Locking tremolo improvements

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by Kemono, Sep 6, 2018.

  1. DudeManBrother

    DudeManBrother Hey...how did everybody get in my room?

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    You could potentially drill a hole through the trem block, use a nail through it to mark the butt end of the guitar, and drill into that 1/4” or so. When you want to lock the trem in place, just side the nail through the block into the body and that would lock it down.
     
  2. Kemono

    Kemono SS.org Regular

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    You understood what I want. It's not possible with any equipment I know if, but it is possible to build a bridge that can do that. It requires two things:

    1) bridge tension adjustment (what CSL calls "Mater Tune"
    2) Locking feature of the bridge. This is easily implemented as a pin that slides into place when the bridge is in neutral position. Instead of locking the bar, the bridge locks itself in place.
     
  3. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Yeah, I definitely own guitars intended for specific purposes. In a pinch maybe I could use a single guitar for everything... but I think a purpose-specific guitar could probably do it better.

    ...but even then, you have to get the tension balanced exactly right before you unlock the bridge... So really you need a 3rd feature, some way to monitor or measure, exactly, the tension from the strings, and the tension from the strings, to ensure they're really perfectly balanced. Or, at a minimum, some way to see that the two are in balance while the bridge is still locked.

    Listen, if you can do it, more power to you... But the Floyd Rose was invented in the late 70s, and no one's done it in the nearly 50 years since.
     
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  4. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    Multiple tunnings only work flawlessly on fixed bridge guitars. With floating trems, one has to compromise something and most have abdicated of the floating function in order to achieve a different tuning. The only way to do it without cross talk /interference between string's tensions would be to make an Evertune floating bridge (googled/wrote Evertune, got a "floating bridge" or "tremolo" additional option and clicked, then the Evertune FAQs page presented me with a "popup" info that I thought funny and within the context of this thread...)... so we'll have to wait for a while...
     
  5. tedtan

    tedtan SS.org Regular

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    Even then it isn't truly flawless, as the intonation will be off for all tunings except the primary one.
     
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  6. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    @tedtan Hence the use of italic formatting in "flawlessly"... :yesway: :D

    EDIT: wait, I misread that, when changing the tuning in a guitar, all intonation will be off on the strings who's tension has changed... is this what you meant?

    There is also the option to have "compensated intonation", which means to find a middle intonation point between the higher and lower pitch tuning per each tension changed string... right?
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018
  7. soldierkahn

    soldierkahn BAD MAMMA-JAMMA Contributor

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    maybe im talking out of my bum here, but this is what Ive been doing on my 6s for a long time. I fluctuate between Drop C and Drop A# all the time, so I had the guitar intonated with an "in between" gauge of strings (For Drop C, I use 10-48, for drop A# i use 12-54) 11-52 in Drop B. Now granted, it doesnt intonate PERFECTLY on either side, but I can get super close. As opposed to intonating at Drop A#, and then being completely out of whack for Drop C, or vice versa. Now granted, I only did this because I currently only had one axe, but once the Dino arrives, i can simply use it for my low tunings, and leave my standard scale to be intonated for C.
     
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  8. tedtan

    tedtan SS.org Regular

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    Well, the guitar is never perfectly in tune, but by intonating for a certain tuning (getting it as close to in tune across the neck as it can be), it will be further out of tune when using other tunings (unless you adjust the intonation accordingly). Setting the intonation half way in between two tunings will put it equally out of tune in both. This may or may not be noticeable depending on how far away from one another the two tunings are, which notes you play, etc., but it is an issue to consider.
     
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  9. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    The only sure method is a guitar for each tuning, each setup and intonated specifically for its intended tuning. Tuning back & forth may be practical, but isn't necessarily functional without artifacts.
    You might just consider a Variax.
     
  10. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Basically, yes. For small changes it's not blatantly material - I wouldn't worry about going from standard to open-G, for the most part - but if you're doing more than a step in either direction it's going to become increasingly obvious.
     
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  11. ixlramp

    ixlramp SS.org Regular

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    I'll explain how the Steinberger R/S trem and copies (not referring to Transtrem) makes this possible (obviously the trem spring tension has to be adjusted). Is/was available on the Hohner G3T or Steinberger Spirit GT-PRO.
    The trem has an trem spring adjustment knob and a short, strong trem locking arm, both under the tuning knobs.

