Les Paul and FRX Floyd Rose (Mid 1980s, 2014-Present)
Above is Richie Samobra of Bon Jovi fame sporting a rare Les Paul style Floyd.
Realizing the potential market for Floyd Rose systems on Les Pauls and other fixed-bridge style guitars. Floyd first started prototyping versions on Les Pauls, which essentially had and FRT-5 style bridge top-mounted and connected to the tune-o-matic parts of the guitar. The first tune-o-matic Style Floyd Roses were made during the Kramer Guitar years (1984ish).
Something unique about these tune-o-matic replacement Floyds is that they had etched lines on the saddles showing where each one goes in case you have to take the saddles off and put them back on. This would prevent mixing up the saddle placement and interfering with the radius.
Here you see the interesting spring placement of this design. I have never tried one of these bridges, but I’m interested in seeing how they work.
Above you see an even more rare FRT-3 style version without fine-tuners. This was perhaps a prototype version.
Unfortunately, the tune-o-matic replacement Floyd Rose version did not do well, and most of the FRT-5 style etched saddle versions were stripped off the original units during the Kramer years to fulfill warranty claims.
Above is an FRT-5 with etched saddles, indicating that this unit probably had a warranty claim and had the etched saddles put on afterward. It has the patent number stamped on the sustain block, which makes it a 1985 or newer.
This FRT5 also has a beveled front end on the base plate, which is rather interesting.
Floyd Rose FRX
Floyd didn’t give up on this concept, however. He reinvented the tune-o-matic Floyd Rose and called it the FRX tremolo system. The new bridge was first introduced at the 2014 NAMM show.
“Floyd Rose continues its legacy of innovation with the brand new surface-mounting FRX Tremolo System for Les Paul, SG, and Flying V-style guitars. The FRX is a direct swap for the Tune-O-Matic and stopbar type bridge system, using the existing mounting stud holes and requiring no routing whatsoever. The locking nut mounts behind your guitar’s existing nut, in place of the truss rod cover.
The FRX locking nut has mounting holes on the left and right; only two wood screws have to be installed to mount the nut.”
Above is Mr. Rose going over the technical details of the tremolo, and while watching, you can see Floyd put in a fair amount of thought and development into this system. Wow, I wish youtube was available for Floyd back in 1976-1984!
Want to install it yourself? Check out the video above of Floyd going over more details on installation.
Above is the Guitar World review.