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Old 03-01-2010, 04:30 AM   #1
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FR Guitar Setup - Picture Guide

Credit goes to these threads because they taught me how to do this.

I followed the two threads above and combined it with a bit of my own knowledge so here it goes!

New guitar? Or maybe you just got it from guitar center or a music store and somehow your guitar is not set up correctly.

This is a picture guide that may make it easier to help you set up your guitar "perfectly" or close to it. I also thought it may help people who like seeing examples being done so they could follow more easily

This setup is aimed towards Floyd Rose users, but it still works for most other guitars, just skip some sections that are floyd rose specific. (Oh, and if you have a Laguna with a LFR and have trouble keeping it in tune after nose dives and pull ups, following this setup can make your tremolo work correctly and stay in tune).

Look for a nice clean table or area you can place your guitar down. Try to avoid hard floor areas.

Equipment used: Allen wrenches, Philips screw driver, paper clip, soft cloth rags, absorbant paper towels, working tap water, lemon oil (or linseed oil) - this is optional, steel wool (the stuff you scrub pans with) - also optional, masking tape (the paper tape) - optional.

1. We start by removing the tremolo arm from the bridge. Twist the cap counter clockwise to take it out, clockwise to put it back in.

1b. Next, we'll start by removing off the back plate with a Philips screwdriver. Turning the screw counter clockwise will take it out while turning it clockwise will put it in.
It is recommended that you place a rag on the back plate of the guitar when removing the screws. This prevents accidental scratching from the screw driver if you happen to slip.
Take all the screws and base plate off and place it somewhere safe.

2. You should now see your springs and the inside of your guitar. If you have a middle spring, take it out. It's easier if you grab from the end with the circular hoop.

3. Grab a semi-soft object, like an eraser, and place it between the wood and bridge. This is to prevent the tremolo system from pulling back and snaping strings when you start removing the strings.
Note: If you have trouble pulling the tremolo back to give the eraser space, put the tremolo arm back in and use it to move the tremolo.

4. Now grab the allen wrenches you have and find one that fits the hole of the nuts at the top of the neck. Counter clockwise = screw out, clockise = screw in. Take the screws and locking plates out and place them somewhere safe.

5. Now turn the tuning machines at the top of the stock head to unwind the string. Start on the first/thinnest string (the high e string) and remove it from the head stock.

6. Grab your allen wrench again and look at the back of the bridge. There are screws there. Unscrew the one that belongs to the 1st string just enough so that you can pull the string out.

7. With your string out, unscrew the allen screw until you can take out the little metal block. Using a paper clip here makes it much easier. Come in from the back because there's a little hole there that makes it easier for the paper clip to pull on. Put the metal block somewhere safe so you don't lose it.

8. Repeat steps 5-7 on strings 2, 3, 4, and 5 in that order. When you get to string 6, be very careful and make sure the bridge doesn't fall out or anything.

9. Now carefully turn your guitar over while keeping your hand on the bridge to keep it from moving. Start removing the springs and eraser while keeping the bridge as steady as possible. With all the springs gone, your tremolo will come out, so carefully take it out and place it on a rag.

More at next post.

Last edited by kenshinakh : 03-01-2010 at 01:26 PM.
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Old 03-01-2010, 04:31 AM   #2
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10. If you had troubles with having the base where the tremolo arm insert getting loose, grab and allen wrench and screw the screw in until it is snug.

11. Now we grab a piece of towel and clean the knife edge of the tremolo and post head of the guitar. If you have trouble getting the gunk off, use a moist towel and then dry it off.

12. Steps 12-14 are optional - Grab your steel wool and masking tape. For steel wool, the finer the wool, the better. 0000 Steel wool is better for polishing the fret. However, I didn't have any at that time. I had medium sized steel wool, which can work, you just have to be careful to not rub too hard.
Tear two pieces of masking tape that is long as your index finger. We'll be using the tape to cover the fret board so that when we clean the frets it won't get scratched. But to prevent the tape from leaving a sticky residue, we'll first weaken it. You can do this by placing the tape over the back of your hand and pulling it off. Repeat this until the tape is barely sticky.

13. Place the tape on the fret board and work your way up. Scrub up or down the frets, not across them. It's been said that polishing works best when you scrub in one direction, so pick either up or down.

14. Now that your frets are all shiny, get a piece of cloth and rub the frets one last time to make sure it's clean of anything left over by the tape.

