Floyd Rose Substitutes?

Which would you choose?

  • Original Floyd Rose

    Votes: 31 79.5%
  • Other (Please Specify)

    Votes: 8 20.5%

  • Total voters
    39

jwguitar

Member
Messages
5,836
On some of Cort’s higher end models they have a recessed tremolo that is coupled with locking tuners. They seem to work quite well.
 

biter

Member
Messages
206
If Im swapping out a lower end Floyd Rose, I use a Gotoh GE1996T, if Im doing a full on mod, I use an Ibanez Lo Pro Edge..
 

CaptNasty

Member
Messages
749
The Sophia is a very pricey unit. I would suggest that you closely read the Sophia FAQ. A lot of their claims are marketing claims. At it’s heart it is a fancy floating tremolo system. You can’t alter physics.

This is still just a fulcrum based, spring balanced tremolo system and there are realities you can’t escape.

If a string pops and the unit is floating, the guitar will be out of tune. If you have the unit blocked, it will be in tune. Same as an OFR or any other floating tremolo.
Does it go out of tune when you break a string?
The Sophia StopBlocks and Global Tuners offer a built-in TremStop that can be set up [with tighter tremolo springs] to hold pitch if a string breaks — there is no upward pitch bending in this setup.

Sophia also offers a heavier internal springs for the Global Tuner Pro Dual Stabilizers to increase the firmness at initial position — all the same, at the firmest of settings, since it is a floating setup, the other strings will go sharp.
Regarding the stabilizer plate add-on
What's the Sophia Stabilizer Plate?
Sophia introduces a flat spring to limit the original springs to enforce Initial Position for double stops and Sophia Drop Tuner -- positioned between the base plate and spring block as a non-adjustable, non destructive install -- accurate returns from lower pitches only....
Here is an interesting thing. Cutting the ball end off the strings. For higher gauge string, you must cut off the ball ends. I find that interesting. The Floyd is less of a pain in the arse for those who use a single tuning. The Floyd really starts to fall apart when you want to use different tunings on the same guitar. The lower the tuning the higher the string gauges need to be to avoid having floppy strings. I would think the target market for a high end tremolo making Sophia’s claims would be guys who are moving their tunings
And to change strings no need to cut the heads of the strings, right?
UP to about .046~.050, you can thread the strings through without cutting the ball ends off … larger diameter strings, require cutting the ball end off and inserting the cut end through the string slot and under the lock by about .375 and lock.
Headless Quick install: tip the tremolo forward and then lock string — when the tremolo returns to the Zero Point the string pitch is very close to pitch!!!!.
The stabilizer plate is an interesting beast. This is the second place they refer to the stabilizer and state that it only accurately returns to zero from a lower pitch.
The Sophia Stabilzer Plate is non-adjustable and requires a firm feel for believable double stops. The tremolo is floating but has only accurate returns from below pitch. Does not combine with the Pro models or Global Tuner Pro...
As for going out of tune when bending. A floating Sophia suffers the same behavior as a floating OFR. Bending will cause it to go out of tune if you are not using their Sophia Stop Block.
Will the Pro equipped models stay perfectly in tune regardless of how much string bending I do with the left hand
No. Heavier springs are required to increase the firmness of the reinforcement at the Zero Point yielding a stiffer feel while retainig hi-perfromance floating attributes.
So put it all together.

To minimize a floating Sophia from have pitch issue when bending and muting, you need heavier springs or a tremblocker (Stop Block in Sophia terminology), just like an OFR.

To support double stops, alternate tunings, etc, you need to immobilize the bridge (Sophia Stabilizer), just like an OFR (Tremol-No, trem stopper).

I could buy an OFR, a Tremol-No, Heavy Springs and solve problems in the same manner Sophia does while saving a lot of money. You have to purchase the Sophia with all of the add-ons to get all the benefits and that is an expensive unit when fully decked out.
 

skhan007

Supporting Member
Messages
9,212
This Sophia 2.92 Tremolo looks awesome. Not sure about the price point, however. Maybe they'll come down in price or have some web incentives?

