Gotoh vs Floyd Rose – Which Pickup Head Should You Get?

Gotoh vs Floyd Rose
Gotoh vs Floyd Rose

The guitars are designed with multiple components that impact the sound output, and the pickup head is one of them. It’s an important part of electric guitars as it helps transform string vibrations into electricity and is integrated into the guitar’s body, right below the strings.

These pickups are also known as tremolo systems and are essential to make the sound audible and make sure that the audio signals can be amplified. Depending on the guitar you choose, pickups from different brands are used, but GOTOH and Floyd Rose are the most common choices.

So, if you want to customize your guitar and don’t know which pickup head is the right choice, we have some details that can help!

The Primary Differences Between GOTOH & Floyd Rose

FeaturesGOTOHFloyd Rose
Origin 1950s1980
SoundQuiet and balanced toneSharp and bright
ApplicationClassical and vintage musicMetallic, rock, shred, and thrash music

Gotoh vs Floyd Rose


The company was launched by Masao Gotoh back in 1950, and the company started with the production of violin strings. Ever since then, the company has been involved in the manufacturing of multiple stringed instruments. The company is based in Japan and has gained popularity for its high-end pickup heads.

In addition, they are making pickup heads in various materials, including steel and brass. The company also offers different types of finishes, which include silver and gold. The pickup heads can be used for any seven-string guitar without any intonation issues. The pickup head is extremely easy to install and set up, which makes it suitable for beginners.


GOTOH is popular for the 510 Series when it comes down to tremolo and pickup system, and it doesn’t have the conventional design. GOTOH has added a low-clearance arm system. The company has used chromium molybdenum steel to manufacture the bridge, which promises hard-wearing and strong construction.

It has been finished with extensive heat treatments as well as precision machining. It is designed with a six-pivot point system, which includes a stud lock. The stud lock system of this series helps fix the clearance between stud bolt and anchor, which eliminates loss of sound.

Irrespective of which unit you choose, all of them have an FST between the ball end and saddle, which makes sure that the strings don’t touch the plate. This design ensures that the unit can come back to tune when you use the tremolo arm. GOTOH uses a steel block from where the string passes and creates the anchor point for springs.

Closeup of vintage electric guitar pickup

In particular, it’s used to hold the springs on a side. The steel blocks have better acoustic. In addition, the steel blocks offer better sustain, but they can be heavy for some people. In case you purchase the pickup with steel block, it’s better to add another spring to ensure comfortable playability.


GOTOH uses an alnico four-bar magnet that promises a balanced tone. In addition, the pickups or tremolos are wax-potted that provide sonic stability. When you purchase this pickup, the springs and mounting screws are added to the package for easier installation.

In fact, there is a four-conductor wire, so you can follow different wiring options. There is 10.8mm spacing on their pickups which helps improve the tone. The pickups are made with steel or brass saddles – the steel saddles have higher shimmer and resonance, while the brass saddles tend to reduce the top movement and result in quieter sound.

Some pickup heads also have a reverse-wound middle pickup, which helps eliminate hum. These pickups are recommended for people who want to customize their guitars. Also, the pickups are available for the bridge and neck as the screws and springs are adjustable.

Floyd Rose

Floyd Rose has been in the market since 1980 and has an array of guitar accessories available for musicians. However, their pickup heads are most popular and can be used on various types of guitars. The heads are a bit challenging to install, but they are readily available.

They have designed a locking tremolo system that’s perfect for electric guitars. The tremolo system has been designed with detractors, which allows the users to lock the strings in a place at two different points on a guitar. It’s common for guitars to go out of tune because of friction.

It happens when the string stretches and doesn’t come back to the original spot, which alters the tension on a guitar string and leads to out-of-tune issues. However, Floyd Rose is perfect for eliminating the friction issues, which means your guitar won’t be out of tune.


The Floyd Rose pickup heads are designed with the locking nut design. In most cases, the string hangs up at the nut, which is why Floyd Rose has altered the design of the nut to improve the tuning stability.

In particular, the strings are sandwiched between two steel pieces and are tightened with the help of bolts, which helps hold the string in place. A bridge is the most important part of the pickup head, and Floyd Rose’s bridge includes two adjustable screws that are mounted on the guitar’s body.

The screws tend to create a fulcrum along with the bridge’s plate. In addition, springs in the guitar will counter the string tension, which is why pushing and pulling on the arm changes the string tension, so you can make the notes flat or sharp.

Setting Floyd Rose on electric guitar

The strings are locked in place with the help of adjustable hex screws and clamps – it helps soften the break where the guitar string moves over the bridge. In simpler words, it has a double lock system, which means the strings cannot budge on the nut or bridge.

In addition, it will ensure that the guitar will remain in tune even when you play aggressive music. The perfect tuning stability and design make Floyd Rose a suitable choice to play hard rock, metal, shred, and thrash music. The design is similar to vintage-style tremolos and has been used on Fender Stratocaster.

The screw-in tremolo helps lower or raise the pitch to create the vibrato effect. In addition, the bridge is integrated with locking saddles to insert and lock the strings in place. Then, the bolts are tightened to keep the strings in place – you can use the Allen key.

The bridge also has fine tuners for every string, which makes it easier for players to tune the guitar when the strings flatten or sharpen from temperature changes or extensive use.


When set up properly, the Floyd Rose pickup head promises tuning stability, and you will be able to pull the sharp notes. In addition, you can mash the tremolo arm against your guitar, and the strings will revert to the pitch.

Floyd Rose pickup focus

For this reason, you can play the music genres that include whammy bar work and aggressive guitar tricks without worrying about pitch and tuning (yes, you can play metal and rock music). The pickup head is also suitable if you want to play jazz and blues music.

However, you must remember that these double-locking systems are complicated for beginners. To change the tuning on the guitar, you will have to unlock the strings and adjust the bridge system according to your desired tuning.

In simpler words, the setup of these pickup systems is more complicated, which means beginners will need additional help.

The Bottom Line

Both companies offer top-notch pickup heads, but Floyd Rose is a recommended choice for people who need higher tuning stability. This is because it has a double locking system that makes sure the strings stay in place and create flutter effects by changing the bridge’s position on the guitar.

Also, it’s a recommended choice for playing aggressive music genres. On the other hand, the GOTOH pickups are suitable if you want a quieter sound because the majority of their pickups are designed with a brass saddle.

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