#1
I've been thinking about buying a new guitar, perhaps one with a locking tremelo system this time. I've never owned one with a locking tremelo system such as a Floyd Rose; and I, therefore, know little to nothing about working with such as system.

I guess I have three questions:

(1) Once new strings have stretched a bit, how often do strings have to be retuned, as in unlocking the nut and using the tuners to do a retune?

(2) Does a Floyd Rose tremelo system keep the strings in tune that much better than a guitar without a tremelo system? Is there that much difference?

(3) Unless someone is going to use a tremelo system quite a bit, is having one really worth the work of having to unlock and retune occasionally?

I guess these are dumb questions, but I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to tremelo systems cause I simply haven't ever used one that much. Thanks for any help.
And Jesus said, ". . . When you know yourselves, you will understand that you are children of the living God. But if you do not know yourselves, then you live in poverty; and you are the poverty."

Gospel of Thomas,
Chapter 3
#2
Quote by rbmingie
I've been thinking about buying a new guitar, perhaps one with a locking tremelo system this time. I've never owned one with a locking tremelo system such as a Floyd Rose; and I, therefore, know little to nothing about working with such as system.

I guess I have three questions:

(1) Once new strings have stretched a bit, how often do strings have to be retuned, as in unlocking the nut and using the tuners to do a retune? - Pretty much never. Once you've stretched your fresh strings, the fine tuners on the bridge will handle everything

(2) Does a Floyd Rose tremelo system keep the strings in tune that much better than a guitar without a tremelo system? Is there that much difference? Not a lot of difference. Then again on a hardtail guitar, you can't do all this dive-bomb/squealing action

(3) Unless someone is going to use a tremelo system quite a bit, is having one really worth the work of having to unlock and retune occasionally? If you change tunings a lot or aren't confident fiddling with your guitar, then it's not for you. If you're just staying in one tuning all the time or don't mind the 10-20 minutes it could take to re kerjigger your trem, then it'll be fine.

I guess these are dumb questions, but I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to tremelo systems cause I simply haven't ever used one that much. If you've never said to yourself 'Dang, I wish I had a tremolo right now', I don't think you'll really want one. Thanks for any help.


*Tremolo.

I'll give you my list of pros and cons from my experience flapping about with floyd rose systems

Pros:

Epic tuning stability: I've had to set a few up (never owned one, but played on quite a few) and once the bridge itself is set up tensions wise and it's a decent guitar (genuine floyd rose and such), you can pull around on the whammy bar as much as you want and it will stay in tune for a long time.

Crazy tremolo only techniques: I haven't wanted to be able to do all these screamy pulls and dive-bombs, but then I've never owned a guitar with the ability to do so, so I might be missing out on a whole lot of fun :P

Options: If you want, you could block off your tremolo or get a tremol-no and have a hardtail most of the time.

Cons

Changing tunings and setup: Any floating bridge (not just floyd rose) takes time to set up. It's not a difficult thing to do, but if you hop around tunings a lot and only want one or two guitars, it's not gonna be a lot of fun. Unless you get a tremol-no, so you can block of the tremolo to change tunings, but they you lose all that fun while you're in your new tuning
#3
Quote by rbmingie
I've been thinking about buying a new guitar, perhaps one with a locking tremelo system this time. I've never owned one with a locking tremelo system such as a Floyd Rose; and I, therefore, know little to nothing about working with such as system.

I guess I have three questions:

(1) Once new strings have stretched a bit, how often do strings have to be retuned, as in unlocking the nut and using the tuners to do a retune?

(2) Does a Floyd Rose tremelo system keep the strings in tune that much better than a guitar without a tremelo system? Is there that much difference?

(3) Unless someone is going to use a tremelo system quite a bit, is having one really worth the work of having to unlock and retune occasionally?

I guess these are dumb questions, but I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to tremelo systems cause I simply haven't ever used one that much. Thanks for any help.


1) Depends. It depends on how crazily you use the bar, how much you worry about being exactly in tune etc. Not much, anyway.

2) Yes.

3) probably not, but there's a sort of grey area in the middle where it's kind of a judgement call.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#4


(1) Once new strings have stretched a bit, how often do strings have to be retuned, as in unlocking the nut and using the tuners to do a retune? this would vary from guitar to guitar and from player to player.

(2) Does a Floyd Rose tremelo system keep the strings in tune that much better than a guitar without a tremelo system? Is there that much difference? Absolutely not- it's the opposite. The Floyd Rose bridges are in no way superior when it comes to tuning stability than a standard tremolo, such as a Fender. The only advantage of the Floyd, as mentioned above, is for specific crazy tremolo techniques ( see anything by Steve Vai ) which require one.

