Floyd Rose Discovery Series DSOT-3

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FLOYD ROSE'S REDMOND Series guitars have rocketed onto stages around the world, receiving high praise from such respected players as Richie Sambora, Brad Whitford, Mick Mars and Joe Walsh to name a few. Of course, the exciting centerpiece of these slick guitars is the revolutionary Floyd Rose SpeedLoader bridge, which makes string changes lightning fast and removes the need for a locking nut or tuning keys.

But some whammy-bar enthusiasts still prefer the edgy tone and slingshot-like snap of the original top-locking bridge system. To satisfy these die-hard players, Floyd Rose has added its Original Tremolo to a line of the Discovery Series guitars (Discovery Series OT). These beautifully made imports offer the same fast playability of the Redmond guitars, with the option of either the original tremolo design or the fixed SpeedLoader bridge.

The narrow horns of the Discover guitars' double-cutaway shape are unintentionally reminiscent of the famous Wayne Charvel bodies, with clear access to the top frets. Basswood body construction ensures that all the Discovery guitars are light, responsive and especially suited to rock tones. The thin back carve on the rock maple neck is meticulously cut for comfort and speed, while the 12-inch radius on the 22-fret rosewood fingerboard provides an ideal compromise for players that want to shred and chord with equal ease.

My DSOT-3 test guitar was loaded with a hot Floyd Rose-designed humbucker in the bridge slot and a single-coil in each of the neck and middle positions, although you can choose from several configurations. An awesome original-style chrome tremolo was also part of my DSOT-3's package. While this is an import version of the much-idolized original bridge, it is built to the same hardness standards and functions with the same feel and precision of the original. A locking nut clamps the strings at the zero fret, and traditional sealed tuners run the length of the key-holed Floyd headstock.

I plugged the DSOT-3 directly into my Voodoo Amps-modified Mesa Rectifier. As expected, the combination of the bright and stinging humbucker with the original tremolo and quick neck made it possible to sweep, tap, bend and dive my way through some tough passages.

But I was really impressed by the tonal versatility. As much as I enjoyed the high-octane flavors, the clarity and sparkle of the DSOT-3's single-coils through my Fender Deluxe reissue led me to play lots of classic rock and pop standards.

Floyd Rose's new Discovery Series OT pieces are great guitars at more than reasonable prices. Impressively, they feel more like hand-built instruments than production-line creations.