Can you drop tune a Floyd Rose

Discussion in 'Sevenstring Guitars' started by sevenstringdjentman, Aug 19, 2021.

  1. sevenstringdjentman

    sevenstringdjentman SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2021
    I've recently been thinking about buying a guitar with a floyd rose, but I wanna know if drop tuning it will mess it up.
     
  2. Werecow

    Werecow SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    966
    Likes Received:
    1,140
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Location:
    UK
    IF by "mess it up" you mean damage the bridge or the height of it, then no it'll be fine. Just put it in your desired tuning with the strings you need for that.
    If you mean whether it'll mess up the tuning of the other strings if you just suddenly want to drop the bottom string, then yes, it will. You'll have to do a full tune on all the strings.
     
    works0fheart likes this.
  3. Crungy

    Crungy SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    549
    Likes Received:
    577
    Joined:
    May 29, 2019
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I have an Ibanez 1527 tuned to drop A and it's fine. How low are you wanting to go? The experts here will have more insight since that's the lowest I've gone on mine.
     
  4. sevenstringdjentman

    sevenstringdjentman SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2021
    Probably just bringing the low string down a whole step.
     
  5. cardinal

    cardinal F# Dive Bomber

    Messages:
    6,472
    Likes Received:
    4,416
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    If you mean quickly switching back and forth between standard and drop tuned, you can't do that if the Floyd is floating (ie, you can raise and lower the pitch with the bar). If it's floating and you detune one string, all the rest go out of tune.

    If you want to quickly go back and forth, you need to stabilize the trem some how. There are a lot of ways how.
     
    SpaceDock, Adieu and Matt08642 like this.
  6. MetalheadMC

    MetalheadMC SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    666
    Likes Received:
    169
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2014
    Location:
    Bama
    It will be fine. There is a sequence you have to go through tuning the strings, plus adjusting the springs in the cavity for it to get in tune, and stay in tune. Floyd's are fun, but a damn hassle if you like changing tunings constantly which was my case.
     
    Crungy and 3bolt79 like this.
  7. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    6,036
    Likes Received:
    9,070
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2010
    Location:
    Near San Francisco
    The thing to remember is that a bridge sitting level is in balance. The strings pull the same tension as the springs in the back of the guitar (unless you have it blocked). So if you tune down, you're reducing the tension on the front. So you need to balance that out to keep the bridge level, the same as any trem.

    There is even a little device you can add to the Floyd called the d-Tuna that lets you drop-tune instantly...but the trem has to be blocked in the back so it doesn't move when you drop the tension on the string.
     
    sleewell likes this.
  8. sleewell

    sleewell SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,854
    Likes Received:
    2,943
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2016
    Location:
    michigan
    I have my km7 in drop A with no issues.

    you cant drop tune a floyd on the fly but they absolutely can be setup in drop tunings with excellent tuning stability.
     
    littlebadboy and 3bolt79 like this.
  9. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

    Messages:
    17,845
    Likes Received:
    7,310
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Location:
    St. Johnsbury, VT USA
    Yeah, I would also like clarification.

    Are you switching between EADGBE and DADGBE tuning?

    If the bridge is floating, you cannot change tunings on the fly - you have to adjust the bridge, or at least adjust the tuning of every string.

    If the bridge is dive-only, then you can do whatever you want, as long as the total tension on the bridge never exceeds what you initially set it up to do. (For example, set it up for the highest tuning you use and then drop tune on the fly and it'll be fine.)
     
    Crungy and sleewell like this.
  10. Amer Alameddine

    Amer Alameddine SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    97
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2020
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Easiest way (I think) is this:

    . Block it from the back cavity (9 volt batter can do the trick)
    . Change the tuning of the string you want
    . Remove the battery, the bridge will drop a bit if you lowered the tuning, so loosen the screws for the springs till you're back in tune


    If a 9 volt battery doesn't cut it for you, you can use a few coins in there instead, or a piece of wood cut to that width.
     
  11. soul_lip_mike

    soul_lip_mike Contributor

    Messages:
    711
    Likes Received:
    1,022
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2006
    Location:
    Reston, VA
    As others have mentioned a floating trem will not be easy to hop back and forth between standard and drop. For me I keep my floyds in one tuning. It's really a huge pain in the ass to adjust the trem to change tunings and string gauges.
     
  12. Jarmake

    Jarmake Frost Giant

    Messages:
    1,241
    Likes Received:
    447
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2009
    Location:
    Oulu, Finland
    If you want to switch between drop d and E you could get a tremol-no.
     
  13. Perge

    Perge SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    142
    Likes Received:
    223
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2012
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I've never used one, but isn't this literally what the d tuna was designed for?
     
  14. Jarmake

    Jarmake Frost Giant

    Messages:
    1,241
    Likes Received:
    447
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2009
    Location:
    Oulu, Finland
    If the floyd is non recessed, yes. Otherwise it's not going to work as it should. Fully floating floyd just can't handle the change in tension without countering it with the springs.
     
    Perge likes this.
  15. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    6,036
    Likes Received:
    9,070
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2010
    Location:
    Near San Francisco
    Technically thr bridge doesn't have to be recessed for it to be floating with full pull-back range, if there is a routed out area behind the bridge for thr clearance.

    To use a d-tuna, the guitar either needs to be build for dive-only, or blocked with something like a tremol-no if it's a floating setup.
     
    Perge and Zhysick like this.
  16. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

    Messages:
    15,320
    Likes Received:
    9,497
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Location:
    California
    When playing live I used to drop my lowest string to D all the time. If you’re recording, you should retune all of the strings, of course. But I found that it was generally fine playing live, because the variance in tuning on the other strings wasn’t affected enough by the tension drop on the lowest string. This was years ago, and I only had one guitar, so I’d just make due.
     
  17. Jarmake

    Jarmake Frost Giant

    Messages:
    1,241
    Likes Received:
    447
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2009
    Location:
    Oulu, Finland
    Well, yeah. I said it wrong, sorry. If the floyd rests on the top of the guitar or is blocked as to not go up (as in raising the tuning) the d-tuna works as intended.
     
  18. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

    Messages:
    15,320
    Likes Received:
    9,497
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Location:
    California
    You’d still have to block it. Unless you’re doing a Rail Tail or maybe a FRX. The regular top mount Floyd still floats, though only a few millimeters above the body. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen one lowered to the point of full contact.
     
  19. Jarmake

    Jarmake Frost Giant

    Messages:
    1,241
    Likes Received:
    447
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2009
    Location:
    Oulu, Finland
    I've had couple of non recessed floyds that were lowered to the point of full contact. But that could have something to do with my ultra low action setup... :)
     
    Hollowway likes this.
  20. dspellman

    dspellman SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    46
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2013
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    If you're really interested in doing that, look at the Line 6 Variax JTV89F. The Variax firmware allows you to tune any string up to an octave in either direction without changing string tension, thus not affecting the Floyd's balance. There are a bunch of down- and drop-tuning options built into the factory switch, but you can set up anything you like via the free Workbench software.
     

Share This Page