How annoying is a FR Guitar to change strings?

M

Member 184391

I have a EBMM majesty which sometimes can be a pain in the ass to tune, but how much more annoying is a guitar with a floyd rose?

I’ve been thinking about getting a high-end Jackson (SL2H or Kelly) or ESP but the FR has always put me off since I don’t use the floating bridge enough to consider it important.
 

ieso

Member
Messages
3,631
I have a EBMM majesty which sometimes can be a pain in the ass to tune, but how much more annoying is a guitar with a floyd rose?
I have a Majesty and a Suhr with a FR. The FR is only a little more annoying to change strings and tune but the tuning stability of the Floyd is amazing.

On the other hand, the FR is really clunky compared to the Majesty bridge and gets in my way (though not a problem for the vast majority of players who never get their picking hand that close to the bridge).
 

milli vanilli

Member
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4,968
There is a learning curve just like any new gear, but it’s certainly not prohibitive. After a few string changes it’s really no big deal. That said, I’d make sure you want a floyd before dropping that kind of money though…they have a feel all their own.
 

Jim85IROC

Silver Supporting Member
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2,654
There is a learning curve just like any new gear, but it’s certainly not prohibitive. After a few string changes it’s really no big deal. That said, I’d make sure you want a floyd before dropping that kind of money though…they have a feel all their own.
this. I just picked up my first FR guitar and restrung it yesterday. It was an experience. When I got it, the previous owner had it tuned to D Standard. As I kept tuning it, trying to get to E standard, everything just kept going flat and the bridge tipped forward. I realized very quickly that you need to balance spring pressure with string pressure or you'll never get it in tune. I used a stack of feeler gauges between the trem block and the cutout in the body to keep the trem parallel with the body and tightened the springs to keep it there. Then I tuned to E standard, and backed off on the springs until I was able to easily remove the stack of feeler gauges. This got me really close, so then I put the feeler gauges back and cut off all of the strings. This was a mistake. Even with the feeler gauges there, the bridge sunk into the body. I had to lift it back up and stick an AA battery under the backside of the bridge to get it close-ish to where it needed to be so I could restring. Once I had strings on, I removed the battery, tuned to pitch, and adjusted the springs for a while until everything was happy.

All in all, it took me over an hour, but next time I'd expect the process to go much faster now that I know what to do.

I should also mention that if you're just doing a simple string change, you can avoid almost all of these problems by just changing 1 string at a time. In my case, I wanted to polish the frets, so I needed the strings completely off the guitar.
 

Dave L

Member
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1,318
It is no worse than the Majesty, it´s just another floating trem. A minute or two extra to clip the ball ends and lock them into the saddles, and you might want to stretch the strings a bit extra before locking down the nut, but that´s about it.
 

Capstan Philips

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,603
Changing strings gauge-for-gauge really isn't a big deal as long as you know how to use an allen key and a string clipper!

Remember to leave a few mm of the twisted section on the end of the plain strings so they don't slip out of the retainers.
 

Hierophant

Member
Messages
34
It is all about understanding that the spring tension must be the exact same as the strings all tuned to pitch. This is the same on any floating vibrato.
- Changing strings one at a time is a solution
- When changing strings all together, the best solution for me is to keep a wedge between the trem block and the guitar body so that the bridge is flush with the guitar table. When the strings are set up and tuned to pitch, I screw the tension springs screws in until the block falls.

The only difference between an FR and a non locking system is cutting the ball ends and locking the strings at the nut. Locking the nut shall be done once the tuning is almost done and vibrato flat.
 

Defendant

Member
Messages
6,662
It’s not bad once you do it a few times and get in the groove. One string at a time if you’re floating.

My recommendation is to get an Allen key holder and choose a guitar with fairly straight string pull -some of the angled pointy head stocks are fiddlier to navigate the strings through.
 

Rocco Crocco

Member
Messages
1,731
The first couple times you change strings you'll probably think its a pain in the ass, but like most things you'll get better at it and it will become second nature.
 

David Garner

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
6,792
Not a big deal at all in my limited experience. I got my first Floyd last month. You have to have the allen wrench (I have one of those things that attaches them to the headstock), and you have to clip off the ball ends, but I clip the ends at the tuners anyway so it's just one extra clip per string. Once you lock the string in the bridge, it's just a matter of cutting to length and tuning up as normal, then locking down the nut and fine tuning. Easy peasy.
 

Oinkus

Member
Messages
5,690
If you have to only do one string at a time you are just being lazy. Know how to use your equipment and nothing is a problem. Not any harder than any other part of being able to use a guitar. Your head should be used for something besides a hat rack.
 

David Garner

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
6,792
If you have to only do one string at a time you are just being lazy. Know how to use your equipment and nothing is a problem. Not any harder than any other part of being able to use a guitar. Your head should be used for something besides a hat rack.
Nobody said you have to, at least not that I saw. Part of using your head for something besides a hat rack is not needlessly complicating a situation. Sure, you can pull the engine on your car to do an oil change, but it's not lazy to just use the plug and a good filter wrench.

Now, granted, you need to be able to set one up if all the strings are off, because they will be at some point, but for routine string changes, I do them one at a time on every guitar I own. It's by far the most efficient way to do it and with floating trems it makes the tuning up and stretching process much quicker.
 

codeorama

Member
Messages
1,008
I have a EBMM majesty which sometimes can be a pain in the ass to tune, but how much more annoying is a guitar with a floyd rose?

I’ve been thinking about getting a high-end Jackson (SL2H or Kelly) or ESP but the FR has always put me off since I don’t use the floating bridge enough to consider it important.
Imo, its easy, but I always put the strings in with the ball end near the headstock, then clipped after, just went faster and one less clip to be made.
 

Guitarwiz007

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,152
It's not a big deal. I use a Post-it notepad to size to rest the trem. Then really no big deal. Pretty much like any other bridge then except you're locking those puppies in!!
 

EasTXan

Member
Messages
605
Overall the small extra effort in string changes plus inability to change tunings on the fly just wasn't worth it. Even blocking the trem i still had to loosen locking nut. Using the locking nut as an open nut a la Paul Gilbert gave me a resonance i found i didn't like. Only have a trem on one now and its a Bigsby. Problem solved. If you use a trem, up and down, nothing better than a FR1000 or Schaller Floyd.
 






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