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Floyd Rose Licensing Question


P90
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Suppose a luthier buys a FR trem from Stewmac or wherever to mount on a guitar that he's building and will try to sell (public "gallery" sale, not a custom-private sale)

Now suppose he has the ability in his shop to machine out of DelrinAF (teflon) the saddles and the nut (just the "cradle" part of the nut, not the clamps).

The point is that the places where the strings come in contact, the metal parts are replaced by Delrin AF... not unlike what Graphtech is sorta doing.

Its still mostly the same FR trem he bought from Stewmac/wherever... but with his own custom shop DelrinAF saddles and nut "cradle".

Is there a licensing issue with Floyd Rose now?

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I am by no means an expert in licensing issues but it seems to me that if you advertise that it is a modified Floyd Rose, you have covered your @$$. When you buy the parts, you have the intrinsic permission to use them. As long as you don't mislead the buyer into thinking it is what it is not, you should be OK. A quick email to the manufacturer might be the easiest way to glean the correct information.

Peace...Rog

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My first question is why make a locking nut out of a slippery material. The idea is to lock the strings in place so they can't move. The Graphtec nut allows the strings to slide with less binding, just like Delrin would. So it kind of defeats the purpose of a locking nut.

As to the licensing issue, I think it would be similar to dealing with copied body shapes. If you stay small and not enought to be noticed, no one will care. If you start selling enough, you'll get a cease and desist letter. If you want to come up with something new, I would try and redesign it to make it unique so that there is no licensing conflicts, and you can also lay claim to it and patent the idea.

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ihockey - come to think of it, theres probably no need to make the whole saddle/nut out of Delrin... just mill out the part where the string goes and make a DelrinAF insert to put there (kinda like what the Ferraglides do). The whole point is not to defeat the purpose of a dbl-locking trem, just provide some string-break prevention over the tiny area where the string does go.

demiurge - it would strictly be for parts on the guitar.. not the hardware aftermarket.

Which brings up another question... does the Luthier even HAVE to mention FR? Can't he just say the guitar has a "double locking trem system"? Is there a licensing issue if he *doesn't* mention FR? What would be a good strategy?

Edited by P90
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It should be perfectly fine adding something to a floyd rose if you advertise it in that manner. Its the same as people making modifications to pickups.

As for mentioning that it is a Floyd Rose, its probably to your advantage.

Just my .02

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Which brings up another question... does the Luthier even HAVE to mention FR? Can't he just say the guitar has a "double locking trem system"? Is there a licensing issue if he *doesn't* mention FR? What would be a good strategy?

Why would a luthier pay for quality name-brand parts and then not tell anyone? Seems to me that anything name-brand would be a feature that you would want to draw attention to. If you called a FR a "double-locking trem system" that would lead people to think it was a fake that was not worth as much.

Also, I'm not a lawyer, but I think if you payed money for the FR, you can use it for whatever you want, but just in case, you should be honest about your modifications (which you would want to claim credit for anyway, as it implies extra work on your part, and therefore a guitar that would be worth more). I think you would only really get into trouble if you used your FR as a basis for churning out illegal copies.

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I think as long as you are using them on guitars you build and not selling them as parts and list them as moddified FR's you would be safe. I like working with Delrin when I can, but I question how well it would hold up in this situation. I rarely see strings break at the locking nut so I am not sure if you are really helping anything at that end. Plus with Delrin being softer than metal, I think enough bends and pullups will wear the slots pretty quickly and allow the string to slip. As for the saddle, I have been trying to come up with ways to modify them to be easier on the strings. The only thing I see as a problem with Delrin is the wear factor, especially on the wound strings. I just think that the Delrin is too soft. But no one gets anywhere by never trying anything, so I hope you still try anyway and I hope you prove me wrong. (At least it'll be someone other then the wife unit doing it)

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Obviously Delrin w teflon is going to be softer than metal, but Graphtech is already doing it with their saddles, so it must sorta work :D

I'm just still curious if Graphtech uses Garolite w teflon or what?

And whats stronger/more slippery.... teflon Delrin or teflon Garrolite? (both available at Mcmaster)

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