Floyd Rose Substitutes?

Which would you choose?

  • Original Floyd Rose

    Votes: 31 79.5%
  • Other (Please Specify)

    Votes: 8 20.5%

  • Total voters
    39

skhan007

Supporting Member
Messages
9,212
I was interested in who is making a locking trem that eliminates the headaches associated with Floyds. Having several Floyd guitars currently, I'll admit that when dialed-in and set up, they are phenomenal. But the time it takes to get them right, intonated, let alone the time it takes to change strings (including cutting off the ball-end) is SOOOOOOO time consuming.

I came across these Sophia trems recently and think they look like they've solved all the problems. They are so pricey however:

https://www.thegearpage.net/board/i...a-tremolo-solutions-anyone-using-one.1896606/

Curious if you all have found any Floyd substitutes you're happy with or if you'd advise to just stick with the original Floyd Rose and deal with the "hassles" that come with it.
 

CaliCaveMan

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,535
If you have any guitars with a two post trem like a gotoh 510, Wilkinson makes a new trem that locks the strings at the saddle. It works wonderfully. Behaves very close to a floyd and a lot easier to deal with and take care of in my opinion. I have also used the saddles only on a 6 screw bridge. Works killer.

 
Messages
1,644
Schaller has trems that drop into Floyd spacing but function like strat ones. 2 posts and regular bent saddles or blocks. No fine tuners, tho. So you gotta have to work with the locking nut
 

apeekaboo

Member
Messages
807
Intonation, adjusting claw and the string height is a one time adjustment on a Floyd. Unless you change string type/gauge at every string change? Replace your strings with what's already on there and you should be golden.

I replace one string at a time and tune that up, which keeps all the other strings in tune. After this, all you have to compensate for is string stretch. Easy peasy when you consider I only have to make small adjustments every third month, usually enough to make with the fine tuners.
 

Rocco Crocco

Member
Messages
1,364
Floyds are not a headache once you learn how to deal with them. Set it up and you won't have to do it again unless you change string gauge.

I don't have a problem with changing strings either. If you have a sharp pair if cutters (less than $10 on Amazon), removing the ball end takes one second. Wedge a popsicle stick under the trem so it doesn't recess into the body, take the old strings off, clean the guitar, and the new stings on. It takes maybe 5 minutes more than changing strings on a regular bridge.

That said, the Wilkenson 510 is very easy to deal with, and a locking version sounds like it is a good product.
 

Dominik

Member
Messages
520
Stick with the Floyds.
I have to say the Lo-Pro Edge on my Ibanez JPM is the nicest Floyd variant I've used.
I agree the Lo-Pro Edge is the best version of the Floyd. There is a lower profile Floyd Pro model made in Germany by Schaller but it has the narrow string spacing (.400). Floyd now offers a Pro model with the original string spacing but it's made in Korea while the Lo-Pro Edge is made for Ibanez in Japan by Gotoh.

In my experience the only weak point are those little button head screws for saddle intonation which can be easily stripped. In the event you did completely strip one you'd probably need a screw extractor to get it out. Floyds use socket head cap screws that take a larger driver which allows for more torque before stripping however you can always source screws made from harder steel (e.g. 12.9). Use the correct metric 2mm hex by a trusted brand like Bondhus and you shouldn't have any issues.

Also the low profile design sits lower in the recessed rout which reduces the range of how far it can be pulled back so at the factory Ibanez will raise the bridge and then shim the neck to keep the action low. Just something to be aware of in case you want to remove the neck shim and have the bridge sitting lower assuming you don't have a desire to raise the pitch as much as Vai, Satriani, and co.

A must-have tool in my opinion is the Ibanez EJK1000 for adjusting intonation. That plus a strobe tuner (ST-300) makes for a painless experience dialing in the intonation instead of detuning, moving saddle, tuning to pitch (and hoping you don't break a string), checking intonation, rinse repeat. Use the right tools and there are no headaches.

I've blocked mine and it's easily the most comfortable "hardtail" with no saddle height screws sticking out that need to be filed down and of course having fine tuners makes for more accurate tuning adjustments. A blocked Lo-Pro with a locking nut is the most stable guitar I've played and it'd be tough to go back to the hassles of a regular nut along with filing slots when moving up a gauge, etc. It's also far more comfortable than a TOM bridge unless it's been recessed into the body which is something Suhr does on the Ian Thornley and JM Pro models. I like having my bridge sitting as low as possible which feels really comfortable to play.


 

skhan007

Supporting Member
Messages
9,212
Stick with the Floyds.
I have to say the Lo-Pro Edge on my Ibanez JPM is the nicest Floyd variant I've used.
Yeah, I had a JEM VWH in the early 00's and loved the Lo-Pro Edge trem. Curious if that is a drop-in replacement for a Original Floyd? Going to check the googles now to see.
 

Blix

Supporting Member
Messages
24,930
I agree the Lo-Pro Edge is the best version of the Floyd. There is a lower profile Floyd Pro model made in Germany by Schaller but it has the narrow string spacing (.400). Floyd now offers a Pro model with the original string spacing but it's made in Korea while the Lo-Pro Edge is made for Ibanez in Japan by Gotoh.

