Ratings

Pros:
Smart, comfy low-profile design. Quality build. Quiet, super-smooth response. Easy installation.

Cons:
May leave guitar’s original trem route slightly exposed. Restringing requires removing guitar’s backplate. Somewhat pricey.

Street:
$260

Blackbird Savoy
vegatrem.com


Playability:


Build/Design:


Value:
 

The Vega-Trem VT1 UltraTrem is an impressive option in an admittedly somewhat crowded field of modern Strat-style vibrato systems. The company’s description implies it’s for players looking for a Floyd Rose-esque floating-bridge feel minus the usual routing, locking-nut, and fine-tuner requirements, but even if you’re not of “Super Strat” ilk and are looking for either greater tuning stability or to eliminate creaks and groans from a vintage-style unit, it’s worth a look. Vintage swappers will probably hear a tonal difference, with the VT1’s stainless steel build likely yielding a little more clarity and sustain, but many will view this as a boon, too.

Whereas floating setups can often feel either stiff … or too sensitive, the VT1 feels almost invisible—there when you want it, but out of sight and mind when you aren’t reaching for the bar.

I’ll admit I was a Floyd Rose player in my teen years, but now prefer Jazzmaster and Bigsby trems. But I’ll also admit I was incredibly impressed with the Vega’s easy, seamless feel. Whereas floating setups can often feel either stiff from all the required tension, or too sensitive to some playing approaches, the VT1feels almost invisible—there when you want it, but out of sight and mind when you aren’t reaching for the bar. I can see Jeff Beck-style players thoroughly enjoying its fluid, silent, dependable action (although overall guitar setup, including nut-slot smoothness, is certainly key, too).

Test Gear: Squier Classic Vibe ’60s Stratocaster, 1976 Fender Vibrolux Reverb with Warehouse G10C/S speakers