Titanium makes for a brillant metal for guitar hardware. The combination of the light weight, and it’s resonant, bright, articulate tone makes it a great choice for guitar bridges. I’ve previously reviewed Hantug Custom Guitars & Parts gear in the past, and been thoroughly impressed with the build quality and tonal upgrades. The differences found between a standard 6 hole vintage style Stratocaster-style bridge and the custom Hantug strat-style vintage tremolo was astounding, and really sold me on the idea of using titanium for guitar parts. Switching the sustain block on an Ibanez Edge to a titanium type turned the Edge from a reasonable sounding bridge to an amazing one. The next step was to try a double locking tremolo made from predominately titanium, and Hantug once again came to the party with their Titanium Locking Tremolo, providing me with one to review.
I installed the tremolo in my custom Musikraft Charvel San Dimas style guitar. It has a flame maple topped alder body, maple neck and fretboard, stainless steel frets, and a Seymour Duncan Custom Shop hot-rodded IM1 in the bridge, and Little ’59 Strat sized humbucker in the neck.
When I received the tremolo I was impressed with the way in which it was packaged. A beautiful wooden box, etched with the Hantug Custom Guitars logo, and everything neatly placed in a molded interior lined with felt. Hantug provide pretty much everything required for a custom guitar installation, including titamium spring claw, springs and screws, as well as a titanium locking nut. If a part cannot be made from titanium stainless steel is used.
Design-wise, the Hantug Titanium Locking Tremolo takes elements from both the original Floyd Rose and Gotoh licenced Floyd Rose designs. The base design centres around the Floyd Rose, and then adds enhancements like the straight bass-side knife edge and push-in tremolo arm design found on the Gotoh units.
Upon inspecting the tremolo it is clear to see how well made it is. Each component is beautifully crafted and finished, and the etched logo on the bass-side wing is a nice touch. All moving parts work smoothly, and the unit as a whole feels like it will withstand a beating for many years.
This guitar was originally installed with a Floyd Rose 1000 series, which is a Korean-made unit, built to be on par with the original German-made Floyd Rose. The Hantug unit’s titanium tremolo studs were an exact fit for the Floyd Rose unit’s anchors, so there was no need to pull, or plug and re-drill to install the Hantug anchors. The supplied spring claw was a narrower screw spacing than the one originally installed in my guitar, so I had to stick to the original claw. The nut was an R2 Floyd Rose sized locking nut, and since my neck was designed to take an R3 I had to stick with my original Floyd Rose one.
As expected, once installed I found that the Hantug Titanium Locking Tremolo provided great, clear, articulate tones. The knife edges and studs are cut nicely, and with a good setup help keep the guitar in tune just as well as any other quality double-locking tremolo-style bridge. Dives and pullups are nice and smooth, and like the Gotoh units, the whammy bar can be set up perfectly to a player’s needs.
Badly finished or rough saddles can cause premature string breakages and endless frustration. The Hantug locking saddles are nicely finished with no sharp edges to cause premature wear to the string. All other parts feel strong and solid, and ready to provide years of fuss-free use.
Overall the Hantug Double Locking Tremolo is a brilliantly built piece of equipment. Hantug are on to another winner with this design. It’s combination of quality build and excellent tone make it an excellent proposition for those looking to go the whole-hog with their double-locking tremolo equipped guitar. Hantug have also made all of the tremolo parts available separately, so if you’re just looking to upgrade certain parts Hantug have you covered too.