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Floyd Rose Woes

Postby Random Guitarist » Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:21 am

So a weird problem this evening, the guitar with the FR kept going flat.
So I tuned up and repeated and repeated and repeated to the point where the bridge was no longer sitting anywhere near flat, but the strings still were.

The only thing I can imagine from the symptoms/physics of the thing is that I over stretched the springs on a big dive bomb and got too close to their elastic limit causing lost strength.

Is this possible /likely?

Thanks,

Grant.
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Re: Floyd Rose Woes

Postby Jumpeyspyder » Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:34 am

(I assume if you've changed your strings you gave them a good stretch and you're familiar with Floyd Rose trems taking a several attempts to get the strings in tune.)

I've never heard of trem springs stretching - but guess it's possible

If so, the solution will be to either replace the springs or tighten the claw that holds the springs ?

I did have a related problem a while ago, where somehow my trusty tuner had been transposed up a couple of tones, (I'm blaming meddling kids for that!) it took me several hours to work out why I couldn't get my guitar tuned without the trem lifting to crazy angles! :blush:
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Re: Floyd Rose Woes

Postby Random Guitarist » Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:42 am

I'm thinking not so much the stretching but losing strength sufficiently that they cannot counter the tension of the strings at correct pitch.As I go through the strings I can get the first ones to pitch but by the time I have done all six the the first ones are flat again, and I can go through this cycle over and over.

And the tuner was definitely 440.
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Re: Floyd Rose Woes

Postby zenguitar » Mon Jan 21, 2019 1:21 am

The trem range isn't sufficient for you to damage the trem springs with an over enthusiastic dive bomb.

If you have a locking nut, that could be loose and letting the strings slip.

If you have changed to heavier strings you might need to fettle the trem claw so you balance the trem in the correct position. If you have changed to a new set of strings of the same gauge you need to ensure that they are properly stretched.

With any spring balanced trem raising the pitch of one string will make all the others slightly flat. So if you tune each string from low e to high e sequentially against a tuner, the lowest strings will end up flat. So you have to tune the first string sharp, and so on, to counteract this.

Do your intitial tuning and then see how much each string is flat. Then tune again and tune each string the same amount sharp as it was previously flat. That way, when you tune the final string everything should come close to in tune. then you can tweak from there.

Andy :beamup:
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Re: Floyd Rose Woes

Postby Random Guitarist » Mon Jan 21, 2019 9:56 am

Thanks for the reply, I understand the need to cycle through the strings as tuning one up will flatten the rest. The problem is the cycle doesn't end or diminish like it did a few days ago. I keep tuning up and the bridge keeps rising, which says to me the springs are not capable of balancing the tension of the strings.

The thing just consistently goes flat without any trem use or playing whatsover.

I actually loosened the nut to eliminate it from the process. The strings are properly wrapped and not slipping.

I tried tightening the claw screws to move the balance point down, but that has not helped.

So right now I am thinking maybe I have some poor quality springs, because I don't know what else to think.
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Re: Floyd Rose Woes

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Jan 21, 2019 11:28 am

I don't have a floyd but do have two Strats with trems. The basic principle is the same, the strings, when tuned to pitch, will have a certain tension (the Daddario website has detailed info in their strings, very 'nerdilicious') the springs need to have a certain tension to balance that pull. For the angle of the bridge to change either the tension in the strings or the tension in the springs or the position of the pivot must have changed.

I can't see that you have stretched the springs by dive bombing (as Andy said) and if they have gone beyond their elastic limit it will be obvious to look at them. So it seems likely that something mechanical has changed, the claw has moved (screws are pulling out? you've tightened them so probably not but did they feel secure?), the pivots have changed in some way (knife edge sitting wrong on the post before has now 'settled'? Highly unlikely but.....) you have lost a spring (OK I know that ain't going to go unnoticed..........).

You mention the bridge angle changing (visibly?). Is the change in pitch progressive and is it small, say a few cents overnight or large (a semitone or more)? Does it go more quickly when you use the term, pulling up hard should accelerate and drop in pitch fairly dramatically. Does it stay more or less in tune with itself or are individual strings dropping while others stay more or less on pitch?

Hard to diagnose at a distance but if we can just point you in a direction maybe you'll see what the problem is, it's most likely something you're overlooking.

TBH the claw screws seem the most likely candidate if the holes are worn. They only screw into the wood of the body so the holes can wear and eventually the screws pull out but you say you've tightened them so it should be obvious if that is happening.

Sorry that's a long post (stream of consciousness :blush: ) and just telling you stuff you already know...... Keep us posted :thumbup:
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Re: Floyd Rose Woes

Postby Jack Ruston » Mon Jan 21, 2019 7:52 pm

I just can't believe you missed out on the chance to title this thread "Floyd Woes"
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Re: Floyd Rose Woes

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Jan 21, 2019 7:54 pm

:clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: Floyd Rose Woes

Postby Random Guitarist » Mon Jan 21, 2019 11:01 pm

I guess I didn't make it clear the pitch is dropping all the time as I tune up.

With other floating trems like my strat I need to cycle through the strings twice to get tuned.

With this guitar last night there was no end to the cycle of tuning up which is why I wondered if I need stonger (or more) springs to give enough tension to get up to pitch.

I swapped out the central spring for a slightly beefier one earlier this evening and that does seem to have fixed things. The bottom plate of the bridge is pretty much parallel to the strings and the guitar is holding pitch nicely.
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Re: Floyd Rose Woes

Postby blinddrew » Mon Jan 21, 2019 11:08 pm

Weird that it should suddenly go like that. I'd be keeping a close eye on it and having a backup ready for any important work.
My concern would be that in resetting it with the new spring you've temporarily masked/fixed the original fault and it might rear its ugly head again at the most inconvenient time. :?
But hopefully it's fixed! :)
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Re: Floyd Rose Woes

Postby ManFromGlass » Mon Jan 21, 2019 11:26 pm

In my yout (insert New York accent here) I tended to take things apart or modify them without considering the end results. I once removed one of the 3 springs from a trem thinking something cool could happen. After tuning the guitar up I looked down and was amazed to see the bridge almost standing straight up from the guitar, strings now inches away from the neck. I reinstalled the third spring.
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Re: Floyd Rose Woes

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Jan 21, 2019 11:46 pm

Given that it is a, basically, simple mechanical system (all be it with some complications) if the bridge is sitting higher above the body than expected and the pitch is still dropping it can only be something related to the springs (if it was the strings slipping at the nut or tuners the bridge would be lower after the pitch dropped). Try replacing all the springs and see if that solves the problem. If it doesn't then it can only be the spring claw or claw screws (unless I'm missing something.... not an unlikely scenario TBH).
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Re: Floyd Rose Woes

Postby Random Guitarist » Tue Jan 22, 2019 1:04 am

Must admit the claw screws going into into wood thing seems distressingly low tech compared to the rest of the assembly.

I'd be more impressed if there was a plate permanently fixed to the wood with a couple machine screw/nut arrangements to adjust the claw, That way the adjustment would be less prone to wear.
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Re: Floyd Rose Woes

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Jan 22, 2019 10:46 am

Yes it is isn't it but I suppose if it ain't broke don't fix it.....
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Re: Floyd Rose Woes

Postby 10K-DB Music » Sat Mar 02, 2019 10:32 pm

My 2 axes that have Floyds,,from time to time I takes the strings off,,and disassemble the entire screw/adjust/saddles and clean them really good with mild cleaner,,and then when I ressemble,,I oil everything with a light grade oil,,the threads of the screws=saddles are very important to do,,it seems to help the whole unit settle down and behave better and stay in tune.
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