#1
curiosity is getting the better of me at the moment, yesterday i was playing my buddy's Jackson and he's got an actual Floyd Rose bridge whereas my Jackson has the Jackson licensed under Floyd Rose bridge.

As far as playability i find them to be pretty much identical, so this is where my curiosity sets in....

What is the difference between the two? is it worth it to upgrade to a legitimate Floyd Rose bridge?

What are your thoughts and preferences between the two?
#2
OFRs (Original Floyd Rose) were, once upon a time, produced by the German manufacturer Schaller. When Floyd Rose still owned the patent on the Floyd Rose bridge, everything NOT made and sold by Floyd Rose was called a Licensed Floyd Rose. Those "licensed" bridges were sometimes actually better than the OFR, sometimes made of cheap pot metal. Virtually all fulcrum-based double locking bridges had to be licensed through Floyd Rose. At some point the Koreans got so good at making licensed Floyd Rose bridges that Floyd Rose itself was having them build Original Floyd Rose bridges for the high volume OEM bunch (such as Gibson and Fender, etc.) at two different production lines. Meanwhile, the Koreans kept producing licensed Floyd Rose bridges on the same production lines, and you could get those for half the price of the ORiginals.

The patent has run out.

Nobody needs to license anything any more.

So now Floyd Rose sells the Floyd Rose Original (the FRO, not the OFR), which is back to being the Schaller version. Floyd Rose for a while actually called THOSE the OFR as well, but reserved those for the small manufacturer and aftermarket bubble packs. They also sell the old OEM Korean version under a different name and then they sell what would have been a "licensed" version, back in the old days, under yet another product designation.

Other manufacturers no longer have to identify their bridges as Floyd Rose, nor do they have to pay a licensing fee. Some produce better quality bridges than Floyd Rose does, some aren't quite as good. Very wide range.

Generally speaking, it's no longer necessary or worth it to switch (don't use the word "upgrade") to a bridge that Floyd Rose sells unless you have a really cheap version and you want an FRO from Germany. At that point, however, you might just as well buy the version that Schaller makes directly. A lot of premium guitar manufacturers think that the Gotoh version is actually the best of the lot.

If your Floyd Rose bridge is working well, leave it alone. You might want to tack on one of the aftermarket brass sustain blocks (some are bigger and heavier than some of the pot metal originals) and see what you think of the tone and sustain differences. Other than that, replace only when absolutely necessary.
#3
interesting, that's pretty much exactly what i wanted to know, is there a way i can figure out whether or not i have a cheap one?

in my case i'm going to assume i have a decent quality one at the very least based on my Jackson being Japan made as well as how nice it is as far as sustain, tone and playability goes when compared to an actual Floyd Rose
#4
Quote by DaCanadaGuy
interesting, that's pretty much exactly what i wanted to know, is there a way i can figure out whether or not i have a cheap one?

in my case i'm going to assume i have a decent quality one at the very least based on my Jackson being Japan made as well as how nice it is as far as sustain, tone and playability goes when compared to an actual Floyd Rose


Aside from running metallurgy tests, no.

Honestly, I have a cheap one on a guitar from 1992 that's been going strong; I haven't killed it yet, but I have a nice new shiny expensive one in a bubble pack ready to replace it should the time come. I bought the bridge about six years ago. Best advice on any "Floyd:" If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

And stop calling them "actual" Floyd Roses. Remember that some of the non-official versions can actually be better quality than the official versions. But they're all "actual."
#5
I actually have had the best luck with the Floyd Rose 1000 series over the one from Germany
'93 Gibson LP Studio (498T/490R)-Ebony
'14 Gibson LP Standard (JB/Jazz)-Ocean Water Perimeter
Epi MKH LP Custom-7 (SD Custom Shop JB-7)-Ebony
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Maxon od808|Boss NS-2|Boss CE-5|
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JVM 210h|1960a(V30/G12t-75)
#7
I may need to replace the bridge on my DK2M. The strings have worn groves in the saddles and now the higher strings sometimes slip out of the bridge regardless of how tight I put them in.

I just have to figure out which ones will fight if that's an issue.

Jackson RR3 Rhoads and DK2M Dinky
Peavey 6505+ w/ Avatar 212 cab
Ibanez TS9, ISP Decimator, MXR 10 Band EQ
-Digitech RP1000
#8
Quote by dspellman
Aside from running metallurgy tests, no.


^Bullseye! This is what it really comes down to, in the end. The higher-end versions (the Schaller) did a better heat-treatment of the metal; particularly at the knife-edges, where it makes the most difference. Bad heat treatment meant softer metal in some of the less expensive "Licensed by Floyd Rose" versions, which made the tremolo wear out too fast. As a result, all of the "Licensed By" versions ended up (unfairly) with a bad rap. If you shell out the extra cash for a Schaller-made version, you can be pretty sure that the metal is properly heat treated. I suspect that plenty of the "Licensed By" versions do a proper job on their products these days. The other thing with the Schaller is that when it comes to Chrome, Nickel or Gold plating, they often do a better job; particularly with really small parts. The Germans are almost maniacal about attention to detail and QC, and it shows. But you will pay extra for it.

The reason you still see "Licensed by Floyd Rose" on a lot of these other versions is that the thing is universally known as a "Floyd Rose Tremolo." While the patent has expired, Floyd was smart enough to Trade Mark his name, and that Trade Mark will last until long after he is dead and buried. So if you want to use the name "Floyd Rose," you have to work out a deal with the person or company who holds the Trade Mark. I guess these other companies figure it is worth the bucks to be allowed to put the name on their product.

One thing about the metallurgy: Floyd Rose has evidently contracted with some high-tech metal manufacturer of guitar parts called TiSonix to produce a Titanium version of the Floyd Rose tremolo. With a Schaller Floyd selling for about US$250.00, I hate to think about how much this space-age version must cost. I wonder how well it plays?

EDIT: Holy crap!!! I just looked it up. It sells for US$900.00!!! And it lists for almost $1,200.00!!!
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
Last edited by FatalGear41 at Oct 31, 2013,
#10
The Jackson I bought in the mid-nineties had a Licensed FR on it. It didn't last very long, but that was with extensive use. If you don't use it much of course it will last longer. I try and stick with Floyd Rose Original if I can, and have heard good things about the 1000 series.
#11
i love being curious sometimes, this thread really has completely changed my opinion about the "licensed" bridges, and it really is nice to know that even though they market cheaper, they are for the most part, generally as quality as the originals, and especially good to know that i won't have to be knee deep in the price when it comes time to replace it

EDIT: of course all that being said, i'll probably be swapping out the whammy bar for one with the metal pin in it instead of the plastic ring insert deal
Last edited by DaCanadaGuy at Nov 3, 2013,
#12
Quote by DaCanadaGuy
i love being curious sometimes, this thread really has completely changed my opinion about the "licensed" bridges, and it really is nice to know that even though they market cheaper, they are for the most part, generally as quality as the originals, and especially good to know that i won't have to be knee deep in the price when it comes time to replace it

EDIT: of course all that being said, i'll probably be swapping out the whammy bar for one with the metal pin in it instead of the plastic ring insert deal


So, you're not getting the $900.00 titanium Floyd?

Damn! I was hoping for a review!
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#13
Quote by FatalGear41
So, you're not getting the $900.00 titanium Floyd?

Damn! I was hoping for a review!

if i ever decide to i'll let you know, but given the information here i don't see a reason to spend $200 more than my guitar retails for to try that out lol