(3) Unless someone is going to use a tremelo system quite a bit, is having one really worth the work of having to unlock and retune occasionally? Unless you plan on using the tremolo for those dive bombs and upwards pulls that regular tremolos can't actually do, then you should not have a guitar with a floyd since your tuning is going to suffer and they are an extreme hassle to maintain.

You're probably asking these questions because your Floyd equipped guitar is going out of tune all the time, which is unfortunately very common, especially with lower priced versions and if you are not following the required setup steps correctly.
#5
Thanks a lot fellas. The information was quite useful.
And Jesus said, ". . . When you know yourselves, you will understand that you are children of the living God. But if you do not know yourselves, then you live in poverty; and you are the poverty."

Gospel of Thomas,
Chapter 3
#6
Quote by reverb66
(a) Absolutely not- it's the opposite. The Floyd Rose bridges are in no way superior when it comes to tuning stability than a standard tremolo, such as a Fender. The only advantage of the Floyd, as mentioned above, is for specific crazy tremolo techniques ( see anything by Steve Vai ) which require one.

(b) Unless you plan on using the tremolo for those dive bombs and upwards pulls that regular tremolos can't actually do, then you should not have a guitar with a floyd since your tuning is going to suffer and they are an extreme hassle to maintain.


(a) That's just not true. A (good quality, well set-up) double locking tremolo stays in tune better than just about anything else I'm aware of. Now, it's true it's probably overkill if you never use the trem, but that doesn't mean it's not more stable for tuning, either.

(b) No the tuning will be better with a Floyd, especially if you don't do crazy stunts. If it can stay in tune when you go nuts on the bar, it stands to reason it'll stay in tune even better if you don't.

You can also do up-pull on regular trems if they're set up to float.

Don't get me wrong, I agree they're overkill and probably more bother than they're worth if you don't use them (plus sound a bit different and make changing tunings a real pain, though non-locking floating trems aren't much better in that respect), but that doesn't mean all that other stuff you said is true, either.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Aug 25, 2014,
#7
I will chime in and say I only unlock mine to tune it when I change strings. Other than that, it's fine tuners only.
I have 1 floyd guitar and I don't mind it. I usually like the classic stop-tail tune o matic setup, but it's nice to have the floyd there in case i feel like using it. I like the feel of the guitar anyway, so I usually end up playing it the most.
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#8
Quote by rbmingie
(1) Once new strings have stretched a bit, how often do strings have to be retuned, as in unlocking the nut and using the tuners to do a retune?

Not very often. I have to retune (by unlocking the nut) once a month maybe, and I play about an hour a day. The fine tuners on most FR systems make minor retuning easy. If you set up your FR correctly, you should rarely have to unlock the nut to retune, no matter how long/often you play.

(2) Does a Floyd Rose tremelo system keep the strings in tune that much better than a guitar without a tremelo system? Is there that much difference?

Yes! The FR system is designed to stay in tune, despite crazy use of the whammy bar. Historically, with other whammy bar systems, staying in tune after use of the whammy bar was problematic. While the difference is less so than in...say, the '80s, it's still one of the best systems for keeping your guitar in tune.

(3) Unless someone is going to use a tremelo system quite a bit, is having one really worth the work of having to unlock and retune occasionally?

If you're not going to use it a lot, then no. No reason for it, in that case.

So, if you think you won't use it, I'd recommend just buying a guitar with a hardtail bridge.


A few tips:
The FR systems on lower-end guitars (less than $300) are terrible. The material the FR is made out of isn't good quality (which means the metal warps and parts have to be replaced more often). So, if you are going to get a guitar with a FR, then make sure it's $500+ (new). I actually recommend finding a good quality guitar with an FR that is used; you'll save a lot of money that way.

The FR setup thread (https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=614226) is your friend. Use it. Know it. Love it. 90% of questions regarding restringing, setup, intonation, etc. are in that thread.
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at Aug 25, 2014,
#9
Unless you plan on changing your tuning or string gauges, a Floyd actually doesn't require anywhere near as much maintenance as people seem to think. When I put new strings on my FR guitar, I stretch them before locking the nut, then I lock the nut, and it doesn't get touched again until the strings are worn out and I replace them again. I do dive-bombs regularly, almost every time I play, and the guitar almost never comes out of tune even the slightest. And when it does, it's never more than couple cents, which is easily corrected with the fine-tuning screws on the bridge. That's what they're there for.

Also, restringing them isn't as much of a pain as people think, either. You just have to learn how to do it. When I see someone who's screwed up their Floyd (I work in a guitar shop and see it pretty frequently), 100% of the time, it's because they tried to restring it without learning how. It's one of those kinds of things. You're not likely to figure it out on your own, just by messing with it, but if you just take the ten minutes to learn how to do it properly, it's not difficult.

