The people at Freelock ( www.freelok.com
) have kindly given me one of their products to install, use and review.
Here is what you get when you buy one.
Notice the very indepth instruction sheet. ( two sides )
Brass block for mounting to the guitar body
Steel rod slider.
Brass plate for mounting to the trem.
3 brass mounting screws
2 brass hex head screws for trem mounting plate ( 1 is spare)
1 hex allan key
1 color instruction sheet.
This is designed to fit any guitar with any trem, floating or not. By turning the screw knob it locks the trem from moving allowing you to change tuning or just enjoy the benfits of a fixed bridge setup. It took less than 10 minutes to install. The locking knob does protrude slightly off the back of the guitar. You will have to cut a hole in the backplate cover or leave it off. I opted to leave it off for now. It however, does not stck out far enough to become a problem. The instructions do call you to make sure the trem is level and setup before installing. Also they do not
recommend having the springs set in slanted manner. I.E. "/|\" . you have to have it "|||". This is beacuse the brass block will rub against the springs possibley binding them. It also calls for some graphite grease, the kind you use for key locks. This was not included.
I choose to install this on my RG7420 with a TRS Floating trem. Due to it's size I was able to leave one spring slanted ( my preference) and it did not affect operation in any way.
Here is the finished installation.
After using this for one week here are my thoughts.
I do like that the parts are machined perfectly and are pretty heavy. I did notice the whole guitar became more alive. This is because vibration of the strings now has a solid route from the trem to the body. ( I am a frim beliver that more mass on a guitar only helps add mojo)
Trem operation with it unlocked remains the same. Only flutter effects with the trem are kinda less pronounced.
With the freelok in the locked position I can have the guitar as a hardtail. This is a much better way then blocking the trem because no other adjustments to your trem are needed. Once you find a perfect setting for it unnlocked the freelok does not alter that.
Example. In less than 30 seconds with a tuner; went from floating to locked, loosened the string locks at the nut, changed tuning from BEADGBE to ADADGBE perfectly. Took the same amount of time to change everything back to standard and free floating!
Very little tension is needed on the knob to lock this downn , even with the added pull of a sevenstring. A testament to the machining of the parts.
This sells for 50.00 and is well worth the price for all the added benifits.
I am very happy with this new option!
What I'd like to see:
Could a unit be made that also acts as a tremstabilizer and a lock? Could the knob be made a little smaller to pretrude less from the back? Can a small amount of the graphite grease be included with the procduct?