What am I feeling in Floyds that is different?

The_Bell

Member
Messages
666
I am not a trem (vibrato) user for the most part.

In the past year, I have picked up a few nice guitars with Floyds and have become obsessed with the way they feel, whammy use excluded.

First off, their tuning is extremely stable. However, after changing the setup on one of them, I realize they are not a guitar I would use live without a backup.

Drawbacks acknowledged, there is something very artistic in the way a good FR guitar feels under the fingers. To me, the notes feel flexible and yet very bendable / responsive.

Curious as to others thoughts on the subject. I cannot put my finger on what makes them so different from other axes.
 
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abracadabra

Member
Messages
409
I think the 'give' in the bridge and the efficiency of the operation makes string bending a much smoother experience compared to other floating trem designs, or simply bending against an anchored string

there's also a 'sponginess' to it that I really like, and I love the tuning confidence you get from a double-locking system, although admittedly you can get pretty close just with a proper setup

one problem is unison bends. bending one string puts all the others out of tune so you have to listen carefully and slightly bend the non-bent note. however, you could also argue that a trem also therefore helps ear training as it requires us to use our ears more!
 

jasons7

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
900
I believe it comes down to the difference in string length. I think the effectively shorter string length (between a locking nut and locking saddles vs tuners and bottom of a trem block) allow the strings to drop pitch more and faster. Even if you could divebomb a conventional Strat trem, you can't get the strings to full slack because they just don't seem to shift the pitch as much/fast as a Floyd type. That's always been my thought anyways.
 

monty

Member
Messages
22,033
I agree with abracadabra, something about the mushiness in the playability. This is just with the full floating ones though IMO, because my down only Wolfgang doesn't have that feel but my other 3 guitars with floating Floyd do.
 

smallbutmighty

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,359
I believe it comes down to the difference in string length. I think the effectively shorter string length (between a locking nut and locking saddles vs tuners and bottom of a trem block) allow the strings to drop pitch more and faster. Even if you could divebomb a conventional Strat trem, you can't get the strings to full slack because they just don't seem to shift the pitch as much/fast as a Floyd type. That's always been my thought anyways.
It's this, exactly.

Because the strings effectively terminate at the nut and the saddles, you have 6-8 inches less string tension to compensate for, whereas on a traditional trem you've got all the string length/tension beyond the nut and within the trem block that also has to be relieved.

That's why on a Floyd you can dive bomb to infinity, with the strings flappin' around like limp noodles. On a traditional trem you can't even come close.
 

B Money

Member
Messages
5,879
I agree with everything posted so far. I think something that makes a Floyd feel unique is the amount of mass that is being balanced between the strings and springs. If you've ever held a Floyd Rose bridge in your hand, you know that it's got some significant heft to it. Far more than a flimsy fender style bridge.
All that mass suspended between the strings and springs give the guitar a spongy-yet-solid feel. Very reliable and predictable.
I love it!
 

BigDoug1053

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,146
I think the mass matters. I love my Jacksons with FRs. Though, I love almost all trems and designs...
 

GreatGreen

Member
Messages
719
Like everybody else is saying, Floyd trems give strings an elastic feel that really suits the "snarly super strat with attitude" vibe of the guitars they're usually paired with. There's just a certain attitude that comes with them you can't really replicate any other way. The extra string elasticity makes playing really fun too. You really feel like you can lean/sink into the strings to put some extra stank on them, which does come through in the playing.

Also, if you hit a chord really hard with the pick, the vibrating strings will pull on the trem's free floating springs, which will bring the whole chord just a bit out of tune and back after a second, really selling the idea that you you just slammed the **** out of the strings like you ****ing meant it. Floyds are just cool.

They do have their drawbacks though. Bending notes with any other strings ringing out is an exercise in frustration to maintain proper tuning with everything, and people say the extensive routing required for a Floyd can have an effect on the resonance of the guitar.

I think every guitar player would probably benefit from having at least one Floyd guitar.
 
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rockon1

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
12,981
It's this, exactly.

Because the strings effectively terminate at the nut and the saddles, you have 6-8 inches less string tension to compensate for, whereas on a traditional trem you've got all the string length/tension beyond the nut and within the trem block that also has to be relieved.

