If you’re looking for the best strings for Floyd Rose bridges, this post is for you!
Floyd Rose and Guitar Strings: Are There Specific Strings That You Should Use?
Before we get into the matter, there’s one main thing that I’d like to point out. There aren’t any specific strings for Floyd Rose bridges. Sure, you may have read a lot of explanations online. But technically, any string works with Floyd Rose.
But it’s not that simple. Although there aren’t specific string set types for the purpose, you might want to take some things into consideration. After all, Floyd Rose bridges are a bit tricky when it comes to tuning stability.
I’ll explore this topic and explain what has worked the best for me and some Floyd Rose users who I know. We’ll consider:
- String gauges
- String properties
- Various brands and sets with desirable traits
Again, there aren’t any specific rules for string gauges. Technically, you can use super-thin and super-thick string sets. None of these will damage your Floyd Rose or completely ruin your performance.
However, I’d always rather go with lighter rather than heavier strings. In my experience, it was much easier to play with .009-gauge strings rather than .011 or thicker. Luckily, we have a bunch of super-thin options on the market, even .008 or .007-gauge sets.
You could, of course, use thicker strings. But I’d rather save those for lower tunings. In my experience, .011 works well for the D standard tuning, at least on regular-scale guitars.
If you’re playing in E standard tuning and have a regular-scale guitar of up to 25.5 inches, then start with .009-gauge sets. If it feels too light, experiment with .010. But from my experience, I wouldn’t recommend anything above .011.
We all know how fun can Floyd Rose bridges get. You can abuse them all you want and your guitar will stay in tune. Well, it will at least be more stable compared to regular tremolo bridges. But you still need to set it up properly.
However, with so much abuse, you may have trouble with some types of string sets. It’s not uncommon for cheap strings to break. And it’s not uncommon for some cheap strings to go out of tune as well.
Firstly, I’d recommend something more durable. You have plenty of options on the market these days. Various manufacturers have special string sets that come with enhanced steel cores which can last quite a while.
Of course, no string set is completely resistant to breaking. Even the most expensive strings can give up on you. But with stronger strings, there’s less chance you’ll experience breaking. And we all know how annoying it is to restring a guitar with a Floyd Rose bridge and a locking nut.
Additionally, I’d recommend strings with protective coatings. These can either be special chemical treatments or a special foil-like cover. Essentially, it keeps the string from rusting and other outside factors. In return, this prolongs their life. They will sound fresh for a very long time and they will also last a bit longer.
What About Roundwound Strings?
What I’d also like to mention are flat-wound strings. In all honesty, I’d completely avoid anything that isn’t your standard round-wound stuff. You could use them, but it’s not a common practice. Sure, they’re technically more durable compared to regular strings.
However, I’m not sure how stable the tuning will be on a guitar with a Floyd Rose bridge. Bear in mind that this is just my opinion. I’m not that used to flat-wound strings. Maybe someone has a positive experience with flat-wound strings on Floyd Rose bridges. If that’s you, let me know in the comments?
Brands and String Sets to Consider
So let’s get to some string brands and specific sets that I’d recommend. Again, this is what I find to be useful. As I already mentioned, there’s nothing specific that’s designed especially for Floyd Rose bridges.
That said, I’d point out two main brands, Ernie Ball and Elixir. This is mainly because they both have some durable string sets to offer.
As far as Ernie Ball goes, I’d go with their Regular Slinky Paradigm set. Firstly, they come with a reinforced steel core, as well as stronger windings. Additionally, they’re treated in such a way that makes them resistant to rust and other outside factors.
I’d also recommend their Regular Slinky Coated Titanium RPS set. The wound strings have the same special treatment. And the top unwound plain strings have titanium reinforcement. This all makes them very durable. Additionally, these strings are cheaper than Paradigm sets.
If these are all too expensive, just go with regular Slinkys by Ernie Ball. Slinky Classic, Slinky Nickelwound, or any other. They might not be as durable as the previous two sets. However, they’re more than a great deal for the price. And, most importantly, they feel really great. In my opinion, these are the best choice if you don’t know what to get.
And then we have Elixir strings. Now, the brand doesn’t have that many different options. We have three sets for electric guitars. Nonetheless, they all come with a protective coating. And they’re all made out of quality steel with nickel plating.
From my personal experience, Elixir strings are easily the best option for anything. Whether you have a fixed bridge or a Floyd Rose or anything else, they’ll get you covered. Additionally, they sound fresh and provide you with a firm grip.
Best Strings for Floyd Rose: Conclusion
I hope this article has helped you think through which strings would be best for your Floyd Rose bridge!
And if you have questions about this or another guitar-related topic, feel free to let me know in the comments below!