 

skhan007

Supporting Member
Messages
9,212
The Sophia is a very pricey unit. I would suggest that you closely read the Sophia FAQ. A lot of their claims are marketing claims. At it’s heart it is a fancy floating tremolo system. You can’t alter physics.

This is still just a fulcrum based, spring balanced tremolo system and there are realities you can’t escape.

If a string pops and the unit is floating, the guitar will be out of tune. If you have the unit blocked, it will be in tune. Same as an OFR or any other floating tremolo.

Regarding the stabilizer plate add-on

Here is an interesting thing. Cutting the ball end off the strings. For higher gauge string, you must cut off the ball ends. I find that interesting. The Floyd is less of a pain in the arse for those who use a single tuning. The Floyd really starts to fall apart when you want to use different tunings on the same guitar. The lower the tuning the higher the string gauges need to be to avoid having floppy strings. I would think the target market for a high end tremolo making Sophia’s claims would be guys who are moving their tunings

The stabilizer plate is an interesting beast. This is the second place they refer to the stabilizer and state that it only accurately returns to zero from a lower pitch.

As for going out of tune when bending. A floating Sophia suffers the same behavior as a floating OFR. Bending will cause it to go out of tune if you are not using their Sophia Stop Block.

So put it all together.

To minimize a floating Sophia from have pitch issue when bending and muting, you need heavier springs or a tremblocker (Stop Block in Sophia terminology), just like an OFR.

To support double stops, alternate tunings, etc, you need to immobilize the bridge (Sophia Stabilizer), just like an OFR (Tremol-No, trem stopper).

I could buy an OFR, a Tremol-No, Heavy Springs and solve problems in the same manner Sophia does while saving a lot of money. You have to purchase the Sophia with all of the add-ons to get all the benefits and that is an expensive unit when fully decked out.
Excellent - thanks for this. Gives me something to really think about.
 

s2y

Member
Messages
19,008
This Sophia 2.92 Tremolo looks awesome. Not sure about the price point, however. Maybe they'll come down in price or have some web incentives?

Price doesn’t matter much in the long run. Will parts wear out and can you get them in 10-20 years? Floyds might have some issues. I’d like to think I can get more in the distant future.
 

skhan007

Supporting Member
Messages
9,212
Price doesn’t matter much in the long run. Will parts wear out and can you get them in 10-20 years? Floyds might have some issues. I’d like to think I can get more in the distant future.
Yes, this is an excellent point. I think about this as well- Will the product be defunct in x years?

I fell into this exact "trap" several years back. My salesman at the local music store was singing the highest praises for the Floyd Speedloader tremolo (remember those?). He showed me one on a Floyd guitar, showed me the novel string changing ease, etc. So, I bought one for a partscaster and sure enough, the product flopped, went belly up, etc. I've still been able to use the Speedloader with some modification and it's just fine (thankfully, Fender bullet strings work/fit in the Speedloader saddles), but I don't want to be in the situation again where I shell out for something that becomes obsolete.
 
Messages
5,855
I've got multiple guitars with Floyd Rose trems on them, even a 7-string. But I also have a guitar with a Gotoh Floyd variant and that's stayed in tune/intonation for almost 30 years now - can hardly believe it but it's true.

As for "alternatives" there's the Supervee dual locking trem, the Greg Koch Suhr one, among other variants of Floyd purveyors like FUTone.

I've been using them for ages and I'm well familiar with the setup. I keep thinking I should do a video but I'm told there are many videos on setup. But remember when it comes to Floyds - "string tension needs to equal spring tension".
 

The Rossness

Member
Messages
261
I'm a big user of the tremolo. Dives and pull backs coupled with harmonics are a staple of my style of playing. I like floyd's but IME, the Gotoh 510 (when set up properly) is better than a floyd rose. You could also try the Jerry cantrell thing- get a Kahler and a floyd locking nut.
 