All of that said, I would say that if you don't intend to make frequent use of the whammy techniques that only a double-locking trem is capable of, don't bother with one, if for no other reason than that most FR-equipped guitars are available for about $100 less without one.

Oh yeah, and, like others have said, don't go for a cheap Floyd. Go big or don't. If the bridge says "Licensed by Floyd Rose" on it, it's not even worth the cheap metal it's made of, and should be avoided like the plague.
Last edited by the_bi99man at Aug 25, 2014,
#10
Quote by reverb66


(2) Does a Floyd Rose tremelo system keep the strings in tune that much better than a guitar without a tremelo system? Is there that much difference? Absolutely not- it's the opposite. The Floyd Rose bridges are in no way superior when it comes to tuning stability than a standard tremolo, such as a Fender. The only advantage of the Floyd, as mentioned above, is for specific crazy tremolo techniques ( see anything by Steve Vai ) which require one.



Don't listen to this guy. He clearly doesn't have experience with a Floyd Rose. Or at least not a real one. Floyd Rose bridges have absolutely superior tuning stability compared to a Fender tremolo. That's not even a matter of opinion, that's objective fact, proven by countless tests, over decades. I can pick up a USA Deluxe Fender with locking tuners, and pull it nearly a quarter step out of tune with a bend. With my FR-equipped Schecter Hellraiser, the strings will break before they come more than a few cents out of tune. Floyds (and other good double locking trems, like the Schallers) have better tuning stability than any "traditional" trem system, and even better than some hardtail designs.
#11
Quote by reverb66
(2) Does a Floyd Rose tremelo system keep the strings in tune that much better than a guitar without a tremelo system? Is there that much difference? Absolutely not- it's the opposite. The Floyd Rose bridges are in no way superior when it comes to tuning stability than a standard tremolo, such as a Fender. The only advantage of the Floyd, as mentioned above, is for specific crazy tremolo techniques ( see anything by Steve Vai ) which require one.

You have no fucking clue what you are talking about.
#12
Quote by the_bi99man

Oh yeah, and, like others have said, don't go for a cheap Floyd. Go big or don't. If the bridge says "Licensed by Floyd Rose" on it, it's not even worth the cheap metal it's made of, and should be avoided like the plague.












Also since Floyds are out of patent now I'm not sure any really say "Licensed by Floyd Rose" any more, anyway, whether good or crap quality.


Quote by crazysam23_Atax

A few tips:
The FR systems on lower-end guitars (less than $300) are terrible. The material the FR is made out of isn't good quality (which means the metal warps and parts have to be replaced more often). So, if you are going to get a guitar with a FR, then make sure it's $500+ (new). I actually recommend finding a good quality guitar with an FR that is used; you'll save a lot of money that way.


I'd advise learning what the good double locking tremolos are (OFR, FR Pro, Schaller, Schaller Low Profile, Schaller Lockmeister, Gotoh GE1996T, Ibanez Edge, Lo-Pro Edge and Edge Pro (and possibly ZR and Edge Zero), and even (bottom of the pile, but still ok-ish) FRT-x000) and how to recognise them by sight, rather than relying on guitars' RRPs to decide if a trem will be good or not, since some guitars are better value in some countries than others, plus things like signature models tend to cost more (for example, the jem 555 often costs more than an rg1570, and the 1570 has the far better trem), and even some companies give you more for your money than others. Just so you're not caught out.

Same thing with the going used thing- if the original owner(s) has misused it, its knife edges could be shot etc., so I'm not so sure about buying used for a floyd unless you really know what you're doing (or you get it cheap enough that you can swap it out for another good trem... or swap the knife edges if it's a model with replaceable knife edges (schaller or ibanez edge/lo-pro edge far as i'm aware).

Other than that I agree. I mean I even agree with what you're saying there, just I'm paranoid.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Aug 25, 2014,
#13
Quote by Dave_Mc
Other than that I agree. I mean I even agree with what you're saying there, just I'm paranoid.

Nah, nah, that was all good info.
#14
Quote by rbmingie

I guess I have three questions:

(1) Once new strings have stretched a bit, how often do strings have to be retuned, as in unlocking the nut and using the tuners to do a retune?


Rarely, as in almost never.

Quote by rbmingie
(2) Does a Floyd Rose tremelo system keep the strings in tune that much better than a guitar without a tremelo system? Is there that much difference?


