#1
Hello, I am thinking about putting a block into my jackson, the main reason being that when I use the wammy bar and some bends it starts to go out of tune and because I have joined a band I really don't want to go out of tune when I pkay my first gig. So until I learn to properly maintain my bridge or can afford an offical floyd rose I think this is the best option.

How do I go about doing this? Can I use any material or do I need something specific? I would rather do this myself as I am short on money at the minute to pay someone to do it for me.

Thanks
#2
Don't be a pussy.

If you stretch your strings enough and match the spring tension to the string tension, then you shouldn't have any issues.

If you don't stretch your strings enough, you're going to have tuning issues anyway, just on a slightly smaller scale.

It doesn't matter what trem you have, you have to stretch your strings.
#3
Quote by jetwash69
Don't be a pussy.

If you stretch your strings enough and match the spring tension to the string tension, then you shouldn't have any issues.

If you don't stretch your strings enough, you're going to have tuning issues anyway, just on a slightly smaller scale.

It doesn't matter what trem you have, you have to stretch your strings.



hahahaha nice answer man. Well I do stretch my strings when I change the but it mustn't be enough. What do you mean to match spring tension to the string tension. Also I have alot of intonation problems only on the B string and I can't move the saddle towards the neck anymore.
#4
What sort of Jackson are we talking? Is it a decent one also known as posh? Or something like the cheaper ones?
#5
Is the bridge parallel to the face of the guitar? If so your spring to string tension should be balanced correctly. More than likely your tuning issues are coming from the pivot points. Get yourself a little bottle of Tri Flow Superior Dry Lubricant. You can often find it at bicycle shops. Put a drop on each saddle where the string rides over it and a drop on each post where the knife edge hits. Proper lubrication at these points can greatly improve tuning stability. The Tri Flow product will leave a dry Teflon film with no sticky residue to pick up dirt. I'd lube these points at every string change.
#6
Lots of good answers here.

You've stretched the strings enough when they stop going flat for a couple of stretches each. (Use a good tuner to know for sure).

When spring tension = string tension, then your guitar stays in tune after whammy use and comes back to the same position.

Easiest way I know to acheive this is block the trem in both directions when changing the strings (I wedge in a bunch of guitar picks, taped together). Make sure the bridge is at the correct angle when it's blocked. When you're done changing the strings, (and stretching them, of course), tune them all again, lock the nut, and re-tune with the fine tuners. If you lock the nut right, it won't lose tune, though--but that's kind of an art. Then adust the claw screws so that the spring balances the trem between your blocks (picks) so you can pull them out easily.
Then chek the tuning. If the strings are sharp, then loosen the claw springs a little (maybe as little as 1/32 of a turn, if they're just a cent or two sharp, more if they're sharper). If they're flat, then tighten until the pitch corrects itself.

If the strings are fully stretched, the blocks all tight enough (not too tight, because that will strip the threads), and the saddles lubed, and if your knife edges aren't f-d up, then you shouldn't have to tune individual strings again until you change them. The only thing that should put it out of tune is temperature changes, and you can compensate for that by adjusting the claw srews.

Just take the trem cavity cover and tape the screws to the inside of it with masking tape, bag it, and store it someplace safe, 'cause you're going to need access for every string change and temperature change. If you take the cover off every time, you'll strip the holes quickly.

BTW, this method (blocking the trem for a string change) can save you over an hour just for the string change, and a lot of time later with a runaway trem. That's why so many people chicken out with the Floyds.

Incidentally, whatever you do, don't adjust the action with the strings under tension. That will kill your knife edges faster than anyting. And don't trust the guitar with a shop; lots of them will f-up your knife edges like that hoping you'll pay them to retrofit with an OFR or sell it to them for a fraction of the value out of frustration. They'll blame it on the cheap LFR, when they f-d it up on purpose. Sometimes they just don't want to take the time to do it right, or don't even know better.

