Here is a guitar repairs question that takes me back a few years. “How do I attach the strings to the tremolo end of a guitar with a Floyd Rose Tremolo?” It takes me back because I remember when I had that question. Getting an answer from a guitarist who knows how to do it is a joke. They forget that at one point it was a problem for them.
I looked through YouTube for a video, I found nothing that gets to the point without going around the block. Such a routine procedure and nothing viable when I do a Google search. In fact, the first 20 queries for finding this information gives the same lame overdrawn answers, it’s crazy.
Simply put, at the tremolo end, looking at the unit itself we can see: In view 1 we can view the string tightening saddle/holder block/clamp/vise screws. There are six of each, you can see the shiny pointer stuck in the allen hole of one of the screws in this photo. These allen screws loosen up so the string ends can be inserted into saddle, much like a vise. Note: That’s the catch, you have to cut the ball ends off the end of the string about one inch below the ball. The ball, which is used to lock the strings in 99% of other styles of tremolos or bridges is not necessary.
Once the ball ends are trimmed off of the string/s, you now have a solid string without an end, insert the end of the string that you cut the ball off of into the clamp or vise and tighten it appropriately. Remember it is made out of aluminum, so don’t put to much pressure on the spindly clamping screws.
It is an easy job for the most part, the actual setup of this style of tremolo is somewhat more complicated since it has several additional adjustments to make to keep the guitar in tune. That is a lesson in itself.
Below is a breakdown and explanation of the parts on a Floyd Rose Tremolo unit.
1. Saddle: A metal box the string is locked into. There is one saddle for each string, hence six for the standard 6-string guitars, and seven for 7-string guitars. Each saddle contains a long screw that fixes the string holder block inside it. An Allen wrench is required to loosen or tighten these. 2. String Holder Block or Saddle Block : A cube-shaped metal block that presses the string end into the saddle wall to lock it tight.
3. Intonation Screws: Screws that kep the saddles in place. Driving these screws in or out of the saddle leads to a intonation difference. Again an Allen wrench is needed.
4. Fine Tuners: Screws that are used to fine-tune strings instead of the machine heads which cannot be used after the nut has locked the strings at the neck. It can be rotated with bare hands.
5. Tremolo Arm: The most visible part of mechanism, a handle that can be used to change played notes pitch up and down during play. This is also called the tremolo or whammy bar.
6. Nut: A string clamp, on the place of the “zero fret”. It has screws and braces called locks, to lock the strings tight.
7. String Retainer: A metal bar installed at headstock to retain strings that go to the machine heads.
8. Springs: Springs are in the back of the guitar to pull the bridge into a floating position. There are usually 3 springs, but this can be adjusted to the players wish. Some guitars have just one spring and others have 5.
9. Spring Claw Hook: A connector between the guitar body and springs. It has special “claws” to attach the springs to. This part is usually mounted to the guitar body using loose long screws that can also be used to change the tension of springs and thus re-balance the whole tremolo system.
10. Allen wrenches: Three sizes are usually supplied with the tremolo. The smallest is used for intonation screws; the mid-sized wrench is used for fixing screws on saddle blocks and the largest is for nut screws. This is also a nice example of the cost efficiency with Floyd Rose licensed tremolo, they only supply the customer with two wrenches and they make the screws on the saddle blocks and the nut the same.
I hope this clears up how to install the strings in a Floyd rose Tremolo. If I missed something or someone has a better method of doing this guitar repair/job, please leave your input in the comment box so GuitarPlayersCenter can display your remedy.