Tuning a Floyd Rose!


Christoph
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I was hoping that one of the gear gurus (Lordatthestrings or Azrael) could tell me the proper way to tune a guitar equipped with a Floyd Rose floating trem. When I change one string all the rest go out!!!!

Thanks.
# 1
Dr_simon
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# 2
Christoph
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Thanks. So basically put a little dohicky like a pencil under it to keep it from moving, and then tune? Never heard of that before.

I was looking specifically for a tuning method (aka tune string x, fret x, to string y, fret y). I remember seeing something like that on here a long time ago, but I was unable to find it).
# 3
Dr_simon
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All the doohickey (bridge jack) does it stop the bridge from disappearing into the trem cavity once the tension from the strings is dropped.

This can be handy when intoning the guitar however I just undo the strap locks and de-tune that string.

So it is not really necessary as any change in tuning is still going to knock the other strings out of tune.

I made a bridge jack out of a dead 9V battery wrapped round with electrical tape and don't really use it !

FRs are just a total pain in the ass to work with. The are great once they are intoned and tuned and all however getting them to the point where they are usable is a real labor of love !!!

I have spent this weekend stripping down, trouble shooting and then re-setting up my Jackson. I have just about got it sorted out now but it has taken me maybe 6-8 hrs and I have done this before several times !!
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# 4
SLY
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Originally Posted by: ChristophI was looking specifically for a tuning method (aka tune string x, fret x, to string y, fret y). I remember seeing something like that on here a long time ago, but I was unable to find it).


Eric Johnson starts tuning from the middle strings D & G then goes out till he reaches the both E's , he does that on a standard strat ... I didn't get the point of that anyway , but may be that was what you saw here before.

Anyway , tuning a FR guitar is just as tuning any other guitar , you just have to retune few more times than non FR guitars before the strings are all in tune and stable , then lock the nut.
If you don't use a tuner , you're in trouble !
Also , make sure that the bridge is floating almost parallel to the body .... If there's a slight angle , it should be towards the neck rather than the bridge cavity.
# 5
Dr_simon
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I like a slight angle (to wards the neck) for two reasons:

I) it allows me to raise pitch as well as lower it and

II) the trem doesn't always return to tune if I have the bridge parallel with the body. I don't know the exact cause of this (maybe a worn knife edge) however it goes away if I raise the bridge a bit !
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# 6
SLY
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Originally Posted by: Dr_simon
II) the trem doesn't always return to tune if I have the bridge parallel with the body. I don't know the exact cause of this (maybe a worn knife edge) however it goes away if I raise the bridge a bit !



If it only happens when you raise the pitch with the trem bar , then I guess it's the springs falling a bit from their sockets due to less tension, then not always returning to exactly where they should .... I had that problem too a couple of years ago , and don't remember how did I solve it :p , but I guess removing a spring and screwing the rest more to the body might solve the problem.

I remember that I once saw an Ibanez that has a small metal bar that's screwed after the springs to lock them in place , may be you can get something similar to that custom in your guitar from a workshop.
# 7
Dr_simon
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I spent this weekend sorting this out and doing the intonation. It is OK now however I was wondering if I needed a new trem at one point !

I have seen the hipshot trem setters at stewmac, Christoph, if the blerb about this gizmo is to be believed than this may be the answer to your tuning problems also !
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# 8
Christoph
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I tried the method using the "dohickey", and it actually worked pretty well. I used a plastic pen (minus the electrical tape, there's no way it would fit) between the body and the FR to hold it while tuning. When I removed it, the strings were a little out, but the screw tuners fixed that without too much hassle.

Thanks for the tip on the D and G strings, SLY. I'll try that from now on.

By the way, yes, I have my FR with a slight angle towards the neck.
# 9
Christoph
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Originally Posted by: Dr_simonI have seen the hipshot trem setters at stewmac, Christoph, if the blerb about this gizmo is to be believed than this may be the answer to your tuning problems also !


Interesting. I always wondered why they don't make them with three springs instead of just two. Obviously, they'd have to be weaker springs to balance with the pull of the strings, but a third spring would help stabilize it better.

Do you know anyone who's tried that thing?
# 10
Dr_simon
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I don't though I may give it a shot in the next month or 2 !
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# 11
SLY
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Originally Posted by: ChristophInteresting. I always wondered why they don't make them with three springs instead of just two.


Dude , you can put up to five springs if you want , depending on the string's gauge you use.
I have 4 springs , and I use .010-.046 gauge .
# 12
Christoph
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Cool. So does having more springs stabilize it more and keep the changes in one string from affecting the others?
# 13
SLY
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I don't know if this makes tuning easier , but I don't think so anyway , cuz the gauge you use has to increase as you put extra strings , which makes more tension in each string which would have the same effect I guess as less springs and less gauge.

Since you use two springs only , I guess you use .008s gauge ... So putting more springs on the same gauge will make you shorten the springs' length by unscrewing them ... This can put them under no tension in case you raise the pitch too much with the trem bar, and springs may drop a little from their sockets , and they might not return to the original position , making you go out of tune.

I think you should give the "hipshot trem setters" a shot , even though they seem way overprized ... Hipshot spring $37.15 , Regular Spring $1.5 !!!!!
# 14
VintageReaper
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I just recently had to add 2 more springs to my ESP M series. Man that's a pain in the butt getting the springs in and intonation right. What's worse is that one of my locking trem screws stripped out, how that happened I had no idea. Atleast its on the neck end, hopefully they sell extra screws at the local guitar shop or I'm (no pun intended) screwed.
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# 15
Christoph
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Well, I use 9 guage with 2 springs. It's how the guitar came.

Thanks, I may try out that hipshot thing if I keep having problems.
# 16
Dr_simon
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Im using 9s with 3 however I bet you are OK with two you just wind em tighter as it is going to take the same amount of force to keep the trem "floating".

I don't know whether the distribution of force make a difference (i.e. having 3 contact points for the springs instead of two), Im not sure that it would effect playability as the amount of pull generated by the strings is going to be the same either way round.

Any one know for sure ?
My instructors page and www.studiotrax.net for all things recording.
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# 17
Lordathestrings
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[font=trebuchet ms]BTSOOM!

I'm using 3 springs with D'Addario EXL110's (.010" - .046")[/font]
Lordathestrings
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# 18
Christoph
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Joined: 03/06/01
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So now that you're here, LordATS, do you have any tips on tuning a Floyd Rose?

:)
# 19
Lordathestrings
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[font=trebuchet ms]This is the first FR I've ever owned, and I've only been using it for a week. I'm still farting around with the setup, trying to get the action lower. Tuning stability hasn't been an issue for me yet, because I have to re-tune every time I tweak something. I wedge the trem-block from behind the guitar, tune the strings, and then tighten the spring claw just enough to lift the block away from the wedge. That usually gets me close enough to start the back-and-forth routine of re-tuning and adjusting the springs. I've been a woodworker long enough to be very leery of anything that relies on a wood-screw (or two) to hold that much tension.

I'm finding all sorts of reasons to either work up my own design or leave trem-axes to other, more patient people! These days, I suspect the term "whammy" refers to what this P.O.S. inspires me to do with this axe! :mad:

I have seven other guitars and a bass - all hard-tails. They work well for me.[/font]
Lordathestrings
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# 20