The Floyd-Rose Stabilizer

A Floyd-Rose Stabilizer installed in a Kramer guitar

Kramer seems to have shipped some of their guitars with a funny little bracket designed to hold the stabilizer up over the springs. This would allow for more springs to be installed. It also allows the stabilizer to have more mechanical advantage over the trem movement. It brings the adjustment knobs closer to the user (and out from being between the springs), and it also allows you to repeatedly loosen/tighten the screw without wearing out the hole (like you would with a wood-screw into the guitar body). Note, the unit pictured is missing one of its springs and adjustment nuts.

Let's hear it for the AK-47 of tremolo stabilizers! Stamped out of two pieces of sheet-metal, the motherland could produce millions of these things per day if the world were ever invaded by armies of floating trems.

I didn't have (or even know about) these things when I originally wrote this review. Since then, I've bought a couple of them but have not tried installing them. I'm not sure I'll try, either. I've gotta say that, from just examining how it works, I'd rate it higher than the WD... but I'm not sure I'd put it above the next-worst-of-the-bunch TremSetter.

They aimed for simplicity when they made this thing, so it can be had very cheaply. I think I got them on eBay for like $14 each or something. But the simplicity comes at a cost, and the cost here is that they didn't provide a screw-type adjustment for positioning where the stabilizer comes in contact with the trem. Positioning is done via that long slotted hole. This introduces two problems.

The first problem is that it puts you in the same boat you'd be in if you got the TremSetter, in that, if you try to adjust it to make it work better, and find you actually made it worse, there's no way to get back to the setting you had previously. With the other stabilizers, you just turn the position screw a couple of turns. If you made it worse, then you turn the screw back the other way however many turns you did and it's like you never messed with anything in the first place. With the TremSetter and this, however, once you unscrew the screw holding the stabilizer in place and move stuff around, you may never get things exactly back the way they were if you find that you can't improve upon it.

However, the second and more-unsettling problem is that, to hold the unit in place, you have to put a screw into the back of the spring cavity. Well, that is not a big deal because you have to do that for the Backstop, the BackBox, and the ESP. No, the worrisome part is that you're going to have to tighten that screw down pretty hard to keep the stabilizer from slipping out of place. And this screw is going into wood, which wears pretty quickly. Combine that with the fact that, to adjust the position of this thing, you're having to back that screw out, screw it in tight, back it out, screw it in tight, etc. I'll bet that many a guitar owner out there has stripped the screw hole, leaving them to have to try to make a new hole right next to the original one. Ugh! Gives me the creeps!

So, since I haven't really tried it, I don't feel it's fair for me to give it any ratings... maybe my position on that will change later, though. I will say that I wouldn't subject a friend's guitar to this thing... not when a much better stabilizer can be had for not much more money.

Hipshot Tremsetter ESP Arming Adjuster
Ibanez BackStop Goeldo BackBox
WD Tremolo Stabilizer Tremol-no
Floyd Rose FAQ

Which tremolos CANNOT be helped

Goeldo BackBox now for sale in the U.S.

How to INSTALL/ADJUST the BackBox

Here's a video of a guy showing how

How to INSTALL the Floyd Rose Stabilizer