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
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
Based on my tests and research, Ibanez GRX70QA is the best electric guitar under $200. It’s easy to play, sounds good, and offers versatility. Plus it has stellar hardware and a great working Ibanez Synchronized T106 bridge. You can check the in-depth review here.
If you want more guitars with Floyd Rose to choose from, check this article: 36 Guitars With Floyd Rose – Plus 3 Best Ones.
Price Range Icon Meanings:
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|Model||Pickups||Body Style||Bridge||Price Range||Check Current Price (affiliate links)|
|Harley Benton ST-20MN CA Standard Series – Cheapest||3 x ST style single coils||Modern Stratocaster||Synchronized tremolo||$||Thomann*|
|Kramer Focus VT-211S – Cheapest US Market||2 x Kramer Alnico V SC-1 Single-coil & 1 x Kramer Alnico V HB-1 Humbucker||Modern Stratocaster||Kramer Traditional Synchronized Tremolo bridge||$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|Ibanez GRX70QA – The Best Cheap Guitar With Whammy Bar – Read The Full Review||1 x Infinity RS Singel-Coil|
2 x Infinity R Humbucker
|Modern Stratocaster||Ibanez Synchronized T106 bridge||$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|Jackson JS22 Dinky – Best Metal Guitar Uner $200 – Read The Full Review||2 x Jackson High-Output Humbuckers||Modern Stratocaster||2-Point Fulcrum Tremolo bridge||$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|Yamaha Pacifica 012 – Read The Full Review||2 x Yamaha Single-coil & 1 x Yamaha Humbuckers||Modern Stratocaster||Vintage-style Synchronized Tremolo bridge||$||Sweetwater|
|Harley Benton R-456FR BK Progressive Series – Cheapest Floyd Rose||2 x Hi-Gain humbuckers||Modern Stratocaster||Floyd Rose Special locking tremolo system||$||Thomann|
|Squier Affinity Series Stratocaster||2 x Fender Ceramic Humbucker||Stratocaster||2-Point Synchronized Tremolo bridge||$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|Harley Benton Fusion-T HH Roasted – Cheapest Tele With A Whammy Bar||Roswell HAF-B AlNiCo-5 (bridge) and HAF-N AlNiCo-5 (neck) humbuckers||Telecaster||Wilkinson 50IIK 2-point tremolo||$$||Thomann|
|Yamaha Pacifica 112V – Best Budget – Read The Full Review||2 x Yamaha Alnico V Single-coils & Yamaha Alnico V Humbucker||Modern Stratocaster||Vintage Tremolo Synchronized bridge with Block Saddles||$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|Jackson Dinky Arch Top JS32 – Cheap & Has Floyd Rose||2 x Jackson High-output Humbuckers||Modern Stratocaster||Jackson Licensed Floyd Rose Locking Tremolo||$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|Kramer Guitars Assault 220 FR – Cheapest Single-Cut With Floyd Rose||2 x Humbuckers||Single-cut||Floyd Rose Locking Tremolo bridge||$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|Jackson Rhoads JS32 – Best Cheap V Shaped||2 x Jackson High-output Humbuckers||V||Jackson Licensed Floyd Rose Locking Tremolo||$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|Squier Classic Vibe ’50s Stratocaster – Read The Review||3 x Fender Designed Alnico Single-Coils||Stratocaster||6-Saddle Vintage-Style Synchronized Tremolo bridge||$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|Epiphone Wildkat||2 x AlNiCo V P-90 Single-coil||Semi-Hollowbody||Tune-O-Matic bridge and Bigsby tremolo||$$$||Sweetwater|
|Ibanez Steve Vai Signature JEMJR||1 x Quantum Single-coil|
& 2 x Quantum Humbucker
|Modern Stratocaster||Ibanez Double Locking tremolo bridge||$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|Gretsch G2420T Streamliner||2 x Broad’Tron BT-2S Humbucker||Hollowbody||Adjusto-Matic Bridge with Secured Laurel Base, Bigsby B60 Vibrato Tailpiece||$$$||Sweetwater|
|Schecter Omen Extreme-6 FR – Great Metal Guitar for Around $500 – Read The Review||2 x Schecter Diamond Plus Humbucker||Modern Stratocaster||Floyd Rose Special Locking Tremolo bridge||$$$||Sweetwater|
|Epiphone SG Standard ’61 Maestro Vibrola||ProBucker-2 Humbucker & ProBucker-3 Humbucker||SG||LockTone ABR Tune-O-Matic with Maestro Vibrola||$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|Squier 40th Anniversary Gold Edition Jazzmaster||2 x Fender Designed Alnico Single-coils||Jazzmaster||6-Saddle Vintage-style with Non-Locking Floating Vibrato bridge||$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|PRS SE Standard 24 – Read The Review||2 x PRS 85/15 “S” Humbuckers||SE Standard 24||PRS Molded Tremolo bridge||$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|ESP LTD Kirk Hammett Signature KH-202||ESP LH-301N Humbucker & ESP LH-301B Humbucker||Modern Stratocaster||Floyd Rose Special Tremolo bridge||$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|Gretsch G5230T Electromatic Jet FT||2 x Blacktop Filter’Tron Humbucker||Single-cut – Chambered||Anchored Adjusto-Matic bridge with Bigsby||$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|Yamaha PAC611VFM Pacifica – Offers Superb Value for The Money||Seymour Duncan SP90-1n Single-coil|
