Floyds can't get in tune.

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by stinkoman, Aug 5, 2018.

  1. stinkoman

    stinkoman SS.org Regular

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    Embarrassed to ask this but, I cant figure out what I'm doing wrong. I just got a Jackson with a floyd. As soon as I go down the strings and tune them up, the others I just tuned are sometimes a whole step off and process continues. Tuning others keeps throwing off the others. These aren't new strings so I'm lost.i had the same issue with an Ibanez I had a floyd on before. I assume something wrong with the bridge? Would blocking it help since I'll never really use it?
     
  2. gujukal

    gujukal SS.org Regular

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    Yes this one of those annoying things with floating bridges which always results in that i block it. Blocking it both ways would be best but not necessary.
     
  3. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Block the bridge at the proper angle. For your Jackson that means the base plate of the trem should be parallel to the top of the body. You can use just about anything to block the trem as long as it doesn't move up or down. Folded pieces of paper or cardboard work great for this.

    Once it's immobilized, again it needs to be in the proper position/angle, unlock the locking nut. Now, tune the strings to the desired pitch. If you're putting new strings on, don't forget to stretch them.

    Once at pitch, lock the nut. This usually knocks the strings slightly sharp. That's perfectly normal. Now use the fine tuners on the bridge to correct the tuning after locking down the nut.

    Once you're all locked up and in tune, remove whatever you have blocking the bridge in place.

    Again, your guitar will probably be out of tune with the trem sitting at the wrong angle. Now adjust the springs at the back to bring the bridge back level and in tune.

    That's pretty much it.

    It might seem like a lot of work, but once you do it a couple times its a piece of cake. Remember, the pay off is incredible tuning stability.
     
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  4. Althos

    Althos SS.org Regular

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    well, in a floating bridge, there are two forces that pull the bridge on each side to keep perfectly straight : the strings on one side and the springs on the other

    The thing is, tuning a string changes the overall tension applied to the Floyd, making it move slightly, but this move is applied to all the string, meaning they all get a bit sharper or flater, depending on whether you're tuning up or down. This is annoying but perfectly normal, you just need to repeat the process multiple times, and, if your bridge has been setup right, everything should be fine
     
  5. elkoki

    elkoki SS.org Regular

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    Put in simple terms....When you're setting up your guitar / tuning it, you gotta constantly tune each string over and over until they finally stay in the tuning you want. If after wards your bridge is raised up too high,then you gotta level it out by adding tension to the springs in the back. Take a screw driver and tighten the screws very slightly. If you do this the strings will go out of tune again ( they will go sharp ) and you gotta loosen them back to the tuning you were originally in. Repeat it until the bridge is level and in your strings are in tune.. There are better and faster methods to setup a tremolo but this should teach you the mechanics of how a tremolo works.. It's not that difficult to set one up, but it can be annoying especially if you don't have the patience for it. Once you understand how a tremolo works you can use faster setup methods like the one Max mentioned or you can just Youtube some setup videos
     
  6. prlgmnr

    prlgmnr ...that kind of idea

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    You don't have to cock about doing it the pain in the arse shit way for enough times that you "understand it", besides, it's possible to end up so far out of whack that you can't make any progress that way anyway.

    The way Max mentioned is the way.
     
  7. A-Branger

    A-Branger SS.org Regular

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    welcome to the lovely world of floating trems.

    Also remember to stick to the same string gauge when you change your strings. I learn that the hard way after snapping 2 sets of strings because I was trying to put a set of 10's on a bridge settup with 9's, so the trem kept going up in extreme weird angles when in pitch. Until I learn the "why"

    it takes longer to tune, but it stays longer in tune once its done..... Still one of the reasons why I gave up on them and went back to hardtails... I rather turn that one peg for that one string each time that deal with tunning the 6 strings all the time for that one off
     
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  8. GuitarBizarre

    GuitarBizarre Listen to physics.

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    Max's way is the way.

    It essentially boils down to:

    Block The Bridge
    Change Strings & Stretch thoroughly
    Tune
    Lock
    Fine Tune
    Unblock
    Adjust claw until you're in tune again.

    Doesn't take long to do, and the guitar will withstand anything short of nuclear war without going out of tune at that point.

