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Floyd Rose SpeedLoader Tremolo

''The SpeedLoader Tremolo offers all the versatility of the original Floyd Rose Tremoloâ„¢ with the ease and performance of the SpeedLoader System. You can still execute the most subtle tremolo or wildest dive-bombing effects and return to perfect tuning every time. The SpeedLoader tremolo also features the new Floyd Rose TremStopper that enables the player to block...

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The most stable and user-friendly Floyd I've ever played. featured

Comments Guess what? I have a story about this, too. (SHOCKER!). Once upon a time, I was on a popular internet auction site and saw this BC Rich ASM in what I call the "Swimming Pool Blue" finish. Great-looking guitar, but something about the picture was just a little... off. I looked and looked, and couldn't figure out what was bugging me. I then turned to the brains of the operation (my wife) and she said, "There's no tuning pegs on the headstock." Enter the Floyd Rose Speedloader. I purchased the guitar and have never been happier. The guitar itself is rock-solid, but the Floyd Rose Speedloader (FRS--I'm gonna get sick of typing that out) is truly remarkable. It feels just like an OFR, but stays in tune through mega-punishing tremolo dive-bombs, flutters, squeals--whatever you throw at the FRS, it returns to pitch and then laughs at you for even TRYING to make it go out of tune. Now, don't get me wrong, there are still the fine-tuners on the bridge, and every now and again when there's an extreme temperature change or something you'll need to turn a fine tuner 1/4 turn, but that's about it.

The FRS is set up for a specific gauge of strings, then you just buy that gauge of Speedloader strings. Mine are set up for .009s and it's just bliss. Like any other Floyd, string gauge can be changed or the bridge can be set up for drop tunings via small adjustment screws in the bridge, but all these operations are MUCH easier on the FRS than on an OFR or any other licensed model. String changes take about 60 seconds start-to-finish, and the new strings are usually within .005 cents of being in tune, because they're made for the exact scale and gauge of your guitar and bridge. I've got a 25 1/2 scale with .009s, so I buy those strings. If you have a 24 3/4 scale guitar set up with .010s, you buy those strings. SIMPLE!!!

The bridge saddle has a quick-release lever that raises the saddle, slacking the string to the point that you can remove it from the bridge and the nut, then seat the new string, snap the saddle back into place, lather, rinse, repeat. The strings have special brass cylinders clamped onto either end that slide both into the special nut and the FRS bridge. Floyd Rose even provides instructional videos:

It takes a little getting used to the visual of not having tuning keys on your headstock, but the trade-off of being able to dive-bomb with impunity is worth the trade-off. You can also check out videos of the FRS in action via Troy Grady's now-famous amp shopping excursion at Ultrasound Rehearsal in NY--the QuickTime video is HUGE (484.61 MB) but you get to hear a lot of cool amps, and you get to see his Washburn Nuno that has been retro-fitted with the FRS--the holes are still in the headstock where the tuning keys were removed and the new nut holds the top ends of the Speedloader strings. You can sort of see the picture without downloading the file, but it's a good listen if you've got the time and the bandwidth.

Bottom line--the only reason I can see that these haven't become the "tremolo of choice" for any heavy tremolo player is the difficulty of finding the strings. Most often, I just order them directly from the Floyd Rose web site because not every large Center that sells a Guitar (naming any one explicitly would be irresponsible) has the strings just hanging on the wall.

I've attached a picture of my BC Rich Bich--notice no pegs on the headstock.


Liked about it 60-Second string changes with almost no tuning adjustment needed.
Stays in tune through extreme abuse.
The knowledge that when you pick up your Speedloader-equipped guitar after not having played it for a while, it'll still be in tune.

Didn't like Strings are sometimes difficult to find.

Overall satisfaction:

By racerevlon
Mar 03, 2010
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You say you want a revolution? featured

Comments In 1977, a man came along with an idea that revolutionize the way we hear the guitar. Proposing a new tremolo system, aptly named after himself, Floyd rose created a bridge that was capable of sustaining heavy whammy bar stunts and remain in tune. The rest, as they say, is history. Whether we acknowledge it or not, Floyd Rose inspired a generation of musicians. He created the tools needed in order to modernize the way we heard the guitar. Imagine Van Halen's ''Eruption'' without the soul crushing dive bomb that fades into ''You Really Got me'' or try to envision Steve Vai getting his signature tremolo flutter from an old Fender 6 screw unit. Not as epic now is it? Credit was given where it was due, but for years of being copied and licensed out by other companies, what can we say has evolved from the original concept? Some companies made them in different shapes, sizes, weights, alloys and colors. You name it and it has been done.

