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Old 03-03-2015, 03:02 PM   #1
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Floyd Rose+Les Paul for Metalcore

I'm about to buy a new guitar (LTD 331) - les paul with active pickups and floyd rose.
My question is that floyd rose would be a blessing or a curse. I heard that it can easily go out of tune and tuning this construction is not a second. I mostly play metal, metalcore and other core genres. Opinions?
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Old 03-03-2015, 03:22 PM   #2
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A good quality Floyd Rose bridge that is set up correctly will stay in tune pretty much perfectly.

A Floyd Rose bridge has advantages and disadvantages. They are a lot more time-consuming to set up, drop-tuning on a floyd requires re-adjusting the spring balance which can be time consuming, and adjusting action and intonation on a Floyd can be frustrating.

They also have an issue with tuning up to a note when setting the guitar up. Tuning a string up to pitch makes the bridge dive forward, causing all the other strings to go flat. This means you have to re-tune the guitar many, many times over to get the guitar to settle into tune. This can frustrate beginners.

Similarly, they also have the inherent problem of temporarily going out of tune if you're doing something like a double bend, where two strings are picked at once, but the inner string is bent. The static ringing note will very often go flat because as a string is bent, the bridge dives forwards in an attempt to compensate for the extra tension you've added to the bent string, in the action of bending it. This makes all the other strings go flat, including the static string.

Poor quality Floyd Rose bridges are also to be avoided like the plague, but I believe that the EC331 comes with a Floyd Rose Special. While not a great bridge, it at least has a hardened steel baseplate which is crucial in terms of durability and tuning stability. On cheap Licensed Floyds, the baseplates are made from cheaper metals that wear out quickly, which affects the Floyd's performance significantly.

If you're new to guitar, I generally wouldn't recommend Floyds. They require quite a bit of prior knowledge to set up correctly and as the above suggests, even if you have a lot of prior knowledge, they are still time-consuming. Fixed bridge guitars obviously don't have the functionality of a Floyd Rose, but they have none of the aforementioned drawbacks either. They are far more practical when it comes to droptuning, and they also have a bit of a warmer tone because of a better connection between the strings and the guitar itself.

Floyds are both a blessing and a curse. It just depends on if you're willing to live with the shortcomings of having one, for the sake of their benefits.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE : 03-03-2015 at 03:27 PM.
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Old 03-03-2015, 03:55 PM   #3
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I have at least four LP style guitars with Floyds. Love them, use them all the time.

TOODEEPBLUE is generally on point in his post, so all I want to do is offer some refinements to that. In my experience:

1. A Floyd on an LP will stay in tune better and longer than any non-floyded LP will.
2. You can get around the other strings going flat when you bend by putting more or stronger springs on the thing, but you will give up some fine control (fluttering, etc.). Think '63 Cadillac vs. new Lotus.
3. You will develop techniques for restringing a Floyd that will make things go MUCH faster (as long as you put the same gauge strings back on the guitar) and get you in tune very quickly.
4. You may (as I do) want to put the Floyd Upgrade aftermarket larger heavier brass sustain blocks on your Floyds. It's a cheap thing to try out.

5. If you're going to do metal and you want to use a Floyd, go look at a Line 6 Variax JTV89F. I apologize to all the UG folks who've heard me preach this gospel before, but I just picked up my *second* 89F (backup) in January.
NB: Pricing was $1199, got a 20% discount and a $150 cash rebate (they did this for about four months until the 31st of December). With LA County sales tax, it was actually around $860 and GC was handing out 24-months-same-as-cash financing, so I'll be paying around $40/month.

A Variax will allow you to do internal alternate tunings that you can preset to anything you like (the factory presets downtuning choices on this guitar down to Baritone) right down to an octave in either direction on any single string. Acoustically, the guitar remains tuned to standard. Flip the switch, play the guitar and what comes out of the guitar is the alternate tuning. I don't spend a lot of time doing sludge metal, but I do need to compensate for a singer who can't hit the high notes often enough, and I'm too lazy to relearn all the bits and pieces of the song in the new key. So I play what I learned in standard, flip the switch, and I'm two steps down. You switch to any alternate key in under a second.

Best of all, you get to use the Floyd all you want and you're not playing bridge cables and you're not playing 30" scales, etc.
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Old 03-03-2015, 04:09 PM   #4
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Personally I'd go for the EC-401 with the TOM bridge and stop piece as I've never got on with FR's, a good set of tuners, or locking tuners would help with tuning stability, though the EC-401 should have good enough parts for there to be no/little issues
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Old 03-03-2015, 04:37 PM   #5
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personally id go with a kahler if your not buying one with a floyd standard no sense ruining a perfectly good guitar to play metalcore.
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