Eddie Van Halen’s long-time guitar tech Tom Weber has shared a video on YouTube on how to set up a Floyd Rose locking trem system. Of course, he uses a Fender Custom Shop Frankie model to demonstrate.
EVH’s guitar tech Tom Weber in new video
I’m an avid fan of the Floyd Rose locking trem system, so whenever I see any new setup videos or tutorials online, I just have to check them out. This particular setup video is made by none other than Tom Weber who was Eddie Van Halen’s long-time guitar tech (between 2007 and 2020), and so I figured he would be pretty good at it!
Floyd Rose Setup
The FiveStarGuitars video is around 43 minutes long and shows you the basics of how to set up a Floyd Rose locking tremolo system. Overall, I think the video is well-produced, with several camera angles to show what’s going on.
However, there are a few things to note for beginners. The Floyd Rose on the Frankie used is decked on the top of the guitar body, which means it is not floating. I think this type is a lot easier to set up. Another thing not addressed in the video is the D-Tuna. This comes factory fitted on a lot of EVH models and so you aren’t going to learn that part.
Hopefully, we may also see a further video on setting up the intonation on Floyd Rose bridge, as the saddles are locked individually in place and I know many players find it a little awkward to set them up correctly.
The right tools and the right space
What I think is critical when you are setting up any guitar is having a clear space to work on and the correct tools for the job. A decent-quality guitar tuner will make life a lot easier, as will a string winder. Tom uses a 3 mm Bondhus T-Handle hex wrench for most of the video, which makes the job a lot easier.
What I do differently
I found it interesting to see what Tom does differently to me when I set up a Floyd Rose locking trem. I always leave the string ball ends on and use these to secure the string in place at the tuner end. This means no knots to untie or sharp strings to deal with when restringing. Plus, if your string breaks in the Floyd saddle, you can easily unwind a little and re-use the same string. The last part has saved me many times during gigs and rehearsals, as that string is already stretched in so I can get on and finish playing the song within a few minutes.
The video below is well worth a watch, especially if you want to know the basics. Tom does a great job of explaining how and why he does certain things, and in what order to do them.
Build your own Frankie
You have to remember that a young Eddie Van Halen built and customised his original Frankenstein guitar over many years and on a limited budget. If you haven’t got the money for a Custom Shop Frankie or the recently released budget version, then you may be interested to check out how I built one on a budget.
For many guitar players, including myself, Eddie Van Halen is a guitar hero. But never forget he was also an amazing innovator and tinkerer. If it didn’t exist or do what he needed, then he built it! For me, that’s one of his greatest legacies.
EVH’s Guitar Tech Tom Weber Video
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