[Discussion] How to know if we need a Floyd Rose Guitar?

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by Rykilla, Jan 30, 2021.

  1. Shask

    Shask SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    5,246
    Likes Received:
    1,948
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2011
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    When all the guitars you want only come with a Floyd. lol.

    I love Floyds. I have had them for years. When they fell out of fashion 10 years ago or so I bought some hardtail hipshot style guitars like all the rage around here, and for the most part they feel naked and restrictive to me. I have went back full circle the last few years. I think 7 of my 12 guitars currently have Floyds.

    I can't really tell you why I like them. They just feel right to me. One reason is because Pantera, lol. That is what I grew up learning. Also, when I was younger and learning, the guitars you bought were the reject cheap used stuff in pawn shops leftover from the 80's, so everything was a Superstrat with a Floyd. That is just what I grew up playing, and what just feels right to me. I think in general, what feels natural to people, is what they learned to play on. If someones first guitar was a Les Paul, then that is probably what they prefer today.

    I don't find guitars with Floyds to be that much more work. They take a lot of work for the first initial setup of your preferences and tuning and string gauge and such, but after that they are rock solid. I don't have to touch the tuning for months, where my hardtails require fiddling every 30 minutes. It is true that you need multiple guitars for different tunings though. I have never really understood the idea that people say they want to change their tunings all the time. All of my guitars are in different tunings, and each has a string gauge that is specific to that guitar. I have a spreadsheet of tunings and string gauges.
     
    Nlelith, watson503, groverj3 and 2 others like this.
  2. Crash Dandicoot

    Crash Dandicoot » Supra-ise!

    Messages:
    961
    Likes Received:
    1,452
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2010
    Location:
    Alberta
    I'm at the point where I won't buy a guitar unless it has a tremolo, specifically a Floyd (if I can help it). As with most young guitarists I didn't understand the principals of how they operated and was put off for a few years until I sat down and forced myself to figure it out. I took a look at Rich's guide on ibanezrules, ran with it and never looked back.

    I like how they work, I love the ingenuity that went into their conception, I love the tuning stability with ludicrous trem fuckery and I love how many different versions there are that account for small but important preferences on a per player basis (the quality variants, mind you. You buy a cheap Floyd, you get a cheap Floyd.)

    In a worst case scenario you can block it and have a guitar with a comfortable bridge, extremely well designed nut and rock solid tuning stability with the advantage of fine tuner adjustment - and of course the option to go dive only or full floating when the curiosity eventually strikes.

    Get a Floyd. They've maintained a massive presence and marketshare since the early 80s for a reason.

    This post has been sponsored by the Floyd Rose 2021 Awareness Campaign.
     
  3. USMarine75

    USMarine75 The man who is tired of the anus is tired of life Contributor

    Messages:
    7,910
    Likes Received:
    9,091
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2010
    Location:
    VA
    Regarding trems... I own Floyd, Ibanez, Kahler, EBMM, Wilkinson. Gotoh, Vibrola, Bigsby, G&L, Fender, Jazzmaster/Jaguar, etc.

    They're all good depending on what you're trying to play.

    My advice is figure out what you can live with or without. If you're not Kerry King then you dont need a Floyd.

    As a primer... 2 post knife edge trems are the best for abuse. The reset to zero on these is the best. They come in dive only (flat against body, see EVH) or fully floating. EVH only used his for dive effects, vs Brad Gillis, Vai, or Satriani that do a lot of pulling up, flutter, etc. Beck does flutter/vibrato/sliding in and out of notes which doesnt take a heavy toll on the tuning. As for weaknesses some will say the tone is different/brighter but I disagree... I think they sound just as good. Chords dont stay in tune when you bend either, whereas Jaguar/Jazzmaster or Bigsby trems are better for that.

    You should check out guitars with Wilkinsons/Gotohs like Charvel, Suhr, Tom Anderson, or modern Fender (has a Fender version) if they are in your price range. They have vintage but 2 post (instead of the old fender 6 screw) which are a fantastic compromise. They can be flat or floating (set at an angle or slightly recessed).

    You should go to a guitar store and spend a couple hours wanking away on guitars with Floyd and modern vintage (Wilkinson, Gotoh) to see what works for you. My personal favs are Ibanez Edge and FR for the heavy wanking. For most though I prefer raised Wilkinson style, since I use it mostly for single note or chord vibrato and sliding in/out (glissando?).
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2021
    Masoo2 and Rykilla like this.
  4. odibrom

    odibrom .

    Messages:
    5,154
    Likes Received:
    3,048
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2014
    Location:
    ... perto de onde a terra acaba e o mar começa...
    I've also done that, and removing a neck with strings on leaving the floyd rose in the guitar's body and even removing both neck and floyd rose out of the way do crazy shit in the guitar electronic and a day later place them back and not having to retune the guitar. it was in perfect pitch... Imagine that, remove a neck and bridge with strings still on, and mount them back in the guitar and BANG!, guitar is in tune!...