Yup. Yup. I have half a dozen LP type guitars (Gibson and otherwise) with Floyds. Never have to think about retuning. I have a bunch of standard LP type guitars as well. Depending on how well the nut was cut, they can be out of tune regularly. Straight pull guitars are usually a different story; I find that they stay in tune pretty well, but the Floyds are better yet.

Quote by rbmingie
(3) Unless someone is going to use a tremelo system quite a bit, is having one really worth the work of having to unlock and retune occasionally?


You're not going to be unlocking and retuning often enough to call it work. It's a bit slower restringing, but after you learn a trick or two, it can go very quickly too.
#15
^ Yeah pretty much.

Changing tunings is the big hassle with Floyds. If you don't do that (or can use other guitars for different tunings) they're not that much more work. Granted, if you never use them still probably not much point, since they sound a bit different too.

Quote by crazysam23_Atax
Nah, nah, that was all good info.


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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Aug 26, 2014,
#16
I abuse the crap out of my Edge Pro trem which by anyone's standards is one of the better trems out there. It's very rare that I have to actually tune it beyond using the fine tuners. I have had to a couple times though. I am guessing I'm a little harder on it than most. Tuning stability has been great.
#17
I have a 94' Vantage with a patent floyd rose designed system and it won't stay in tune for a mere minute if I even do some bends on it. I don't even use the tremolo. Not sure what the problem is. The strings are not new but not old so they can't be the problem. The guitar is intonated great and all the screws are as tight as can be. I doubt it could be the springs because a few bends couldn't possibly stretch them enough to throw them off that fast. Pretty confusing when I hear how great the are supposed to be regarding staying in tune. So, I would say use the guitar a bit before you buy and make sure it does actually stay in tune like it is supposed to.
#18
Wait, what? Guitars with FR stay in tune better than guitars with a fixed bridge (that was the OPs question, btw)? How is that?
#19
Quote by dthmtl3
Wait, what? Guitars with FR stay in tune better than guitars with a fixed bridge (that was the OPs question, btw)? How is that?



when you do bends and stuff the strings can stick in the nut on a fixed bridge causing it to go flat or sharp , where the nut is locked on a FR and can't stick flat or sharp in the nut
#20
now there is a disadvantage on all trem guitars that fixed bridges don't have ... like when you do string bends on a trem , the trem moves and causes the other strings to go flat

another thing is Trem's doesn't always "return" to the correct position (or it least on my 1986 G&L Rampage with Schaller) , sometimes slightly sharp or flat , I'm used to it so I'm carefull it goes back to neutral , so I can't just do a big dive bomb and it always go back perfect although it does most of the time
#21
Quote by jacqueda
I have a 94' Vantage with a patent floyd rose designed system and it won't stay in tune for a mere minute if I even do some bends on it. I don't even use the tremolo. Not sure what the problem is. The strings are not new but not old so they can't be the problem. The guitar is intonated great and all the screws are as tight as can be. I doubt it could be the springs because a few bends couldn't possibly stretch them enough to throw them off that fast. Pretty confusing when I hear how great the are supposed to be regarding staying in tune. So, I would say use the guitar a bit before you buy and make sure it does actually stay in tune like it is supposed to.


It's probably a crappy floyd knock-off. Real ones don't have that problem, as long as they're set up correctly.
#22
Quote by jacqueda
I have a 94' Vantage with a patent floyd rose designed system and it won't stay in tune for a mere minute if I even do some bends on it. I don't even use the tremolo. Not sure what the problem is.


Often the problem is with the nut;if it's worn or damaged, the strings aren't being clamped as tightly as they need to be.
#23
Quote by the_bi99man
It's probably a crappy floyd knock-off. Real ones don't have that problem, as long as they're set up correctly.


"Crappy" floyd knock-offs are becoming more difficult to find. Even the less expensive guitars are coming with better quality Floyds these days. In part, that's because manufacturers are no longer required to pay licensing fees, so they can build a better Floyd and charge the same money for it. Offshore production lines (particularly Korean ones) have actually been producing OFRs for large manufacturers for years, while producing licensed variants on the same production lines, and the two were identical. These days you have to buy a *really* cheap guitar ($80?) to get a trem bad enough to warrant immediate replacement.
#24
Quote by dspellman
"Crappy" floyd knock-offs are becoming more difficult to find. Even the less expensive guitars are coming with better quality Floyds these days. In part, that's because manufacturers are no longer required to pay licensing fees, so they can build a better Floyd and charge the same money for it.


Indeed they are. I've been quite impressed with the floyd copies I've seen on the modern Jackson JS series, especially considering how ridiculously shitty they used to be.

I suggested that to jacqueda because he said his guitar is a '94. Unless that was part of the model name, rather than a year. I don't know anything about Vantage guitars.