All about Ibanez tremolos - Jemsite
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-19-2012, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
 
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All about Ibanez tremolos

Searched, did not see this posted:

http://lawl.net/gtr/trems

Sorry if repost. Didn't really format right so you might as well just click on that link.

Quote:
Ibanez Tremolos

Through the years, Ibanez guitars sported a variety of double locking tremolos. Some of these machines became legendary, some - not so much. Which one do you have? Which one should you get? Which one to avoid? Read on.

Why a double locking tremolo? Simply put, a good double locking tremolo (or, as they're generically referred to, a "Floyd Rose" bridge) is the most stable string setup a guitar can have in regards to tuning. It eliminates the slipping of the string at the nut and at the ball end by locking either end down, and it removes the multiple string friction points present in vintage tremolo and hardtail systems. A double locking system takes slightly more effort to string, tune, and set up, however the benefits are well worth it. For tips on setting up your Ibanez (or any other) tremolo, I recommend consulting the excellent Jemsite guide.

1985-2011 Timeline




1985. Pro Rock'r

The first attempt by Ibanez to create a system with a locking nut. Like many such efforts of the eighties, the Pro Rock'r is only a single locking bridge, and the strings are still secured via the ball end at the saddle. The Pro Rock'r was an evolutionary deadend of the Hard Rocker bridge, a system Ibanez used since 1983. The system is balanced on round pivots as opposed to knife edges, and is not designed for raising the pitch due to the lack or any recess.

The Pro Rock'r sports a push-in arm design identical to that of the future Japanese bridges, such as Edge, LoPro, and Edge Pro. Otherwise an overengineered system with little performance to match, the Pro Rock'r is more of a curiousity today than any kind of a shredder's workhorse. The bridge was phased out after a year of production and is most famously found on the final run of Steve Lukather's RS1010 Roadstar model.

Mr. Paul Gilbert will occasionally be seen using one, due to his penchant for collecting vintage Ibanez fare.



1986. Edge

The Edge was (and still is) the original superlative take on the Floyd Rose design by Ibanez. A bulletproof system featuring hardened steel knife edges pivoting on locking studs, the Edge also improves on the Floyd Rose design with a heavy sustain block. Other than the push-in arm carried over from the Pro Rock'r, the Edge is a whole new design. It was featured non-recessed on Ibanez guitars in 1986, and fully recessed since 1987 - coinciding with the introduction of the RG, JEM, S, and R guitars which remain the staple of the Ibanez lineup to this very day.

The Edge features superb metallurgy by Gotoh, and its knife edges are known to be virtually indestructible. Seven string and piezo-equipped versions exist. A testament to the Edge's qualities is the fact that Mr. Steve Vai and Mr. Joe Satriani use the machine in their personal instruments up to this day despite newer systems having been introduced by Ibanez in the meantime. Today, Edge-equipped Ibanez guitars are widespread and can be found within almost any budget.



1991. LoPro Edge

A further evolution of the Edge, the LoPro is - as the name suggests - a low profile version of the Edge. More ergonomic than the original, the LoPro sees its string locks deintegrated from the fine tuner rods, and relocated to the saddles, thus making the task of restringing the system somewhat easier. The fine tuners were moved further to the back of the tremolo, and placed out of reach of a typical palm mute.

Made by Gotoh, the LoPro features all the assembly and material qualities of the Edge, as well as the same arm socket and locking bridge studs. Similar to the Edge, a seven string version exists in several RG models, the Universe, and Korn/Munky signature models with the unique U-Bar arming system. In a majority of cases, the LoPro and Edge are interchangeable without modifications, and upgrading the Edge to its more modern version (as well as the reverse for the more traditionally inclined player) is not at all uncommon.

Much like the case with the Edge, LoPro equipped guitars remain in wide circulation today.



1994. LoTRS I / II

A move downmarket necessiated lower-spec bridges in Ibanez guitars, and the LoTRS system was introduced on the majority of Korean (version II), as well as several Japanese models (version I). The LoTRS features a flimsy base plate, integrated with cast knife edges, basic screw-in studs, and a Floyd-style screw in arm. While low-profile, the system has few other redeeming qualities which are often attributed to the Ibanez locking bridges that preceded ithe LoTRS.

Through the years, both LoTRS versions have acquired a reputation for substandard material quality, as the majority of these bridges would wear out the integrated pivots within a short time, leaving the system unable to stay in tune after any amount of use. Fortunately for the disgruntled users, the LoTRS bridges are famously interchangeable with the original Floyd Rose machines, pending little to no modification.

* Extended thanks to Dave for the spy shot of the pernicious beast




2003. Edge Pro

An evolutionary redesign of the LoPro Edge, the Edge Pro is one of the lowest profile tremolos to ever be installed in an electric guitar. While sharing naught but the ubiquitous arm and socket with it predecessor, the Edge Pro nevertheless boasts the same quality standards as the other high-end Ibanez systems.

Edge Pro features a novel set of saddles with intergated string locks, and string holders which do not require removing the ball end of the string at the bridge side. The saddles are topped with a metal "sound chip" designed to improve the sustain usually said to be lacking from guitars with double locking systems. The usual criticism of the Edge Pro is that it lacks the locking bridge studs found in the earlier Gotoh bridges, but that is easily remedied by exchanging the Edge Pro studs for those of the Edge or LoPro. A generally excellent system, the Edge Pro is featured on many of the recent Ibanez Prestige instruments.

