Gotoh is one of the first to make copies of the Floyd Rose, and they have gotten very good at it.
Gotoh, Aria, and Fernandes had a long relationship together, and Gotoh were heavily involved in the FRT-10/11 tremolo for Fernandes starting in the mid-1990s. That being said, they could have fabricated tremolos for Fernandes earlier than that, but we currently don’t have evidence.
The Fernandes FRT-10/11 (left) is essentially an earlier version of the modern Gotoh GE1996T (right) you can buy today brand new. Some of the Fernandes FRT-10 sustain blocks even said “Gotoh” on them.
Above is a an even earlier example of a Gotoh tremolo from 1991, this time with an Aria Pro II brand stamp. I’ve heard this be called the GE1988T as well. Either way, you can see the resemblance to what will be the modern 1996T you see today.
Gotoh GE 1996T
The Gotoh GE1996T a high end licensed Floyd Rose tremolo model. It’s made with premium components: hardened steel baseplate, specially processed steel saddles, and machined brass trem block.
Furthermore, the 1996T has features deeper and thicker threaded inserts with the ability to lock them. Also, the tremolo bar can be locked with a simpler mechanism.
Notice how there are only two screw holes for the saddles, something common in many Japanese era official Floyds.
The sustain block is made of brass and looks very presentable.
One often missed but heavily important detail are the threaded insert posts which screw into the body. They are longer and deeper than most other tremolo versions, which makes it more stable in softer woods. Also, you can lock the threaded inserts to prevent movement.