One of the integral parts of any guitar is the bridge, where seemingly small changes can mean huge differences in tone and tuning stability. Let’s take an insider’s look at how James Tyler and Line 6 are going to bring you ultimate performance and tone with the new bridges.
Years ago, Jim would modify standard Strat® style bridges so that they would stay in tune. He would drill out the holes that the strings go through in the tremolo block. He would drill them almost to the bridge plate to shorten the amount of string that could stretch or get bound up behind the saddle. Also, to reduce binding and sticking, he would have the bridge tilt on two screws instead of the traditional six.
As you can see below, Jim took this idea even further for James Tyler Variax. (1) The string goes into the bridge through the front of the tremolo, which brings the ball end as close to the saddle as possible, instead of stringing it through the tremolo block. This makes re-stringing much easier as well. (2) The knife edges and tremolo pivot posts were designed to provide nearly zero resistance. This in conjunction with locking tuners gives this standard tremolo bridge much more tuning stability. After he worked the tremolo to the extreme, I heard Jim utter the words “You can’t ask for better than that.”
[caption id="attachment_1565" width="467" caption="James Tyler Variax Bridge"][/caption]
Until next time,
Line 6 Luthier/Customer Advocate Rich Renken is a 23-year veteran of the musical instrument industry. He is a gigging bassist and audio engineer who has mixed live and studio sound for many high-profile artists.