    Also you only have to do the claw once, as long as you don't change string gauge.
     
  9. Vyn

    Vyn Not a Sparkly Vampire Contributor

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    +1 to this. Follow Max's instructions and you'll be fine.
     
  10. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    I know I've said this a hundred times before, but there's an easier way:

    1. Block the bridge on the side of away from the springs, use something sized such that the bridge is locked at the correct angle.
    2. Loosen the springs slightly.
    3. Tune the guitar.
    4. Once the guitar is in tune, do not remove the block, instead, tighten the springs until the block falls out on its own, then immediately stop tightening.
    5. The guitar will now be in tune with the proper trem angle.
     
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  11. Jacksonluvr636

    Jacksonluvr636 SS.org Regular

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    Imo, take it to a tech for a first time set up then when you change the strings keep the same brand and gauge. Change one string at a time and it will never go too far out of tune.

    I will say some guitars and floyds are cheap and will always go out when you use the whammy.

    Otherwise the rest of the replies here are good. I do however disagree with blocking the trem.
     
  12. Albake21

    Albake21 "Just get a used Ibanez Prestige."

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    This video helped me a lot when I got my first Floyd. I used to hate them until I eventually learned how to work with them, and now I love them!

     
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  13. btbg

    btbg SS.org Regular

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    You disagree with a quick, relatively efficient and foolproof way of setting up the trem? Interesting.
     
  14. Jacksonluvr636

    Jacksonluvr636 SS.org Regular

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    I thought they meant like permanently blocking it. Temp for a setup I guess. I just hold the bar down if I cant reach the lock screws.
     
  15. watson503

    watson503 Los Cochinos

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    That's a good one for anyone new to Floyd-equipped guitars and looking to change strings and/or gauge-size. It's all about balance and once you understand how they work, string changes are nowhere near as hard as they get made-out to be and can be done quite quick.
     
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  16. kindsage

    kindsage SS.org Regular

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    Wow. That was the most concise explanation of a Floyd setup I’ve read. It actually makes me want to get a guitar with a Floyd now. I always avoided them because I’d never played one that was set up properly and I’ve always heard they were a PITA to set up
     
  17. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Believe it or not, it's even easier to actually do it. The explanation is far more involved and time consuming.

    The hardest part is figuring out how you're going to block the bridge in place, but once you find the method that works for you it'll take ~5 minutes to do.

    Heck, get a Tremol-No and it's even faster.

    For your first time, and if you don't want to spend any money, just grab some paper or cardboard you have lying around, fold and layer it until you make a couple blocks to put under the bridge on the top of the guitar, to stop it from diving, and another between the trem's sustain block and the back of the body around back. You want as little wiggle as possible.

    I have a bunch of taped up card stock wedges, and can block just about anything. They're mostly just made up of D'Addario string packs.

    Floating trems are only hard to setup if you don't do it the right way.
     
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  18. jaxadam

    jaxadam SS.org Regular

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    I’ve never blocked the trem (well maybe once or twice 20 years ago) but I’ve just always “overturned” and it seems to work for me. If the strings are slightly flat, I’ll get the E up to pitch or a little sharp, then overshoot the A, overshoot the D a little less, etc (which will be making the A a little flat) and just work my way up and down once or twice and can tune up in just a couple of minutes. Changing gauges/tunings is a whole nother ball of wax, but just set them up for that and they’re good to go. I guess it takes a little practice but I’ve been doing it that way for so long it just works.
     
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  19. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    @MaxOfMetal already has this "how to set up a floyd rose" talk saved up on a TXT file on his desktop so he can copy/past it whenever someone asks for it... :D
     
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  20. MYGFH

    MYGFH Music your GF hates

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    I put tape on a pencil so I don't scratch my finish. I crank the whammy down a slide the pencil under the intonation screws. I cut all the strings at once, re-string, pull the pencil and tune.

    It takes a bit to figure out. Be patient.

    A strobe tuner goes a looooooonnng way. Night and day difference on dialing in.

    My trick for getting the trem plate parallel to the body is to count the number of screw turns when you're adjusting the spring tension.

    First couple of times this took forever. Now a string swap is 20 mins including a "fast fret" cleaning.
     

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