The Locking Tremolo – Alien Guitar Secrets
The Locking Tremolo

edge, floyd rose, gotoh, ibanez, kahler, locking tremolo, stability, steve vai -

The Locking Tremolo

 Fig 1: 1977- The Floyd Rose Locking Tremolo

I grew up in the 70's & 80's, when the "Super Strat" was being born. Companies such as Charvel® & Jackson®  were experimenting with all soughts of pickup configurations, compound neck radius and body shapes etc, while guitar players such as Edward Van Halen were beginning their massive tilt at the title of Guitar Freak.

As you would expect the tremolo unit took a beating, and in a quest to stabilise tuning, the locking tremolo unit was about to be invented. There were 2 main units; the 'Kahler Tremolo System® ', invented by Gary Kahler & Dave Storey in 1979, and its predecessor, the Infamous " Floyd Rose Locking Tremolo®" invented 2 years earlier in 1977 by none other than Floyd D Rose.

Fig2: 1979 - The Kahler Tremolo System

These units through out the 80's were standard issue, gone was the hard tail of the Les Paul and in was the "Floyd Rose".

But they soon fell out of favour, and it wasnt because they were not doing what they were supposed to do which was to keep tuning stabiltity whilst beating the shit of the whammy bar. It was the eventual realisation that you had to intonate the guitar from time to time, and this did present a huge time factor problem, especially When Steve Vai decided to take a screw driver to the body of his " Green Meanie" Partscaster and dig out under the Floyd Rose , so he could pull up on the bar a major 3rd. 

This meant the tremolo unit was now floating, making it more versatile, however from a guitar techs setting up perspective, the most unstable bridge in existence. That was 1985, so from then till now, players have fallen in & out of love with the Locking tremolo system because of the time it takes to set one up.

Their have been numerous versions of locking tremolo units over the years, but it took Ibanez Guitars with the help of Gotoh to design what I & I am sure many out there believe is by far the best and most stable locking bridge on the market, "the Edge".

Fig3: 1987 - The Ibanez Edge


I must admit that I charge a little more to do set up a guitar with a locking tremolo, because it does take a little longer to get it right, but I do specialise in them, so you can rest assured that your guitar will be set up with love and not given back to you with a substandard set up performed by an incredibly frustrated technician who has nothing more to say than how tormenting his or her experience has been setting up your guitar, and that they should have charged you 3 times the price.

I am sure many of you have experienced this very scenario with other guitar service techs on more than one occasion.

Well, I love them! So why not bring them to me and I'll get your super strat purring like a kitten.

I specialise in servicing & setting up any electric guitar that has a Floyd Rose Original ®, Special®, as well as any licenced style single or double locking unit. As I am a huge fan of Ibanez, I particularly  specialise in the Ibanez range of locking units such as the Edge®, Edge II & III, Low Pro® & Edge Zero® range, as well as Kahler ® vintage tremolo units.

I also offer Locking Tremolo 1 on 1 Workshops if you would like to learn how service your Locking Tremolo Unit with confidence, so contact us about booking in for a 1on 1 lesson on setting up your Locking Tremolo Guitar

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