15. Optional - Now grab your lemon oil and a piece of cloth. (Edit, thanks jj1565 for this advice: Don't use "old english" lemon oil, use Dunlop fretboard oil - http://accessories.musiciansfriend....-Oil?sku=425264 ). You only have to do this a couple times a year, like every 3-5 months.
For more information about lemon oil and its usage: http://www.monsterjanitorial.com/ms...803/4803293.pdf

Dab a little bit of lemon oil onto the towel and rub the fret board. Try to avoid touching the frets. Wait for it to dry, and re-rub the frets with a cloth to clean off any oil that might have gotten on.

Last edited by kenshinakh : 03-01-2010 at 12:40 PM.
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Old 03-01-2010, 04:31 AM   #3
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16. Grab a soft cloth towel and use it to clean your guitar. You can use a moist towel and then dry it off with another towel. If you do this, your guitar will seem like it's getting smudges, but don't worry. If you keep rubbing it, it'll go away and shine. There is special chemical for this but water works fine. Do not use rubbing alchol because we don't know how it will react to the guitar's finish. Use it as a last resort if there is something that is impossible to get off.

Is your guitar shiny yet? Look at it under light and at an angle and enjoy it for a while.

17. Recommended (If you wiped the oil off, you should reapply) - Get a paper clip and vasaline. Dip the paper clip into the vasaline and apply a thin layer of vasaline to the post on the guitar and the knive edges on the floyd rose. This is meant to make your guitar go back to the correct tune after a nose dive or pull up, or at least help it get close. Chap stick works too, but I like vasaline because it's clear. I don't liek the look of white stuff on my knife edges.

18. Carefully place the tremolo back into the slot and onto the posts. Hold it in place as you flip the guitar over.

19. Insert the middle spring first (it's easiest this way), and then insert the two other springs. Make sure your don't let the tremolo shift too much so you don't damage the knife edge.

Last edited by kenshinakh : 03-01-2010 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 03-01-2010, 04:32 AM   #4
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20. Place the tremolo bar back on and screw it partially in. Now push down and up on it so that the connection between the post head and knife edge get to oil each other up a little.

21. At the head stock, turn all the tuning machines until the holes are faced towards the nut.

22. If you feel that the tuning heads turn too slowly/quickly, you can always tighten/loosen them using a small screw driver. It's good to loosen these when you are performing intonation adjustments so that it's easier to loosen/tighten strings. Re-tighten them again after you are done so that you can have more accurate tuning.
Warning: Do not over-tighten these screws because it can cause premature wearing on the tuner. Just keep them snug, not tight.

23. We start by putting the 6th/largest string in first. You must cut off the balls of the strings before you do this. When cutting, cut about a cm after the point where the string wrapping ends.

Remember those little things we took out from the bridge? Grab one and place it into the hole, and grab an allen wrench. Insert the string into the hole, allign it with the groove, and then screw it in. Make sure you screw it in tight but not too tight or else you will damage the metal.

24. This section has been moved to the end of the tutorial.

Last edited by kenshinakh : 03-01-2010 at 01:23 PM.
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Old 03-01-2010, 04:33 AM   #5
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25. Screw the tree back on the guitar head after you detune the 6th string. Make sure the tree is low enough to create enough tension on the strings. And then string all the strings, starting from largest to smallest using steps from 23.

26. Turn the tuners on your bridge as far as they can go out, and then turn them back in two full turns. Wrap a pencil in a towel and place it gently behind the bridge in a way that will make the bridge parallel to the body.

Now grab your tuner and start tuning using only the tuners from the head stock.

Take out the pencil when you are in tune. If your bridge does not stay parallel, then you have to adjust the springs in the back. Use quarter turns, and after each time you do this, retune it. (Thx biga29) Dump the bar and pull up on it. This helps the spring settle. Repeat these steps until the guitar is close to being in tune and the bridge is parallel.
Skip to step 28 if you do not need to check for intonation.

