I wanted to upgrade my Yamaha with some better parts and not pay a fortune. As I like the guitar a lot and it is my main playing guitar and I friend of mine (a luthier) suggested to use Gotoh 510T-FE1 floating trem and I must say it was a good decision. I had the idea to do the replacement together with him helping me, so I would get some experience in mounting gear on my guitar but in the end he did the installation as he is a luthier and has made many guitars before, so I can just say that the installation is not that hard, but you have to cut away a bit of the wood from the trem opening to get it to fit.
The trem is well built, sturdy, feels solid, the parts look and feel better quality than the original.
Otherwise I must say that I feel and hear that the guitar sounds and feels better, the sound is more refined and in a more clear, I feel the vibrations in the guitar body more (in a good way). The trem arm is more detailed as it is easier to operate than the original, but it is also more delicate to use as it reacts quite fast (default, with 3 springs), tone control is still good. It took some time to settle with the strings, but it stabilised in a day or two.
BUT there is also a downside, something to keep in mind (which can be corrected with a small modification) ... my friend forgot to ask me how I play, and I switch a lot from E to drop D and like experimenting with string gauge and with a fixed 6 screw trem that was no big issue as it keeps the tuning together ... not in this case, it is floating and it gets affected by many factors:
- switching strings gauges causes a change in tension and you must correct for that
- if one string brakes all the strings go out of tune
- resting your hand on the trem becomes an issue, you can not rest your hand the way you do on a 6 screw fixed trem, this one is more sensitive
- tuning the floating trem is a bit more time consuming, when you tune one string the other strings go a bit out of tune, so when tuning one string you keep making small corrections on other strings
If you play in the same tuning and always use the same gauge strings then you just have to set the octaves and you're set, otherwise you need to think a bit about how you will get around these pesky challenges of keeping the guitar tuned properly.
AND there is a way to "correct" all that by installing a trem block (there are many ways to do that) or making it a "hardtail", but with this mods you do lose the ability to pull the stings up/sharp (in my case no issue as I am not a pro solo player but rather more on the riffs and rhythm).
All in all a fine product worth considering for an upgrade, especially at that price and bulid quality. It took some getting used to if coming from 6 screw fixed trem.
FYI, changing strings should be easy, but because the hole is at a certain angle and you have to really hit a very small opening, it is not as easy as it could be (the black colour of the trem block does not help although it looks cool;). I also had to remove the plastic cover of the trem hole to do it. I guess I will get better at that with time.