Monday, October 3, 2016

2016-10-03 Floyd Rose

Greetings to the Troubled Guitarists, and Helpless Gear-Heads of the World,

We are going to talk about Mr. Floyd and his Roses. 

****If you don't know what it is, go down to the bottom.****


There are a few breeds of Floyds, most of which belong to two classes: the good; and the pathetically terrible (in other words, shit). Both of which I have experienced.

The "good" ones are known by a few things...

1. OFR - Original Floyd Rose
2. Schaller made -which to a degree is a OFR
3 Gotoh made - yet again an OFR variant.
4. Ibanez EDGE - original deviation under some Floyd Rose Patents, there are several versions.

The "bad" ones are... 

1. Pretty much everything else. SERIOUSLY terrible. Let me say that again, junk.
     a. LFR (licensed floyd rose) which are found on pretty much any and every "brand: X" cheap 
     b. FR1000 etc. they are generally better than most LFR's
     c. Ibanez Edge II, Edge III, and another one or two.

What makes a good one good?

I thought that you would never ask!

You want the base-plate to be hardened steel. Hardened steel is necessary for keeping a good sharp knife edge. If it isn't hardened it will fatigue (rather quickly in some cases), and will be a royal pain in the ass. The knife edge is where the tremolo contacts the posts. (NOTE: the knife edges are the only point of contact on a guitar with a tremolo other than through the tremolo springs on the rear). If it has a good edge it will rest on the same spot during action, and will stay there - and yup! you guessed it, it will stay IN TUNE. If the edge becomes worn and chewed up, the tremolo will won't pivot properly, and every time you use it, it will go sharp or flat, not leveling out. The small blocks are also inferior, but they can be had easily and [relatively] cheap. Brass is a nice upgrade in most cases. HOWEVER a lot of the nicer Floyds have nicer blocks, so it may not be necessary. In addition to that, they are better machined. Period. 

Why do I need a good one?

Damn! You have been on a roll with good questions!

You want one so do you're dive-bombs and pull-ups you stay in tune. A good floyd will be able to dive to the point where the strings are so loose you are literally able to watch them flap, THEN do a pull-up three or more steps up. THEN repeat it fifty times. All of my four Ibanez Prestiges' do just this.

WOAH! these suckers are expensive!

Yeah. You get what you pay for. There are a LOT of guitars that can be swapped from LFR to OFR relatively simply. I did it to an older MIJ Jackson and it was pretty much drop in. That was probably nearly ten years ago, and the guitar is long sold, but it completely remedied the tuning instability. If you have a guitar you like and want to keep, the swap is worth it. If you aren't attached to it, I wouldn't bother.

This is just a simple and very shallow post. At some point in time I will write more of a tech write-up.

**** OK, What the hell is a Floyd Rose?****

Read here if you don't know, then go back to the top. It is a type of bridge found on a lot of guitars. It is "double locking" as the bridge locks the strings in at the bridge, and the locking nut locks the strings at the nut. Why? so you stay [more] in tune and because you eliminate play (for lack of a better term). They are responsible for the things that Eddie Van Halen and Dimebag do in solos.

Cheers Brethren,


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