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Fri Nov 27, 2020, 10:46 PM

Floyd Rose tremolo - love'em or hate'em

Damn I hate mine. I get so frustrated trying to tune my Ibanez that I have to set it down and walk away. It ends up taking me two or three days to finally finish the job.

When I get it tuned, it doesn’t stay tune. The hole point of this tremolo is that it’s suppose to stay tuned.

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Arrow 12 replies Author Time Post
Reply Floyd Rose tremolo - love'em or hate'em (Original post)
Sewa Nov 2020 OP
mindem Nov 2020 #1
Beakybird Nov 2020 #2
Jarqui Nov 2020 #3
Sewa Nov 2020 #5
Jarqui Nov 2020 #6
Eko Nov 2020 #4
Alacritous Crier Nov 2020 #7
stevil Dec 2020 #8
ProfessorGAC Dec 2020 #9
Iggo Dec 2020 #10
ProfessorGAC Dec 2020 #11
Iggo Dec 2020 #12

Response to Sewa (Original post)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 10:54 PM

1. I'm a banjo player,

the only tremolo I do is when I drink too much coffee.

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Response to Sewa (Original post)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 11:07 PM

2. You should be able to lock it. Defeats the purpose of a tremolo though.

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Response to Sewa (Original post)

Sat Nov 28, 2020, 12:04 AM

3. Spent a fair amount of money putting a Floyd Rose on my Strat

many years ago.
I've just removed it.
It was supposedly the best. I was never completely satisfied.
I like to play in tune most of the time.

I always wanted to play some slide (better than I had done). Research suggested you set up a guitar for it.
A few months ago, I bought a Squire Strat from a pawnbroker that had broken electrical for $45.
I put a Dimarzio Fast Track pickup in the bridge that Sonny Landreth likes. I had a spare Strat pickup for the middle and a hot pickup made in China for the neck. I raised the nut, replaced the pots, shielded it, put on heavier strings, etc. For $170 all in (cheaper than a new Floyd Rose) I wound up with a pretty good slide/jazz guitar.

That's what I'm going to do with the Floyd Rose tremolo I just removed. If I need a tremolo, I'll use a clone with the Floyd Rose for a song, let it wind up out of tune if that's how it has to be and then go back to my more reliable guitars that hold tune.

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Response to Jarqui (Reply #3)

Sat Nov 28, 2020, 01:30 AM

5. I added two springs to the unit

Which helped keep it close to in tune when I remove the blocking device. If it did a better job of staying in tune I wouldn’t hate it.

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Response to Sewa (Reply #5)

Sat Nov 28, 2020, 01:55 AM

6. I did that

and I do that on all the stock Strat tremolos too.
And I screw the bracket holding the other end of the spring deeper towards the neck - particularly for those where I don't intend on playing much tremolo and just want a steadier bridge.

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Response to Sewa (Original post)

Sat Nov 28, 2020, 12:11 AM

4. Are you tuning it right after restringing it?

If not look at the posts, do they have a groove worn in them?

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Response to Sewa (Original post)

Sat Nov 28, 2020, 07:22 AM

7. Floyd Rose Love:Hate

I've used them since they came out. I currently have two guitars with them. They are good for what they are, and there are techniques that are only possible with a decent locking trem. That said, I find music making fine and less frustrating without these techniques. So unless I'm trying to cover some other Floyd Rose player, I just use the hardtails. 😎

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Response to Sewa (Original post)

Tue Dec 8, 2020, 02:12 PM

8. They sound scary

I tried a guitar with a Floyd Rose years ago, not for me. My friend had a MIJ Strat for sale cheap and it had a bottom of the line Kahler with a Schecter locking nut. Interesting production history with that guitar. Not a big fan of the 'ol vibrato bar on guitars but this thing was ALWAYS in tune. Nowadays I just use old school Fender style Vibrato bridges. Hard to find but you might find a nice used guitar with a Kahler on it.

Yeah, I'm that guy.

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Response to Sewa (Original post)

Sat Dec 19, 2020, 08:13 PM

9. Fine By Me

I've got a Strat outfitted with a Mahler, a high end Ibanez with a Rose, & a Strat with the old Fender design vibrato.
I prefer the locking design, but I still use that other Strat. (The first has an ash body with a Birdseye maple neck & fingerboard & Duncan high gain pickups. The second has an alder body, but rosewood fingerboard & Vintage Noiseless P/Us, so they sound very different)

I have no such tuning issues with any of them.

I mostly want the whammy, but I've got a Tele, SG copy (very old Ibanez), Dan Armstrong, & a Schecter C-1 Blackjack for fixed bridge.

The only vibrato I don't like is the one on my Jazzmaster, but I barely ever play that guitar. Too noisy.

Some thoughts:
1. The bridge saddles on your guitar: are any at the end of the throw? That matters a lot.
2. Adding springs don't help if the guitar is slightly out of intonation. It actually doesn't help at all, except that it makes it harder to move the whammy block, so there's less slack & stress.
3. If you really don't want to use the whammy, to get really stable, get a piece of wood, and whittle it to a wedge that can be put behind the knife-edge. This prevents the block from moving at all. The more stable, the better it stays in tune. Ask Les Paul players! (I'm just not a Gibson guy. I like the longer scale, but they are fine guitars)
4. Back to 2, I'm leaning toward an intonation issue. If a Floyd Rose gave everyone the problem you find, people would have quit buying them 40 years ago. Who wants that constant hassle?

If you have the gear, get the intonation correct. If you don't, there are trustworthy guitar techs everywhere. Have them do it.

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Response to Sewa (Original post)

Fri Dec 25, 2020, 06:49 PM

10. Hate. Them. (Hated them and never got over it, to be clear.)

I did most of my early guitar familiarization in the eighties, and Floyd Roses sucked all kinda balls back then. Avoided them like the plague ever since. They might be great now, for all I know, but the bad taste never left me.

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Response to Iggo (Reply #10)

Fri Dec 25, 2020, 09:04 PM

11. Different Strokes

I couldn't live without mine.
There are times I really want a fixed bridge, and I can live with a Strat style bridge, but for the way I play the locking vibrato is a must.
But, there are thousand of Tele and Gibson players who don't want or need them.
So, I think it's strictly a matter of style.

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Response to ProfessorGAC (Reply #11)

Sat Dec 26, 2020, 12:14 AM

12. Yeah, I'm from the Jake E Lee school now.

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