    ...

    Nevertheless, I've been playing with floyd rose for more than 20 years. Yeah, I have a few guitars with fixed bridge and I like them a lot, but somehow, they always feel like there's something missing.

    In order for one to know if it works, one will have to try them out. One thing is for sure, if one's trem use results in out-of-tune strings, then maybe it's time for a floyd rose. The floyd rose use is almost trade marketed for heavy squeals and dives, but one doesn't need to do that to like the use of a full floating trem. It is an expression tool, not a shrine of technique worship or despair. One only knows what his experience teaches in these matters, so enough words and go check one out...
     
    Matt08642 and Rykilla like this.
  5. groverj3

    groverj3 Bioinformagician

    Messages:
    3,025
    Likes Received:
    1,628
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    All of my guitars have floyds, I don't abuse the trem like crazy but I like the tuning stability and knowing that I have the whammy bar there when I feel so inclined. I never want to change tunings on a guitar anyway, because they have string gauges specific to that tuning, and it screws up your intonation to change tunings. I find that irritating. Plus, it's an excuse to buy more guitars.

    It probably adds 10 minutes to string changes if you know the tricks. The only reason this takes me a long time to do is because I'm lazy and not in a hurry.

    It's pretty critical to stretch the strings out before locking down. Otherwise they're going to move on you after locking them. Just give them a good yank.

    My Process:
    When changing strings use a AA battery to block the trem under the string lock screws inside the route. It's almost exactly the right size to keep the bridge level. Then, when tuned, stretch the strings by yanking on them from the mid-fretboard area, retune, take out the battery, and retune once more, lock down, fine-tune, done.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2021
    Millul, Rykilla and odibrom like this.
  6. Forkface

    Forkface Feast on this.

    Messages:
    1,443
    Likes Received:
    471
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2012
    Location:
    Mexico City
    i got a Schecter CS with a floyd a while ago. Used it for a while, didnt like it. now the things been blocked for like 16 months with no intention of unblocking it.
    On top of that, i dont particularly like how the fine tuners feel under my hand while palm muting and stuff (maybe im doin it wrong, maybe im just too used to fixed bridges).

    in any case, i wont be buyin a floyd again. (i got one more floyded guitar just because LTD Ouija lol, but that guitar is mostly décor than anything else).
     
    Rykilla likes this.
  7. odibrom

    odibrom .

    Messages:
    5,154
    Likes Received:
    3,048
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2014
    Location:
    ... perto de onde a terra acaba e o mar começa...
    +1 to THIS. AA batteries fit that bill perfectly. Before locking the nut, however, I'll go a bit sideways, I'll remove the battery first, play for a pit, do some dives and extrem pulls, then a rough retune, lock the nut fine tune and I'm done.

    Also, it's worth to mention that all my Floyd Roses are Ibanez branded LoPro Edges, which means that they're fush with the strings and have no prominent parts to mess with the palm muting hand. I only played with "regular" FRs a couple of times and they feel different there.

    Regarding a FR compared to a strat style trem, I feel the FRs are way more precise, specially on the small pitch changes for vibratos FXs and that stuff.
     
    Matt08642, Rykilla and groverj3 like this.
  8. ixlramp

    ixlramp SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    2,812
    Likes Received:
    1,593
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    But they cannot do that with tuning stability.
    Provide tuning stability for large or small tremolo motion.

    Non double-locking trems are old fashioned and inferior-functioning 1960s technology. It is absolutely fine if people like that and can live with less tuning stability but it should be made clear.
     
  9. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    5,425
    Likes Received:
    7,885
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2010
    Location:
    Near San Francisco
    ...and a Floyd rose is 1970's technology. I don't think age-of-technology has much to do with something that's not computer controlled (aside from advancements in metalurgy, etc). A Floyd is literally just a 2-point trem with screw clamps on each end.
     
    Rykilla likes this.
  10. Rosal76

    Rosal76 SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    2,046
    Likes Received:
    934
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL.
    I can't be 100% sure but I think Floyd Rose tremolos are the only bridges which you can install EVH D-Tunas on. I'm sure you already know what they do but if you don't, here's a description from the internet.

    D-Tuna! The exclusive patented invention from Eddie Van Halen. And it's available to you right now. If you haven't heard about the D-Tuna, here's the scoop: It's an ingenious device that lets a player drop from E down to D and back again on a locking tremolo without the hassle of clamping and unclamping the nut.

    Obviously, if you never intend to drop D your guitar in a hurry, then D-Tunas would be useless to you.
     
    Rykilla likes this.
  11. Mboogie7

    Mboogie7 SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    191
    Likes Received:
    222
    Joined:
    May 12, 2016
    Location:
    Iowa
    without looking this up for myself (yet) can the D-Tuna be applied to a 7string Floyd? a-Tuna?
     
    Rykilla likes this.
  12. groverj3

    groverj3 Bioinformagician

    Messages:
    3,025
    Likes Received:
    1,628
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    I see no reason why not.
     
