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Floyd Rose nut on a vintage-radius guitar

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  • Floyd Rose nut on a vintage-radius guitar

    So, I might be spoiling mysef with a custom guitar within the next year or so, as I am currently well underway with a major life achievement. One of the things that I want to give more attention than I have previously is the question of radius. Although most of the guitarists I like veer towards wide, flat fretboards, I find that I like the control and comfort vintage-spec'd ones give me. The best neck I own is a scalloped 7 1/4"-9 1/2" compound radius neck, and I think I am going to go for something similar.

    However, a Floyd Rose with a locking nut is an absolute requirement for me. Floyd nuts, if memory serves, are made for 10" necks, and have to be compensated for with flatter radii. What, then, about rounder radii? Is there going to be a significant compromise involved? Are there alternatives to the OFR locking nut that might mitigate any problems?

  • #2
    Re: Floyd Rose nut on a vintage-radius guitar

    Originally posted by Sirion View Post
    So, I might be spoiling mysef with a custom guitar within the next year or so, as I am currently well underway with a major life achievement. One of the things that I want to give more attention than I have previously is the question of radius. Although most of the guitarists I like veer towards wide, flat fretboards, I find that I like the control and comfort vintage-spec'd ones give me. The best neck I own is a scalloped 7 1/4"-9 1/2" compound radius neck, and I think I am going to go for something similar.

    However, a Floyd Rose with a locking nut is an absolute requirement for me. Floyd nuts, if memory serves, are made for 10" necks, and have to be compensated for with flatter radii. What, then, about rounder radii? Is there going to be a significant compromise involved? Are there alternatives to the OFR locking nut that might mitigate any problems?
    Hey,

    I have the ultimate solution that's a bit out of the box. There's a super star luthier named Mike McConniville up here in Stratford Ontario Canada. He can equip a Floyd Rose nut with an intonnated and compensated nut that is immediately before the locking nut. This allows you to specify the nut radius precisely and also every note on the fingerboard is dead on for tuning. Even the spider jazz chords are completely in tune. I've had him do my 92' Floyd Rose Classic when we did a refret and radiused it to 14" (I have freakishly big hands). It's absolutely incredible to play now. Anytime I'm by his shop he has guitars from around the world shipped to him so he'll know the best shipping methods. Here's his page: https://mcconvilleguitars.blogspot.com

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    • #3
      Re: Floyd Rose nut on a vintage-radius guitar

      There are 4 widths and radii of Floyd nuts available as I remember... You don't have to use a Floyd locking nut - there are aftermarket ones available that work fine - as well as good quality locking tuning machines....

      I have a Vintage Icon V6M24 with a Wilkinson VS100 whammy and locking Grovers. No problem at all.
      https://imgur.com/aLZp4Id
      aka Chris Pile, formerly of Six String Fever

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      • #4
        Re: Floyd Rose nut on a vintage-radius guitar

        Id go locking tuners. They work way better than people realize.

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        • #5
          Re: Floyd Rose nut on a vintage-radius guitar

          A locking nut is one of the last things I'd want to compromise on on a guitar (it is a big part of the reason why the guitar with the best neck I own is not used more). So no, no locking tuners, roller nuts or other ersatz solutions. What can I say, I like divebombs and dislike headaches.
          Last edited by Sirion; 04-22-2020, 02:58 PM.

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          • #6
            Re: Floyd Rose nut on a vintage-radius guitar

            Originally posted by beaubrummels View Post
            I’d go locking tuners. They work way better than people realize.
            If it's good enough for carvin?

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            • #7
              Re: Floyd Rose nut on a vintage-radius guitar

              Just get a "jackson-like" 9"-12" compound radius fretboard and a standard german OFR setup to match it.
              Honestly I think you'll feel plenty close enough to what you want to barely notice if at all notice, and the trem will match perfectly at nut and bridge.

              When you take out the stock shim under the center 4 saddles of a german ofr you are left with a 12" radius bridge, and you can get a slightly rounder nut to match the board down low.
              Last edited by dave74; 04-23-2020, 05:50 AM.

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              • #8
                Re: Floyd Rose nut on a vintage-radius guitar

                Maybe a zero fret with a vintage radius right in front of the locking nut, by slightly relocating the locking nut back so the zero fret is in the exact location needed for the scale length.

                Back in the 80's Khaler trems had the locking nut located behind a regular nut because they could not use a Floyd nut legally at the time. Did they work?

