40 Guitars With Whammy Bars – Plus 3 Best Ones

You are currently viewing 40 Guitars With Whammy Bars – Plus 3 Best Ones

If you are after a Dimebag-styled dive-bombs or you plan to be the next Eddie Van Halen with your creative use of whammy bar, keep reading. Because this article gathers the best of the best guitars with whammy bars together.

If I had to choose just 1 electric guitar to own for the rest of my life, it would be one with a whammy bar (also called a tremolo arm). With it, you can spice up your playing nicely and it does add versatility to your playing. And because I have this no-secret crush on whammy bars, I was happy to put together this article. It includes the cream of the crop guitars with tremolo arms from different price ranges and we’ll also look closely at the 3 best ones.

I included guitars with:

  • Normal Synchronized Tremolo Bridge
  • Floyd Rose
  • Ibanez Edge bridge
  • Tune-O-Matic bridge with Bigsby Tremolo Tailpiece
  • Mustang Tremolo Bridge
  • And there might be a couple of the bridge types too

If you have any questions, just check the FAQ section or leave a comment.

Let’s get started!

If you want to find out more about guitar bridge designs, their differences, and about how they work, check this in-depth article: Different Guitar Bridge Types – Your Ultimate Bridge Guide

photo reveals owner of guitaristnextdoor.com

Author: Teemu Suomala

I first grabbed guitar in 2009. I started this website in January 2020 because I couldn’t do window installation anymore due to my health problems. I also noticed that most guitar websites don’t do a really good job, so I decided to just go for it! I got lucky and managed to get awesome people to help me with my website. I also got lucky because I have you visiting my website right now. Thank you. I do all this for you guys. If you have any recommendations, tips, or feedback, just leave a comment, I would love to chat with you. I have been fortunate to produce content for several large guitar websites, such as Songsterr, Musicnotes, GuitarGuitar, and Ultimate Guitar. I spend my spare time exercising and hanging out with my wife and crazy dog(I guess that went the right way…).


40 Guitars With Whammy Bars

photo displays Ibanez Gio GRX70QA Review - looks, quality, finish

Based on my tests and research, Ibanez GRX70QA is the best electric guitar under $200. It’s easy to play, sounds good, and offers versatility. Plus it has stellar hardware and a great working Ibanez Synchronized T106 bridge. You can check the in-depth review here.

If you want more guitars with Floyd Rose to choose from, check this article: 36 Guitars With Floyd Rose – Plus 3 Best Ones.

Price Range Icon Meanings:

$= $149-250

$$= $251-399

$$$= $400-799

$$$$= $800-1499

$$$$$= $1500-

*Consider all links in this post to be affiliate links. If you purchase, at no additional cost to you, we may earn a small commission. It helps us to keep the lights on, thanks! 🙂

