To some people, it is an absolute must have feature on their guitar. To others, it is a monstrosity that is to be avoided at all costs. Here we way up the pros and cons of locking tremolo units.
The Floyd Rose tremolo is just that, a tremolo unit (the bridge on your electric guitar) which locks the strings in two different places. The strings are locked at the nut and the bridge of your electric guitar. The system was introduced in the mid 80’s and was soon through its paces by the likes of Eddie Van Halen and George Lynch.
Much like the Vintage tremolo bridge on Stratocaster guitars, the Floyd Rose lets you lower and raise the pitch on your instrument. However, the addition of the locking nut and the fact that the strings are also locked into place at the bridge means you can raise or lower the pitch to an otherwise unimaginable degree.
The standard Floyd Rose System also features fine-tuning keys (One for each string). These let the player tweak the tuning without having to loosen the locking nut.
The Floyd Rose is still as popular as ever and for one simple reason, it works well. A well set up system can handle the most intense dive bombs and tremolo flutters with ease. Metal and shred guitar players love them as a whole treasure trove of guitar acrobatics become possible when using one.
Even some players who have a more reserved style of vibrato or don’t even use the tremolo bar like the system. The reason? It’s extra insurance in the battle for tuning stability.
The main problem newcomers seem to have is changing strings or changing string gauge and tuning. More tweaking is involved and it can be a little more time-consuming. Should you buy a guitar through Sounds Great Music we will show you how to maintain your tremolo.
Also, the locking nut means that you cannot change tunings as quickly. While some guitars such as the EVH Wolfgang come equipped with a D-Tuna (A device that changes your low E string to a D in seconds) this can mean some players would have to change guitars every time you play a song in an alternate tuning.
Floyd Rose’s are nothing to be scared of. They can open up a whole range of new and exciting sounds and allow you to perform some impressive guitar wizardry. However, if you are in a band that changes tuning every song then they might not be for you.
For more information pop in store and speak to any of the guys in the guitar department.