Since about three years ago, my Ibanez JEM555 has been, in essence, broken. The problem seems to be with the tremolo system (Edge III) because every time the floating bridge is pulled up, be it by bending, whammy, or whatever, it never 100% falls back to its original position and the guitar's left slightly flat. It's only after I make a physical push down on the bridge that it's forced back to its proper position. I made a video to demonstrate giving three examples:

The first two I just physically pull the bridge up, which is what would happen if I were to bend a string or use a whammy bar, etc. In all cases, the guitar goes flat, but returns to being in tune once I push down on the trem.


It's been three years and I haven't taken it into a shop yet, but I've asked tons of guitar players and scoured the internet to try to figure out what's wrong and I can't find anything even remotely similar to this problem. I'm afraid I'll need the advice of somebody who knows the precise workings of tremolo systems, so I'm making a try over here.

Thanks to anyone who spends time thinking about this, it'd mean a lot to me if I finally learned what the mystery is.
Last edited by The Loliver at Sep 20, 2011,
Its very likely that the spring on the back needs to be tightened up.
When you look at the trem, it needs to be EVEN with the body.
This isn't:
(Thats my S570DXQM).

A little adjustment of the trem spring in the back was all it took. Easy
But I also do a lot of tech so I'm jaded as to how easy something is.
Thanks, but I don't believe that's the problem. I've done many spring adjustments to this guitar in the past to accommodate for different string tunings in order to make the bridge level. Whether the bridge is high, low, or flat, however, the phenomenon I described still occurs.
Something needs to be lubed or perhaps you have picked up a bur or rough edge somewhere?

When you go to push the bridge back down, do it on the bridge itself, not the trem bar.
Do it very very slowly and see if you can feel anything odd, like rough movement, or a sudden "give" when moving it past a certain point.
Do this several times (10+)
If there is something like described there, then its likely you have a bur somewhere.

Otherwise, I'm out of ideas for now, but I haven't been up all that long.

Good luck.
I don't really feel any such odd, rough movement or a give, but this is one of the things I've suspected. Do you know if such a problem is reparable?
have you ever taken the bridge off and checked the knife and post edges? I feel like it must be something to do with one of them. If it is, then it really isn't repairable. Unless you file down a new knife edge, in which case you'll be filing away the harder metal in your bridge, and making a problem like this come back way sooner. Although I'm not super familiar with the edge 3 so i could be completely wrong here...
*insert witty statement here*
you might be able to get away with just lubing up the knife edge
1978 Peavey T-40 -> Ampeg Micro-VR - > Ampeg SVT210AV + Ampeg SVT-15E
i dont see any way that the knife edge would hold something like that. to me i believe the problem is in the route. i could be wrong, but i agree it has to be catching somewhere. and i dont see a way for a knife edge to be the point its catching on. i would pull the strings, and the springs, and check around the route and move it freely by hand to feel for binding of any kind. even if its not the route, that would be the way to find it. you could just leave one spring on so its got a little tension, but you can move it by hand and feel whats going on