ModelPickupsBody StyleBridgePrice RangeCheck Current Price (affiliate links)
Harley Benton ST-20MN CA Standard Series – Cheapest3 x ST style single coilsModern StratocasterSynchronized tremolo$Thomann*
Kramer Focus VT-211S – Cheapest US Market2 x Kramer Alnico V SC-1 Single-coil & 1 x Kramer Alnico V HB-1 HumbuckerModern StratocasterKramer Traditional Synchronized Tremolo bridge$SweetwaterThomann
Ibanez GRX70QA – The Best Cheap Guitar With Whammy Bar – Read The Full Review1 x Infinity RS Singel-Coil
2 x Infinity R Humbucker
Modern StratocasterIbanez Synchronized T106 bridge$SweetwaterThomann
Jackson JS22 Dinky – Best Metal Guitar Uner $200 – Read The Full Review2 x Jackson High-Output Humbuckers Modern Stratocaster2-Point Fulcrum Tremolo bridge$SweetwaterThomann
Yamaha Pacifica 012 – Read The Full Review2 x Yamaha Single-coil & 1 x Yamaha HumbuckersModern StratocasterVintage-style Synchronized Tremolo bridge$Sweetwater
Harley Benton R-456FR BK Progressive Series – Cheapest Floyd Rose2 x Hi-Gain humbuckersModern StratocasterFloyd Rose Special locking tremolo system$Thomann
Squier Affinity Series Stratocaster2 x Fender Ceramic HumbuckerStratocaster2-Point Synchronized Tremolo bridge$$SweetwaterThomann
Harley Benton Fusion-T HH Roasted  – Cheapest Tele With A Whammy BarRoswell HAF-B AlNiCo-5 (bridge) and HAF-N AlNiCo-5 (neck) humbuckersTelecasterWilkinson 50IIK 2-point tremolo$$Thomann
Yamaha Pacifica 112V – Best Budget Read The Full Review2 x Yamaha Alnico V Single-coils & Yamaha Alnico V HumbuckerModern StratocasterVintage Tremolo Synchronized bridge with Block Saddles$$SweetwaterThomann
Jackson Dinky Arch Top JS32 – Cheap & Has Floyd Rose2 x Jackson High-output HumbuckersModern StratocasterJackson Licensed Floyd Rose Locking Tremolo$$SweetwaterThomann
Kramer Guitars Assault 220 FR – Cheapest Single-Cut With Floyd Rose2 x HumbuckersSingle-cutFloyd Rose Locking Tremolo bridge$$SweetwaterThomann
Jackson Rhoads JS32 – Best Cheap V Shaped2 x Jackson High-output HumbuckersVJackson Licensed Floyd Rose Locking Tremolo$$SweetwaterThomann
Squier Classic Vibe ’50s Stratocaster – Read The Review3 x Fender Designed Alnico Single-CoilsStratocaster6-Saddle Vintage-Style Synchronized Tremolo bridge$$$SweetwaterThomann
Epiphone Wildkat 2 x AlNiCo V P-90 Single-coilSemi-HollowbodyTune-O-Matic bridge and Bigsby tremolo$$$Sweetwater
Ibanez Steve Vai Signature JEMJR1 x Quantum Single-coil
& 2 x Quantum Humbucker
Modern StratocasterIbanez Double Locking tremolo bridge$$$SweetwaterThomann
Gretsch G2420T Streamliner2 x Broad’Tron BT-2S HumbuckerHollowbodyAdjusto-Matic Bridge with Secured Laurel Base, Bigsby B60 Vibrato Tailpiece$$$Sweetwater
Schecter Omen Extreme-6 FR – Great Metal Guitar for Around $500 – Read The Review2 x Schecter Diamond Plus HumbuckerModern StratocasterFloyd Rose Special Locking Tremolo bridge$$$Sweetwater
Epiphone SG Standard ’61 Maestro VibrolaProBucker-2 Humbucker & ProBucker-3 HumbuckerSGLockTone ABR Tune-O-Matic with Maestro Vibrola$$$SweetwaterThomann
Squier 40th Anniversary Gold Edition Jazzmaster2 x Fender Designed Alnico Single-coilsJazzmaster6-Saddle Vintage-style with Non-Locking Floating Vibrato bridge$$$SweetwaterThomann
PRS SE Standard 24 – Read The Review2 x PRS 85/15 “S” HumbuckersSE Standard 24PRS Molded Tremolo bridge$$$SweetwaterThomann
ESP LTD Kirk Hammett Signature KH-202ESP LH-301N Humbucker & ESP LH-301B HumbuckerModern StratocasterFloyd Rose Special Tremolo bridge$$$SweetwaterThomann
Gretsch G5230T Electromatic Jet FT 2 x Blacktop Filter’Tron HumbuckerSingle-cut – ChamberedAnchored Adjusto-Matic bridge with Bigsby$$$SweetwaterThomann
Yamaha PAC611VFM Pacifica – Offers Superb Value for The MoneySeymour Duncan SP90-1n Single-coil
& Seymour Duncan TB-14 Humbucker
Modern StratocasterWilkinson V550 Tremolo bridge$$$SweetwaterThomann
Schecter Sun Valley Super Shredder PT FR2 x EMG Retro Active Hot 70 HumbuckerTelecasterFloyd Rose Special Hot Rod Locking Tremolo bridge$$$SweetwaterThomann
Gretsch G5422TDC2 x Black Top Broad’Tron HumbuckerSemi-HollowbodyAnchored Adjusto-Matic Bridge with Bigsby B70 Vibrato$$$Sweetwater
Schecter C-1 Exotic EbonySchecter Diamond ’78 Humbucker & Schecter Diamond ’78 Special HumbuckerModern StratocasterWilkinson Tremolo bridge$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Fender Player Stratocaster3 x Player Series Alnico V Strat Single-coilsStratocaster2-piece Synchronized Tremolo bridge with Bent Steel Saddles$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Guild S-200 T-Bird2 x
Guild LB-1 Humbucker
S-200 T-BirdGuild Tune-O-Matic bridge with Hagstrom Vintage Tremolo$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Jackson Rhoads RRX24M – Best Flying V Under $10002 x Seymour Duncan Blackouts AHB-1N HumbuckerVFloyd Rose Special Double-locking Recessed Tremolo bridge$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Ibanez High Performance RG420HPFMDiMarzio Air Norton Humbucker & DiMarzio The Tone Zone HumbuckerModern StratocasterIbanez Double Locking tremolo bridge$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Ibanez Genesis Collection RG550 – Best OverallV7 Humbucker
& S1 Single-coil
& V8 Humbucker
Modern StratocasterEdge Locking Tremolo Bridge$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Schecter Hellraiser C-1 FR-SSustainiac Driver Pickup & EMG 81 HumbuckerModern StratocasterFloyd Rose 1000 Series Locking Tremolo bridge$$$$SweetwaterThomann
ESP LTD EC-1000FR QM – Best Single-CutEMG 60 Humbucker & EMG 81 HumbuckerSingle-cutFloyd Rose Tremolo bridge$$$$Sweetwater
Fender Kurt Cobain Jag-StangJag-Stang Single-coil & Jag-Stang HumbuckerJag-Stang6-Saddle Vintage-style Mustang Tremolo bridge$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Fender American Performer Stratocaster 3 x Yosemite Strat Single-coilStratocaster6-saddle Vintage-style Synchronized Tremolo bridge$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Guild X-175 Manhattan Special2 x DeArmond Dynasonic Single-coilHollowbodyGuild Tune-O-Matic with Pinned Ebony Bridge and Guild Vibrato Tailpiece$$$$SweetwaterThomann
PRS S2 Standard 222 x PRS 58/15 “S” HumbuckerS2 Standard 22 DoublecutPRS Patented Molded Tremolo bridge$$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Ibanez Prestige AZS2200 – Best PremiumSeymour Duncan Magic Touch-mini Humbucker & Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro Custom Single-coilTelecaster variantGotoh T1802 Tremolo Bridge$$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Guild Starfire V with Guild Vibrato2 x Guild LB-1 humbuckerSemi-hollowbodyGuild Tune-O-Matic with Rosewood Base and Guild Vibrato Tailpiece$$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Gretsch G6120TG Players Edition Nashville 2 x FT-67 Filter’Tron HumbuckerHollowbodyAdjusto-Matic with Pinned Ebony base, G6GP Bigsby Vibrato$$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Gretsch G6118T-60GE Vintage Select Anniversary2 x TV Jones Hilo’Tron Single-coilHollowbodySpace Control Bridge with Pinned Rosewood Base, Bigsby B6C Vibrato Tailpiece$$$$$SweetwaterThomann

