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Thread: Floyd Rose: Original or Licensed

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    Default Floyd Rose: Original or Licensed

    Hi

    I’m the market for a Floyd Rose trem – having some trouble deciding whether to go with the original, Schaller or one of the many licensed trems (Floyd Rose special etc).

    I have a mex floyd rose Stratocaster – a pretty **** decent guitar.

    The original trem was a Fender "Floyd Rose II", which supposedly was made by Schaller - however I never believed that as it was SHOCKING. The trem arm was always loose and plating was flaky. Eventually the knife edges gave out and I had it replaced with a sloppy licensed tin-pot floyd (I was young and knew no better).

    Anyhoo, currently I have a Gotoh fitted, but this doesn’t seem to have the same response as the original – it’s more spongy and the springness just feels/sounds wrong.

    So, do I now try an Original Floyd Rose (OFR) or Schaller??

    However, I have heard some bad reviews on the quality of the OFR.

    What can you guys recommend?

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Ashurbanipal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Floyd Rose: Original or Licensed

    Interesting you don't like the Gotoh, as it's quite highly regarded, in terms of feel and engineering. The Ibanez Edge trems (old and new) are made by Gotoh, which are seen as the best licensed ones, mostly the old Edge and Lo-Pro Edge.

    Yes, there's been a lot of contention over the quality of the OFR recently, with people like Suhr stating that tolerances have dropped since the 80s (resulting in the adoption of Gotoh), while others think it's nonsense. I think there was a thread on HRI a while ago about this. XSSIVE and Zerberus are two forum muckers with the expertise. I've never heard of an OFR wearing out; perhaps some of the chaps who have old Kramers or Jacksons can chip in.

    Suffice to say that if the aim is to get the OFR, make sure that it's German made. Though it's made by Schaller, don't confuse it with the licensed Schaller, which is somewhat different and has knife edges independent of the baseplate so they can be replaced in the event of wear. The OFR has a hardened steel plate with ground out knives, as the pic below shows. There's also the Vigier licensed Floyd, which uses ball bearings instead of knives, though I don't know how they can be got and whether they can fit other guitars. They come on the Excalibur guitars.

    The OFR:




    Schaller:



    Ping OFR. Looks close to the original but has some subtle differences. The logo by the arm socket is also a giveaway but it's not always present. Uses a brass block.



    Then there's this thing, which is also licensed and made in Asia somewhere. It's got zinc saddles and block. Like the one above, it's commissioned by the FR company itself to compete with other licensed trems.



    The Vigier. Resembles a Schaller for the most part.

    Last edited by Ashurbanipal; 04-22-2009 at 01:59 AM.

  3. #3
    Just A Minion ErikH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Floyd Rose: Original or Licensed

    There's only 3 locking trems that I trust.

    1. Original Floyd Rose
    2. Gotoh Licensed
    3. Ibanez Edge

    Those 3 are the smoothest and most stable that I have used.

    It may just be a setup issue with the Gotoh. Try different springs.

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    Baron Von Shred Zerberus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Floyd Rose: Original or Licensed

    Quote Originally Posted by ryUK View Post
    ...
    The original trem was a Fender "Floyd Rose II", which supposedly was made by Schaller - ....
    If the Original trem was a FR II, then the only trem that will both fit thr rout properly and guarantee correct intonatability is the Schaller FR II.

    This is because the Schaller´s geometry is slightly different from other Floyds. The posts are mounted 1/16" farther towards the nut, and as a result the knife edge <-> intonation point distance is slightly increased.

    That said, a Gotoh or OFR may still work in your situation, but to guarantee compatibility a Schaller FR II is the only choice here.
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    Mojo's Minions Christopher Caruana's Avatar
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    Default Re: Floyd Rose: Original or Licensed

    the ORIGINAL floyd is the only way to go!
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    Default Re: Floyd Rose: Original or Licensed

    ....Right....

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    Super Toneologist kherman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Floyd Rose: Original or Licensed

    Quote Originally Posted by Zerberus View Post
    If the Original trem was a FR II, then the only trem that will both fit thr rout properly and guarantee correct intonatability is the Schaller FR II.

    This is because the Schaller´s geometry is slightly different from other Floyds. The posts are mounted 1/16" farther towards the nut, and as a result the knife edge <-> intonation point distance is slightly increased.

    That said, a Gotoh or OFR may still work in your situation, but to guarantee compatibility a Schaller FR II is the only choice here.

