Floyd Rose (left) talking to Steve Ripley (right). Floyd and Steve worked together during in the Mid-1980s during the Kramer Guitar years. Steve Ripley is famous for being the the band “The Tractors” and creating the Ripley Stereo guitar, which Eddie Van Halen used.
Above is photos of Eddie Van Halen (left), Andy Papiccio (center, current Floyd Rose president), Dennis Berardi (right, Former Kramer owner) at the Kramer factory, supposedly changing out Floyd Rose systems.
Although this photo may look subtle, it’s significant in Floyd Rose history. Each of these guitars feature the alpha prototypes for the FRT-4 and FRT-5. By Eddie is the Frankenstrat with the famous gold vertical fine tuning prototype. The other guitar is the Kramer “ad” Franky used on the South American tour in the fall of 1982 which featured possibly the very first FRT-5 variant.
Floyd Rose at the Fernandes booth during the summer 1982 NAMM show holding what looks to be some type of vertical fine tuning variant.
Above is Floyd in Japan. July 16, 1982. Interview published in Rockin’ September issue 1982 (probably published mid-late August). Thanks to J.L. for the pictures. If any Japanese readers want to translate this, please let me know!
Above are more Japanese readings regarding the FRT-2, 3, 4, 5 (which they label incorrectly), and 7.
Earliest known Floyd Rose locking nut routing Jig
Above is a very early Floyd Rose locking nut routing Jig that Kramer Guitars sent to dealers, such as Sam Ash and Guitar Center, to convert guitars to accommodate a Floyd Rose in circa 1983.
Directions for the jig.
This particular jig is made for 25.5 scale, as seen by lining up the fret dots to the center line.
This may be used with a pin router, although there are several variations of this jig.
Notice the extreme precision of the jig, and although Kramer supplied it, it’s unknown who made them.
Mr. Rose himself tangled up in strings.
Above is Eddie with a 5150 backup guitar sporting APM whale tail FRT-5.
Sammy Hagar’s yellow Baretta with a rare red powder-coated Floyd. These were supposedly only available in 1985 for a brief time. The only other color seen is white.
Above you see Eddie holding Sammy’s yellow Baretta, while Sammy hold’s a 5150 backup.
Guitar Center Articles (thanks to Scott Dunham for articles).
“Daddy’s Junk Mail” Interview with Floyd discussing Boogie Bodies/Lynn Ellsworth connection, Fender rejection, early beginnings, Rockinger, and Kramer.
Vallerie Bertinelli holding a backup guitar with a Steinberger Transtrem.
Eddie’s Kramer Neptune guitar with Schaller “Sureclaw” which replaces the standard Floyd Rose claw.
Above is an ultra rare laser etched EVH-style “striped” Floyd. Only three are known to exist.
A powder-coated white Floyd Rose seen on select Hamer models in 1985. Hemlut Schaller supposedly made these with Floyd Rose’s permission.
Floyd Rose invented his own sustainer system while at Kramer, and Kramer put it on their “Kramer Sustainer” guitar in 1989. This is the year when sustainer systems (Sustainiac, Fernandes sustainer) were first introduced to the market.
A Kramer ad featuring familiars such as Brad Gillis, Neal Schon, and other 80s guitarists with Floyd Rose Tremolos on the floor.
A fan-favorite ad with Floyd Rose holding a white Kramer Stagemaster and riding a motorcycle with Eddie Van halen.
Another Kramer ad with multiple 80s rockers sitting on benches while Mr. Rose holds his own “Kramer Floyd Rose” guitar. Also note the ad features a standard original bridge and a Les Paul style chrome bridge on the right.
Another Kramer ad features the original (FRT-5/whale tail) and Les Paul style trem.
Above shows the difference between the earliest pivot posts. The “1981” stud posts, although they were used possibly earlier and until 1983, are different than the mid-1980s and newer screw posts. New page describing this coming soon.