Am I going too far to suggest that the Floyd Rose trem is the best system out there?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by 3-Chord-Genius, Jan 7, 2017.

  1. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    With regard to functionality and tuning stability? I have stock stratocaster tremolos, Bigsbys, etc. As far as being a pain in the butt to string up, the Bigsby beats the Floyd Rose in my opinion. In terms of functionality, it seems I can do anything with a Floyd that I can with the other two types, and far more in fact. I understand that there are probably people who hate those things based on the types of guitars they're attached to ("shredder"-type guitars), but take that out of the equation and I think the Floyd Rose is the best overall trem system in existence.

    NOTE: I've had Kahlers also and liked them too, but not as much.
     
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  2. sunkidd

    sunkidd Tele-Holic

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    YES, Yes you are!;)
     
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  3. Hexabuzz

    Hexabuzz Friend of Leo's

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    Steinberger Trans-Trem...

    Ken Parker's trem on the Parker Fly...
     
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  4. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    I forgot about the Steinberger. I've never had the opportunity to use one.
     
  5. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    Functionally micro tuners wear out, or fall out, not be seen again, relegated to the land of missing socks.
    Bigsby's don't require a allen key.
    Wait, where is that Allen wrench, anyhoo.

    Functionality is more than the use at the moment, if it were, Floyds might win.
    Day in day out, not so much.
     
  6. Zuzax

    Zuzax Tele-Afflicted

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    I fiddle with my one guitar that has a Floyd about twice a year. It has never gone out of tune. Unfortunately I never play anything that requires me to go all wiggly on a tremolo.
     
  7. johnny k

    johnny k Friend of Leo's

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    i d love to try one but they look like a pain to set right, same for changing strings.
     
  8. Teleposer

    Teleposer Tele-Holic

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    I just hate the thing (FR) all by itself. It doesn't need to be attached to a bad (or good) guitar. :)

    I hate the thing with a vengeance. I never want to see or play another one in my life. I tried for months to get to grips with the thing, only for it to confuse me further

    I'm an idiot, so it's probably just me.

    I do like Kahler trems though, very much.

    I was reading about the Steinberger TransTrem earlier, and I'd love to get one of them. Not a massive fan of trems all in all. I'd like to get a Bigsby at some point, on both a Les Paul and a Tele. :eek:

    Come to think of it. A Tele with a Khahler might be rather nice.

    But a Floyd Rose? Not on my guitars.
     
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  9. Starshine

    Starshine Tele-Afflicted

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    Floyds are obviously the best for tuning stability. They may take a little longer to get yourself setup (although even that's overblown), but once you're in tune, you stay in tune for weeks at a time. I basically only retune my Charvel when temperature/climate changes require it.

    Different trems have different feels, and the Floyd is neither the best nor the worst for me. I don't think they sound as good as a Jazzmaster trem, and they have almost too extreme a range, so they require a light touch unless you're going for crazy dive bombs, but for some stuff they're absolutely essential.
     
  10. Teleposer

    Teleposer Tele-Holic

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    Interesting perspective.

    I think, when I start learning how to play, I might get one.

    They do require a deftness of touch though to really shine. The time I experimented with it, it really showed me up to be the ham-fisted hack I was.

    For whatever reason though, I just locked with a Kahler, using it almost like a Trans-Trem, pulling up all the way to transpose a 2 note chord to the next inversion of whatever. And that stayed in pretty good tune as well. That's why I'm thinking a Bigsby might be kind of interesting on a Tele.
     
  11. vintagelove

    vintagelove Tele-Meister

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    The Floyd takes a big hit by not having easily adjustable individual saddle height.


    I'll take a good wilkinson tremelo. It can do most of what a Floyd can do outside of the extremes.
     
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  12. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have a few Ibanez with their take on a Floyd. Nice enough and very stable. The design in the S series is quite attractive but arm grommet gets loose too easily. I need to mod mine.

    The discontinued Wilkinson Convertible is my absolute fave though. I have it in my number 1 guitar.

    When the arm is dropped it locks the bridge so you can go mad with bends. Lift the arm - and it's gentle floating goodness again. Perfection!

    I gather it was a patent dispute that killed it but it's a superb system. Have been tempted to buy a couple of old early 90's guitars just to get the trems.
     