I've got an Ibanez Edge III (much maligned here by kids at UG), an original Edge, and an LFR. Never had a problem with any of them, and I've had them for years.
#8
My LFR on my Jackson NEVER looses tuning ever..I adjust the fine tuners before I start to play.. and dont touch them for the duration..Im really fortunate I think.. Most well behaved floyd that ive ever owned
#1 2001 MII Jackson DK-2
#2 1995 MIK modded Fender squire
#3 2001 MIK Squier Stagemaster Deluxe
#4 2007 MIJ DKMG/DXMG Jackson
#5 1985 MIA Gibson SG Special
#6 1999 MIK ESP LTD M107
#9
i use this method to setup my floyds, i just use a plastic comb to hold the bridge in place though

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQQT9-Y0R9A

works well, though a lot of people will tell you it's not good for the neck.

i have a cheap floyd in one of my RGs, i didn't know so much about how to use them at first, and as such it died really fast. had i knows what i know now about how to adjust it, and to lube the knife edges and the saddles, it would have lasted a lot longer. my knife edges flattened a little the first time i adjusted the action on it as i did it with the strings under tension.
Terrible guitar player.
#10
Fruda has some neat stuff on YouTube. I wouldn't do everything he suggests, but I have adopted a few of his tricks. Like snapping the trem on a Strat to get it back in tune after some whammy use.

As for this vid, this is a quick and dirty way of doing it. It risks marring the edge of the trem route. It won't be bad for the neck, though. It also puts more wear and tear on the claw screws than necessary. If he took the time to adjust the claw screws all the way, then he wouldn't have had to fine tune at the end. When he did the fine tuning, he changed the angle of the trem (so little it doesn't really matter).

One of these days I'm going to watch all of Fruda's videos. Great stuff; you just have to balance it against other stuff out there and apply logic. Everything he does differently from other folks has some kind of trade off to it. Some of them involve permanent changes to the guitar that are easy to F-up. Or at least make you replace the nut or other hardware. Other things just make the guitar wear faster, but save a minute or two for the tech.

That's what I'm talking about with not trusting the guitar to a shop. Their interests are opposed to yours.

Edit 1: I don't recommend Fruda's method of tube amp testing (throwing it out the window).

Edit 2:
Quote by lysdexia
i have a cheap floyd in one of my RGs, i didn't know so much about how to use them at first, and as such it died really fast. had i knows what i know now about how to adjust it, and to lube the knife edges and the saddles, it would have lasted a lot longer. my knife edges flattened a little the first time i adjusted the action on it as i did it with the strings under tension.
That cheap floyd is most likely the Edge III, and this is exactly what I was talking about. It's also the reason you have to be very careful if you buy any Floyd Rose type guitar used, or if the shop has already set up a brand new one.
Last edited by jetwash69 at Feb 7, 2012,
#11
my particular cheap floyd was made of very soft steel, the saddle for the G string has worn so badly from whammy use that it doesn't hold the string tight anymore, i can't play for more than a couple of songs before it goes too far out of tune to counter with the fine tuners.

oh and i do agree with you on fruda's method not being perfect. i use it when changind straing gauges or tunings, and sometimes with new strings of the same guage, but if the setup isn't changing i generally do it the old fashioned way. i think it's a great way to get a new setup right quickly and easily though.
Terrible guitar player.
#12
Good tremolos like the OFR, Edge, and Gotoh models have hardened steel base plates and posts. They can absolutely be adjusted under full tension without hurting anything. The knife edge takes more wear from actual use that it ever will from turning the post. Cheap knock off models are just low quality metal that will wear much worse regardless of how you use it. The saddles on low end models aren't generally steel either. They are often just die cast pot metal. That's why you can get a set of replacement saddles at Stew Mac for what one real OFR saddle costs.

If you don't buy that it's safe to adjust the posts under tension just email Schaller about it. That's what I did and the response was that it would be crazy to design it so it has to be detuned each time you want to make an action adjustment. Floyd Rose won't answer any emails (at least for me) so I can't confirm it directly with them.

Either way, I've tweaked the action of every floating trem I've ever owned under full tension for years and there has been no damage to the posts or knife edges, including the cheap Korean single locking trem on my RG270. But I don't use the tremolo much. A friend of mine had a much better trem on his RG470 and never adjusted the action since he got it. His knife edges were shot just from using the trem a lot.
#14
Quote by poppameth
Good tremolos like the OFR, Edge, and Gotoh models have hardened steel base plates and posts. They can absolutely be adjusted under full tension without hurting anything.


The Ibanez Prestige manual says not to adjust the action with the strings under tension. You don't have to detune it. Just remove the claw springs. And Ibanez is very mathematical. They recommend doing the action adjustmen by measurements. They expect you to have and use fine rulers. So you can calculate how far the posts need to move; measure it, then put it back together. I did it with my Original Edge recently and it was no big deal.

Quote by poppameth
The knife edge takes more wear from actual use that it ever will
from turning the post.


