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Strat 6-Screw Tremolo vs Non Fine Tuner Floyd

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by jaymenon, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. jaymenon

    jaymenon Strat-Talk Member

    Humour me please on this one - it’s a bit geeky...

    Traditional six screw Stratocaster tremolo bridge

    • Traditional design
    • Bent steel saddles

    Non-Fine Tuner Floyd Rose

    • Block saddles
    • Saddles locked to the baseplate
    • Strings locked at the saddles
    Both work with a conventional neck and a bone / TUSQ nut.

    While undoubtedly the Floyd will stay in tune better, will it really rob / destroy the tone?

    It seems fashionable to trash anything Floyd Rose, but it seems counterintuitive to me since most ‘upgrades’ to the traditional Strat tremolo seem to add mass, be it a sustain block or a thicker baseplate.



    Expert opinions deeply appreciated ...
    abnormaltoy likes this.
  2. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 26, 2014
    FWIW, I don't like any system that requires tools to replace a broken string in a dark place!
    Maybe It's Just Me?
  3. Strat-Slinger

    Strat-Slinger Senior Stratmaster

    I fully agree... frankly, I find that bridge (and any Floyd type bridge) a venerable PITA to deal with compared to a good ol' stock Fender tremolo/vibrato bridge... with bent or block saddles...
    rolandson and abnormaltoy like this.
  4. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 26, 2014
    Great wood on the body and headstock though! I also like the thick pick guard!
    Looks Gorgeous!
    bhr17, rolandson and abnormaltoy like this.
  5. Tomas83

    Tomas83 Strat-O-Master

    Jul 30, 2014
    NE in the 4 corners
    I’d go with FR. For my playing style, I really don’t want the arm to be moving around. Is the price close on the 2? Have you played that type of FR? I only had the traditional FR model in the past so I wouldn’t know.
    abnormaltoy likes this.
  6. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh needs you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too. Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jan 10, 2014
    Initech, Inc.
    The Floyd won't necessarily stay in tune better. Both of my Strats have traditional bridges, and they are far and away my most tuning-stable guitars.
    Stratbats, rolandson and abnormaltoy like this.
  7. jaymenon

    jaymenon Strat-Talk Member

    Thanks guys for your replies. The NFT Floyd is already mine, I had it made, inspired by the Guthrie Govan Charvel, except that I wanted a strat pickup configuration.

    1. Strings locked at the tuners and bridge-saddles. Bridge saddles locked to the tremolo baseplate.
    2. Back angled headstock with bone nut - so no string trees
    3. The only place of potential friction is the nut, which is well cut and lubricated.

    So putting aside all prejudice, it is mechanically more sound than a conventional set up - and it stays in tune like a dream.

    It however, sounds a little mid-heavy. I’m wondering if it’s the Kinman Woodstock (high output) pickups - and whether changing to a set of underwound pickups would address this.
    abnormaltoy and AngelDeVille like this.
  8. Guitaraxe

    Guitaraxe Strat-O-Master

    Aug 22, 2015
  9. sam_in_cali

    sam_in_cali Scream for me Strat-Talk! Strat-Talk Supporter

    Feb 21, 2014
    Santa Maria, CA
    The tuning stability with the Floyd comes from having a locking nut. Beyond that, which bridge you go with depends on feel and convenience more than anything else.
    abnormaltoy and nickmsmith like this.
  10. Swampash

    Swampash Senior Stratmaster

    Jun 13, 2012
    Floyd wins by a country mile
    abnormaltoy likes this.
  11. jaymenon

    jaymenon Strat-Talk Member

    Actually tuning stability with Floyd Rose comes from the strings being locked at both ends (the bridge and the nut).

    With a combination of the NFT Floyd and locking tuners - The strings are locked at both ends with however, one point of friction in the middle (the nut).
    abnormaltoy and alainvey like this.
  12. Swampash

    Swampash Senior Stratmaster

    Jun 13, 2012
    and from there being only two pivot points at the bridge, and those being hardened steel .knife-edges
    abnormaltoy and sam_in_cali like this.
  13. sam_in_cali

    sam_in_cali Scream for me Strat-Talk! Strat-Talk Supporter

    Feb 21, 2014
    Santa Maria, CA
    I've never had locking tuners but I was under the impression that they mainly made string changes easier rather than improving tuning stability?
    abnormaltoy likes this.
  14. jaymenon

    jaymenon Strat-Talk Member

    Hi Sam, locking tuners do indeed make string changes easier. However by reducing the number of wraps around the post, I believe they do aid tuning stability.

    With a conventional machine head if you do a dive bomb (which I must admit I never do on my Strat), the windings around the post become loosened - and then tighten again when you release the tremolo. This allows the string to ‘hang’ at the post - and come back in a different position.

    The less the number of winds around the post, the less potent is this phenomenon - and I suppose in this regard, locking machine head would help. What do you think?
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
    rocknrollrich and abnormaltoy like this.
  15. sam_in_cali

    sam_in_cali Scream for me Strat-Talk! Strat-Talk Supporter

    Feb 21, 2014
    Santa Maria, CA
    Makes sense in theory to me. I never really attributed tuning issues to the tuners seems the nut is the usual suspect.
    abnormaltoy likes this.
  16. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 26, 2014
    It takes every piece in the box for to make the complete puzzle!
    Just Sayin'
    henderman, rolandson and abnormaltoy like this.
  17. AngelDeVille

    AngelDeVille Strat-O-Master

    Jul 25, 2017
    I’m a huge Floyd fan, but I hate the locking nut.
    Ruscio and abnormaltoy like this.
  18. rolandson

    rolandson Most Honored Senior Member

    Well, this expert's opinion is...
    The floyd rose bridge is just plain butt ugly and a real pita to work with.

    On top of that, a properly set up six screw will hold tune just as well as a rose.
    Stratbats likes this.
  19. jaymenon

    jaymenon Strat-Talk Member

    Cosmetics are of course subjective.

    A properly set up six screw will indeed hold tune very well - but mechanically, it cannot compete with locking the strings at both ends, in terms of tuning stability. Whether one’s playing style requires that level of stability is of course different from player to player. Many of my guitar heroes’ strats were at times hopelessly out of tune..

    I too used to think locking Tremolos were very difficult to maintain, until I watched some tutorials and learnt how to do them. It really isn’t that difficult…
  20. Brian H

    Brian H Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 7, 2016

    I dont think a FR is needed to stay in tune any better than a non FR. I've had FR guitars and between the hassle of changing a string..or all of them....for me the bulk some have, its not worth it.

    This guitar was still in tune when I was finished

    TheDuck likes this.