Wishing Wells

Member
Messages
167
Floyd for me (Ibanez Edge). I just love never having to tune it and am a believer in the locking studs.

The first thing I do when I'm setting one up is loosen the claw screws and then get a stack of loose change and wrap some tape around it to make a stopper that will sit behind the block. Then the trem is locked to the correct angle and can be set up as normal. Once setup is done and in tune just tighten the claw until the block drops out and the strings are back in tune and I'm golden.

For string changes I stick a rolled up sock in the top cavity under the trem and then remove the strings to do the change.

This leaves for me the only pita being getting it back in tune with new strings but I've learned to kind of overtune the strings so that it comes back closer as you tune up.

All in all the tricks take all the extra trouble out of it for me.
 

smallbutmighty

Supporting Member
Messages
8,965
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.
Only 2 minutes more, actually.

 

BigBadOrange

Member
Messages
815
I am embarrassed to admit how long did not know about this trick so maybe you dont. Put your strings in this way and cut the other end. Now you make the same amount of cuts as a non-floyd guitar. AND you don't have to putz with the strings slipping through the tuner peg holes. I have many floyd guitars and change strings fairly regularly. I would bet I can change a set of strings in about the same amount of time as a non-flyd guitar with this method. (unless, of course, changing tuning or thickness of strings)
 

Gevalt

Member
Messages
1,883
I got the Gotoh Floyd because it's half the OFR price. First locker for me.
I was happy to like the tone/feel, despite the fact that it dives so fast that surf vibrato is more difficult than any fender vintage trem. It's a very modern-style whammy action. I tried 4 springs but it didn't flutter so easily, went back to 3.

I haven't owned an OFR. John Suhr has been quoted sating OFR are insufficient quality and his go-to is go-toh in this race.
 

apeekaboo

Member
Messages
807
A kit of just the saddles to retrofit old Strats is a great solution.

I was thinking of this as well. Pete speaks of retrofitting the complete bridge, but I recall another video or perhaps a statement from Wilkinson, that retrofitting only the saddles would not be possible.

I have a hard time understanding why this would be problematic, unless the saddle width is way off or something funky is going on underneath the saddle. Sorry I don't have a source to this claim. I still think it would be possible to mod the saddles to fit, even if it would require some filing.
 

aleclee

TGP Tech Wrangler
Staff member
Messages
12,547
I am embarrassed to admit how long did not know about this trick so maybe you dont. Put your strings in this way and cut the other end. Now you make the same amount of cuts as a non-floyd guitar. AND you don't have to putz with the strings slipping through the tuner peg holes. I have many floyd guitars and change strings fairly regularly. I would bet I can change a set of strings in about the same amount of time as a non-flyd guitar with this method. (unless, of course, changing tuning or thickness of strings)
Works fine on 6-on-a-side headstock but less well with 3+3 headstock since the winds on the plain strings can run to the nut.

As for the original topic, I think the Sophia unit is badass but I'd be more likely to use it in a headless application than for simply replacing a Floyd. OTOH, I find the Sophia block to be brilliant. Given what I spent on a Schaller adjustable claw + Goldo Back Box, the block isn't a whole lot of money (particularly if you want a new block) and much cleaner to install, particularly when space is limited.
 

Toffo

Member
Messages
184
Ibanez Edge and variants for me.

The trem on my EBMM Petrucci works well too. I thought tuning stability would suffer since it’s non-locking at the bridge and uses locking tuners instead of a locking nut. I’d say it’s 95% of the way to the tuning stability an Edge or Floyd, but much less hassle.

The disadvantages of these bridges of course being changing string gauges or tunings, but having had floating bridge guitars for the last 15 years I’ve gotten pretty quick at setting them up.

I’m curious about the Ibanez ZR bridges though. Will need to look into them more.
 




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