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The revered Strat tremolo bridge allows guitarists to have a greater level of control over the pitch of their strings, increasing the diversity of their sonic arsenal.
As one of the most recognizable and iconic solid-body guitars in existence, the Fender Strat features many unique components.
The popularity of Fender Stratocasters has led many manufacturers to create components that are specifically designed for that style of electric guitar.
This guide includes a selection of the best Strat bridges for those who are looking for a replacement.
In a Rush’ Round-Up
How We Tested
To accurately score each set of acoustic-electric guitar strings, we’ve assessed several key attributes. These include testing their prominent frequencies and tonal qualities, their resistance to corrosion and longevity, and how comfortable they feel to play.
Our rigorous testing process involved analyzing the sonic qualities of each Strat bridge, to gauge how effectively they affect the pitch of the guitar, and whether they enhanced dynamic control.
We then tested the bridges based on their appearance, compatibility with a range of Strat models, and the quality of the materials used to construct them. In the reviews below, you can find the best strat bridges we identified, for all budgets and styles.
Tremolo Bridge for Strat Reviews
Despite the many advancements and tweaks that Fender has made to their legendary Stratocaster over the years, this tremolo bridge is the same as the ones you’d find on the earliest versions.
At first glance, the American Vintage Strat Tremolo Bridge looks like it has been taken from a mid-1950s model. It includes a screw-on tremolo arm which is very easy to attach so that you can access unique techniques like dive-bombs and fluttering.
It’s worth noting that this Strat bridge is designed to be used with wide string spacings, specifically 2.188”. It is made from durable steel, which is likely to last many years or even decades.
The benefits offered by the Fender American Vintage Strat Tremolo Bridge aren’t limited solely to aesthetics. Sonically, this bridge causes a noticeable improvement in sustain and the punchiness of your guitar’s tone.
This bridge is also very easy to install, and shouldn’t require you to make any modifications to your Strat. It comes equipped with all of the screws and components you need for setting it up.
- Made from steel
- Chrome finish
- Nickel-plated saddles
The RT200N Rail Tail tremolo bridge by Floyd Rose provides Strat players with an opportunity to upgrade their tremolo system and enjoy a range of tonal and dynamic improvements.
Compared to most conventional Strat bridges, the RT200N facilitates deeper dive bombs and more extreme variations on the pitch. This is due to its drop-in tremolo arm design, which is highly flexible without being flimsy.
Two aspects of your Stratocaster that you can expect to be enhanced by this Floyd Rose bridge are its tuning stability, and note sustain.
The former improvement prevents your strings from going out of tune when the tremolo arm is used, and the additional sustain is ideal if you like to ring out chords or perform long note bends when soloing.
Whether you have a vintage-style Strat or a more modern equivalent, this bridge will slot onto the guitar without attracting too much attention. The understated black design makes it compatible with most Stratocaster varieties.
The installation of this Strat bridge is relatively straightforward, as it comes with all of the screws and parts you’ll need to secure it to your guitar’s body.
- Drop-in tremolo arm
- Made from brass material
- Elegant black finish
- Classic hardtail feel
- Great for flashy tremolo techniques
- Enhances string vibration transference
- Requires 4 small screw holes for installation
This Fender American Series Strat bridge upgrade delivers on all fronts. Aesthetically, it blends effortlessly with most Strat models and color schemes, thanks to the understated chrome finish.
Choosing one of the best Strat tremolo bridge replacements will enhance both the appearance and the sound of your guitar, and this authentic Fender option certainly falls into that category.
Although installing this Stratocaster tremolo bridge shouldn’t be too difficult, there is a chance that you may need to make some small holes using a ⅜ inch drill depending on the specific design of your model.
Thankfully, Fender has included clear instructions, with all of the necessary screws, hardware, and other equipment required for quick and straightforward installation. This tremolo is designed for 0.5-inch string spacing.
The intonation screws are positioned slightly off the center point of the steel saddles, which makes for an interesting design. I found that this makes it easier to adjust the intonation due to the accessible angle of the screws.
- Screw-in tremolo arm
- Saddles made from powder-coated steel
- Designed for 0.5-inch string spacings
- Facilitates instant bends and dives
- All mounting hardware included
- Authentic Fender design
- Requires the drilling of post holes for installation
Blues virtuoso Eddie Van Halen is regarded as one of the most innovative tremolo arm users. He preferred a dive-only tremolo, which allowed him to access extreme pitch bends and tonal alterations.
When creating this Strat replacement bridge, Floyd Rose set out to combine Van Halen’s preferred design with the more stable and conventional aspects of a hardtail bridge.
As a result, the RT400N Rail Tail is a great option for Strat players who don’t want to be limited in their use of a tremolo bridge.
Made from solid brass with a nickel finish, the Rail Tail is undeniably one of the best tremolo bridges for versatile guitarists. If you often switch between rhythm and lead playing, this device is the ideal middle ground.
The impact that this tremolo bridge has on the dynamics of a Stratocaster is most evident when ringing out notes. Every last bit of vibrational energy from the strings is transferred through the body, creating a full, long-lasting sound.
Finally, although you may need to make small holes to install this tremolo bridge on your Strat, Floyd Rose has provided all of the equipment and instructions you need to simplify the process.
- Made from brass
- Suitable for 2.06-inch string spacings
- Includes a drop-in tremolo arm
- Combines the best aspects of hardtail and dive-only tremolos
- Increases sustain
- Enhances vibrational transfer through the body
- Installation requires 4 small holes
The best Strat tremolos need to combine an immaculate aesthetical design with solid tonal and dynamic qualities.
