#1
Hello all,

So I recently purchased a Squier Affinity HH Stratocaster so that I can have a backup to my already existing Ibanez S521 Mol (modified with Seymour Duncan pickups and Grover locking rotomatics). I've recently tested out the guitar, and from what I've seen, the vibrato bridge stays in tune decently when I do light vibratos, but once I start going aggressive with the guitar all the while doing Steve Vai shenanigans, the guitar starts going out of tune. This is noticeable by the audible 'click' whenever I try moving the vibrato bridge downwards.

The guitar is equipped with two string trees on the headstock (one for the D and G strings and the other for B and high E string).

I know that this guitar is one of the cheap quality FSR models, but do you guys think it's the vibrato bridge itself that is causing the problem or can the guitar stay in tune well if set up properly? I've been a longtime fixed bridge user and have just gotten back into using guitars with vibrato bridges so I'm trying to get some good advice on how to get the best tuning stability from the guitar with minimal modifications (if any) necessary.

Thanks in advance!
Regards,
parhelia_0000
#2
floyds are what you want for that. fender trems are not meant for that.
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#3
Ah, okie-dokes.

UPDATE: I recently blocked the tremolo bridge (five springs on the back holding the bridge flat) on my Squier, removed the D/G string tree and restrung it up to 10's. The tuning stays relatively much better (aside from the fact that the nut is sh*t quality).

I am saving up money for modifications on my guitar later down the road (e.g. Gary Holt EMG's, Grover tuners, GraphTech nut, etc.). Is a Gotoh tremolo system worth the upgrade or should I just keep the guitar hardtailed for now?
Regards,
parhelia_0000
#4
Quote by parhelia_0000
Ah, okie-dokes.

UPDATE: I recently blocked the tremolo bridge (five springs on the back holding the bridge flat) on my Squier, removed the D/G string tree and restrung it up to 10's. The tuning stays relatively much better (aside from the fact that the nut is sh*t quality).

I am saving up money for modifications on my guitar later down the road (e.g. Gary Holt EMG's, Grover tuners, GraphTech nut, etc.). Is a Gotoh tremolo system worth the upgrade or should I just keep the guitar hardtailed for now?

that would add up to a fair bit money wise perhaps getting another guitar that has better features would be wiser.
#5
I know, it's just that I'm planning to use the Squier as my 'experimental' guitar where I can try out various mods that are reversible. It's just so that I don't have to call the luthier all the time if anything goes wrong with my primary guitar (which is the Ibanez).

You can pretty much say that it's a way of learning how to upgrade/repair my own guitar at a hands-on level.
Regards,
parhelia_0000
#6
Quote by monwobobbo
that would add up to a fair bit money wise perhaps getting another guitar that has better features would be wiser.


+1
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#7
Your issue is caused by friction, there is a reason Steve Vai, Van Halen, Satrianti etc all use locking Floyd Rose style trems and it's because they eliminate any friction issues by locking the strings in place, allowing you to maintain perfect tuning stability. There are guitars that can do it without a locking trem and stay in tune, they usually have 2 point pivot bridges with graphtech or rollerball nuts and often locking tuners, but these are usually expensive guitars.

Quick solutions

1. Replace string trees with graphite ones, you can get them on ebay or any guitar parts store and they are cheap.

2. Replacing the nut isn't so convenient, but get a graphite pencil and generously apply it to your nut, try to get it in the grooves and anywhere the strings make contact with, this will considerably reduce friction.  Otherwise replace the nut with a slippery nut such as Graphtech.

3. Locking tuners, not a requirement but they will help by reducing any possible movement at the tuner post when tension is reduced/reapplied.

4. Graphite slippery bridge saddles, probably the lowest priority here but every little helps.

At least do step 1 and 2, it will help tuning stability in general. But yeah your guitar is a budget model with budget parts using a vintage style tremolo design, it's really not designed for divebombing like it's 1984. I'm a big fan of Squier affinity series, they are great value for money and good starting points for upgrading project guitars, but you have to be realistic!
Cornford Hellcat
Peavey 5150
1994 Ibanez Jem 7V
Last edited by Bigbazz at Mar 11, 2017,
#8
So here's the update...