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3 Best Guitars With Whammy Bars – My Favorites

Best Budget – Yamaha Pacifica 112V

photo displays Yamaha Pacifica 112V

Bridge: Vintage Tremolo Synchronized bridge with Block Saddles

What I like

  • Stays in tune well
  • Good hardware
  • Versatile tones and coil-split
  • Comfortable and effortless to play
  • Feels like a more expensive guitar
  • Contour for picking hand is really comfortable
  • Narrow neck
  • Synchronized Vintage Tremolo bridge works great

What I don’t like

  • Middle single-coil and split humbucker are nothing amazing
  • The neck feels slightly thicker than with many other Strats and Modern Strats

Who is it for?

With HSS pickups + humbucker coil-split setup, this guitar can handle pretty much any music out there from soul and folk to hard rock and heavy metal (not the best guitar for really heavy metal though). Playing is comfortable and the hardware is great. What more you can ask from a cheap guitar? Pretty much nothing. Pacifica 112V is my favorite budget guitar with a whammy bar.

You can read my full in-depth review of this guitar here: Yamaha Pacifica 112V Review.

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Best Overall – Ibanez Genesis Collection RG550

Bridge: Edge Locking Tremolo bridge

What I like

  • Super-versatile pickups (HSH)
  • Smooth & slim Super Wizard neck shape
  • Great quality Gotoh tuners
  • Smooth to use and durable Ibanez Edge tremolo bridge
  • Excellent playability

What I don’t like

  • Coil-split would be just awesome

Who is it for?