27. Now that the bridge is perfectly parallel, let's make sure intonation is correct. I'll use standard tuning as a reference to check intonation.
Read this chart this way:
String number | Note at fret number | Note at 12th fret

6th E string | 5th fret - A | 12th fret - E
5th A string | 5th fret - D | 12th fret - A
4th D string | 5th fret - G | 12th fret - D
3rd G string | 4th fret - B | 12th fret - G
2nd B string | 5th fret - E | 12th fret - B
1st E string | 5th fret - A | 12th fret - E

Use that chart to check if intonation is perfect. If the note is too sharp on the 5th and 12th, you have to move the saddle away from the headstock direction. If it is too flat, move towards.
Before you move a saddle, detune the string until it is floppy, and then use an allen wrench to unscrew the saddle and adjust. Tighten it and retune the string and check if it is perfect. Repeat on all strings. This is a lengthy process so I suggest you get a drink of water and use the restroom.

28. You're almost done! Screw the neck locks in and retune the strings. Use the tremolo bar and stretch out the strings a bit by dumping and pulling up. Unlock the neck lockers and retune using head stock tuners. Relock, repeat until strings are stretched well and do not change tune too much. Now use the fine tuners on the back of the bridge to make perfect the tunings. Do a couple more nose dives and pull ups to check if it goes out of tune, and repeat this step if it does.

Put the base plate back on in the back, wipe down your guitar one more time so that it's shiny, and go play the guitar a bit before you drop down from doing all this.

29. Truss rod adjustment - This step should only be done after you consulted with an experienced person because this can damage your neck if you do it incorrectly. Please post before adjusting the truss rod so people can give your further instructions.
Also, only do this if your guitar actually needs an adjustment. String up your guitar, balance the bridge and plug your guitar into the amp. If you hear fret buzz through the amp, even after adjusting the height of the bridge, then you may need a truss rod adjustment. If it does buzz, measure the relief and post it here so people can help you.

You should also string up all your string first and tune it too before doing this.

Instructions below only applies to the guitar I have, so do not follow it. Even if you have the same guitar as me, don't follow it. Please post for further instructions for your own guitar because each guitar may be different in tiny ways that may impact how your neck will react to an adjustment.
Remove the tree if you have one and only if it gets in the way of your wrench. Do this by first relaxing the strings and then screwing out the screws that hold the tree. Find the right allen wrench for the truss rod (the largest one usually). Refer to your manufacturer's guide on which way will bow your neck.
For the lagunas, it says:

Clockwise: tightens the truss
rod, causing an convex bow.
Over-adjusting results in fret
buzz and dead frets.
Counter clockwise: loosens the
truss rod, causing a concave
bow. Over-adjusting results in
high-action and poor intonation.

On page 10, they have a nice picture: http://www.playlaguna.com/pdf/LagunaCareManual.pdf

When you fret the first and 12th fret of the 6th E string, the 7th and 9th fret should have a space LESS than the thinness of a credit card. All your strings should be on before you do this.

That's all! Please let me know if something is wrong. If you did exactly as I did, you should be fine (my guitar is great now).

Last edited by kenshinakh : 03-01-2010 at 02:04 PM.
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Old 03-01-2010, 04:50 AM   #6
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Nice!! Thanks Kenshinakh

Last edited by Habs : 03-01-2010 at 04:51 AM.
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Old 03-01-2010, 05:15 AM   #7
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:18 AM   #8
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Absolutely amazing guide, just your small intonation segment made the read worthwhile for me!
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:33 AM   #9
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hey i just flipped thru it.

but i'll have someone go over it and talk to kyle see if we can add to the floyd setup thread.



EDIT: just some small changes, if you can add to, change in your posts;

#13,15: TS off the top, i see you've got "steel wool" for polishing.

we'd need to be more specific there. some steel wool will damage a fret.

also: old english "lemon oil" is really lemon scented mineral oil.
you'll really want to go with a dunlop fretboard oil, or similar, and perhaps
use a little less. you only need to oil a couple times a year.


also for the truss rod part, the guitar's neck isnt at is relief until it's under string/spring tension.

the adjustment should be done after the guitar is strung up and then only if there's a relief issue.

youd want to string up, balance the bridge, check for buzz that transmits through the amp, then measure relief.

also, ideally LEss than a credit cards thickness is desired.

and adjustments can damage the neck and should be done after instruction.

you know, maybe we should just leave out the truss rod part, you can add a line saying, after you string up feel free to measure relief and post for further instruction.

#22: you don't want to over tighten those screws, you'll cause premature wear on the tuner. it's best to keep those screws snug and not to over work those screws at all.