Prolific bridge manufacturer Floyd Rose seems to have perfected this blend, as is evidenced once again with the RT100W. This drop-in trem fits the majority of Strats or similarly designed guitars.
Sonically, the Floyd Rose RT100W adds valuable sustain to every note you play. Guitarists who like to use distortion or overdrive pedals will be able to make their high notes scream for much longer when using this bridge.
The base plate, tremolo block, and saddles are all made from solid brass, which ensures that the bridge is locked into place upon installation. If your Strat often has tuning issues, this tremolo will likely resolve them.
Providing your Stratocaster has a 6-point bridge design, installation of the RT100W should be very straightforward. This will require no drilling, routing, or modifications to the body of the guitar.
For Strats with 2-point bridges, you may need to make four small holes to successfully install this tremolo using the provided mounting equipment and hardware.
- Brass saddles with chrome plates
- Drop-in style tremolo arm
- 2.06-inch string spacings
- Quick and easy installation
- Requires no drilling of holes on a 6-point bridge
- Increases sustain and tonal clarity
- May not fit on some modern Strat models without modification
Strat Bridge Buyer’s Guide
Installing a new tremolo arm on your Stratocaster can completely revolutionize the way you play. These simple devices provide access to pitches, tones, and sounds that most electric guitars simply can’t produce.
The best Strat tremolos we’ve included in this guide consist of a selection suitable for different models and styles of Stratocaster. Make sure you check the specifics of your particular Strat so that you choose the right bridge for your needs.
Things to consider when buying
Consider the bridge type
Although most of the tremolo bridges for Strats are similar in design, some are more focused on facilitating bends and string alterations, while others are less flashy.
With over 50 years of production, the Fender Strat has undergone many slight changes. When choosing your bridge, ensure that it is compatible with the exact Strat model that you own, and its string spacings.
Think about the color
The Strat bridge is a prominent aesthetical feature of the guitar. It’s therefore essential to choose a color and design that will blend with the other components of your Stratocaster. Bridges are available in black, chrome, nickel, and more.
Consider the installation
Generally speaking, installing a tremolo bridge on a Strat isn’t particularly difficult. That being said, if you’re unsure about the installation process, you should check that the bridge comes with clear instructions and the necessary hardware.
How to Choose The Right Bridge for Your Strat
With so many replacement Strat bridges available, identifying the one that will get you the best results can seem like a daunting task.
Whether your existing bridge has broken, or you simply want to try something new to revitalize your Stratocaster’s sound and feel, you should aim to improve upon the previous bridge at the very least.
It’s highly important to check that the specifics of a bridge are compatible with your Strat. The Stratocaster guitar has been released in many different variations over the years, with slightly different physical designs.
Some bridges may be designed specifically for vintage-style Strats, while others may be better suited to modern models.
The Importance of Tuning Stability
While it might be tempting to opt for an affordable tremolo bridge replacement for your Stratocaster, doing so will probably result in a compromise in some important capabilities.
Bridges that are built to the highest standard, such as those made by Floyd Rose or Fender, will improve the tuning stability of your Stratocaster significantly.
Many guitarists focus on the appearance of a tremolo bridge or the “whammy bar” effect it produces. Although these are important aspects, the tuning stability of your guitar is arguably more essential.
Brass tremolo bridges are renowned for their tuning stability, as are systems with powder-coated steel saddles. Ensuring that the drop-in tremolo arm is installed properly will also improve the guitar’s ability to stay in tune for longer.
Installation and Strat Bridge Types
Replacement Strat bridges come in two main varieties, which are:
- 6-Screw Bridges
- 2-Point Pivot Bridges
The former bridge type is used predominantly on vintage-style Strats, while the latter is a more recent invention that is used on many of Fender’s modern American Stratocaster models.
It’s very difficult to install a 2-point pivot bridge on a Stratocaster that previously had a 6 screw bridge unless it has the exact 2.21” mount spacing that is used on the majority of vintage Stratocasters.
That’s why you should carefully check whether you’re replacing a 6-screw vintage-style bridge or a 2-point pivot bridge before you choose the replacement.
The installation process should be very straightforward providing the new bridge is compatible with your Strat model.
If you’re struggling to get the screw holes to line up, this may be a sign that you’ve chosen an unsuitable tremolo bridge replacement for your Strat’s design.
Strat Tremolo Bridge FAQs
Should the Bridge on a Strat be flat?
When installing a new bridge on a Stratocaster, it can either sit flat against the body, or it can be positioned slightly away from the body.
Having the bridge placed flat on the body will maximize the vibrational transfer from the strings. Additionally, it will prevent the tuning of the other strings from being compromised if one string breaks.
If you position the Strat bridge slightly off the guitar’s body, this will free up the tremolo arm to alter the pitch of the notes you play.
Can you Downtune a Stratocaster?
The Fender Strat can be tuned down to any pitch that you like, providing the strings retain enough tension to be played comfortably.
If you plan to tune your Stratocaster strings down, you should u8se heavy gauge strings so that they remain firm enough for making chord shapes and playing notes. The Strat is a versatile guitar that sounds great with various different alternative tunings.
Can you Dive bomb with a Strat Tremolo?
The dive bomb is a technique which requires tremolo or whammy bar. If your Fender Strat has one of these, you can perform the technique by quickly lowering the pitch of a specific note, making it sound like a bomb being dropped.
Jimi Hendrix popularized dive bombing using his whammy bar, and many guitarists have adopted the technique since then.