& Seymour Duncan TB-14 Humbucker
|Modern Stratocaster||Wilkinson V550 Tremolo bridge||$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|Schecter Sun Valley Super Shredder PT FR||2 x EMG Retro Active Hot 70 Humbucker||Telecaster||Floyd Rose Special Hot Rod Locking Tremolo bridge||$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|Gretsch G5422TDC||2 x Black Top Broad’Tron Humbucker||Semi-Hollowbody||Anchored Adjusto-Matic Bridge with Bigsby B70 Vibrato||$$$||Sweetwater|
|Schecter C-1 Exotic Ebony||Schecter Diamond ’78 Humbucker & Schecter Diamond ’78 Special Humbucker||Modern Stratocaster||Wilkinson Tremolo bridge||$$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|Fender Player Stratocaster||3 x Player Series Alnico V Strat Single-coils||Stratocaster||2-piece Synchronized Tremolo bridge with Bent Steel Saddles||$$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|Guild S-200 T-Bird||2 x |
Guild LB-1 Humbucker
|S-200 T-Bird||Guild Tune-O-Matic bridge with Hagstrom Vintage Tremolo||$$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|Jackson Rhoads RRX24M – Best Flying V Under $1000||2 x Seymour Duncan Blackouts AHB-1N Humbucker||V||Floyd Rose Special Double-locking Recessed Tremolo bridge||$$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|Ibanez High Performance RG420HPFM||DiMarzio Air Norton Humbucker & DiMarzio The Tone Zone Humbucker||Modern Stratocaster||Ibanez Double Locking tremolo bridge||$$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|Ibanez Genesis Collection RG550 – Best Overall||V7 Humbucker|
& S1 Single-coil
& V8 Humbucker
|Modern Stratocaster||Edge Locking Tremolo Bridge||$$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|Schecter Hellraiser C-1 FR-S||Sustainiac Driver Pickup & EMG 81 Humbucker||Modern Stratocaster||Floyd Rose 1000 Series Locking Tremolo bridge||$$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|ESP LTD EC-1000FR QM – Best Single-Cut||EMG 60 Humbucker & EMG 81 Humbucker||Single-cut||Floyd Rose Tremolo bridge||$$$$||Sweetwater|
|Fender Kurt Cobain Jag-Stang||Jag-Stang Single-coil & Jag-Stang Humbucker||Jag-Stang||6-Saddle Vintage-style Mustang Tremolo bridge||$$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|Fender American Performer Stratocaster||3 x Yosemite Strat Single-coil||Stratocaster||6-saddle Vintage-style Synchronized Tremolo bridge||$$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|Guild X-175 Manhattan Special||2 x DeArmond Dynasonic Single-coil||Hollowbody||Guild Tune-O-Matic with Pinned Ebony Bridge and Guild Vibrato Tailpiece||$$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|PRS S2 Standard 22||2 x PRS 58/15 “S” Humbucker||S2 Standard 22 Doublecut||PRS Patented Molded Tremolo bridge||$$$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|Ibanez Prestige AZS2200 – Best Premium||Seymour Duncan Magic Touch-mini Humbucker & Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro Custom Single-coil||Telecaster variant||Gotoh T1802 Tremolo Bridge||$$$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|Guild Starfire V with Guild Vibrato||2 x Guild LB-1 humbucker||Semi-hollowbody||Guild Tune-O-Matic with Rosewood Base and Guild Vibrato Tailpiece||$$$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|Gretsch G6120TG Players Edition Nashville||2 x FT-67 Filter’Tron Humbucker||Hollowbody||Adjusto-Matic with Pinned Ebony base, G6GP Bigsby Vibrato||$$$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
|Gretsch G6118T-60GE Vintage Select Anniversary||2 x TV Jones Hilo’Tron Single-coil||Hollowbody||Space Control Bridge with Pinned Rosewood Base, Bigsby B6C Vibrato Tailpiece||$$$$$||Sweetwater – Thomann|
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3 Best Guitars With Whammy Bars – My Favorites
Best Budget – 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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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:
- 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
- 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.
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!