Licensed Floyd Rose - Replace base plate or invest in new Original FR?

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by Gnarcade, Oct 29, 2019.

  1. Gnarcade

    Gnarcade SS.org Regular

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    A little while ago I picked up one of the early 2000s reissue Kramers for dirt cheap. I think its an FR424. I fell in love with Locking Trems over the last year or so, and thought this would be a nice way to pick up a second guitar that I could keep in an alternate tuning.

    I brought it to my tech and he was going to install new pickups, electronics, noiseless springs, and a brass sustain block on the bridge. Unfortunately he ran into an unexpected problem during setup - some of the saddle adjustment holes are stripped on the base plate, so it wont hold intonation. I have two options at this point that I am trying to weigh out - For about 50 bucks he can replace the base-plate with a hardened steel version, or for about 180 he can put in a whole new Original Floyd Rose.

    I have done some research but am still feeling somewhat stuck. I am curious what others might do in this situation and why?
     
  2. Strobe

    Strobe SS.org Regular

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    I would replace the Floyd overall. It's a pretty big difference in feel going from a cheap floyd to one of the higher quality versions. You will have less metallurgy related problems with it as well.
     
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  3. Gnarcade

    Gnarcade SS.org Regular

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    The difference in feel is a big decider for me, so I think I've decided to bite the bullet and just do it.

    I would be curious to hear a bit more about potential metallurgy issues that could arise. I never really thought about that side of it, but it does make sense that you might run into issues when mixing materials.
     
  4. Strobe

    Strobe SS.org Regular

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    I should have been more clear. Metallurgy issues is not a complex thing. It's just how the unit wears out, and how quickly it does it. It is actually things like the issue you saw. The cheaper Floyds are typically softer metals. Things like stripped holes, bending parts, and wear a bigger issue with the softer metals. The knife edge that rests on the posts can wear down as well which affects the smoothness and how it sits on the posts in complex ways.
     
  5. Gnarcade

    Gnarcade SS.org Regular

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    Ah! That makes sense. I was jumping to a bit of a conclusion I suppose - I've just heard about corrosion and the like when two different metal materials sit against one another over time. I just assumed "Ah, it must be SCIENCE!" Lol but that explanation is a lot clearer. Thanks!
     
  6. Omzig

    Omzig SS.org Regular

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    If your going to go for the higher cost option and replace the lot id strongly suggest looking at using a Gotoh Floyd Rose Licensed Bridge

    these are much better qualitiy that the New OFR's,also the push in arm's don't suffer from the collar type's bar slopp where the arm still moves a hair before engaging even the collar fully locked down.

    there about $130 on amazon.....

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Adieu

    Adieu SS.org Regular

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    Probably go Gotoh or something

    OFR still suffers from "metallurgy problems" too, the bolts that press in the locking blocks can sometimes get effed up... and the blocks themselves are pretty dodgy unless you spring for more money again and buy the titanium upgrade blocks
     
  8. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    The problem is, the general guitar buying public is just so bad at working on their trems that they have to compromise.

    If they shipped everything with stainless hardware and hardened/titanium locking blocks folks would destroy their bridges.

    It's better to replace locking blocks and locking bolts ever so often vs cracking saddles and breaking strings every change.

    The upgrades are for folks who know what they're doing and don't wrench down on everything.

    Nothing on these things needs to be more than tightened to the point of no movement. If you're using the long end of a hex key for leverage, you're doing it wrong. :lol:

    I've already had to deal with a couple of guitars with those "1500" series KFRs that comes with stainless hardware. They're great at letting newer folks destroy locking blocks and nuts.

    Hey @Gnarcade , grab the Gotoh 1996T. Great unit. Probably the best you can buy outside of those crazy bomb proof Hantug and ABM units. Schaller Lockmiesters are looking great too, pricier than the Gotoh, but cheaper than the Hantug and ABM, it comes in cool colors too if that's your thing.

    Honestly, if you're looking to save some cash, Stratosphere has some great deals on 1000 series Floyd Rose (I call them "KFR") units and they'd still definitely be an upgrade from the junky LFR that came on those Kramers.
     
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  9. Gnarcade

    Gnarcade SS.org Regular

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    Yeesh! Do people really not realize that they don't need that much pressure!? That's crazy to think you would crank down on it so hard that it might snap.

    Thanks to everyone for the suggestions!! I may have jumped the gun a little yesterday, as i went ahead and had the tech place the order for the OFR before receiving your recommendations to check out the Gotoh. Oh well, I am gonna try to stay positive and trust that it will have been a solid move :agreed:

    I will say that this project has taught me an important lesson. Its tempting as hell to snap up a cheap but well made guitar under guise that you can modify it into something more substantial and high quality. Once all is said and done, the monetary investment I will have ended up making to do will be surprisingly significant. In the future I think I will be better off saving up and going for something that's already where I want it to be.

    Its funny, I've heard plenty of people share that same lesson in different ways, but I guess I just had to try it for myself to be convinced.
     
  10. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    You'll be totally happy with the OFR. Don't let us nerds ruin it for you. :yesway:
     
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  11. fproject

    fproject Active Member

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    Not if you get the German made Floyds (Original Floyd on their site). You can upgrade to brass when you order direct.
    They make a solid product.
     
  12. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

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    This is especially true if you have to pay others to perform the work. It's less of am impact, and a great way to learn and save money long-term, if you can do it yourself, are OK buying used parts, and have another guitar to play so you can take your time and wait for deals.
     
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  13. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician SS.org Regular

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    Ok Ok Ok I need everyone here to stop attacking me about how tightly I tighten the bridge screws. I thought this was a friendly place.
     
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  14. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    If anythings being attacked it's your poor lock blocks. Monster. :(
     
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  15. Adieu

    Adieu SS.org Regular

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    They don't snap, they "indent"

    Once indented, they slip until cranked further down, and deform if you do

    Blocks as in the cube-ish things that press into your string

    The sustain block I thought was automatically brass on OFR???
     
  16. fproject

    fproject Active Member

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    Never had issues with the string blocks, even on the cheaper ones.

    The trem block, where the springs attach, are not brass by default with genuine Floyd Rose tremolos. You have to specify it as an option unless you get the "Hot Rod" or "1984"
     
  17. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    The FRT100 "Original Floyd Rose" ships with a nickel plated brass block standard.

    They haven't come with steel or zinc in years.

    The 1984 and Hot Rod come with the "upgrade" "Fat Brass" blocks.
     
  18. fproject

    fproject Active Member

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    The original blocks are lightweight and small and I have replaced a few recently. Are you sure?

    There is absolutely no mention of brass on their site:
    https://floydrose.com/products/frto?variant=29837625426

    This is the standard block (no mention on brass - it could be a similar alloy though):
    https://floydrose.com/products/frotb?variant=29837587282
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2019
  19. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Yes. Next time you change strings, remove the block and look through the screw holes for baseplate attachment, the nickel plating is thin enough that it usually breaks off the threads, so you should see brass.

    You could always file away some of the nickel coating, it's not going to hurt anything really.

    There are many alloys of brass, some lighter some heavier.

    Schaller going back to brass (and not having shitty finishes and cheap screws) is why Suhr went back to them.
     
  20. fproject

    fproject Active Member

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    Well, its definitely not the same as their brass blocks from what I can tell. If they don't call it brass, I'm not going to make the assumption that they are.
     

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