    +1 on that!

    Now that being said, make sure yours is a Schaller.
    There should be the words "Made in Germany by Schaller" stamped next to the arm socket.
    Like this one.
    http://www.stringblocker.com/en/deta..._floyd_big.jpg

    There is also a Non-Schaller version out there.
    Looks almost exactly like the Schaller.
    But, does not have the stamp by the arm socket.
    Like this one.
    http://www.dancingdragonguitars.com/...loydchrome.jpg
    These are common on less expensive guitars.
    And not as good as the Schaller.
    Last edited by kherman; 04-21-2009 at 02:37 PM.

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    Baron Von Shred Zerberus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Floyd Rose: Original or Licensed

    ^^ One note, schallers are compatible with standard floyd locking bolts as pictured in kherman´s post, but teh standard ones are broader and shorter, with no actual "head", identical to those pictured here:

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Ashurbanipal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Floyd Rose: Original or Licensed

    Quote Originally Posted by kherman View Post
    +1 on that!

    Now that being said, make sure yours is a Schaller.
    There should be the words "Made in Germany by Schaller" stamped next to the arm socket.
    Like this one.
    http://www.stringblocker.com/en/deta..._floyd_big.jpg
    Ouch, that one looks like it has a pretty bad case of ovalling on the treble side.

    I'm interested in what you gentlemen (and ladies, if there are any about, I'm aware of one ) think about the criticism that's been aired over the past while regarding the OFR. To what degree is it justified, and is it mostly just "back in the good old days" b.s.?

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    Default Re: Floyd Rose: Original or Licensed

    The new ones are not like the old ones...no two ways around that...no old vs new BS here.
    As for the Gotoh....sounds more like it needs a good setup....mine feels like my old OFRs...and has the same hardned steel.
    You can adjust the torque of the vib bar with a small allenwrench, it is located on the collar for the bar.
    And if the spongy feel is still present, get some other springs that are more stiff, those have a good deal of impact on how the vib feels.

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    Default Re: Floyd Rose: Original or Licensed

    They are still good....
    Just not how they used to be......
    My old ones are working just great, on the other hand the new one I had for a short time...
    Not as precisely made, nor as hard steel either...seemed rushed through for some odd reason.
    I got a Gotoh instead, as I knew it would just work....
    And it does just that

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    Default Re: Floyd Rose: Original or Licensed

    Quote Originally Posted by kherman View Post
    +1 on that!

    Now that being said, make sure yours is a Schaller.
    There should be the words "Made in Germany by Schaller" stamped next to the arm socket.
    Like this one.
    http://www.stringblocker.com/en/deta..._floyd_big.jpg

    There is also a Non-Schaller version out there.
    Looks almost exactly like the Schaller.
    But, does not have the stamp by the arm socket.
    Like this one.
    http://www.dancingdragonguitars.com/...loydchrome.jpg
    These are common on less expensive guitars.
    And not as good as the Schaller.
    Hi

    Thanks for al the comments...

    To clarify, my guitar was a mex Sambora strat, here's a pic of what it would of looked like new (pic is not of my actual guitar).



    As you can see, the original trem unit was a Floyd Rose II. In the promo material at the time it was implied that this was a genuine Schaller Floyd Rose II, but I dont recall the unit ever being stamped "Schaller" or "Made in Germany".

    As I said in the original post, currently I have the Gotoh. I have experimented with springs and setup but I still can't get the feel right.

    I presume that, having fitted the Gotoh, the OFR will also fit. But I am a little concerned if you guys imply that the quality if Gotoh and OFR are now quite similar.

    Therefore I may opt for a true German Schaller unit. They're pricey but my guitar was designed for that type of bridge, and hopefully it should give me the feel of my original.

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    Default Re: Floyd Rose: Original or Licensed

    The Gotoh is just as good as the old OFR.....
    The old II is the Schaller Floyd, which has powder steel instead of diecast steel.
    A little warmer and all that.....anyways soundwise the Gotoh and the OFR are quite similar, so is the buildquality, you are actually downscaling with the Schaller..

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    Default Re: Floyd Rose: Original or Licensed

    Quote Originally Posted by Rid View Post
    The Gotoh is just as good as the old OFR.....
    The old II is the Schaller Floyd, which has powder steel instead of diecast steel.
    Schaller Floyds have zinc baseplate (for the warmer sound.. yada yada) with hardened steel inserts.