  13. jayyj

    jayyj Tele-Afflicted

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    Comparing them to classic vibratos such as Bigsbys and JM vibratos is apples to oranges really. I use vibratos to put a little summer onto chords and the occasional bit of Neil Young melody mangling so there's really no advantage to having a Floyd or Kahler type system, and the whole palaver with locking nuts and micro tuners renders them pretty unlikable for my purposes. If you want to do the classic 80s dive bomb thing then Floyds have their place.
     
  14. Zuzax

    Zuzax Tele-Afflicted

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    There's a trick to stringing a Floyd - start the strings in the tuners with the string balls holding them on the tuning peg. Cut strings to length, tune, and voilà. Not as pretty, but much easier.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    The one area where the Floyd Rose caused problems for me was doing bends that would cause the other strings to go slightly flat. I compensated for this by bending those other strings slightly sharper at the same time. It's a "feel" thing. After a while I could do this without even thinking about it.
     
  16. Bulinski102

    Bulinski102 Tele-Meister

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    For tuning stability, they're hard to beat. However.... IMO they have too many mechanical parts and yet not enough mechanical parts. Fine tuners wear out over time as do the saddle blocks and saddle screws. They're also hard to intonate and raise saddle height. Neither can be done under tension. If you want to have a fully floating bridge, it takes a while to get it fully set up. Quickest I've done it was 30 minutes. You can raise individual saddle height if you really want, but you have to do it a really funky weird way- I've seen people use little shims like you would with an LSR nut, but they can fall out when there's no string holding the saddle down.

    The easiest solution for finicky floating bridge is to "block" the bridge so you can only dive with it. That's what I've done with mine. For string height, the easiest thing is to raise the whole bridge up- again, this is a hassle because you have to take the whole thing off or risk ruining your knife edge.

    I currently have my floyd blocked and the locking nuts off. Easier that way, plus I can use an EVH d-tuna (for the chugs).

    Generally I think that the system is held in low regard thanks to infinite crappy licensed bridges; some are good (Ibanez Edge), but for the most part they're made of pot metal and wear out much quicker. An actual OFR or Schaller unit is of a much higher quality.

    If I were to buy another FR equipped guitar, I would be likely to take off the bridge it came with and put a non-fine tuner bridge on it since they're making them again. I would also add locking tuners and get rid or the locking nut in favor of a LSR or something that would cover up the whole nut shelf.

    Is it the best system out there? For some applications, yes. And it was certainly the best when it came out for what it was designed for, but not so much anymore. There are plenty of other wonderful systems out there that work just as well if not better.
     
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  17. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Poster Extraordinaire

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    I agree that they are great for staying in tune. I like the look too.
    I did a guitar with route for a floating FR once and it was way more trouble than it was worth .
     
  18. jimash

    jimash Friend of Leo's

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    I hate them.
    Once you divorce the bridge from the body and the nut from the neck, virtually any guitar loses whatever tone it might have had.
     
  19. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I never played with a Floyd, but I tried all the techniques with my ol' two-point G&L trem because I didn't know any better (and was dead broke most of the time). Playing in tune? Overrated, you know, like intonation is overrated. Just watch videos of Jimi playing... he just dealt with it. Play Third Stone From the Sun, tune up and do Machine Gun, then encore with Wild Thing. Burn. Repeat. But I kid too much.

    The main reason locking Trems have excellent tuning stability is simple, lock the string at the point where most systems have fricion, the nut and bridge. All other Trems seem better if they reduce string contact points to the nut and bridge, and reduce friction at those points.

    So, IMO, IME, of sub-locking trems, the 'Best' be:
    #1: JM Trem with Mastery
    #2: Bigsby B3/B6/B11 with solid bar or ABM roller bridge
    #3: Two-point strat style
    #4: Bigsby B5 w/ Mastery

    Anyone use a roller nut with these? Seems nerdy, but that would be a pot calling the kettle black...
     
  20. Dan German

    Dan German Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Never got along with Strat trems. Never got along with Floyd Rose or other similar. Liked a Bigsby, but it was not without issues. The Duesenberg Les Trem I put on my Reverend Buckshot has worked perfectly for my purposes.
     
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