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I have seen some guitars that have a Floyd Rose SpeedLoader tremolo system.

The idea is that it uses special strings and a modified Floyd Rose tremolo. The strings have bullets at each end, rather than just at one end and are each of a specific length for their note.

Is this kind of thing worth the cut down in time it takes to replace strings?

What are the benefits and drawbacks of such a system?

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A friend of mine had a guitar like this, and it wasn't too bad. One of the main bummers was that finding strings for the thing was pretty tricky. If you have to have special strings for the guitar, you have a lot less selection of strings and the different tones that different brands can provide, which is kind of a bummer. On the plus side though, the guitar was still very playable, you could down tune it just fine (with some limitations, but reasonable limitations none the less), and re-stringing can be done pretty painlessly.

In my personal opinion, I think these guitars are kind of a waste, and more of a commodity item than anything else. If you really need to have a string replaced that fast, just have a second guitar on standby that's fully tuned and ready to go.

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It's bizarre that Floyd Rose couldn't get this right.

I have a Steinberger G3T and it stays in tune amazingly well - not quite up to the level of my Ibanez or Jackson guitars, but still very good.

Benefits

  • being able to pop a new string on and by fully in tune within a couple of minutes, as opposed to trying to replace a string on a normal floating bridge, which can take a couple of days to settle down.
  • No need for snips or any tools when changing strings.
  • Colour-coded at each end, making restringing that much easier (yes I have made that mistake before:-)

Drawbacks

  • need to get special strings. But they aren't much more expensive than normal ones, and very easy to get at most music shops.
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I know this question is ancient, but I played as my main guitar for several years, a G&L Legacy modified with a Speedloader bridge and nut, and I loved it. To this day I am dismayed that Floyd Rose ditched the entire enterprise. You had great tuning stability without the need for Allen wrenches or the need to master the zen of tuning slightly below pitch before tightening the screws, then adjusting with fine tuners after: a total pain that I always hated. With the Speedloader, not only did you avoid that, you didn't even need normal tuning machines at all: just pop out the old string and pop in the new one, and only adjust the fine tuners. It was awesome!

I feel the downfall here was Floyd Rose's marketing: he wanted to sell guitars and not just the bridges, and he didn't license the bridge to anyone else... no famous players got behind it because they couldn't put it on their brand signature guitar... therefore string manufacturers didn't get behind it... it's really too bad because the concept was great and the execution was great too. I mean: it really worked and worked great! But it just got buried because people poo-pooed the special strings. Call me nuts, but special strings vs. Allen wrenches to change normal strings? I'll take the special strings any day of the week. I'm sure I'm not the only one: there would have been enough of a boutique market to continue the operation indefinitely, but Floyd Rose sold out.

Now that it's all history, I play non-locking trems. I still hate the Allen wrenches... but I'd go back to a Speedloader system in a heartbeat.

PS, the string-through Floyd-style trem sold at GuitarFetish.com, along with the Tone Vise locking nut is something I may check into... it looks close to the ease of the Speedloader.

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I played once with this... I had an awful time trying to tune the guitar also if you palm mute to hard you will end with a unbalanced bridge... personal exp.

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    @Maika - Editing out that word was okay, but making comments like yours about something so minor is really not appropriate. If you have an issue with a particular swear word, then just edit it out, or if you think it is serious, flag for a moderator. Please don't exaggerate issues like this!
    – Doktor Mayhem
    Commented Apr 3, 2019 at 9:08

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