The first appearance of the FRT-2 is in the 1982 Fernandes catalog.
You could consider the FRT-2 the very first “licensed” Floyd Rose ever, although a licensed Floyd didn’t technically exist at this time. The FRT-2 was released at the same time as the FRT-1 in 1982 and first appeared in the 1982 Fernandes catalog with its brother, the FRT-1. It was produced alongside the FRT-1 and supposedly possesses the same high quality. The FRT-2 does not have insert blocks or locks at the saddles like the FRT-1. It’s a string-through model, and this is the primary difference.
The FRT-2 was put on Fernandes ST guitars which were a step below the highest grade versions (but still high quality). That being said, the FRT-2 did not die out after six months like the FRT-1. In fact, the FRT-2 lasted all the way until the end of the Japanese Floyd Rose contract in 1985.
The FRT-2 is also called the “Head Banker” in the 1983 Fernandes catalog as shown top right by the FRT-3. It seems that earlier FRT-2s did not have the “Head Banker” logo on the base plate – later ones did.
This is a rather interesting photo of the FRT-2, 3, and 4 together in the ’83 Fernandes catalog. The FRT-2 (Head Banker) is botton right.
The FRT-2 is still alive and well in the 1984 catalog above but now put on lower-end models.
Another page from the ’84 catalog. If anyone could translate this into English, please email me.
Once the FRT-5 came out in the ’84 catalog, all effort was into marketing the fine tuning versions, and unfortunately, the FRT-2 got put at the bottom of the totem pole. But it’s still holding its own.
Above is a photo from the 1985 Fernandes catalog and the last catalog you’ll see the FRT-2, which is pretty good considering 1985 is the end of the Japanese Floyd Rose contract.
To me, this is an iconic page in the 1985 Fernandes catalog. It presents a German Schaller FRT-5 (and not the Japanese FRT-7/5….that’s another story), which signals the end of the Japanese Floyd Rose reign while also displaying a tremolo which was there from the beginning….the FRT-2. The ’85 catalog is the last time you’ll see the FRT-2, as Fernandes somewhat redesigned it into another string-through model called the FRT-6 and FRT-9.
Tis a sad day for the Fernandes Japan, but all good things must come to an end. Fortunately, Fernandes continued to make their own licensed versions of the Floyd Rose FRT-5 and arguably made the best licensed versions of that era, which I discuss on the post ’85 Fernandes section in this site. Furthermore, the FRT-2 somewhat lived on through the FRT-6, another string-through model made by Fernandes after the Floyd Rose contract ended.
TO BE CONTINUED……….
Check out the FRT-3