Ibanez Edge tremolos are legendary in the guitar community. The Original Edge and its variants are on both some of the most iconic and some of the most readily available guitars on the planet, and new shredders are looking to add dive bombs to their repertoire every day. However, with all the variants, comparisons to Floyd Rose, and the complex engineering, it can be difficult to wrap your head around them! I see a lot of misinformation around, so here are 5 cool things about Ibanez Edge bridges that I think everyone should know!

1) They’re better than Floyd Roses

I know this seems like quite the sweeping declaration, and I’ve had plenty of awesome OFR-equipped guitars (they’re great units!), but from a design standpoint, they were specifically engineered to be superior bridges. When Ibanez was revitalizing itself and capturing the ever-growing shred guitar market in the mid-1980s, they set out to develop the ultimate bridge. (Read more on the history of Ibanez in our in-depth article here) They undeniably succeeded.

Key improvements include knife edges separate from the baseplate that can be replaced, an improved saddle design that isn’t bulky/square and prone to becoming sharp at points of contact, an increase in overall mass for improved sustain, and the hugely popular locking studs for increased tuning stability. The easy-to-use pop in arm quickly became beloved by players everywhere as well.

2) They’re made by Gotoh

This is hugely important. Gotoh makes some of the best hardware on the planet, perfectly machined and nearly indestructible. They have an over 30 year history of making quality hardware, and a much longer history of their company as a whole, being founded in 1950! What this means is that the finish on Gotoh trems lasts a very long time, as evidenced by the legions of highly sought after late ‘80s and early ‘90s Ibanez with trems that have minimal wear 25 years later.

Even better, the replaceable knife edges, well, never need to be replaced. Unlike almost any other trem, this pivotal point of contact is rock solid and has a near indefinite life span. Remember how I said Edges are better than Floyds? Well it’s no small coincidence that our favorite Floyds here at Wired Guitarist are the Gotoh-built ones.

3) The Original Edge and the Lo Pro Edge are both fantastic

This can be a pretty large point of contention between Ibanez fanatics, given that both were released in the early years of modern Ibanez, and both have rabid fanbases for various reasons. Luckily, most of the rivalry is pure snake oil. The Original Edge and the Lo Pro Edge are made to the exact same quality standards. Same durable knife edges, same locking studs, same great sustain.

The difference is that the Lo Pro, as its name would suggest, is lower profile, but the Original Edge is far from obtrusive in the first place. This comes at the cost of a tiny bit of pull up range. Because the fine tuners were moved back on the Lo Pro, they’re entirely separate from the string locks, and some would argue that this makes tuning slightly easier.

At the end of the day, they’re both some of the best locking tremolo systems money can buy.

4) Ibanez released new designs…and then brought back old ones due to customer feedback

In 2003, Ibanez released the Edge Pro. Conceptually, this was very cool because it’s a complete rework, including a more contoured feel, an even lower profile, and strings that can be loaded without cutting off the ball ends. Unfortunately, this came at the cost of locking studs. This simply didn’t live up to the extremely high tuning stability standards of older Edges. Aesthetically, it was very modern looking and a bit jarring for some long term fans as well.

While Ibanez genuinely was trying to put out a cool new trem that pushed the envelope, this move was also motivated by the fact that 2003 was the year the Floyd Rose patent expired, and they thought releasing new designs could help them circumvent licensing fees. I’ll spare you the legal details, but the short version is that they were wrong.

On a brighter note, in years to come they would release cool new units like the Edge Zero and ZR2. These aren’t quite as high quality because they’re not made in Japan, but the designs are fantastic and fresh and they were much better received. However, fans weren’t completely satisfied. So, in 2010, the Edge Pro was dropped from production and the Original Edge and Lo Pro edge became a mainstay of Ibanez’s lineup once again!

It’s awesome to see a company take such great steps to not only innovate, but also give customers exactly what they want.

5) Original and Lo Pro Edges are ridiculously expensive

Because these are simply some of the best tremolos you can get, they are remarkably expensive, more so than Schaller Floyd Roses. A quick glance through Ibanez’s direct shop and you’ll see they cost more than many of their mid-tier guitars! Despite that, these are still standard on their Prestige line, with many of them, like the RG655, coming in at only $1199!

I think it’s super cool that a part can be over a quarter the cost of a guitar and it’s still included because they refuse to cut corners.

So there you have it! I love these trems, as do thousands of guitarists worldwide! If you liked this article, feel free to read more. We are also authorized Ibanez dealers and organized a limited run of Prestiges with Ibanez in both 6 and 7 string flavors that are equipped with these tremolos. Check those out here!

This article was written by Kyle Karich, our editor located in Florida.

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