Not necessarily true. Lots of factors here. Some variable, others not; e.g.:
- lubed or not lubed
- dry lube (stays cleaner) wet lube (traps abrasives)
- # of height adjustments, and distance adjusted
- string gauge & tuning (low tuning = less wear)
- String pressure against fulcrums = > 100 pounds force; normal trem operation = < 5 lbs force, SRV abuse = < 50 lbs force
- Rotational force = pure friction along the knife edge; normal trem operation = minor pressure at fulcrum point, energy absorbed by strings, springs, or worst case by the trem block against the body

Bottom line: unless you're operating the trem by stomping on it or the guitar falling and landing on the bar or trem, the rotational friction is far more damaging to any trem.

Quote by poppameth
Cheap knock off models are just low quality metal that will wear much worse regardless of how you use it.

True, however even an Edge III can last 10 yrs+ w/heavy use, but you can kill it with a couple of adjustments under tension. If you play as much as Steve Vie, you can kill the best knife edge trems; that's why he likes trems that pivot on shafts. How do we know that all those knife edges weren't killed by adjusting action with the strings under tension? Those techs don't have time to do everything the slow way and still get all their tasks done. They gotta take shortcuts and replacing trems is just a cost of doing business for the big guys.

Quote by poppameth
The saddles on low end models aren't generally steel either. They are often just die cast pot metal. That's why you can get a set of replacement saddles at Stew Mac for what one real OFR saddle costs.

I can vouch for that, at least with Schecter LFRs. Those saddles have worn more in 3 years than my Edge III has in 5. But I did buy it at a pawn shop for next to nothing, so I could buy a couple of OFRs for it, along with my Sustainac for the difference in price compared to the same model with a factory OFR. And I'm considering getting Graphtec Saddles anyway.

If you don't buy that it's safe to adjust the posts under tension just email Schaller about it. That's what I did and the response was that it would be crazy to design it so it has to be detuned each time you want to make an action adjustment. Floyd Rose won't answer any emails (at least for me) so I can't confirm it directly with them.
Schaller LFRs are almost always better than non-Schaller OFRs. But I still wouldn't recommend adjusting posts under tension. You don't have to detune (as I mentioned above). And it takes 30 seconds to disconnect the springs from the claw if you have the right tool. And another 30 seconds to re-connect them.

BTW, it's in Schaller's best interest if you have to replace it someday--they're not lifetime warranteed.

Quote by poppameth
Either way, I've tweaked the action of every floating trem I've ever owned under full tension for years and there has been no damage to the posts or knife edges, including the cheap Korean single locking trem on my RG270. But I don't use the tremolo much. A friend of mine had a much better trem on his RG470 and never adjusted the action since he got it. His knife edges were shot just from using the trem a lot.

That's anecdotal and a tiny sample size. Plus we don't know what happened to the 470 before your friend bought it. Almost all stores set up guiatars before it gets in the buyers hands. If it was a floor model, who knows how long it was there and how many adjustments it got. And what abuse. Also, you say it's a much better trem, but is it an Original Edge (like my Prestige) or is a Lo TRS? They came with both. The Lo TRS might not be much better than your single locker. And it's debatable whether it's any better than an Edge III. But it's definitely better than a Lo TRS II (not sure if they ever got those).
Last edited by jetwash69 at Feb 8, 2012,
#15
Quote by poppameth
Floyd Rose won't answer any emails (at least for me) so I can't confirm it directly with them.


I wonder why.

STOP GIVING ADVICE ABOUT TREMOLO'S.

Thanks to people like Jetwash who explain this with numbers and facts vs. your "I've done it this way and never had a problem" anecdotes.

For the OP and others: NEVER adjust a trem under tension!

Just because you f-ing can doesn't mean you SHOULD. Herp Derp, you can adjust a neck under tension too, so according to you that must be ok as well then?
#16
I've found the setup guides for the FR Speedloader on the Floyd Rose website and also looked though several of the Ibanez manuals on their website. They all show the bridges fully balanced when making adjustments to the posts and nowhere do I see any recommendation of releasing the springs first. If there is a Prestige manual that says this, it doesn't appear to be available on Ibanez's website. Their manual specifically says to make sure the guitar is brought up to tune before making adjustments to the posts.

I've also seen recommendation on this from Rich at IbanezRules, one of the most widely respected Ibanez techs I know of and he also says they are absolutely meant to be adjusted at tension unless you have one of the really crappy Ibanez tremolos.

I really don't see how anyone would be making so many adjustments to the posts that it would hurt them either way. I've seen several posts completely sheered off with quality trems and absolutely no damage to the knife edge that sheered them.