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                • #9
                  Re: Floyd Rose nut on a vintage-radius guitar

                  Also, it might be worth making some calculations. The difference in arc and height over such a short distance as the nut might so little that its not worth the headache. For example Jacksons have a 12-16 compound radius and according Floyd Rose ( https://floydrose.com/collections/pa...nt=30511208978 ) none of their locking nuts have a 12 radius. When I saw this I made calculations how much of a difference there was between the highest points and it was a fraction of a mm. But you van see that from the table I linked. Also, you can use a diamond file to work on the radii of the slots like you would do with a non locking nut. Drawing a 7 1/4 and 10 radius circle above each other with offset centers helps in visualizing and then you can actually see the difference. Over the span of those thirty something millimeters I'd expect it to be very minor.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Floyd Rose nut on a vintage-radius guitar

                    i need a locking nut on a BC R BICH ( mik) that I had a lespaul trem installed on , it has locking tuners , but does not stay in tune ( the strings angle after the nut.). but I had a ton of headaches with a custom built guitar in early 80's with a F /R I think I tried 3 nuts before finding the correct on , the BCR -B went on the back burner about 6 yrs ago Btw I had never heard of a LP trem till I purchased a Flaxwood guitar, it has the smoothest most stable trem I have ever used &I always had trouble with too much palm pressure effecting tuning,, not so with the LP trem , it took me over 2 yrs to find one to purchase. they were hard to find.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Floyd Rose nut on a vintage-radius guitar

                      Originally posted by Lake Placid Blues View Post
                      Back in the 80's Khaler trems had the locking nut located behind a regular nut because they could not use a Floyd nut legally at the time. Did they work?
                      IME not that great. If your nut was cut absolutely perfectly, a behind-the-nut clamp would stay in tune nearly as well as a locking nut. Meanwhile in the real world, the nut would tend to bind with anything more than gentle vibrato use. My Charvel Model 2/4 hybrid started out with a clamp, but the stability was pretty lousy. First I tried locking tuners, and the results were similar even with a Graphtech TUSQ-XL nut. A couple years ago I had a Kahler 5521 locknut installed and it's been solid ever since:
                      Originally posted by crusty philtrum
                      And that's probably because most people with electric guitars seem more interested in their own performance rather than the effect on the listener ... in fact i don't think many people who own electric guitars even give a poop about the effect on a listener. Which is why many people play electric guitars but very very few of them are actually musicians.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Floyd Rose nut on a vintage-radius guitar

                        Originally posted by dystrust View Post
                        IME not that great. If your nut was cut absolutely perfectly, a behind-the-nut clamp would stay in tune nearly as well as a locking nut. Meanwhile in the real world, the nut would tend to bind with anything more than gentle vibrato use. My Charvel Model 2/4 hybrid started out with a clamp, but the stability was pretty lousy. First I tried locking tuners, and the results were similar even with a Graphtech TUSQ-XL nut. A couple years ago I had a Kahler 5521 locknut installed and it's been solid ever since:
                        That's good information.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Floyd Rose nut on a vintage-radius guitar

                          I have had good luck with locking tuners and well cut graphite nuts on strat heads and tele heads. But not as much with the 3 on a side and the pointy's.

                          My PRS had locking tuners, but I never use the trem on it, and have replaced the phelonic nut with a bone nut, anyway.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Floyd Rose nut on a vintage-radius guitar

                            I think the Kahler 'solution' wasn't a good one. Having the lock behind the nut causes some issues, too. I'd think a good builder can find the right parts (or alter existing ones) to fit your dream build.
                            Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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                            • #15
                              Re: Floyd Rose nut on a vintage-radius guitar

                              I would start with the 10" radius one, and then, using a triangular mini file, hand slot the slots under the outer two clamps a bit deeper. Then send it out for stripping and re-plating. Then reshape the bottoms of the two outer locking clamps, or add shims under them to take up the extra space.

                              Obviously it would take someone who is good with a file to follow the over-the-nut curvature correctly, but in the end, the idea is not rocket science.

                              I use a shim under the D/G clamp on my one Floyd nut anyhow, otherwise the G string slips. It's easy. I tested for the right thickness at first, then once I found it, I epoxied it to the clamp.
                              Last edited by ItsaBass; 05-02-2020, 04:07 PM.
                              Originally posted by LesStrat
                              Yogi Berra was correct.
                              Originally posted by JOLLY
                              I do a few chord things, some crappy lead stuff, and then some rhythm stuff.

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