#1
So I bought a Jackson Mille Phobia King V from Andertons a couple of months ago, and if the title doesn't give it away, it has an FR Special. It obviously came tuned in Standard E (pretty sure it came with 9-42), but I tuned it to Drop B with DR DDT 11-54's because that's what my local shop had (I usually like 12-60 for Drop B on a 25.5" scale, but 11-54 seems comfortable enough and I swear I've seen people saying they prefer lighter gauges for Floyds).

Now, I love pretty much everything about the guitar, and the bridge was giving me no problems, but a few weeks after I got it, I gave the whammy a good whammo (without being patently abusive) and now I'm having immense difficulty keeping the thing in tune. It seems to be quite temperamental when I fine tune it, and when I do eventually get the thing in tune, it goes about a semitone flat after a very short time playing. Intonation's fine, action was fine the way it came, but the bloody thing just won't hold tune!

This is my first FR-equipped guitar and it's not been in the hands of a tech since it went through Andertons QC, but I've done enough online research that I feel fairly confident in my ability to set up the bridge. Now that I've hit the point where I can't keep a near-new guitar in tune, though, I'm a bit lost as to the best solution. I know there are a lot of divided opinions about different Floyds, especially non-OFR's, but I just want to get a general consensus on an oft-tread subject.

What do you guys think I should do? I've seen a video recommending an extra spring in the cavity for extra tension; I've considered a higher gauge of strings; I'm pretty confident several people are likely to recommend replacing the FRS with an OFR (which is likely to cost me somewhere between $300-$400 AUD). I've read about replacing particular parts to make the FRS the equivalent of an OFR too, although I'd rather just put a new unit in if I'm going to upgrade certain parts. Surely the knife edges can't be worn already (gahd-dam cheep FR's)?

What do you guys recommend?

Sorry to rehash this topic once again!
#2
It's not the model of the Floyd. I've got old licensed Floydalikes that are 25 years old that hold tune just fine. Chances are best that the issues are with the locking nut (not locked down well enough) or with the saddles and that the issues are not a failure of the hardware itself.
#3
Quote by dspellman
It's not the model of the Floyd. I've got old licensed Floydalikes that are 25 years old that hold tune just fine. Chances are best that the issues are with the locking nut (not locked down well enough) or with the saddles and that the issues are not a failure of the hardware itself.


I was wondering about the nut. I've been trying to avoid screwing the clamps down too tightly so I don't strip the thread of the screws, but is it likely I'm either not tightening them enough or the clamps aren't quite up to scratch? I've got the ridge of the clamps running in the direction of the fretboard, so they're the right way round and all? Hmm, I dunno. Wonder if it is the saddles? Perhaps it'd just be best to take it to the nearest tech? I think there's one in my area somewhere.
#4
Before you take it anywhere pluck a string then push down on the string on the other side of the locking nut (towards the tuning pegs) if the note changes at all then your locking nuts are either not tight enough or faulty.
#5
There could be a number of things causing your problem.

By far the most common cause of issues relating to tuning stability with a Floyd is user error. Be sure that you've set the guitar up correctly before blaming the guitar for the problems you're having. Make sure the bridge is the correct height for the guitar and that the strings are properly balanced for your gauge and tuning.

Read this sticky.

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=614226

Make sure all the strings are fully stretched in. Heavier gauges of string require a lot more stretching than lighter gauges. And you might have to be pretty brave and patient with the amount you'll need to yank the string to get them to the position they need to go.

One thing that isn't mentioned in the sticky very clearly and it can make a huge difference is to lubricate the knife edges with chapstick, valsoline or some other kind of grease. It really helps the bridge to work more efficiently. And never adjust the action of the guitar under full string tension, as you'll risk damaging the knife edges and the bridge will never work right. But you probably already know that (I hope).

Make sure that the locking nut itself is attached to the neck securely. The screws attaching it should be decently tight. The locking screws and plates should be decently tight, but they don't have to be overbearing to lock the string.

If you do all of these things, there should be no reason the guitar won't stay in tune. The FR Special is an OK bridge. Not great, but at least it uses the same baseplate material as the OFR, which is essential for tuning stability. So if the guitar is set up correctly, the bridge itself shouldn't be the issue. Chances are, the tuning issues are being cause by at least one of the above.
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