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Electric Guitar Manual

Floyd Rose Bridge: Different Models

Floyd Rose Bridge

History and Feature of the Floyd Rose Tremolo

LEARN the Different Types of Floyd Rose Tremolo Bridge: Original, 1000 Series, Special, Pro, FRX, Rail Tail… (Tutorial Guide)

Floyd Rose is the creator of one of the most effective vibrato systems, thanks to its double locking method developed in the late 1970s by the American musician and engineer Floyd D. Rose.

In traditional tremolo systems, friction occurs in the nut and string guides of some guitars such as Fender models. To solve the problem Rose would develop the locking nut, to bypass all these friction problems.

floyd rose locking nut

To round out those friction problems, he did the same at the other end of the string, locking the string in the saddle. All this together with high-performance materials, gave rise to a tremolo system that, well adjusted, is infallible.

For the rest, it would basically be a bridge very similar to the traditional ones in terms of functionality. Having the typical springs on the back of the guitar, and a lever that activates the bridge both towards bass and treble, or forwards and backwards.

Obviously having to have different integrated systems to be able to modify its settings, such as the screws that lock the string in the saddle. Also incorporating some fine tuners to slightly modify the tuning. In this way, the section of string will be completely blocked, and perfectly tuned.

Modifying the intonation of the guitar by means of the hexagonal screws that hold the saddles, being able to move the same after loosening the screw. In short, all these components are what ultimately form a Floyd Rose.

First Guitarists to Use the Floyd Rose Tremolo

But although the system was absolutely efficient, promotion is vital for a brand that needs to expand. It did not take long for the manufacturer to get the opportunity, after the Floyd Rose was adopted by Eddie Van Halen in the early 80s.

One of the first guitarists to develop the musical possibilities of the bridge developed by Rose. Continuing the trend other guitarists like Joe Satriani or Steve Vai, in the use of this vibrato system. The system reaching such a recognized popularity that these types of bridges are currently referred to in a general way regardless of the manufacturer or producer, simply as Floyd Rose.

Different Models of Floyd Rose Bridge

The brand does not develop a single type of bridge, there are different ranges, with different qualities. So watch this, because not all Floyd Roses are the same.

Different Models of Floyd Rose Bridge

Floyd Rose Original

This would be the oldest and most popular model, and most used by professionals, given its high reliability. Assembled in Germany with the best quality steel parts, manufactured with the highest precision, under the most demanding specifications.

For something this model costs around $300, if we had to buy it loose. Although if we want to spend more money, we will not have problems. Since the Hot Rod series is essentially considered as an improved version of the Original FR. Therefore they are obliged to charge us even more money, so be careful with this.

But we already know that when it comes to luxury and super materials there are no limits. Like the Floyd Rose made of titanium (Floyd Rose Titanium).

Finally, going back to the Original series, we can have the reissue of the first Floyd Rose Original (NFT: Non-Fine Tuner) that did not have fine tuners. Therefore, this type of bridge is used on guitars with classical nuts, if possible made of sliding materials, to offer greater tuning stability.

Floyd Rose 1000

The Floyd Rose 1000 would be a version built with the same design and materials as the Original, but manufactured in South Korea to reduce production costs.

Floyd Rose Special

The Floyd Rose Special is also made in Korea. But this model uses substitute materials in its manufacture such as zinc alloys, instead of the use of steel and brass of the superior models. Notoriously reducing the manufacturing cost, but this can affect the reliability and quality of the tremolo system.

Ultimately, what’s special about the Floyd Rose Special is that it’s the lowest-end type of Floyd Rose tremolo bridge.

Floyd Rose Serie Pro

In the Pro series we find other types of high-quality Floyd Rose, but without further details to add. Since Pro does not mean better, if not different.

For example the Floyd Rose Pro Tremolo Sisteme is made in Germany just like the Original. But its design, as can be seen in the image, is different, since it has a more compact appearance.

The difference from the Original, though, is that the Pro Tremolo’s string spacing is a bit narrower. Having a measurement of 0.40″, instead of the 0.42″ spacing of the Original model.

We can also opt for the Floyd Rose 1000 Series Pro with a similar appearance to the Pro Tremolo, but with identical string spacing to the FR Original. It also has a slightly cheaper price compared to the Pro Tremolo, due to its Korean manufacture, although it is still a fairly expensive bridge.

FRX Tremolo System

One of the problems that we face when installing a Floyd Rose bridge on our guitar is having to unload the wood from the body of the guitar, to obtain enough space in which to house the system.

Floyd Rose FRX for Les Paul or SG

But to avoid problems, Floyd Rose has designed the FRX Tremolo with a very simple installation to perform. And although the price of this type of Floyd Roser is quite high, we must take into account the savings that installing a standard Floyd Rose can bring, in a Les Paul guitar model for example.

FR Rail Tail Tremolo

This would be the type of Floyd Rose dedicated to the classic Stratocaster-style semi-floating tremolo system, but continuing the brand’s tradition of creating high-end products. Developed with the most advanced technological techniques, to offer the maximum benefits of this type of bridge.

The tremolo plate rotates on a sturdy cylindrical rail instead of classic pivots. Also mounting saddles with bearings to offer the least possible friction.

FR Rail Tail Tremolo

This type of bridge must be accompanied by certain qualities in the guitar itself, so that it can offer its maximum performance. Because if our guitar has a poor quality nut, it will ruin the excellent qualities of the tremolo.

So the most advisable thing is to have a nut made of super slippery materials such as those developed by the Graph Tech brand. In addition to having locking pegs, so that the string does not have the slightest possibility of slipping, when the strings are loosened by the tremolo.

String guides are another sticking point to consider. To avoid this, it would be advisable to use Graph Tech guides, or with bearings.

Hollow Point Intonation System

An accessory that may be interesting for our Floyd Rose, are its Hollow Point intonation systems (Hollow Point Intonation System). This system locks the string as the traditional system would, but we can also move the saddles mechanically, for greater precision when adjusting the intonation of the guitar. In addition, this system will provide our tremolo with a more refined and robust aesthetic.

Hollow Point Intonation System

Floyd Rose managed to develop one of the most revolutionary innovations. Including his design among the 10 most important innovations associated with the guitar, according to the prestigious magazine “Guitar World”.

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