Replacing Edge with Floyd - can this get the bass back? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-05-2002, 09:48 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Lawrence Kansas
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Replacing Edge with Floyd - can this get the bass back?

Has anyone out there replaced an Edge (not a TRS etc) with a Floyd and noticed a tone difference? One huge problem I've had is that, though I love the feel of Ibanez guitars, they invariably lack low end warmth and woodiness. I've tried damn near everything to get that back into them and so far nothing has worked. I suspect the issue may be the edge trem. Heres what I've done and my results. Right now I have 7 Ibanez wizard neck guitars, a couple G&L legacies, a couple strats, and some custom made strat style guitars. The Ibanez necks rule, but the tone when compared to the others is always thin in the lows. One issue here is that basswood is just a crap tone wood, but even on my Mahogany 520s, though the sound is better, same issue (and really Mahogany should sound HUGE and warm, heck even paper thin SGs do). I had an Alder body made for one of my Ibanez necks and retrofited the edge; its better than basswood but same result.

I know the things its NOT:
Body Wood: Comparing Alder to Alder, the Ibanez neck/Edge Trem guitar is much thinner in low end.

Action: everything is set up the same, LOW

Thin Necks: One of my strats has been reshaped and is thinner than a wizard but still sounds almost identical to any of my unmodified strats or G&Ls, so its not a thinner neck that is the issue.

Locking Trem (per se): That same strat with the ultra thin neck has an original floyd. Sounds the same as American std tail piece or G&L vibrato. Heck I took my first ever electric guitar (plywood junk) and for sentimental reasons had a custom neck made for it, it has a floyd, still sounds better than the edge with solid alder or mahogany.

Pickups: Same, adjusted the same, sound thinner with the Ibanez neck/trem.

The only thing left I can think of is that the Edge Trem just dumps low end somewhere. Maybe its the hollowed out base plate? If anyone has some insight I would appreciate it. One problem I could foresee is having to use shims to re-radius the Floyd, as it was designed for a 10" radius not a 17" like the edge. Would be well worth it though to get the tone back.

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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-05-2002, 12:39 PM
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Is the Floyd on your strat routed to pull up? Or is it resting on the body?

I've found floating trems just lack in that bass department.. heh Having owned floating floyds, and Edge trems, I'd say both lack bass... The Edge is a lot more 'mellower' sounding than an OFR is though..

Paper thin SGs sound the way they do because of the mohagany neck/body, scale length, and TOM/Stoptail.. No floating-locking trem, 25.5, maple necked guitar is gonna sound like that.
toshiro is offline  
post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-05-2002, 12:57 PM
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I agree with Toshiro here... there are so many factors in play with all of your guitars that it's impossible to point the finger at ONE difference between them and say, "That's what's causing my tone to suck!"

Body wood, neck wood, construction style, bridge type, string mounting method and electronics all play a part. To focus on just one thing like the species of body wood or the brand of tremolo ignores the fact that there are many other differences that also contribute.

Before spending any money or time replacing tremolos, look at using an EQ pedal or rack unit to tweak the sound of your weaker guitars to beef them up to what you want to hear. Consider swapping out pickups for warmer-sounding ones.

Most tonal deficiencies can be compensated for somewhat with new pickups and/or EQ. As long as you've got a good fundamental note to deal with, you can tweak the overtones by any number of methods.
darren wilson is offline  
post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-05-2002, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
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Nope its none of the above.

Guys I've been playing for 25 years and my ears are super sensitive for tone. All the guitars have the same set up (the trem pulls up) and electronics, I'm comparing apples to apples on wood, pickups, etc; the only difference is the Ibanez neck and Edge vs Fender, G&L, or custom neck.

Yes there are minor differences in every piece of wood that affect tone; but I'm not comparing one guitar to one other. I'm comparing every Ibanez I own to every other guitar I own and the Ibanez are consistently lacking in something all the others have. Yes they all sound a little different but the lack of bass is consistent accross all the Ibanez and the problem is not present in any of the others. I know a bolt on wont sound like an SG; but neither should Mahogany sound like (b)asswood and only faintly like it should sound.

