I think I first came across a Floyd Rose guitar in 2005. Mr Rose has been developing his “speedloader” tremelo system since the early 90′s and as this new system with double ball end strings makes the headstock redundant. Mr Rose decided to launch his own brand of guitars to show off the new tremelo system.The strings were pre-cut to a very precise length (to sound very close to the right pitch when installed) and had special ends which snap into the bridge and nut. Once the replacement string is in place, fine-tuning is performed in a fashion similar to the Floyd Rose Original bridge. The process for changing strings is simpler and faster; the idea being that you able to change all 6 strings in under a minute. Clever huh???
Basically what we have here is a high end US made Superstrat with a “decorative” headstock. Think Anderson/Suhr/Charvel maybe? Swamp Ash body, Rock Maple neck, 22 Jumbo frets etc etc
I remember a positive write up in Guitarist magazine, innovative tremelo and excellent build quality and then………………..nothing.
The only time Ive seen one of these used was at Live8 in 2005 by Richie Sambora of Bon Jovi ( who was briefly an endorser). Beyond that I dont know. They did try a chinese made one, but it didnt take off. A few US dealers have them, but as far as I know production has ceased.
But since then Ive seen the odd one coming up used and they are…………..incredibly fucking cheap!!!!! So much so that Im starting to consider looking out for one. Face it these babys were high end US made rock guitars. They were on sale 5 years ago at £1300 and that was when the exchange rate was much nicer…now it’d be nearer 2 grand for sure.
But the ones Ive seen were cheap cheap cheap. £400-£500 for a guitar no more than 5 years old. Made in tiny numbers, I bet theres more custom shop reissues on the planet from Jan 10 than there is for these babys. My local guitar shop had one for about £700 end of line a while ago. I know if you went to audition for Interpol they’d laugh at you, but image aside, thats a lot of high end guitar for very little bread.
Your big issue froma player perspective with this is Spares and strings. Floyd Rose made their own brand strings and Dean Markley do as well. But there are horror stories on the net about string quality and also cost.
But in terms of exclusivity….these are only going to go up. The internet was awash with Kahler trem parts long before they started up production again. So I reckon these are a top tip for an affordable, playable, but quirky shred guitar.
The Ebay hunt starts here