Floyd Rose upgrades is a must because Floyd Rose Tremolos produce less sustain than a fixed bridge guitar. It is caused by the reduced contact between the tremolo and the body of the guitar.
It is the reason why a fixed bridge Gibson Les Paul will have more sustain compared to a guitar with a Floyd Rose Tremolo. A decent Floyd Rose upgrade can fix this issue.
Why is Floyd Rose Upgrades Necessary?
The only contact between the body of the guitar and the Floyd Rose Tremolo Bridge is the knife edge that hinges on two tremolo posts. This reduced contact is the reason why there is reduced sustain on guitars equipped with Floyd Rose Tremolos.
The means to counteract this problem is to upgrade the original tone block with a massive Brass Tone Block or a Big Block Titanium Tone Block. There are other materials in the market, but I will concentrate on these two as they are the most popular.
Big Titanium Tone Block
Titanium is the best material because it has lower internal damping effects than most metal. It means it will not absorb guitar string vibrations but transmits it to the other guitar components thereby enhancing clarity and sustain.
The Big Block Titanium Tone Block is a different beast. The sustain is way much longer compared to the Brass Tone Block. The resulting tone is so clean when compared to the big brass tone block.
I am amazed by the note separation on chorded notes on high distortion. The clarity of the tone on the Titanium Tone Block, cannot be surpassed by the Brass Tone Block. As I was saying, the Floyd Rose Titanium Tone Block is a different beast.
Guitars upgraded with the Floyd Rose upgrades Titanium tone block outshines the other guitars regarding sustain and clarity of the notes produced even on a high gain setting.
The only drawback is the price. Titanium Tone Blocks are very expensive. It is worth it though if you consider the drastic improvement in sound and sustain.
The tone is sacred to all guitarist, so price doesn’t matter as long as the pure tone is produced. If the price does not bother you, then I suggest you go Titanium.
Big Brass Tone Block
The Big Block Brass Tone Block increases the sustain and gives the guitar a warmer tone. Brass is a very musical material, and it is widely used in wind instruments and cymbals. Vast improvement in tone quality is noticeable but for my ears, Titanium is still the best.
Other Floyd Rose Upgrades That Will Enhance Guitar Tone
Hantug Titanium Saddles for Floyd Rose
Hantug Titanium Saddles with inserts is another option for Titanium saddles upgrade. It is made in Turkey by Hantug Custom Guitars.
Hantug Nut for Floyd Rose
Upgrading the Floyd Rose Nut with a Titanium nut is likewise a good upgrade as we all noted the musical property of Titanium. The nut is also one part that is connected to the guitar strings. Therefore is should have a good material like the saddles and Titanium is the best choice for this. As Titanium will not absorb the vibrations of the strings, this upgrade improves tone and sustain.
Hantug of Turkey produces Titanium locking nut for Floyd Rose Tremolo.
Floyd Rose Tremolo Spring, Spring Claw, and Screws
Another part of Floyd Rose Upgrades is the tremolo spring, spring claw, and the screw. Changing the spring claw and screws to brass spring claws and brass screws is also a good upgrade as brass is a very musical material.
You would not believe it, but changing that regular springs to heavy duty (high tension) noiseless springs will make your tremolo quieter and more stable. You need only two out of three because it is high tension.
Titanium String Blocks
The string block (the metal block that presses the strings in its place) is also a weak point of a Floyd Rose Bridge. It is constructed of oxide metal and will easily rust and get jammed on the slot. It is best to be upgraded to Titanium String Blocks. The Titanium String Blocks resist corrosion and will add sustain to the overall sound of the guitar.
Titanium Mounting Machine Screws
Upgrading the mounting machine screws to Titanium will help a lot in transferring the vibrations of the string to the body of the guitar. This component is the link between your Floyd Rose Tremolo knife edge and the body of the guitar.
The intonation screws, the string block screws, and the nut screws are made of oxide metal and will quickly rust thus upgrading this also to Titanium is also a good upgrade.
There is also an option to upgrade the string block screws, intonation screws, and the nut screws to Titanium. Even the spring claw changed to Titanium will also help in the overall sound of the guitar. Although this costs more money, it is worth it because Titanium lasts and more musical as it will not absorb the vibrations of the strings.
Black Box Tremolo Stabilizer
Black Box Tremolo Stabilizer is an essential part of the Floyd Rose Upgrades. A Floyd Rose tremolo is prone to be out of tune as it is a floating tremolo. A good tremolo stabilizer is essential. The Black Box Tremolo Stabilizer is a superb one and I think is the best Floyd Rose Tremolo Stabilizer in the market as of this writing. The Black Box Tremolo Stabilizer stabilizes the tremolo so well that it always return to its zero position. Even after deep dive bombs and pull ups it still goes back to its zero position.
All Titanium Floyd Rose Tremolo
Well, almost all of the components are made of Titanium now. Can we just buy a whole tremolo made of Titanium? Yes, you have two options The Floyd Rose Titanium Tremolo made by TiSonix of the USA or the Hantug Titanium Locking Tremolo from Turkey. They produce the only seven string model Titanium Locking Tremolo in the market, and they have different anodized finishes available.
Graph Tech Ghost Saddles
Finally, if you want a studio quality acoustic sound on your electric guitar, install Graph Tech Ghost Loaded Saddles. How cool is that? A guitar with a massive sustain with a studio quality acoustic sound?
This saddles will allow you to have a studio quality acoustic sound from your guitar. Each saddle has a Piezo Pickup as well as the patented Graph Tech String Saver. Your electric guitar will now have an acoustic sound as well as string breakage would be rare because of the Graph Tech String Saver.
The Graph Tech Ghost Piezo Pickups are so amazing with the Acoustic Preamp for Acoustic sound or with Hexpander Preamp where you can turn your guitar into a Midi instrument. You can also install both preamps if you want to. The Graph Tech String Saver material embedded in the saddles will make your guitar sounding clearer. You will hear the sound of your strings, not the saddle.
I have this installed on one of my Ibanez Jems, and people are always amazed when I do acoustic songs using the Graph Tech Ghost Piezo pickups. Acoustic sounds from this guitar fitted with the Graph Tech Ghost Piezo pickups is something, and they claim it is studio quality. In my honest opinion, it is studio quality.
They always look around and start looking for the acoustic guitar once I start playing with this pickups. It is cool because I have both the playability of a fast electric guitar neck and a studio quality acoustic sound produced by the Graph Tech Ghost Piezo Pickups. I did not install the Hexpander Preamp though because I don’t need the Midi capability.
I have tried the Ernie Ball Musicman JP6 ( John Petrucci signature) with a Piezo pickup, but I think the Graphtech Ghost Piezo pickups are much better.
The Graph Tech Ghost Saddles with Piezo Pickups and Graph Tech String Saver is another option for the saddles.
A Floyd Rose Tremolo Bridge fitted with a Big Block Titanium Sustain Block, Titanium String Insert Blocks, Titanium Intonation Screws, Titanium Block Screws is a hell of an upgrade. If you add the Titanium Nut, Heavy Duty Noiseless Springs, Titanium Spring Claws, Brass Spring Claw Screws, Titanium Saddles, Titanium Fine Tuner, Titanium Fine Tuner Tension Plate, Titanium Tremolo Arm Assembly, Titanium nut and of course the Black Box Tremolo Stabilizer is the best upgrade for a Floyd Rose Tremolo Bridge so far.
So check it out, please proceed to my Floyd Rose Upgrades Parts Page.
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