As for using a pedal to tweak tone; first off I cant stand pedals between my guitar and amp because of the way they sap tone. Any more than one pedal max kills the sweetness of a good tube amp. Also, you cant use an eq to add back in something that isnt there, it just adds noise.

What I really want to know is has anyone used an actual OFR on an actual Ibanez what used to have the Edge and what were the results?

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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-05-2002, 06:54 PM
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um, do you have same pickups (I know you said yes, but are they the same for certian? and all mounted Exactly the same way)? same pots? same capacitors, same everything electronics?
Do ALL your other guitars have the same size trem route as the Ibanez?

Basically, what I'm saying is this, the Edge, if anything will create a warmer thicker sound due to it's casting nature. It is a heavier trem, it will transmit better than any of the plate steel trems like the OFR's. The edge points yes are less contact, but not so much that it's a huge difference.
Remember, MOST Ibanez guitars are Basswood, MOST Fender's, G&L's are Poplar, Alder, Mahogany, pretty much everything BUT basswood.
Very few Ibanez's are Alder, some are mahogany, but MOST are Basswood.
Also, the Ibanez body shape is substantially different than me\ost, the horns are thinner, cut aways scooped further, lots of things.
What I'm saying is, it is NOT apples to apples at all, it's apples to oranges. I would go out on a limb and say that your Fenders and whatnot sounding thicker, or bassier has more to do with the electronics, and body woods, even the finishing system used between manufacturers can create different tones.

What pickups ARE you using? (why do you have what sounds like a lot of guitars with ALL the same pickups anyway?) you have to remember, the difference between a 250K pot, and a 500K pot, is quite a bit, same with capacitors, resistance in wire length on the pickups, it's all small stuff, but it all adds up.

And bottom line is, sometimes you just have to accept a little down in a bigger up. The Edge is the most stable trem you will ever find, Personally, I'm willing to lose a little bit if that is the case in tone for the stability.
littlegreenman is offline  
post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-05-2002, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
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"warmer" pickups

Oh yeah, I've tried to go the bassier pickup route. I have about $2k invested in most of the models that Dimarzio, Duncan, and Kinman make. I've compared basswood, mahogany, ash, and alder guitars side by side with exactly the same pickup/electronics/string/action. I've also tried various combinations to adjust for any frequencies that turn up lacking from one piece of wood to another, trying to match tones as closely as possible. You can put pickups in an Ibanez with more bass response and get more bass, but it never seems to add 'warm' bass, those nice woody tones in the low mid and lows can't seem to be reproduced on these guitars no matter what pickups are used. Often the result is simply a dark sounding guitar that still has no warmth in the lows, adding bassier pickups just seems to make them go muddy and most pickups with accentuated lows are also lacking in highs so you end up loosing the sparkle as well.

I've had bodies made for the Ibanez necks and trems where those are the only parts from the original guitar and it doesnt seem to help. Its possible that something in the way ibanez makes a maple/mahogany neck kills those fequencies, but for that to be consistent over as many of thier guitars as I've tested would be suprising. Every piece of wood is different, but maple/rosewood or maple/maple combos from one manufacter shouldnt sound so completely different than those combos from anyone else for any logical reason I can think of. Having controlled for all other factors, Im left thinking it must be the trem, but thats the only item I havent tested and A/Bd because I dont have extra OFRs lying around to do it.
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-05-2002, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, read again please

Littlegreenman I appreciate the response, but if you read back through the posts you will see that I have tested the edge with bodies I had custom made that are Alder strat shape, same pickups etc etc etc. It IS apples to apples except for the Ibanez neck/trem. I've done these tests HOLDING ALL FACTORS EXCEPT THE NECK/BRIDGE CONSTANT INCLUDING PICKUPS, BODY WOOD, ELECTRONICS, ETC, AND YES I'M SURE I DO MY OWN WORK AND INSTALLATIONS.
Differences like pickguards vs no pickguard, swimming pool route vs single pickup route, minor body shape differences are subtle at best in terms of audible effect and dont produce the dramatic effect I'm talking about. Trust me I know because I've spent a ridiculous amount of money doing the comparisons. The only factor I havent accounted for is the necks/bridges. I can't think of a logical reason whe the neck is different as I've compared them to other very thin necks that had even less mass than a wiz neck and the other thin necks dont get this issue.
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-05-2002, 07:58 PM
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well, then I guess the only one who can answer your question would be you, if you've put so much money into bodies, electronics etc, maybe it's time to change a trem.

