Floyd Rose Tremolo Vibrato Bridge Reference Information Thread

floyd-rose-identification-resource.jpg

This thread is a reference resource for Floyd Rose Tremolos covering identification of vintage Floyd Rose bridges.

  • A work-in-process thread and will be updated as time allows.

  • Bridges are displayed in no specific order

  • Topic is vintage Floyd Rose vibratos that are of the most interest and the most sought after. Some licensed Floyd Rose bridge systems will be covered.

I hope this helps some guitarists in their quest for information. Best Wishes, Johnny - The SENSEI OF VINTAGE 1980'S GUITARS 先生


1984 Floyd Rose “Original” Germany Tremolo Vibrato Bridge

Floyd Rose “Original” 1984 Germany Tremolo Vibrato Bridge

Floyd Rose “Original” 1984 Germany Tremolo Vibrato Bridge

This is a 1984 Foyd Rose Made in Germany Tremolo. It can be distinguished by the Floyd Rose Orignial standard sustain block that is missing any USA Patent Number. It Pre-dates Mr. Floyd Rose’s US patent on his product. Floyd completed the US Patent in 1985 and the US Patent number was embossed on all new bridges after 1985. This tremolo represents what can be considered Floyd’s completed design ( not a prototype ) in that the bridge, the saddles, the baseplate, the sustain block, etc, kept this basic configuration and general specifications for decades to follow. This incarnation is the most familiar design of the Floyd Rose tremolo.

One of the most sought after vintage Floyd Rose tremolos. Offered on USA Kramer guitars semi-exclusively in 1984. Also were offered to the retail market and music outlets as Floyd Rose kits.

  • Early Collared style Tremolo bar mount

  • Floyd Rose “Original” Sustain Block without an embossed US Patent Number

  • manufactured by Schaller Germany

  • “Floyd Rose” first style type/text embossed baseplate Logo

  • baseplate structure indicates original cast or casting process

  • Made in Germany marking on baseplate is the first style

  • One of the thickest baseplate of all Floyds except prototypes

  • Final tremolo design that did not change in any way for years to follow.


1983 Floyd Rose Tremolo With Made in W. Germany Sticker

Floyd Rose Made in W. Germany Sticker 1983

Floyd Rose Made in W. Germany Sticker 1983

  • Manufactured by Schaller Germany

  • First Hi-Production Run of Floyd Rose Tremolos in Germany

  • Factory Stainless steel saddle blocks/inserts

  • Unique high gloss chrome plating on these sustain blocks which are 100% quality brass inside

  • No imprint for “made in Germany”

  • Made in W. Germany Floyd Rose sticker pre-dates embossed Made In Germany

  • “Original”standard Sustain Block without an embossed US Patent Number

  • “Floyd Rose” first style type/text baseplate logo

  • Early Collared style Tremolo bar mount

  • baseplate structure indicates original cast or casting process

  • One of the thickest baseplate of all Floyds except prototypes

  • brass fine tuner buttons

  • Appeared mainly on 1983 Kramer guitars advertised with the Eddie Van Halen Tremolo

  • This tremolo represents what can be considered Floyd’s completed design ( not a prototype ) in that the bridge, the saddles, the baseplate, the sustain block, etc, kept this basic configuration and general specifications for decades to follow. This incarnation is the most familiar design of the Floyd Rose tremolo.


1983 Floyd Rose Kramer Endorsement Short Run Tremolo ( loosely called the FRT-5 )

1983 Kramer Floyd Rose made by Kahler

1983 Kramer Floyd Rose made by Kahler

  • Manufactured by Kahler which was American Precision Metal Works Inc ( APW ). So these were manufactured in Anaheim California USA

  • First Run of “Whale Tail” Floyd Rose Tremolos manufactured distributed in the USA ( to Kramer Guitars New Jersey ). Yet this was not the first “Whale Tail Floyd Rose” as we will show in the following listing.

  • The term FRT-5 for this USA made tremolo is arguably incorrect as the designation “FRT-blank” is a Fernandes bridge model term. For whatever reasons Fernandes had a mix-up or confusion. There were numerous and various incarnations of the Floyd Rose tremolos branded with Floyd logos between late 1983 to early 1985 with some made in the USA, some Germany and some made in Japan during these months. ( we will show the Fernandes versions below ).

  • Saddles are also shorter than modern Floyd saddles.

  • The baseplate is a “stamped” metal baseplate ( bent steel ). Not a casting or cast metal baseplate like the later German Version.

  • Early Prototype stainless steel saddle inserts/blocks ( T shaped blocks ) that stay attached to the saddle by these little wings/tabs that fit into a ridge at the bottom of each saddle. ( see pics ).

  • Fat steel sustain block which is 100% steel. We at AXN™ Guitar used this steel sustain block as the template for our SuperWide™ Sustain Block.

  • This was a short very rushed run of Floyd Rose Tremolos. Very short run…

  • Virtually all these made it to Kramer production line guitars to support the relationship between Mr. Floyd Rose and Kramer guitars and also to support the advertising for 1983 Kramer line and the EVH relationship. Mainly ended up on 1983 Kramer Pacers.