If you are after extreme versatility, comfortable playability, and great value for the money, Ibanez Genesis Collection RG550 is one of the best options. It’s an all-around work-horse that will serve you well and faithfully in every situation. Plus it features an Ibanez Edge bridge. Some people swear by the name of it and prefer it over Original Floyd Rose.

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Best Premium – Ibanez Prestige AZS2200

Bridge: Gotoh T1802 Tremolo Bridge

What I like

  • Extremely smooth and comfortable playability
  • Spot-on sound
  • Surprisingly versatile
  • Alter switch enables connecting single-coil pickup and another coil of the humbucker in series to create different humbucker like tones
  • Great hardware (Gotoh Locking tuners, Gotoh tremolo bridge, and bone nut)
  • Could cost a lot more

What I don’t like

  • Premium quality means a premium price

Who is it for?

I don’t like to call myself a fanboy. But if I had to choose just 1 brand to be a fanboy of, it would be Ibanez. And this AZ Prestige is a great one. It features

  • Seymour Duncan Magic Touch-mini Humbucker
  • Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro Custom Single-coil
  • Gotoh F1802 Tremolo Bridge
  • 2-way mini alter switch & 5-way blade pickup switch
  • Gotoh Magnum Locking tuners
  • Stunning looks
  • Smooth playability

And still, it costs under 2k. The money you have to throw in order to get this Ibanez is still a big chunk, I know, but still, the value for the money is outstanding. The best premium and pro-level guitar with a whammy bar to me.

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FAQ

Should You Buy Guitar With A Whammy Bar?

Couple of questions that help you find out:

  • Do the songs you want to play require the use of a whammy bar?
  • Do you want whammy bar use to be part of your own playing and sound?
  • Are you ready for a little bit of extra work when ching strings and doing setup?

If a whammy bar is a must for you, go for it. You can handle the little extra work that comes with it. If you are still not sure, a couple of words about that “extra work”.

With a normal synchronized tremolo bridge, that extra work when changing the strings usually means that you have to place something between the bridge and body in order for to bridge to keep its balance when cutting the strings off. Wrap guitars backplate on a towel and use that for example. This same applies to Floyd Rose and Ibanez Edge bridges.

You have to do this in order to prevent the springs under the backplate to pull the bridge against to body because this would limit the use of a whammy bar. Usually you don’t need to do much more than this, maybe some intonation fine-tuning etc. as with any guitar when changing the strings. But of course, when there are more moving parts, more things can go wrong.

Have a look at the pros and cons of a guitar with a whammy bar:

Pros

  • Adds versatility to your playing
  • You can pull off cool stuff
  • Some songs do require the use of a tremolo arm or even a Floyd rose bridge if you want to play them properly

Cons

  • Guitars with Floyd Rose, Ibanez Edge, Kahler, etc. bridges are usually more expensive (normal synchronize bridge is not much more expensive usually)
  • When changing strings or doing setup, guitars with a whammy bar usually require a bit more work
  • More moving parts, more things can go wrong

Can Any Guitar Have A Whammy Bar?

Almost any kind of electric guitar can. A whammy bar can be installed later by a luthier (or maybe you are a very handy person). This process might require either woodwork or installing a new bridge or tailpiece. So it’s not always an easy task. Personally, I would rather buy a new guitar with a whammy bar, than start assembling them into guitars that were not crafted to use them.

But as I said, theoretically, any electric guitar can have a whammy bar.

Can A Whammy Bar Damage A Guitar?

If you abuse the whammy really heavily, then it might. But in normal use, the tremolo arm/whammy bar and the use of it won’t damage the guitar.


Conclusion

While a synchronized tremolo bridge might give just a little bit more trouble when changing the strings than the normal hardtail/fixed bridge, the stuff you can do with it… it’s awesome. I’m no guitar virtuoso that always pulls off ground-breaking stuff with a whammy bar, but I do like my guitars coming with a whammy bar. And clearly, so do you too.

I hope this article helped you out, and maybe you even decided to get one of the guitars featured. If you have any questions, leave a comment, I and the GND team are here for you.

Now go, my son, and Rock!

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