>>>> DECLASSIFIED <<<<
entered the 1970s, more extreme conditions
created a need to build a better mousetrap.
The Better Mousetrap
The name Floyd Rose has become synonymous with the tremolo since 1977. That’s
when a guitar player decided that something needed to be done about the friction
at the nut and at the bridge, the two ends
of the strings’ vibrationary movement. His
name was Floyd Rose. He came up with an
advancement of the Fender tremolo by eliminating the element of friction points along
the scale length of the strings.
The Floyd Rose tremolo system consists of
a locking bridge that works in conjunction
with a locking nut. The concept is to lock
the strings into each individual bridge saddle. Then, once the guitar is tuned, the nut
is locked. The strings are clamped at either
end and there isn’t anything in between.
As simple as that sounds, the assembly of
Floyd’s tremolo has almost twice the number of parts as the Fender.
Photo courtesy Dave’s Guitar Shop
The Floyd Rose, being influenced by the
Fender tremolo, uses the same kind of body
routing, with minimal changes in the width of
the rout for the top of the body. The six individual bridge saddles are mounted to a thick
metal baseplate that also allows the saddles
to intonate individually. At the rear of each
of these saddles is a long, 3mm Allen screw,
which tightens a small metal block inside,
clipping off the ball end of the string. This
block is what holds the string in the saddle.
The original Floyd Rose tremolo arm is
attached to the bridgeplate through a series
of adjustable bushings that can be used to
limit the amount of swing in the arm. Or, if
you wanted, the arm could simply be tightened to stay in a fixed position. The arm itself
was thicker than the Fender, which rendered
it unbreakable. The bridgeplate assembly is
bolted to a steel block, much like the Fender.
When tuned to pitch, the strings are counterbalanced by springs in the rear cavity rout of
the body. The whole assembly was originally
designed to float above the surface of the
body and pivot off two screws (on the bass
ESP George Lynch M- 1 Tiger with Floyd Rose tremolo.
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The best players
will settle for no less.