I'm not trying to be a prick or anything, and I did read your posts, I've just never EVER heard someone complain of this before, and I've owned a ton of guitars and would never have said this same thing.

I guess the bottom line is, if the ONLY thing you haven't changed is the trem, change the trem, I can't offer any other advice.
littlegreenman is offline  
post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-05-2002, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah I agree but I was hoping to hear from someone who had already done it and could tell me their impressions before I go to the trouble. There are lots of complaints about Ibanez lacking bass out there on the web, even in this forum if you look. Its not that they sound like complete ass, they dont or I wouldnt have more of them than any other guitar. They just sound thin when compared directly with other guitars, especially, but not limited to, any single coil positions. Not that many people have done those direct comparisons, even fewer are that sensitive to tone to notice it. For evidence of that I point you to all the people that list their signal chains as having 5 or so pedals pre-input on their tube amps. Thats like buying a new mercedes and painting it with orange spray paint. Personally I wouldnt do it but hey thats my opinion, others may differ.

So back to my original question.. has anyone replaced and edge trem on an Ibanez with an original Floyd? Alternatively, has anyone put an Edge on a strat and compared it to an unmodified strat? I know Tom Morello does that maybe he isnt the only one.

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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-05-2002, 08:49 PM
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well, I can't say I've ever removed an edge and replaced it no, but I've put numerous edges on floyd equipped guitars, and nobody has ever said it sounded thinner or less full afterwards.
I can't honestly say I've done it and listened for a difference either though.
I do think that my JEM's with PAF's are thin sounding compared to the UV's with Blazes, but the UV sounds thin compared to my JEM's with Evolution's.

Personally, I'm one of those gear junkie's I guess, I have a rack full of stuff, I am EXTREMELY fussy about tone, to the point of it being a fetish, but I've never noticed the thin tone of the Ibanez over how much I love the feel.

Here is something for you to do, try playing your ibanez's unplugged, then play one of your other ones unplugged and compare the acoustic tone with each other.

That is how I buy new guitars, I rarely plug in anymore.
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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-05-2002, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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I'm totally with you on the unplugged thing, I never plug in a guitar to evaluate it in a music store anymore, havent in years. The lack of bass response isnt something I notice unplugged; one of my 520s in particular sounds great unplugged. Its unlikely that its loud enough unplugged to zero in on those freqeuncies though. I have a rack of stuff as well, but I only plug in things as I need them during recording and live I even plug and unplug my wah (true bypass.. yeah right) as I need it live. I just cant stand the loading and capacitance that effects add when off, though I love them when they are on. I just got one of those VHT valvulator 1s in the hopes that it would allow me to use more without sucking tone. Looks cool on paper I'll be happy to let you know how it holds up under critical listening; sounds like something you could appreciate if it works as intended.
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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-07-2002, 02:42 PM
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lol .... hahahaha
LGM .. thats exactly what I thought when reading through this thread if youve spent 3 million dollars trying out EVERYTHING in every possible combination EXCEPT for one little piece and just cant find what is bugging you and are SO certain that that little piece may be the troublecauser, why the heck dont you switch some parts to find out.

sounds very simple to me
Aidreon Z is offline  
post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-07-2002, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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Well lets see. The posts are probably not interchangable, because the knife edges are different. That means the parts they mount in probably arent either. Thats major surgery replacing those buggers. Which means I don't want to mess with it if I dont have to. And I dont have to if someone who has already done it can tell me what the results were.

Can someone, anyone, who has ACTUALLY DONE THIS please let me know what your results are?

wizard333 is offline  
post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-07-2002, 06:48 PM
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I think you'll probably find very few people here who have replaced an Edge with an OFR.
darren wilson is offline  
post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-07-2002, 10:34 PM
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Bottom end isnt everything. Its the wrong amp/guitar combo in my opinion
sniperfrommars1 is offline  

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