* Extended thanks to Eric for the attractive mugshot of the unit



2003. Zero Resistance (ZR)

A novel take on the double locking tremolo, the Zero Resistance abandons the usual knife edge pivot for a pair of ball bearings. A design which could be called revolutionary (Parker owners might disagree), the ZR features a completely new feel, along with several notable features which make this system more accessible and user friendly than most floating tremolos.

A low profile bridge, the ZR uses a screw-in arm, and an intonation tool integrated into the saddles. At the back, a Zero Point System (ZPS) acts as a removable backstop exerting extra force towards the center point. Tremolo spring tension is adjusted via a thumbwheel (another Parker-inspired feature).

The ZR is a reliable bridge easily obtained on nearly any S-model Ibanez made after 2003. The main weak point of the system lies in its weak arm socket, which is easily replaced to a variety of other sockets. If kept clean and oiled, the ZR is not likely to ever lose its tuning stability.

Text too long, too many images, continued in next post.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-19-2012, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: All about Ibanez tremolos

(con't)

Quote:
2003. Edge Pro II

Made to replace the substandard LoTRS machines in the downmarket instruments, the Edge Pro II is - as the name suggests - derived from the Edge Pro, by applying a number of cost-cutting measures.

With a low profile similar to that of its senior model, the Edge Pro II loses the usual arm socket in favour of a smooth push-in arm with a torque adjustment screw. It will, like the Edge Pro, accept strings with ball ends, and it retains the string locks integrated into the saddles.

While the Edge Pro II does not have the durability of the higher end bridges, it is equipped with replaceable knife edges. Instruments equipped with this machine (a number of Korean models) are fairly scarce today, as the Edge Pro II was phased out fairly quickly in favour of the Edge III
Ibanez Pro Rock'R


2007. Edge III

Yet another machine to be equipped in entry and mid-level guitars, the Edge III is a design offshoot to the original Edge. Not as low profile as the Edge Pro II it replaces, it still features string lock bolts on the saddles, and carries over the smooth push-in arm with torque adjustment bolts on the sustain block. Unlike its predecessor, it loses the integrated string lock blocks and the ball-end compatible saddles (an easy distinguishing point from the Edge Pro series of bridges). Consequently, the Edge III is closer in spirit to the LoTRS bridges than to the machine it replaces.

An entry-level system installed largely in Indonesian-made instruments, the Edge III is a fairly low quality machine known for its lack of durability under heavy use. Aside from an expectedly weak fulcrum, it is uncommon for the Edge III to fail in spectacular ways, all the way up to snapping the cast baseplate in two. As this bridge is commonly found in otherwise perfectly serviceable guitars, many owners have chosen to switch it for an original Floyd Rose system.
2009. Edge Zero

The newest high-end fulcrum tremolo by Ibanez, the Edge Zero combines the features of the Edge and Zero Resistance systems, with the baseplate reminiscent of the former and the saddle assembly lifted off the latter. Also from the ZR, the Edge Zero inherits its integrated intonation tool and the Zero Point System. The new bridge gets an all-new arm and socket, combining the qualities of the Edge arm with an easily accessible torque adjustment nut of the the ZR.

While the Edge Zero is not made in Japan like the high-end Ibanez bridges of the past, it nevertheless a quality machine, albeit with a somewhat untraditional feel. It can be found on the majority of modern Prestige models featuring fulcrum tremolos, as well as the J. Customs.
2009. Zero Resistance 2

The upgrade to ZR, which Ibanez insists on referring to with a "2" as opposed to the usual Roman increment of "II", perhaps in an attemp to make it clear that the new machine is not indeed a downgrade like all the IIs have been in the past.

The ZR2, installed on Japanese-made S Prestige models, combines an improved manufacturing process and a new arm design shared with the Edge Zero. A lighter, tougher ZPS3 system is still present at the back, functioning much like the original. The system retains the integrated fine tuners of the ZR.

Still an excellent design, with an even better build quality, the ZR2 makes for a great distinguishing feature of the S Prestige series.
2011. Edge Zero II

A replacement for the Edge III, the Edge Zero II is a slightly modified version of the Edge Zero. The junior iteration loses the integrated intonation tool and the pop-in arm found on its Japanese-market counterpart, but retains the locking studs.

The introduction of the system coincided with the introduction of the Indonesian-made Premium instrument line, which feature the Edge Zero II en masse. Jury is out on the durability of the bridge, but if the placement suggests anything, it will be better than prior downmarket offerings from Ibanez.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-19-2012, 05:20 PM
 
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Re: All about Ibanez tremolos

Very informative! I hope this will help to answer a lot of questions for a lot of newcomers.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-19-2012, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: All about Ibanez tremolos

Not sure what happened, when I edited the first post all the pics disappeared so I had to manually add them back.

Also, this forum doesn't allow users to delete threads?
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-19-2012, 05:32 PM
 
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Re: All about Ibanez tremolos

Quote:
Originally Posted by ironfistx View Post
Not sure what happened, when I edited the first post all the pics disappeared so I had to manually add them back.

Also, this forum doesn't allow users to delete threads?
Yeah, it's kinda weird that way...
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-19-2012, 05:36 PM
 
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Re: All about Ibanez tremolos

Nice Post thx for doing such a great job. If I post it will be under my subcribed threads thx again.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-19-2012, 05:51 PM
 
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Re: All about Ibanez tremolos

I used the LoTRS for a long time on my (made in japan) '95 rg 370 and sold it for a '97 3120 (LoPRO).

I played that rg 370 probably at least 4 hours a day and after 3-4 years the bridge was almost like melted where I lay my palm funny thing thought that guitar was much faster than my current 3120 and had zero problems with tuning stability.
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