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Which Floyd Rose?

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As some of you might be aware I have a penchant for 80’s music and like my super strats.

I’m going to make a replica of the Kramer Richie Sambora at some stage (but with 2 humbuckers not 3) and looking at Floyd roses again.

So far I have two guitars both with Original Floyd Rose but obviously that comes at a price!  I feel like the one on my evh replica was too expensive for a dive only setup.

so, my question is, if anyone has any experience with the Floyd Rose Special?  It will be top mounted and setup for dive only so I’m kind of thinking I don’t need an expensive Floyd for that.

any opinions?

I could go Gotoh or Schaller but I like the interchangeable nature of Floyds and the various upgrades available if I wanted to add anything in the future.

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Both FR Original and the Schaller equivalent get good reps. I've used a German-made FR Original in one build and been very happy with the build and quality of the unit. By all accounts Gotoh make a good quality trem too, though I've not tried one myself.


6 hours ago, norm barrows said:

I got a new black one for $58 on ebay, and a new gold one for $80 

I can guarantee you that for $58 new it won't be a real Floyd Rose.


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I'd steer you towards gotoh.  I'm told that suhr prefers them to new floyds.  I have an orig floyd (1980ish) and it's solid as a rock, but I'm told the new ones tend to have burrs altho once massaged are good.  schaller anything is always a safe bet.

the chinese floyds... I'd avoid.  You can find all sorts of horror stories for them online.  the biggest problem with inexpensive 2 point floaters is the metal where the studs meet the baseplate.  that needs to remain sharp or it will stop returning to pitch correctly.  had a friend with that issue, but have never owned one myself.

just 2 cents.

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pretty sure all the stuff from china uses 5140 steel... that's how they keep the price down (hehe).  if the inserts are replaceable that's def a step in the right direction (In my friends case they weren't, but this was a while ago)... but at that point you start questioning the threads that hold that nut in.  if that insert starts to wobble... your guitar will explode at high speeds!  further the threads on the posts/studs, the threads on the screws holding the string blocks, etc.  my exerpience w china is that they are anything but precision afa threads are concerned.  their metal in general isn't great ime, but I have had some positive experiences too so... ymmv. 

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I’m not against using a high quality clone, however finding one is difficult.  I would have to buy several from several manufacturers and select the best by doing testing.  Doing that could make it more cost effective to buy a real Floyd.

At least with the Floyd brand name I have a bit of an idea, although obviously not enough to stop me asking the question 😀

the key point of my question is really, are the knife edges really important on a top mounted trem that sits flush against the top of the body?

i do use the trem a lot, I like 80’s music and play a lot of van halen, who also uses a top mounted trem.


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17 hours ago, norm barrows said:

I believe the special requires a floyd type recess for full float.

True, but on this guitar I don’t want full float, I want dive only. In fact I will likely fit a D Tuna which requires that a floyd can’t float to work properly.

17 hours ago, norm barrows said:


I got a new black one for $58 on ebay, and a new gold one for $80 on ebay.


I don’t doubt it, in the US the specials are a lot cheaper

Stew Mac currently have them for £65

4 hours ago, norm barrows said:

i was  looking at the wrong clone trem!

the floyd rose has no inserts.  the knife edges are machined into the baseplate of the trem itself.

a chisel can not scratch the baseplate, so its pretty strong steel. the baseplate can scratch a chisel (slightly).  heck, a chisel could barely scratch through the finish at first.   nice paint.

I think this has got me where I need to be.  Seems it might be reasonable steel however there is an awful lot of force on knife edges and only hours of use will tell.

I have worn knife edges out before on an Ibanez S470 with a licensed Floyd style trem.  The experience was awful, and being licensed replacing parts With same fitment would have been Difficult. I sold that guitar for next to nothing on ebay, was a great guitar other than the trem. 

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  • 5 months later...

The Floyd Rise special has a decent base plate but the saddles are are from lesser quality metal and have had long term stability problems for strings apparently over time digging grooves into the front side of the blocks,  Another issue is the pivot pin in the saddle can wallow out causing tuning stability after heavy bar use as when the system returns to the zero point, the saddles could have shifted slightly (this seem far fetched to me and probably just rumor) 

I haven’t experienced this personally, as I only use either originals or Schaller made Floyd Roses(not schaller branded). I am just parroting what has been said about them by people I know personally and trust what they say.   Their suggestion to me is if I pick one up to upgrade it to original Floyd model parts ASAP. FWIW ymmv. 

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