    Rykilla likes this.
  13. groverj3

    groverj3 Bioinformagician

    Messages:
    3,025
    Likes Received:
    1,628
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Yes, agreed on the comparison to a strat style trem.

    I've always wondered about those who say that the fine tuners sticking up interferes with their picking hand... how the hell are they picking? The main part of my hand kind of hovers over the saddles, nowhere near the fine tuners. This isn't just an adjustment to learning on Floyds either. My first guitar was a strat with a vintage 6 screw trem, and then a low pro style trem. I still never have had this "running into the fine tuners" issue.
     
  14. odibrom

    odibrom .

    Messages:
    5,154
    Likes Received:
    3,048
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2014
    Location:
    ... perto de onde a terra acaba e o mar começa...
    When one is doing precise chugging or picking, it really isn't a problem at all, I position my hand like you also, right there where the string begins. However, when strumming in a punk rock fashion, it might be cumbersome and obstructive for a more loose hand movement if one is not used to having anything over the string's height. The LoPro style FRs are clean there... however, this is al all things, the habit makes the monk...
     
    Rykilla and groverj3 like this.
  15. BornToLooze

    BornToLooze SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    2,305
    Likes Received:
    1,212
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    Location:
    TX
    What's funny, since you mentioned Pantera and Les Pauls, my first guitar was a Strat copy that I broke the bridge on trying to be EVH, and my next one was a Washburn Idol. And when I got into Pantera, I took my mix of knowledge from the old country dudes my dad played with, and the less than great tutorials from when Youtube was just funny dog videos, and figured out how to whammy without a whammy bar. And it wasn't until later on that I got into Jake E Lee and realized I was doing some of the same shit he was.

    To bend a note higher than normal, you bend the string up, then grab it with your picking hand and you can bend the shit out of it, and to dime squeal, you hit a harmonic, bend the neck and catch a different harmonic when you unbend it and bend the shit out of it behind the nut.



    They make basically same thing but completely different for hardtails, a Hipshot Xtender.

    [​IMG]
     
    Rykilla, odibrom and USMarine75 like this.
  16. Shask

    Shask SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    5,246
    Likes Received:
    1,948
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2011
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    Yeah, I never really get that either. My hand kind of hovers over the bridge pickup, with the edge of my hand laying right on that top Floyd post bolt. My hand is like an inch away from the fine tuners. When I am just strumming hard, my hand tends to be more in between the pickups.

    However, I tend to be the type that plants the corner of my hand on the body and pick with my wrist. I know some people shake their whole around around from their elbow. I know Jeff Hanneman played like that.
     
    Millul and Rykilla like this.
  17. USMarine75

    USMarine75 The man who is tired of the anus is tired of life Contributor

    Messages:
    7,910
    Likes Received:
    9,091
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2010
    Location:
    VA


    2:40-2:45 PG does the bending up trick by pulling with the picking hand on the string being fretted - in this case a repeated hammer on pull off.

    The other three tricks to bend strings with fixed bridges:
    • Bend string behind the nut
    • Bend string with pick edge between saddlebar and tailpiece (obv doesnt work on wraparound bridge)
    • Grab neck near headstock and slight pressure either way to bend up or down about a 1/4 to 1/2 step or for slight vibrato.

    And I have that hip shot xtender on one of my guitars they work great. I've been thinking about putting it on more guitars.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2021
    Rykilla likes this.
  18. mastapimp

    mastapimp SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    757
    Likes Received:
    1,126
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2011
    Location:
    FL
    The D Tuna works when your floyd is set up to not pull back. If it's floating and you flip the switch, the springs will pull further and everything will go sharp on the other 5 strings. I've seen some discussions on other forums of users trying to get this working on a fully floating trem, but they've ended up modifying other things in the springs cavity like adding stabilizers or tremol-nos.
     
    odibrom likes this.
  19. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

    Messages:
    8,710
    Likes Received:
    5,835
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Gatineau, Quebec
    So much support for the floyd, but I'm gonna vote don't do it if you're not convinced you want to. I've got guitars with floyds, with some ibanez trems, strat style trems, etc.... and I've got most of them blocked and the arms sit on a shelf somewhere. The option is cool when you want to use it but if you never use it then there are no benefits. You're just left with all the downsides - the potential tuning instability, the need to use an extra tool to do anything more than fine-tuning, the extra moving parts that can break down or make noise or be lost etc.
     
    Rykilla, stevexc and odibrom like this.
  20. BornToLooze

    BornToLooze SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    2,305
    Likes Received:
    1,212
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    Location:
    TX
    I kinda stole Ted Nugent's version of that. If I remember right, his guitars have the trapeze tailpiece, so there's a bit of space between the tailpiece and the bridge. I was playing a Gretsch I was trying to sell for my dad, and I would use my palm between them to add some vibrato to chords, because God forbid I use the Bigsby for that.
     
    Rykilla and USMarine75 like this.

Share This Page