This void created by an accepted design allowed companies like Gotoh to offer adequate replacements, for Ibanez to create the venerable ''Edge'' tremolo or for Kahler to invent his stud mounted tremolo unit. Great progress from the industry. Meanwhile, apart from designing the Floyd rose pro (a lower profile version of the original bridge), Floyd was riding the wave by licensing to manufacturers and selling a thousands of floaters!

Notice i didn't mention the infamous Floyd Rose 2. There is a time and a place for that story, but it is not now nor here. Finally, 25 years after his first concept, floyd redesigns his tremolo. We know it as the Speedloader. What this unit offers over the original is staggering.

Some of the problems musicians encountered with the floating bridge were as follows:
* Cutting string ball ends, and
* Long set up and tuning disruption when string breakage would occur.

Although previous attempts to cure some of these ailments failed, i think he really hit the nail on the head with the speedloader. Basically, this tremolo functions like the original. You can have all the fun of a good old floyd by whamming the hell out of it all day long and it will stay in tune. Made of premium allows and joined with a nice big block, this bridge returns a lot of tone and sustain.

The first thing you will notice about this system is that it no longer requires string tuners. The idea seems crazy at first, but when you set glance on a guitar equipped with the speedloader, it all makes sense. Radical to some, i think the look of a bare headstock is delightful.

On some models, notably the B.C. Rich NJ series that were the first to commercialize the tremolo outside of Floyd's own guitar line, clearing out the tuners gave view of a beautiful veneer wood dressed in a light transparent finish. Apart from standing out, you also no longer need the locking nut. Instead, it is replaced slide in nut that holds the special ended strings.

Amidst all this, you might be thinking it is difficult to operate. You'd be wrong. In fact, string chances are as easy as A B C. Well, you know the rest of the song, but ,seriously, you simply press on the top of the saddle. It pops up and relieves the string of stress. You slide out the string at both ends of the guitar and then reverse the process to complete the string change. Unlike it's predecessor, this tremolo is plug in play. After the change, give the string a few bends to let it set and it should return in tune. This is, of course, assuming you replaced with the same gauge. The only setting up this guitar needs is occasionally between a couple of string chances to see if it's still perfectly balance or if you decide to increase or decrease the string changes.

Floyd Rose offers a good variety of sizes from regular sets, to drop tuning large gauge packs to light top low bottom. Imagine a world where string breakage is only a couple of seconds away from rectification. With the speedloader in hand, you can finally grace the stage with the confidence that your main axe can support you through your entire set without the fee's of a technician. Now that's a tune we can all head bang to.

Liked about it Of the many things i like about the speedloader, i firstly enjoy the string change ease. When i received my first Floyd Rose at the age of 15 i was excited. Soon that excitement turned to anguish when i discovered that string changes and tuning were issues that could not be solved in under 10 minutes. After a couple of years, i can effectuate a string change, adjust the spring/string tension and truss rod in about 30 minutes. Even with the experience i now have, i would rather have my 30 minutes back. The speedloader provides more jam them when i inevitably encounter string failure.

Secondly, i quite enjoy the look of my bare head stock. Sitting next to an regular Floyd Rose NJ at the shop, my guitar really stood out. It looked as though it wanted to defy God himself, but settled for the extinction of tuners. In any case, it will really shine in any man's collection and will beckon to be praised.

Lastly, for all the guitarists out there looking for the simplicity of the speedloader, but don't fancy floating tremolos, there is hope for you yet. Floyd has provided musicians with a Hard tail version of the speedloader. Everlasting tuning and lightning quick changes are available for everyone. Versatility is the name of the game and Floyd re-invented it again with this bridge. I think a lot of guitarist will come to value it's design in the coming years.

Didn't like With every design, there is always a small flaw. This one, however, is not so much in the tremolo itself. It lies within the strings. Until other companies can manufacture strings for the Speedloader, the only brand you can purchase from will be Floyd. This wouldn't be such a bad thing if they were readily available, however, few stores have them in stock, and unless you have some extra strings at home already, your next string change could take a few days until the package makes its way to your guitar. This can only be remedied with prevention. The best bet would be to keep a couple of packs at your disposal and order every time you do a string change. This is the only current solution, but with time there should be more strings available and only then will the SpeedLoader see the true height of it's success. For anyone looking to be ahead of the game or just or with little time to spend on strings, this bridge is for you!

Overall satisfaction:

By Fender868
Feb 19, 2010
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