That's why on a Floyd you can dive bomb to infinity, with the strings flappin' around like limp noodles. On a traditional trem you can't even come close.
Yep, shorter length of string under tension = lower tension @ same pitch.
There is something wrong with this logic. It takes the same amount of tension to tune to pitch locked at the nut or not. In fact one might think a regular nut would feel spongier since theres more string to "give" behind the nut. I believe therefore its the smoothness of the trem systems give that the OP is feeling.
BTW, I can get the wound strings to flop around on my two point strat with locking tuners. :)
 

smallbutmighty

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,359
There is something wrong with this logic. It takes the same amount of tension to tune to pitch locked at the nut or not. In fact one might think a regular nut would feel spongier since theres more string to "give" behind the nut. I believe therefore its the smoothness of the trem systems give that the OP is feeling.
BTW, I can get the wound strings to flop around on my two point strat with locking tuners. :)
Nothing wrong with the logic that I can see. A string locked at both nut and saddle is many inches (I'd guess between 3" and 8", depending on which string) shorter than a string that terminates at a tuning machine and trem block. That being the case, smaller changes in tension one way or the other will have a greater effect on pitch, as compared to a standard trem.
 

rockon1

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
12,981
Nothing wrong with the logic that I can see. A string locked and both nut and saddles is many inches shorter that a string that terminates at a tuning machine and trem block. That being the case, smaller changes in tension one way or the other will have a greater effect on pitch, as compared to a standard trem.
You haven't changed the scale length or the amount of tension it takes to to to pitch so there I cant see how there would be a change in feel due to it being locked. I just unlocked one of my RG's just for S+G's and it feel no different. Also my strat with locking tuners and Wilkinson two point feels virtually identical to my RG's.
 

smallbutmighty

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,359
You haven't changed the scale length or the amount of tension it takes to to to pitch so there I cant see how there would be a change in feel due to it being locked. I just unlocked one of my RG's just for S+G's and it feel no different. Also my strat with locking tuners and Wilkinson two point feels virtually identical to my RG's.
The tensions getting it to pitch is similar to a Strat-style, but that is irrelevant. As soon as you lock the nut you've changed the length of the active string, and from that point on that's all you're working with. It takes less whammy action to move the the pitch further up or down.
 

jasons7

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
900
You haven't changed the scale length or the amount of tension it takes to to to pitch so there I cant see how there would be a change in feel due to it being locked. I just unlocked one of my RG's just for S+G's and it feel no different. Also my strat with locking tuners and Wilkinson two point feels virtually identical to my RG's.
Yes tension is the same but it's being dumped into less string so the ratio of pitch change to bar movement is higher. Even when you unlocked your nut, you still are locked at the saddle so not really a true comparison. Also, good 2 point trems (and even some 6 points like MannMade) are as smooth as Floyds. It could be the tension going into the block after the saddles affects the feeling? The bar is directly on the same axis as the block afterall.

I've got an Ibanez AZ Prestige with a fantastic Gotoh 510 and it don't dump like my RG or my Charvel at the same scale, same string gauge.
 

Rocco Crocco

Member
Messages
1,526
one problem is unison bends. bending one string puts all the others out of tune so you have to listen carefully and slightly bend the non-bent note. however, you could also argue that a trem also therefore helps ear training as it requires us to use our ears more!
A while back, I heard Pete Thorn on one of his podcasts talk about resting your palm on the bridge while doing a double stop bend. He said just putting a little pressure on the bridge keeps it from moving while you perform the bend. I tried it, and it turned out to be pretty easy with a little practice. Double stops stay in tune with my Floyd now.
 

rockon1

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
12,981
The tensions getting it to pitch is irrelevant. As soon as you lock the nut you've changed the length of the string, and from that point on that's all you're working with.
Yeah I disagree is all- not a big deal. The tension remains the same locked or not -otherwise the pitch would change. If I am wrong, I am wrong though I dont see how...
 

rockon1

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
12,981
Yes tension is the same but it's being dumped into less string so the ratio of pitch change to bar movement is higher. Even when you unlocked your nut, you still are locked at the saddle so not really a true comparison. Also, good 2 point trems (and even some 6 points like MannMade) are as smooth as Floyds. It could be the tension going into the block after the saddles affects the feeling? The bar is directly on the same axis as the block afterall.

I've got an Ibanez AZ Prestige with a fantastic Gotoh 510 and it don't dump like my RG or my Charvel at the same scale, same string gauge.
Yes -that is true -not disagreeing with that. An unlocked system has a lot more string length to unload. I finally set up an old project guitar with locking tuners and a wilkinson and I can get the low E off the board but because theres more string the dive isnt as full as a double locker for sure. It is very rubbery feeling though. What the OP is feeling is in the precision floating trem imo.
 




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