#1b: can you suggest they place a rag on the back of the guitar when removing the plate, to prevent possible stray screwdriver scratching .

these are mostly just some small changes, on a very good, helpful, picture tutorial.
thanks for all the hard work!

Originally Posted by TNfootballfan62
Jenny needs to sow her wild oats with random Gibsons and Taylors she picks up in bars before she settles down with a PRS.

Set up Questions? ...Q & A Thread

Recognised by the Official EG/GG&A/GB&C WTLT Lists 2011

Last edited by jj1565 : 03-01-2010 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:10 AM   #10
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great guide,

hope you get it put in the setup sticky bit mate.

also i would also add everything in the above post,

however, good on you for doing it, i am sure that will help alot of people out!
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:47 AM   #11
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Looks good. The only (small) things I could find is that sometimes #17 isn't optional, but I don't think that would matter, becuase people who have that specific problem aren't likely to look there for the answer.

The other thing is that in 26, maybe make a suggestion that once they get close to Standard, adn they are making small adjustments to get it perfect, after they adjsut the springs, they dump the bar once, then pull the bar back once. This helps the springs settle so you can see exactley how much you need to turn them by looking at the pitch of the strings. (but that might get to confusing for beginners)

Agian, nice work. Looks really good.
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Old 03-01-2010, 01:42 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone. I've added all your advice(with your credit :]) to the post and changed the truss rod adjustment part so that it tells people to post their question before adjusting.

Last edited by kenshinakh : 03-01-2010 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 03-01-2010, 01:47 PM   #13
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thanks for credit, but wasn't necessary.
you put in all the work.

great i'll look it over. already talked to kyle, if the Floyd tech parts suit faz, and Dave
we'll add it up there.

thanks again.

edit: i think it's all great. we might just want to remove the end credit card picture, because the guitar is only partly strung at that point, and i wouldnt want to confuse anyone.

but as far as everything else i mentioned earlier, i think it's all good.

Originally Posted by TNfootballfan62
Jenny needs to sow her wild oats with random Gibsons and Taylors she picks up in bars before she settles down with a PRS.

Set up Questions? ...Q & A Thread

Recognised by the Official EG/GG&A/GB&C WTLT Lists 2011

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Old 03-01-2010, 01:49 PM   #14
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wow, great work, thanks. Had a skim through it, looks good to me, but I'm not exactly an authority on setups...
Originally Posted by classicrocker01
Only on UG would I say I got engaged and bought a jet city and get congratulated on the amp

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Old 03-01-2010, 01:54 PM   #15
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Wow. Best guide and post I've ever seen from a month old forumite (Possible exception with David Collins, but whatever).
Thank you so much for this! Even though I don't use a Floyd, this has some easy helpful information about set ups, cleaning, and it definitely helps keep the forum a better place.

also, knob and nob
also, sucker and succor

also, die and dye

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th official homophone thread: http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/foru...d.php?t=1675125

the serious thread: http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/foru...d.php?t=1675340
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Old 03-01-2010, 02:10 PM   #16
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couple of tiny things I've thought of: I use a bunch of playing cards to block the trem- very little chance of marking the guitar, and you can get them to the exact right size very easily by adding or removing a couple of cards. EDIT: now that I think of it, that method will work better or worse depending on how recessed the trem is.

regarding unscrewing the trem arm- different trems work in different ways. The method posted works for OFRs, schallers and similar licensed copies; Gotohs (and I assume the gotoh-made Ibanez trems) have a small space to use an allen key to loosen the arm (on the bit the arm pops into, at the bottom edge of the trem on the front of the guitar). Some cheaper trems have screw in arms, like the ibanez lo-trs.
Originally Posted by classicrocker01
Only on UG would I say I got engaged and bought a jet city and get congratulated on the amp

Last edited by Dave_Mc : 03-01-2010 at 02:12 PM.
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Old 03-01-2010, 05:03 PM   #17
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Wow, I feel bad for the guys that click on this thread who still use dial up

Nice guide
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Old 03-01-2010, 06:35 PM   #18
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Lol. Yeah, picture guides are a pain for dial up users.

Thanks for the feedback, I've changed a couple of things according to everyone's suggestions.
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Old 03-01-2010, 07:05 PM   #19
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This is great, love the pictures wish i had this when i needed it
and lol at steel wool....
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Old 03-01-2010, 07:38 PM   #20
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I've added a link to this thread to the first two posts of the FR setup thread. Thanks for the great work.
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