I contacted Long & McQuade to see if they had any GraphTech nuts in stock. I went to the store and they told me that none of the nuts they had fit the size for my Squier Affinity HH Stratocaster, so instead the clerk gave me an alternative option - nut sauce. So I unblocked the trem with 4 springs on the back (since I am using D'addario 10's) and applied nut sauce to each of my nut slots. Stretched the strings again and tuned the guitar up, tested it with the tremolo.

The tuning stability was somewhat passable with light (and by that, I mean VERY LIGHT!) vibrato movement...for a few seconds...

...then all hell broke loose. The guitar kept on going out of tune, the wound strings and the B string kept on going sharp for some reason, couldn't even palm mute in tune. Had to re-block the bridge to save myself the hassle.

(I'm NEVER buying guitars with tremolo bridges ever again since that sh*t.)
Regards,
parhelia_0000
#9
It sounds like you've actually created more friction somewhere, just take it to a guitar tech to sort it out or something. Also with a vintage tremolo style Strat there is no need to really block the bridge at all because it doesn't naturally float, just add 2 extra springs and remove the arm, they are gonna have enough tension that it will just sit flat and won't move at all. 

Back on the nut option, it's very common to have to file your own nut. They will usually supply a nut where the string spacing/slots are fine for your guitar but it will hang out either side requiring some filing, that's as Squier neck width at the nut is narrower than you'd have on a Fender Strat, at least with the Squiers I've worked on.
Cornford Hellcat
Peavey 5150
1994 Ibanez Jem 7V
Last edited by Bigbazz at Mar 11, 2017,
#10
And the Long & McQuade store clerks told me that nut sauce could work...I'm an idiot for wasting CAD$22 on the nut sauce that did nothing...

Now I don't have any money to afford a new nut or anything for my guitar until this coming Friday...RIP me...

I think I'll sell my Squier in exchange for an Ibanez GIO now...(oh wait, I don't even have money to afford that sh*t either!)
Regards,
parhelia_0000
#11
Quote by parhelia_0000
And the Long & McQuade store clerks told me that nut sauce could work...I'm an idiot for wasting CAD$22 on the nut sauce that did nothing...

Now I don't have any money to afford a new nut or anything for my guitar until this coming Friday...RIP me...

I think I'll sell my Squier in exchange for an Ibanez GIO now...(oh wait, I don't even have money to afford that sh*t either!)

Why would you trade one budget guitar for another? Squier are probably the most highly rated budget guitar out there, and certainly the most popular. An Ibanez Gio is not a higher quality guitar from my experience of playing/setting them up. The Nut Sauce stuff works, though you could have just run over the nut with a pencil to dump graphite on it, either way a lot of top guitar techs use that lubricant and it's not just stuff you use on tremolo guitars.

It seems like you have a problem you haven't identified and you're trying to find a blame for it rather than a solution, and that problem is probably something really minor that you've missed. Either way, if you want to do divebombs it's not the right guitar, but anything cheap is going to do a pretty poor job for that kinda thing because it requires quality hardware.

Replacing the nut is probably not a straight solution to whatever issue you have, don't focus so hard on it, there are plenty of guitars without graphtech nuts that stay in tune fine with trem use, the most expensive Fenders have bone nuts, which are not as slippery as Graphtech.
Cornford Hellcat
Peavey 5150
1994 Ibanez Jem 7V
Last edited by Bigbazz at Mar 11, 2017,
#12
Yeah, I know. I was just being sarcastic there lol.

I think I'll stick with five springs on the back for now until I have enough budget to get a Gotoh tremolo with quality nut to replace the sh*t plastic nut then.
Regards,
parhelia_0000