Schaller & Wilkinson Roller Bridges

SaddlepunkSaddlepunk Frets: 44
edited September 2017 in Other Reviews
It seems odd to me to have a bridge with sharp saddles on a guitar with a Bigsby tremolo. When you use the tremolo the strings are going to be reluctantly raked backwards and forwards over those sharp edges. Bad for the strings and bad for the bridge saddles.

I've got an Epiphone Riviera. The first thing I did when I got it, or rather refrained from doing, was to use the Bigsby - I just couldn't bring myself to haul the strings over its factory fitted, Bigsby unfriendly, tune-o-matic, bridge soI did some research into roller bridges. I liked the look of the one Wilkinson made, but couldn't find it in gold and decided it was off-puttingly inexpensive so I ordered a reasuringly expensive gold Schaller from Stewmac in the US.

The Schaller had the same dimensions as the stock tune-o-matic so was very simple to fit. It seemed well made, had loads of micro adjustment, forwards, back, side to side, on the roller saddles but I didn't like the way it sat on top of its height adjustable locating pins with no locking mechanism, and, probably because of that, I could see it rock backwards and forwards when I used the Bigsby.

I didn't like the bridge moving around, but I wasn't going back to a non roller bridge so I put up with it until last week when I found that gold Wilkinson roller bridges were back in stock at Axesrus. Actually that's not quite true, I revisited the roller bridge thing by, for some reason or another - I can't remember why - buying a very cheap Wilkinson copy on Ebay to see what it was like. It was dreadful, horrid, a complete waste of money that was never going near my guitar, and it was then that I found gold Wilkinsons in stock at Axesrus.

The bridge arrived this morning and I've just fitted it in the past hour or so. It was fairly straight forward (would have been much easier if I had removed the strings instead of being lazy and just loosened them) but I had to be brave and re-drill the bridge post holes a little bigger and press in the threaded pieces that the Wilkinson arrived with. I also had to reverse the two middle saddles to get the intonation right.

My verdict is that the Wilkinson is much better than the Schaller (not least because it has grub screws to lock the bridge onto its posts) and costs less than half the price.

Could be my imagination but the guitar sounds brighter - as if I'd fitted new strings.

https://i.imgur.com/h7FIouU.jpg
Schaller roller bridge - slightly out of focus - my apologies.

https://i.imgur.com/8UTAtn7.jpg
The underneath showing there is nothing to lock the bridge on its posts.

https://i.imgur.com/nUHsTwc.jpg
Wilkinson roller bridge - I would have liked a very similar one made by my favourite locking tuner maker; GOTOH, but I think they've stopped making them.

https://i.imgur.com/LXberqx.jpg



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Comments

  • I use these roller bridges in most of my guitars, after while the wheels gum up and get stuck but they are so cheap you cn just buy a new one £6 on ebay.
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  • Saddlepunk said:

    I revisited the roller bridge thing by, for some reason or another - I can't remember why - buying a very cheap Wilkinson copy on Ebay to see what it was like. It was dreadful, horrid, a complete waste of money that was never going near my guitar, 
    If I remember rightly it cost £6!
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