In my experience the only weak point are those little button head screws for saddle intonation which can be easily stripped. In the event you did completely strip one you'd probably need a screw extractor to get it out. Floyds use socket head cap screws that take a larger driver which allows for more torque before stripping however you can always source screws made from harder steel (e.g. 12.9). Use the correct metric 2mm hex by a trusted brand like Bondhus and you shouldn't have any issues.

Also the low profile design sits lower in the recessed rout which reduces the range of how far it can be pulled back so at the factory Ibanez will raise the bridge and then shim the neck to keep the action low. Just something to be aware of in case you want to remove the neck shim and have the bridge sitting lower assuming you don't have a desire to raise the pitch as much as Vai, Satriani, and co.

A must-have tool in my opinion is the Ibanez EJK1000 for adjusting intonation. That plus a strobe tuner (ST-300) makes for a painless experience dialing in the intonation instead of detuning, moving saddle, tuning to pitch (and hoping you don't break a string), checking intonation, rinse repeat. Use the right tools and there are no headaches.

I've blocked mine and it's easily the most comfortable "hardtail" with no saddle height screws sticking out or that need to be filed down and of course having fine tuners makes for more accurate tuning adjustments especially with a strobe tuner. A blocked Lo-Pro with a locking nut makes for the most stable guitar I've played and it'd be tough to go back to the hassles of a regular nut along with filing slots when moving up a gauge, etc. It's also far more comfortable than a TOM bridge unless it's been recessed into the body which is something Suhr does on the Ian Thornley and JM Pro models. I like having my bridge sitting as low as possible which feels really comfortable to play.


I have JEM for crazy trem antics if needed, so I'm fine with the limited range on the JMP :)
 

Blix

Supporting Member
Messages
24,930
Yeah, I had a JEM VWH in the early 00's and loved the Lo-Pro Edge trem. Curious if that is a drop-in replacement for a Original Floyd? Going to check the googles now to see.
Depends on the route me thinks, but the stud spacing is identical. Also the stud inserts are larger.
 

skhan007

Supporting Member
Messages
9,212
Depends on the route me thinks, but the stud spacing is identical. Also the stud inserts are larger.
OK, got it. My new body has the Vai "lions claw" recessed route, so identical to a JEM, but the buy who build the body set up the posts/route for an Original Floyd. Perhaps I should stick with the OFR, given the suggestions above. I do really remember liking that Lo-Pro Edge, however!
 

Dominik

Member
Messages
520
I have JEM for crazy trem antics if needed, so I'm fine with the limited range on the JMP :)
It's possible Ibanez shimmed the neck to raise the bridge while keeping the action low. My JS1000 never felt right until I removed the neck shims which were just a couple of pieces of cardboard.

According to Rich from jemsite: "The old guitars had a flat neck pocket. They started building an angle into the neck pocket to eliminate the shim, except on some guitars the rout wasn't perfect or if setup demands you need one, ie. extreme pullup range."
 
Last edited:

jvin248

Member
Messages
4,715
...I have also used the saddles only on a 6 screw bridge. Works killer....]
A kit of just the saddles to retrofit old Strats is a great solution.



I have been intrigued by those locking saddles on Strats and the Les Trem:


I find I get too distracted with trems of any type, from dive bombs when I should be playing something else, to tuning instability, to listening for the possibility of tuning problems, to pitch shifts when bending. Bending strings is much more popular in modern music than dive bombs that, like shredding, have become mere guitar commercials for many consumers. So I do what Eric Clapton advises and hard tail the guitar with a block of wood.



.
 

Blix

Supporting Member
Messages
24,930
OK, got it. My new body has the Vai "lions claw" recessed route, so identical to a JEM, but the buy who build the body set up the posts/route for an Original Floyd. Perhaps I should stick with the OFR, given the suggestions above. I do really remember liking that Lo-Pro Edge, however!
I have a JEM JRSP with the Lions Claw, I'm just going to get a Schaller Lockmeister for it.

It's possible Ibanez shimmed the neck to raise the bridge while keeping the action low. My JS1000 never felt right until I removed the neck shims which were just a couple of pieces of cardboard.

According to Rich from jemsite: "The old guitars had a flat neck pocket. They started building an angle into the neck pocket to eliminate the shim, except on some guitars the rout wasn't perfect or if setup demands you need one, ie. extreme pullup range."
Yeah possibly, the guitar plays fantastic as is so I'm good, shimmed or not :)
 

Dominik

Member
Messages
520
Yeah possibly, the guitar plays fantastic as is so I'm good, shimmed or not :)
No need to touch anything at all. Bridge height looks perfect to me.

Do you have the Ibanez EJK1000 tool I mentioned? That was the only PITA for me with that bridge because for many years they stopped making it and adjusting intonation was a crapshoot.
 

Blix

Supporting Member
Messages
24,930
No need to touch anything at all. Bridge height looks perfect to me.

Do you have the Ibanez EJK1000 tool I mentioned? That was the only PITA for me with that bridge because for many years they stopped making it and adjusting intonation was a crapshoot.
The guitar came freshly setup with perfect intonation (got it just a few weeks ago) so haven't had a need for that tool yet.
Probably going to get the Red Bishop one, got the Magic arm from them, super quality!

https://redbishop.jp/EN_ACCU-LOCATOR.html
 

JosephZdyrski

Member
Messages
2,991
I hate trems in general but I even I like the Wilkinson ones quite a bit. They definitely got the trem right. Much nicer than a Floyd imo.
 




Trending Topics

Top