I'm searching around for opinions on something that I've been mulling over for quite some time...Don't worry, I won't get pissy or incorrigible if you tell me you think it's a bad idea. The main reason why I'm asking is because there's the possibility that it is a bad idea, but I was curious as to whether or not anyone (besides me) might think it's a cool idea.
Ok...here goes nothing:
I have a very nice Gibson SG Special Faded (got a good deal on it, too ) for my main guitar and sole electric. It feels great and sounds great--oh, and looks great--and it's been able to handle pretty much everything I've tried to play on it, from NWOBHM to Western swing to blues and so on.
However, a little while ago, a very silly idea popped into my head: the idea that, perhaps, I could install a locking vibrato system on my beloved SG, and add some more potential texture to my lead work. I looked up the various options for these types of bridges, and came upon the Kahler Hybrid bridges. These are cam-operated systems which mount to TOM-style studs, which are already installed on my guitar. While they require some top routing ( luckily though, I do have some experience with woodworking, just in case...) they wouldn't run through the whole of the body like a Floyd Rose would, and they are generally easier to install on a TOM-style guitar than most other vibrato bridges/tremolo bars/wiggly sticks. Another good feature of this bridge is that it can be locked in place to be used as a fixed bridge. I would also need a behind-the-nut string lock, or to replace the nut with a Floyd-style locking nut (although I don't know how well this would work out.)
Generally, I've heard decent things about the Kahler bridges. They seem to maintain their tuning pretty well on the whole (although they are also said to have problems with string bending, and supposedly return to pitch after bends only after the arm is depressed), and their feel (from my own experience on other instruments) is very smooth. I haven't seen or heard any claims about radical changes in sustain or tone due to the installation of a Kahler bridge. My problems are mostly in the fact that I'd have to route the top of the guitar (I know, I'd need to if I wanted any sort of tremolo bar, save for a Stetsbar, which seems both overpriced and very limited,) and that I might regret the decision later. I might be better off just getting a second guitar--a super-Strat kind of deal, like from Charvel or Jackson or Ibanez.
The idea of a locking tremolo on an SG has appealed to me for a while, but I'm not sure if I want to go through with it. I'm also saving up for a better amp, and at the same time trying to save as much dough as I can to get through college--I'm not paying as much as I could have for my education, luckily I managed to snag a pretty hefty institutional grant, but I still don't want to spend frivolously through school--so a vibrato bridge isn't really a top priority right now. I suppose I just wanted to see what others had to say. Sorry for the long post.
...Aww, heck--if I want to upgrade my guitar, maybe I ought to put some GFS pickups in it.
EDIT: Awww, shoot. I just realized that I should've put this in the "Instrument Discussion" section. Sorry it's in the wrong section, guys.
I assume someone with more experience in this area will give you some good advice on the actual execution of the project. But as far as going for it, I would have no qualms about it. I have come across a fair amount of Gibson enthusiasts that shun drastic mods and treat them as some form of sacrilege (moreso than other brand loyalists in my experience). But bottom line its no different than any other decent priced guitar you got a deal on. If you will get a better experience out of the trem and don't mind doing this to a guitar of this price, then do it----as long as its not a logistical nightmare.
I've only played one kahler trem so I won't even act like I can give advice there.