  • “Floyd Rose” first style type/text baseplate logo

  • Take note of correct tremolo bar which was the same as earlier prototype models. we have indicated the correct tremolo bar in our photos.

  • This version lacks a “spring” or flat thin metal 6 finger tensioner under the baseplate that holds up the rear saddle bolts. The actual guitar strings provided pull-up or pull forward applied to the saddle to apply pressure towards the small fine tuners.

  • Short term design. Floyd again outsourced to a manufacturer that was quickly changed. Months later the next design was founded ( final and long lasting design ) which would be the W. Germany Sticker Floyd Rose manufactured by Schaller Germany we mentioned in this thread.



1983 Floyd Rose Tremolo Whale Tail - THE FIRST WHALE TAIL DESIGN PRODUCED

The First Floyd Rose Whale Tail Design

The First Floyd Rose Whale Tail Design

  • Produced by Fernandes Japan

  • The First Production Floyd Rose Tremolos with the Whale Tail Design

  • Factory Stainless steel saddle blocks/inserts ( T shaped blocks )

  • Famous Steel sustain block

  • Fine tuners are steel not brass like in versions to follow

  • Unique Floyd Rose Embossed Logo on Baseplate

  • This version predates all early whale tail Floyds and was produced months before manufacturing was shifted to USA and also to Germany.

  • “Prototype Style “ Tremolo bar mount

  • Baseplate structure indicates original cast or casting process

  • This Fernandes produced version includes a spring/tensioner under the rear saddle bolts and under the sustain block to control saddles.

  • The same thickest baseplate such as in first prototypes

  • Appeared in early 1983 Fernandes marketing

  • This tremolo represents the improvement of the “whale tail” that would lead to Floyd’s completed design

  • The bridge, the saddles, the baseplate, the sustain block, etc, carry forward aspects of the original Floyd Rose prototypes.

  • This incarnation is said to also incorporate a suggestion made by Eddie Van Halen. EVH’s suggestion was to move the fine tuners back farther out of the reach of a guitarists hand during play the “whale tail” as its called.

  • Floyd Rose has confirmed in interviews that he himself worked on the molds for prototype baseplates

  • Notice that saddle mounting and intonation screw holes on this baseplate are just two rows. An aspect that was different than in Mr. Floyd Rose’s following designs. There were three tapped rows of holes for saddles in previous prototypes also.

  • Floyd Rose was personally involved with these early transitional designs funded by and with the help of Fernandes Japan. This is evident in the way the logo appears on this unit. This an indicator that the casting process and the mold held internal engravings. Molds in the casting process can contain engravings inside that produces textures and/or markings that will be displayed on the product after the molten metal is poured into a mold at a foundry.


1984 Floyd Rose Japanese Domestic Tremolo ( Fernandes named it the FRT-7 )

1984 Floyd Rose FRT-7 by Fernandes

1984 Floyd Rose FRT-7 by Fernandes

This tremolo was available with the Floyd Rose Logo stamped on the baseplate in Japan for one year. It was made available within the same few months that the mass produced German made ( Schaller Manufactured ) Floyd Rose Original released in the USA in the year 1984.

  • Technically an official Floyd Rose product and not a “Licensed” Floyd Rose because Fernandes and Mr. Floyd Rose were working together and/or were under contract with each other.

  • Released prior to the official US Patent for the Floyd Rose Tremolo which came into effect in 1985.

  • ONLY released in Japan

  • The baseplate is a “stamped” metal baseplate ( bent steel ). Not a cast baseplate like the German Floyd

  • The saddles and design have a more rounded appearance at the edges.

  • Notice that saddle mounting and intonation screw holes on this baseplate are just two rows. An aspect that was different than in Mr. Floyd Rose’s final German made design.

  • Initially referred to as an FRT-5 by the Japanese people. Later confusingly named an FRT-7 by Fernandes.

  • Fernandes also sold and was a dealer of the German made Floyd Rose “Original” in Japan. Sold both Floyd Rose tremolos at the same time also calling the German version an FRT-5.

  • The price difference shown in the Fernandes catalog shows a price of about 30% less for this domestic Floyd Rose, FRT-7 ( or FRT-5 whichever you call it ), sold/distributed by Fernandes for 48,000 yen ( German version Floyd Rose sold for 64,000 Yen )

  • The tremolo bar bushing or collar that holds the bar to the baseplate has the same new design as the German Floyd Rose Original and shares the same specification for the tremolo bar.

  • The sustain block is a casting and not machined metal. Sustain block mounting screws are not the same as German Floyds and not interchangeable with such.

  • The saddle design is similar but the bottom of the saddles are slightly different that German version as shown in our last few photos.

  • An FRT-7C is Chrome. An FRT-7B is Black.

  • After 1985 this tremolo re-appears in Japan branded as a Fernandes Head Crasher

  • Last photos show the Head Crasher Tremolo ( same bridge as this FRT-7 ) that was later re-branded by Fernandes.

  • There were 4 variations of this design produced by Fernandes and branded with Fernandes names that were virtually identical yet slightly different.

  • The dis-assembled parts photos show the unique aspects of an FRT-7B.