depends on the individual guitar.
My westie came without one, and it appears close to locked down .. a smidge up bend with your plam is possible , I have NO intention of putting one of my other PRS bars in it . I remember one of the PRS artist saying they liked the Trem bridge best because of feel ,( bend a note , just fingers and it moves) and the natural spring reverb it provides. That's the way I run most of my trems except the Bigsby
I wanted a trem, so my first guitar in ‘14 was a Strat with a trem. My first PRS was a Custom 24, loved using the trem on both guitars. After some guitar lessons I started learning songs with drop tunings and my trem guitars saw less use since I rarely take more than one guitar out of the case at a time. My Silver sky came with the trems decked which is excellent for drop tunings, and I never use the trem with them anyway. The Paul’s guitar came with a floating 6 screw trem and I didn’t want to deck it so I shimmed it. When I want the trem I go for either of the 2 with the floating trems.
A trem is not a must have for me. When I started playing I played a strat a lot. It had a trem. I got used to the feel of that under my hand. The first stop tail guitars I played felt strange because the bridge was so much farther above the body and it took me some time to adjust to that. Today, I can play the same on either type guitar. I like the stop tail for a quick drop D tuning. I do that more than I use the bar on a trem guitar. I honestly don't use the trem much. I do still like the feel of it under the hand though. I seem to be kind of agnostic on the two these days.
On a guitar 'with' one, I can't be playing and have low notes droning/ringing, and bend a note somewhere else without having my ringing/droning notes going flat. One of my peeves. Doesn't set me against them so much, as it re-inforces the need for some with, and some without.
Every guitar I've owned with a vibrato was blocked. I never left the springs in though. I currently have all stop/hardtails, including my Warmoth Strat.
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.
The way Jeff played, he would be constantly tuning with string pressure / bending / vibrato - both in terms of 'being in tune' and how he expressed each note.

All but one of my PRSi have trems, and I do use them, but I love my stoptail McCarty too. I was lucky enough to acquire a 513 which was custom-built for a PRS artist with a tremolo up-rout to give me some more bend range specifically to play my favourite Jeff Beck pieces like 'Where Were You?'. It's perfect - works brilliantly!