The guitar is a common musical instrument, and its bridge is the most important component. This is because it connects the guitar’s body and strings, and if it doesn’t sit well on the guitar’s body, it can adversely impact the sustain and playability.
In addition, a bridge is important for the guitar’s intonation, which is why selecting the right bridge is important.
Floyd Rose and fixed bridges are the two most common types of bridges and have multiple differences that guitarists must know.
Comparing Floyd Rose vs Fixed Bridge
|Features||Floyd Rose||Fixed Bridge|
|Nuts||Locking nuts||Synthetic nuts|
|Music||Blues and jazz only||Multiple music styles|
Floyd Rose Bridge
Floyd Rose bridge was first launched in the early 80s as a full-range tremolo system, but it still remains the most popular hardware for guitars.
It has a double-locking design which is suitable for electric guitars. It works like a vintage-style tremolo, with which the users can lower down or increase the guitar’s pitch to achieve the vibrato effect.
In addition, it allows the users to lock the strings at two different points on the guitar; the nut and the bridge.
There are locking saddles in the bridge, which are used for inserting the strings. In addition, these strings are locked/fixed with the help of tightening bolts, which can be adjusted with the help of an Allen key.
There are fine tuners installed on every string of the bridge, so you can tune the guitar whenever the strings are flattened or sharpened due to temperature changes and constant use of tremolo.
Floyd Rose is designed with the locking nut as compared to other bridges that use synthetic and traditional bone nuts. There are three metal plates in the bridge, so you can lock down two strings at once with the help of the Allen key.
As a result, the strings won’t slide over the nut or tune out, even if you use the whammy bar. It can help achieve the proper pitch of the guitar, making it suitable for different music genres without complaining about turning.
As already mentioned, Floyd Rose uses the locking nut, which helps ensure stable tuning. The locking nut means that the strings are sandwiched between two steel pieces, which are tightened with the help of a bolt, so nothing falls out of place.
In simpler words, it uses a clamping mechanism that improves the stability and tightening of the guitar strings.
Secondly, it is designed just like other tremolo bridges. This is because there are two adjustable screws connected to the guitar’s body, which create the fulcrum right along with the bridge’s plate.
There are springs integrated into the body cavity, which helps overcome tension in the strings. Therefore, pushing and pulling the tremolo arm will change the strings’ tension, so the notes either go flat or sharp.
The company has locked the strings in one place with the help of adjustable clamps and hex screws. In addition to keeping the strings stable, the break where strings move over the bridge will be softened.
Having said that, the strings will not budge even in extremely stressful conditions.
Floyd Rose bridge can be used for pulling the notes as sharply as possible, and the strings will revert back to pitch.
For this reason, this bridge is suitable for guitarists who like to play different guitar tricks and use the whammy bar, so the sounds come out unique. In particular, it can be used for playing jazz and blues music.
However, this system is complicated to use, and the setup is difficult, which is why it’s only meant for professional and expert guitarists.
To change the settings with Floyd Rose bridge, you have to unlock the guitar strings, which means the strings won’t loosen out easily.
However, it allows the users to customize the string settings, so you can personalize the music outcomes by making adjustments in the bridge system.
- Stable tuning
- Allows guitar tricks
- Locking nuts
- Achieves the right pitch
- Suitable for jazz and blues music
- Difficult to tune
As the name suggests, these bridges are affixed to the guitar with the help of screws. The fixed bridges are more suitable for beginner guitarists because they are convenient to use and don’t have complicated moving parts.
Similarly, setting up the fixed bridge is extremely convenient, which is the prime reason many people use it. The users can use fixed bridges to set up the low string action, so it’s easy to shred.
These bridges tend to have more contact with the body of the guitar, promising higher sustain as compared to guitars that use floating bridges.
The bridge is extremely easy to maintain and use, making it suitable for guitarists who don’t know the guitar’s physiology.
Also, since there are zero moving parts in this bridge, they will keep holding the tune, irrespective of how severely you push it. In addition, you only need a screwdriver to set up the intonation.
The fixed bridges are designed with multiple screws on every string saddle. These screws are used for setting up the guitar’s intonation.
In addition, there are special screws on the bridge for setting up the height and length of the string, which can be adjusted to manage the intonation. However, intonation can be a long process.
These bridges are connected to the guitar and help the strings to stay on the saddles, and their end runs up to the guitar’s headstock.
The strings have the ball ends, which are kept in one place with a small hole that allows the strings to pass through. The string loops over the saddle and across the machine head and fretboard.
As far as the sound is concerned, fixed bridges are considered standard, which means they can be used with every guitar type, irrespective of the music genre.
A fixed bridge is quite easy to use, and changing the strings will be an absolute breeze. This is because all you have to do is to slip the guitar string through the bridge, tighten them with the help of tuning pegs, and stretch the strings.
In addition, you can use the tuning pegs to tune the guitar. Overall, it’s a quick process, which is why it’s suggested for people who have only one guitar and have to play a music gig.
The fixed bridge ensures that the strings remain tuned for a longer time period, which makes them a reliable choice, but it also depends on the quality of the fixed bridge.
It is suggested to choose a fixed bridge that has locking tuners to ensure the tune is held better. The best thing about these bridges is that you can quickly shift between different tunings without running into the intonation errors.
With the fixed bridge, you can check the intonation by hitting the twelfth fret of every string, and it will also help determine if the pitch is correct.
In addition, you can easily shift from E to drop D without worrying about the bridge moving out of the place. Furthermore, a fixed bridge is more affordable to repair because the technical work is less, and you can replace the bridge easily.
A fixed bridge is a suitable choice for people who like to upgrade their musical instruments because it has fewer mechanical parts, so replacing them with advanced components will be easier.
In addition, upgrading the fixed bridge doesn’t require wood routing, hence the ease.
Last but not least, the fixed bridges are more easily available and are affordable because they have a hardtail as compared to other bridges that need routing of the cavity.
- Simple to use
- Easier to repair and upgrade
- Easier intonation
- Simple tuning
- Limits the longitudinal movement to maintain stability
- Requires high-quality nuts and tuners to maintain the tuning
The Final Verdict
If you are a beginner guitarist, it is suggested to use a fixed bridge because it is easier to use and can be easily tuned and intonated, and you can play different types of music styles
On the other hand, if you are a professional guitarist and can handle the complicated tuning process, you can choose the Floyd Rose bridge as it’s more advanced but is difficult to handle. In addition, the Floyd Rose is only suitable for jazz and blues.