#1
Hi
As far as I know a floyd rose in cheap guitars is a disaster
So I got to try a few cheap guitars with old-style tremolo (goes only one way) and they always get all the strings COMPLETELY out of tune. After you use them you must stretch your strings for 10-15 minutes and tune them up again and again until they hold the tune.
My question is if the only problem is the nut? Say you got locking tuners. A nice bone nut would solve everything or there's more ?

And another question, if I were to buy a new nut, I'd have to give it to a luthier? Or I can cut it to fit the strings myself?

Thanks
#2
Traditional trems are not meant to be abused heavily. Even the good ones. They're really only designed for light use. You can set them up to move in both directions if that's what you want but the limits their range even further and it's hard to keep that in tune. A graphite nut or a roller nut and a set of locking tuners can help but you'll still go out of tune if you try to do dive bombing and stuff. You can get traditional trems made with 2-point pivot systems like Floyds have that keep tune a lot better but you don't get those on cheap guitars. 2-point trem + roller nut + locking tuners will keep you in tune all day long but that's an expensive amount of upgrading.

If you're okay with upgrading at all and you want to abuse your trem, buy a guitar with a cheap Floyd copy and just replace the cheap copy Floyd with a high quality Original Floyd Rose. It will cost about the same as having a new nut made and locking tuners fitted to another guitar and it will give you the full range and perfect tuning stability.
#3
you should be able to replace the nut with a graphite/graphtec one, and get some good graphite string trees and it will probably make a world of difference. Really, should be able to get it all and do it yourself for under 20$, 30$ for sure.
#4
the cheap strat-style trems aren't much good either. The difference is that, because of the design, you can pretty much block them off without too much bother and use the guitar as a pseudo-hardtail.
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#5
As an edit to my previous post, if you are doing dramatic divebombs and such, nothing will help with the cheap strat-style trems. If you are using it as it is intended, then nut and string trees should help tremendously.
#6
Oh OK, so if you don't have locking tuners it should matter? You can't rotate my tuners with your hands no matter how hard you try (from the string side lol), so I don't think the tremolo will affect them ?
#7
The advantage of locking tuners (no to be confusted with a locking nut) is that they don't need windings. Windings loosen when you slacken string tension with a trem.

I heartily recommend good locking tuners for cheap guitars. I put 'em on my Squier (after 2 of the factory ones broke) and now the guitar plays better than my MIA strat.

But if you're on a budget you can still avoid the windings by "locking the string" at the top like shown below. I do this on all my guitars (except the Squier). Even the ones with Floyd Roses, and even the Mustang with vintage tuners.



Also, get the Graphtec string tees and use a good graphite grease under the tees, in the nut slots, and where the saddles contact the strings in the bridge. Don't bother with pencil lead--it just makes your guitar dirty without helping anything.

You mentioned stretching the strings. Stretching does 2 things. It re-seats loose windings--which shouldn't be an issue for you anymore if you follow the procedure in the picture. It also removes the "stretchability" in the strings to stabilize them so they don't go out of tune from basic playing.

You should always stretch new strings until they stop going flat after each stretch. I.e.:
- 1. Install the string
- 2. Tune it to pitch
- 3. Stretch the string at 4-6 points covering the full range from the saddles to the tuning peg
- 4. Check the tuning; if it went flat (even by a cent), then repeat steps 2-4

This does take a lot of time, and most shops won't do it when they change the strings--they'll tell you have to tune more often while the strings are settling--that's BS--they just don't do the whole job because it's not cost effective

If you want to do crazy divebombing and whammy bends, and you're on a budget, I'd recommend an Ibanez RG with an Edge III trem. If you take care of it right it will last a long time (the one in my Xiphos is as good as new and it's a 4-y/o guitar which spent a lot of time on the wall as a demo at a guitar store). Just don't try to adjust the action with the strings under tension--that will ruin the knife edges immediately.

Remember--with *any* Floyd Rose, fully stretching the strings before locking the nut is crucial for tuning stability. Also once you set up a floating Floyd Rose for one tuning you're not going to be able to change it without giving it a whole new setup. So if you play in multiple tunings, you need multiple Floyd Rose guitars (I have 3). Finally, if you subject the guitar to temperature changes you have to start over. That's a pain if you bring the guitar in from a cold trailer, you set it up right before playing, and it warms up from your body heat and stage lighting while you're playing it at a gig.
#8
Quote by gnr_tb
Oh OK, so if you don't have locking tuners it should matter? You can't rotate my tuners with your hands no matter how hard you try (from the string side lol), so I don't think the tremolo will affect them ?


ok here is what it comes down to. a crap nut will cause tuning issues. if the nut is cut right then setting the trem to float will help with tuning stability. a quick yank up wil usually unkink any string. the strings have to be in as straight a line as possible. make sure there are several wraps around the post for the lighter strings and at least 2 for the heavier. now if you go nuts then you will probably have issues. the standard trem can work pretty good but if you try to do some steve vai crazy stuff then you are exceeding the design capabilities. yu can do some cool stuff with a non locking trem (just check out jeff beck) provided ithas a good set up. locking tuners help but aren't a necessity. the trem on my Vineyard strat actually stays in tune better than the fancy one on my Fender Strat Plus (with locking tunners and roller nut).
#9
Big thanks to both of you guys
I gave up this idea, it'll cost way too much for this cheap-ass guitar that have no real potential anyway. I will have to buy tuning pegs, a good nut, "guitar grease", locking tuners, nut cutting tools, maybe new saddles because mine are ultra cheap and I played with the action A LOT when the strings were tuned, 15$ shipping and +16% VAT. The truss rod in this guitar doesn't do anything so spending so much on it will be real stupid haha. I hope I'll get another one sometime but I don't play enough to spend 2.5-3 months paycheck for a nice guitar (yes those are the incomes and prices in my country )
#10
If you're talking about a GIO GRX40, then that does not have the Edge III trem--it has something closer to Strat synchronized tremolo like they put on the MIA Strats (not the 6-point Highway 1s or the American Specials, but like on the 2-point MIA Standards and in some ways more like the one on the MIA Deluxe).

I don't know how you set the action on the GIO, but most Ibanez "vintage" trems use set screws in the saddles--so then you're not hurting the trem adjusting action with the strings under tension.

It hurts it on the cheap Edge variants because you adjust the action on those by spinning the fulcrum studs and that metal-on-metal friction grinds down the knife edges on the trem. But you have a GIO, then your're not going to have that problem. I don't think they put Edge (Floyd Rose copy) trems on any GIOs.

So why don't you just try some graphite grease in the nut & saddles & tees, and stringing it like the picture shows? That should go a long way toward solving your problems. If it doesn't solve them completely then save up to have a luthier install a graphtec nut on the guitar. It'll be worth it.
Last edited by jetwash69 at Sep 3, 2011,
#12
Quote by ethan_hanus
Watch this, and stop complaining. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0Oyc6slYRc


Yeah, that's what I meant by string stretching. I don't know about the strings he was using, but the Ernie Balls I use take a lot longer than that to "settle". I probably spend about 5-7 minutes on each string just stretching.

As for the guy's other vids, be careful. He leaves some points between the lines and it can be a little misleading if you take him at his word; by his own logic there would be exceptions to his conclusions, but he doesn't lay them out. I was also disturbed to see his QA recommend staggered tuners to a guy who just told him he had installed Fender/Schaller locking tuners (which are only made in staggered).

He also has some unconventional trem block mods, which might not be good for the long run, or worth the pain (expense) to do them.