Tremolo system and how to set-up? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-11-2013, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Michigan
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Tremolo system and how to set-up?

I finally replaced the string on my JS1000 and when I have the locking nut loosened and I tighten the tuners to tune the strings, the tremolo pulls-up from the tension. I start at the E string and by the time I get to the other E string the first E-string is back out of tune and has to be tightened back up...and the tremolo keeps raising.

What am I doing wrong here?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-11-2013, 10:24 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
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Re: Tremolo system and how to set-up?

Welcome to the fun-filled world of floating trems!

Rich Harris has been kind enough to outline everything you need to know here:

http://www.ibanezrules.com/tech/setup/index.htm

Cheers!
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-11-2013, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Tremolo system and how to set-up?

I did use size 10 strings and have seen a couple of different places that you're supposed to only use 9's, is this true?
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-11-2013, 10:39 PM
 
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Re: Tremolo system and how to set-up?

Many Ibanez guitars, including JEMs and JS's, come stock from the factory with 9's, so if you put on 10's you will have to setup the guitar accordingly. If this is the first time you've changed to 10's, the trem will pull up out of the body as you tune it up to standard 440 pitch. You can absolutely use 10's if that's your preference - it won't hurt anything at all - you simply need to adjust the spring tension on the trem to match the tension of the strings in order to lower it back to its proper resting position.

But whenever changing string gauge and/or tuning (like if you want to tune non-standard, such as half step down, or drop-d, etc) it is a good idea to go through and do a full setup. The link I posted earlier will take you to Rich's very well written step-by-step instructions on how to do a setup. This is a skill you really should develop!
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-26-2013, 12:21 AM
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
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Re: Tremolo system and how to set-up?

I had the same issue when changing the strings for the first time on a floating trem. I mistakenly didn't retune it after each string was put in, thus it became very hard to 'rebalance' it - like your finding out

you have to either:

1. do each string one at a time and retune each time. Thus, change the d string only, retune the d string (keeping all the other strings in tune as well). Do all six this way.

2. lock the trem. this allows you to take off all the strings at once and replace them a la a fixed bridge. make sure you lock the trem parallel to the body in the right place so when you replace the strings its properly setup

it gets easier as you do it more.. wouldn't it be nice to have an internal locking system for the trem so we didn't all have to find blocks that fit?

Richs instructions are spot on as well.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-26-2013, 09:42 AM
 
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Re: Tremolo system and how to set-up?

Rich's site is awesome! I learned not only how to set up my guitar there, but how to fix an old RG550 with a cracked neck.
Changing gauge is going to give you a bit of a headache. But it's not too hard to do.
It's just a matter of tuning to pitch and seeing how far up the bridge is being pulled.
Tighten the springs so the bridge is about half way to level from wherever it is now. All your strings will go up in pitch. Retune: repeat until you get the knife edges parallel to the top of the body.
Time consuming, but not rocket science.
You'll get it. It's actually fun to do the full setup, and after, you know the guitar will be playing as well as it possible can.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-27-2013, 08:37 PM
 
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Re: Tremolo system and how to set-up?

As far as the tuning and getting to the high E and being low on the low E again, I like to pretune each string high so when it drops, it will drop close to being in tune.

I tune the lower strings higher than the higher strings so it all settles out even by the time I get to the high E. I swear, before I learned this trick from one of the guys here, my arm would hurt after awhile from reaching out to the headstock to retune each string multiple times.

Trems are all about finding balance between the strings and springs.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-27-2013, 09:26 PM
 
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Re: Tremolo system and how to set-up?

Best way to tune is to work from the outside in, or inside out, eg D-G-A-B-E-e - this helps get it all balanced far faster.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-28-2013, 11:00 AM
 
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Re: Tremolo system and how to set-up?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LonePhantom View Post
Best way to tune is to work from the outside in, or inside out, eg D-G-A-B-E-e - this helps get it all balanced far faster.
I must have done literally thousands of restrings in my lifetime, and I had to laugh when reading this post because I have STILL not come up with a method for this, nor have I ever asked myself the question. I will probably find that in the end I've wasted enough time to take one last 2 week vacation somewhere on the tail end of my "career".

I'll have to try that. Thanks!
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-28-2013, 12:06 PM
 
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Re: Tremolo system and how to set-up?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LonePhantom View Post
Best way to tune is to work from the outside in, or inside out, eg D-G-A-B-E-e - this helps get it all balanced far faster.
I, fer sure, have to try this. I wear myself out tuning my guitars when I restring. And yes, I do it one string at a time like you're supposed to with an FR style bridge.
Thanks Phantom, as usual a 'fountain of knowledge' about guitars.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-28-2013, 01:55 PM
 
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Re: Tremolo system and how to set-up?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ItalianPCTech View Post
I, fer sure, have to try this. I wear myself out tuning my guitars when I restring. And yes, I do it one string at a time like you're supposed to with an FR style bridge.
Thanks Phantom, as usual a 'fountain of knowledge' about guitars.
Building my first custom guitar recently and trying different sets of strings about 5 times already just for giggles has broken any hesitation to change a set anymore. In fact I am so stubborn I've always wound the tuners by hand and never bought a string winder. No, Seriously.

I just finally got one for free when I bought a set of pickups from banjomikez on ebay. I don't know what I have been thinking for 27 years, but it only takes me maybe 5 minutes now to restring a Floyd even with all strings removed to start with including stretching them.

Wow.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-28-2013, 02:09 PM
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Re: Tremolo system and how to set-up?

When time is money.....

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-28-2013, 02:14 PM
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Re: Tremolo system and how to set-up?

....you don't waste any changing heads.

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-28-2013, 02:18 PM
 
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Re: Tremolo system and how to set-up?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich View Post
When time is money.....

Plus you can put picks in it and pretend you're paul gilbert.
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