We can argue this for weeks and never agree. I can show you one instance after another and you'll never agree with me and you can show me all the evidence you want and I'll never believe you. Do what you feel comfortable with as the owner and user.
Last edited by poppameth at Feb 8, 2012,
#17
Quote by ORCRiST
you can adjust a neck under tension too, so according to you that must be ok as well then?


Depends on what you mean by adjusting the neck. If you are talking about a truss rod adjustment then absolutely you can. If you mean take the neck off and slap an shim in it, then you are just being silly.
#18
Quote by poppameth
...If there is a Prestige manual that says this, it doesn't appear to be available on Ibanez's website. Their manual specifically says to make sure the guitar is brought up to tune before making adjustments to the posts...


I didn't go searching the nets for this, just repeating what the one that came with my guitar says. Incidentally, mine has an Original Edge re-issue, and the manual doesn't have a section for that trem. Maybe if it did, then it would say what you've seen. Or maybe not.

Anyway, it takes seconds and costs nothing to disco the springs before making a post adjustment. But it's a huge pain in the butt to even find a replacement Ibanez trem and costs hundreds of dollars even for the crap ones. It can be cheaper and easier to buy a used Ibanez with an Edge III than to buy a replacement Edge III trem.

Just because my car manual says I can wait 7,500 miles between oil changes doesn't mean the engine won't last longer if I change it every 3,000 miles or 4 months.

But it's much easier, faster, and cheaper to take the tension off the posts than it is to change oil.

It doesn't matter (and I don't care) whether poppameth agrees or not, it's a simple fact that there's less wear and tear on any knife edge system with fulcrum posts that spin if you remove tension before spinning the posts, than if you adjust them under tension.

And poppameth has a point that it is less of an issue with a high-quality trem than with the cheaper ones. It would take an engineer and a lab (or very detailed material and design specifications) to calculate just how much of a difference. Why tempt fate and learn the hard way?
#19
I'm not saying the Prestige manual in question doesn't exist, just that I can't find it. I just honestly don't understand why every manual doesn't cover removing the springs before adjusting action if it's really such a big deal.

I certainly respect your opinion, I just don't fully agree with it. I also agree that taking the tension off the springs before turning the post will certainly cause less stress on them. Taking the trem out completely before turning them would take even more stress off the post. I just don't think it's necessary to do either on a quality trem unless you are constantly making major tweaks to the action for some reason.

I'd actually be interested in doing those test you speak of as well. I don't have a spare trem laying around and I'm really not in any position to buy one just for a test like this unless I can find a decent used trem dirt cheap. Of course I'm also not some lab that does testing of this sort all the time so it's doubtful anyone would respect the results of any research I put in on it anyway. Hell, I'd send the idea to Mythbusters but I doubt they'd expect enough interest in the subject to run a show on it.
#20
Quote by poppameth
I'm not saying the Prestige manual in question doesn't exist, just that I can't find it. I just honestly don't understand why every manual doesn't cover removing the springs before adjusting action if it's really such a big deal.

I certainly respect your opinion, I just don't fully agree with it. I also agree that taking the tension off the springs before turning the post will certainly cause less stress on them. Taking the trem out completely before turning them would take even more stress off the post. I just don't think it's necessary to do either on a quality trem unless you are constantly making major tweaks to the action for some reason.

I'd actually be interested in doing those test you speak of as well. I don't have a spare trem laying around and I'm really not in any position to buy one just for a test like this unless I can find a decent used trem dirt cheap. Of course I'm also not some lab that does testing of this sort all the time so it's doubtful anyone would respect the results of any research I put in on it anyway. Hell, I'd send the idea to Mythbusters but I doubt they'd expect enough interest in the subject to run a show on it.


LOL. I hear you, brother!
#21
Sounds like these other guys are pretty spot on bro... just a word of advice, if you have a knock off floyd rose, then expect tuning problems. I had a licensed floyd on my dean ml and it worked for about 2-3 months then it was junk. Do your self a big favor and shell out the 300$ for a REAL floyd and you should have no problems. Plus, the actual floyds sound much better! I did this to my guitar and ive never been happier.. and another thing, dont put blocks on a floyd... have it setup right ( bridge height properly adjusted, truss rod adusted to pref. String gaguge, tension springs properly adjusted, intonated etc etc...) if you want a fixed bridge, get something with a tuneomatic. It doesnt make sense to have to go through allllll that trouble setting up a floyd and you still wont get what your looking for.