    Whilst I agree that the "Floyd Rose II" fitted to my guitar may have been made by Schaller for Fender, I do not agree that it was a Schaller retail unit.

    Having just bought a Schaller "Vintage Tremolo" for a different project, I was amazed at the quality of the Schaller unit. In general the engeineering was fantastic and the finger-tip tension arm system worked great. My original trem unit was no-where near this build quality - it was sloppy.
    Last edited by ryUK; 04-22-2009 at 07:21 AM.

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    Baron Von Shred Zerberus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Floyd Rose: Original or Licensed

    On that guitar you could probably get by with a gotoh or OFR without issues because it´s not recessed so there are no clearance issues.

    However if you´re bothered by the feel of the gotoh as compared to teh opriginal trem, then an OFR won´t help you either, but only a Schaller because only a Schaller FR feels like a Schaller FR (a Kahler with bass springs comes close)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rid View Post
    The Gotoh is just as good as the old OFR.....
    The old II is the Schaller Floyd, which has powder steel instead of diecast steel.
    A little warmer and all that.....anyways soundwise the Gotoh and the OFR are quite similar, so is the buildquality, you are actually downscaling with the Schaller..
    I disagree on the build quality, as almost all parts of the Schaller are identical and interchangeable to those an an OFR, the only notable difference is the baseplate itself (as you said powdered steel with hardened knife edge inserts). Whether on not one likes the tone and feel is of course debatable, but I don´t find the quality any worse in any way. Especially after they started using brass inserts for the intonation screws in 1992 becasue people were letting gorillas cinch the saddles down causing the holes to strip.

    Side note: the Schaller plate is the diecast one, the OFR plates are laser cut and bent from a solid sheet, I´ve seen it first hand

    Side note 2: The only "higher" quality Floyd rose that uses zinc in any capacity is the FR Special... Carries the Floyd Rose Logo with "Special" underneath, steel baseplate, saddles and sustain block are zinc. IIRC this trem is also known as the FRT-1000 in teh catalogs of many manufacturers that don´t use the Ping. The idea was to create a cheaper version that could be upgraded with just saddles and block to become more "authentic".. Which IMHO was an asinine decision because the Ping is already a lower cost version, but at least it´s still a high quality trem better than anything Takeuchi makes.

    As far as deteriortaing over the years re: production quuality goes, I can´t second that. My OFR´s from the 00s and 90s sound just as good as the ones from the 80s, and I´ve not seen any tangible difference in wear, either... maybe I´ll notice in another 10 years, but for now I feel the difference is minimal at best...
    Last edited by Zerberus; 04-22-2009 at 07:40 AM.
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    Default Re: Floyd Rose: Original or Licensed

    Quote Originally Posted by Zerberus View Post
    I disagree on the build quality, as almost all parts of the Schaller are identical and interchangeable to those an an OFR, the only notable difference is the baseplate itself (as you said powdered steel with hardened knife edge inserts). Whether on not one likes the tone and feel is of course debatable, but I don´t find the quality any worse in any way. Especially after they started using brass inserts for the intonation screws in 1992 becasue people were letting gorillas cinch the saddles down causing the holes to strip.

    Side note: the Schaller plate is the diecast one, the OFR plates are laser cut and bent from a solid sheet, I´ve seen it first hand
    Agreed - even on Schaller web page they admit that they make both the OFR and their own Floyd and parts are interchangable.

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    Default Re: Floyd Rose: Original or Licensed


    The new ones Zerb..not the bloody old ones

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    Baron Von Shred Zerberus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Floyd Rose: Original or Licensed

    I though we were living on the ´00s ?? Did I miss a decade?

    Or you mean say in the last 2-3 years or so? Haven`t bought one new since like 2k5 or so, jsut saying I haven´t noticed it untlil at least that point
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    Default Re: Floyd Rose: Original or Licensed


    Dunno....I feel like I missed two by now
    Hehe
    Anyways had a FRII on my Heartfield super....was identical to one of my Schallers...except is was lighter, prolly the materials and a zinc block...
    Found a replacement this weekend, from an old Lag strat...lol
    That is a real Schaller.

  20. #20
    Baron Von Shred Zerberus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Floyd Rose: Original or Licensed

    ^^ Zinc block should be a very noticable weight difference compared to brass I think, with it being more noticable the bigger the block gets... I´d say probably 100 grams or so at least...
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