    1. Lock the trem.
    2. Retune to new tuning.
    3. Unlock the trem, due to change of total string tension the bridge moves to a new equilibrium angle, strings go out of tune.
    4. Turn the trem spring adjustment knob to move the bridge back to the position it was in when locked, 2 ways to know this: strings go back into tune, and, locking arm can be engaged and disengaged without affecting the bridge angle. This last step is as quick and easy as tuning a string.
     
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  12. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    I'm a standard tuning player 99.9% of the time and when not, I just drop the low B string 1 step down to A. Since when doing that I normally don't go over the 12th fret on the 7th string, mis-intonation is not noticiable when dropped.

    I'm not paying my 8 stringer much, but I have a song where I up tune the 2 high strings 1/2 a step. It isn't noticeable the mis-intonation, to my ears at least. These are obviously very small differences that may be insignificant for a proper intonation. Drops or raises above 1 and 1/2 steps may need different approaches, like dedicated pieces of gear or simply different guitars as stated before.
     
  13. ixlramp

    ixlramp SS.org Regular

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    Intonation doesn't need adjusting when retuning a particular set of strings on a fixed bridge guitar, as the saddle intonation offset is determined by string structure, not pitch. Or, to be precise, intonation may be affected very slightly but not enough to be noticeable or worth considering or mentioning.
     
  14. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    It will need to be compensated for as the new lower tuning results in longer waveforms, so in addition to string gauge changes, and truss rod tension adjustment, intonation is most certainly necessary if changing pitch of the guitar overall. May not be as noticeable to the lesser experienced ear in dropping 1 semitone, but if a whole tone or more, it will definitely be noticeable as you play chords further up the neck. It will be even more noticeable during recording as more nuances/artifacts will present themselves, especially if playing along with keyboards/piano.

    What does not need changing is a simple string change on a guitar that is not going to have a new pitch or gauge, ie; just simply replacing the old set of 10-46 on my A440 guitar with another set of the same 10-46 strings on my A440 guitar.
    Change that same guitar to 11-48 & change the pitch to D standard, and a complete treatment is necessary in order to achieve the same playing quality & tuning stability.
     
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  15. GuitarBizarre

    GuitarBizarre Listen to physics.

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    "Longer waveforms" What?

    That's not why it changes at all.

    Pitch of a string is determined by it's length, tension and mass. If you had 50 strings with the exact same length and mass, but different tensions, you could put a fret (or a tone bar like on slide guitar) on all of them at exactly the midpoint and get the octave of the fundamental.

    It doesn't move just because the fundamental frequency changes. The reason you hear tuning go out as you move further up the neck with lower tunings is:

    1 - The lower you tune, the greater the pitch deviation is when you pluck it. (Because plucking is adding, then releasing extra tension in the string. Your pick adds roughly the same amount of extra tension every time, but on a string with less tension, that's proportionally more than it is on a string that had more tension to start with.

    2 - The more slack the strings are, the more they will flex into the gap between frets as your fingers apply pressure.

    3 - If the string is too slack, it's possible it will no longer be pulled completely straight as it passes over the break point of the saddle. If that happens then the intonation point has effectively been moved, changing your intonation.
     
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  16. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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  17. soldierkahn

    soldierkahn BAD MAMMA-JAMMA Contributor

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    This is why it didn't matter as much for me, as the two tunings drop c and drop a# are only a whole step apart. The fine tuners help me adjust in each tuning. :)
     
  18. Andrew Lloyd Webber

    Andrew Lloyd Webber Enjoyed by 4 out of 5

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    Is this a tonewood thread?
     
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  19. ixlramp

    ixlramp SS.org Regular

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    Returned to say i am possibly wrong about intonation being affected by string pitch, i don't think i have actually experimented to check this. Intonation is related to string stiffness, so a change in tension might affect it by effectively altering stiffness. But not sure.

    To clarify, we are talking about changing string pitch without changing the string gauge (i assume this is what odibrom and tedtan were discussing), obviously if string gauge changes intonation will need resetting.
    Also in this i am taking into account the 3 points mentioned by GuitarBizarre, i am assuming that the player plays more gently to not create more excursion, that fretting pressure is more gentle, and that the string is not retuned by an excessive amount.
     
  20. Grindspine

    Grindspine likes pointy things

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