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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-07-2013, 01:51 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
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Arrow Action Issue with 540R

Hey, I recently picked up an '89 Ibanez 540r and I noticed right away when I picked it up that the action was sitting a bit higher than I'd like. I wrote this off as the previous owner improperly setting it up. Well, I went ahead and adjusted the height studs and ended up turning them all the way down.

Now my low E is sitting about 5/32 of an inch measuring from the fret to the string. This still seems quite high from my experience. The tremolo is sitting flush and everything else seems to be in order, so I'm really not sure what to do here. I haven't replaced the strings yet, and from the looks of them, they are in bad shape. This couldn't contribute to a high action, could it?!

I'm a bit stumped as I'm not really well-versed in working with floating trems. Any advice I could get would be great. Thanks!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-07-2013, 03:06 AM
 
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Re: Action Issue with 540R

Sounds like the neck needs a shim. If you angle the neck down, so the headstock "lowers" slightly, it will give you more effective range to adjust the bridge.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-07-2013, 08:28 AM
 
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Re: Action Issue with 540R

Before adding any shims to the neck, check the relief. Too much relief will cause high action.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-07-2013, 10:35 AM
 
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Re: Action Issue with 540R

There are small set screws in the bottom of the trem studs. Did you loosen those first? They may be causing the studs to stop before you can get them low enough.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-07-2013, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Action Issue with 540R

Quote:
Originally Posted by dratsum View Post
Sounds like the neck needs a shim. If you angle the neck down, so the headstock "lowers" slightly, it will give you more effective range to adjust the bridge.
Thanks, I'm not really comfortable adding a shim myself, but I'll look into having this done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lanzelot View Post
Before adding any shims to the neck, check the relief. Too much relief will cause high action.
Okay, I'll give this a shot and see what the relief looks like.

Quote:
Originally Posted by metalhead52 View Post
There are small set screws in the bottom of the trem studs. Did you loosen those first? They may be causing the studs to stop before you can get them low enough.
I didn't check this out yet. Should I take the strings completely off to loosen the studs completely?
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-07-2013, 08:28 PM
 
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Re: Action Issue with 540R

This is a good thing to read through:

http://www.ibanezrules.com/tech/grunge/grunge_1.htm

The part about the locking studs are on page 8. I don't do it 100% this way, but it's a good place to start. You do enough of these and you can figure out your own tweaks to this method. What I do is actually quite a bit more involved and involves disassembling all the hardware.

What you need to do to get the lock screws loose with the strings in place is back off the studs slightly to remove tension from the lock screws, then back them off. Then you should be able to set the studs where you need them, then lock them back down like described in the method.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-08-2013, 10:42 AM
 
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Re: Action Issue with 540R

I also disassemble the hard ware most times when making stud height adjustments because I do not like to turn the studs with tension on them in fear or damaging the knife edge, something I learned from Rich and his tech page long ago.

The easy way to change the stud height is to actually take the rear trem cover off, pull the whammy bar up to loosen the spring tension and pop the springs off while holding onto the trem, once that is done, flip the guitar back over, carefully take the trem out of the route and set it aside with strings still attached. Make your adjustments and put it back in the same way you took it out. I think for this first time, you need to see how all of this works, mark where the stud is or count the threads showing up top so you can get close when you put it back and check that stud out, see how it locks down and such.

Saying that, and I am all for learning how to do things yourself, taking it to a good tech can turn an "ehh" guitar into one of your favorites.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-08-2013, 11:09 AM
 
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Re: Action Issue with 540R

Quote:
Originally Posted by satchmo72 View Post
I also disassemble the hard ware most times when making stud height adjustments because I do not like to turn the studs with tension on them in fear or damaging the knife edge, something I learned from Rich and his tech page long ago.

The easy way to change the stud height is to actually take the rear trem cover off, pull the whammy bar up to loosen the spring tension and pop the springs off while holding onto the trem, once that is done, flip the guitar back over, carefully take the trem out of the route and set it aside with strings still attached. Make your adjustments and put it back in the same way you took it out. I think for this first time, you need to see how all of this works, mark where the stud is or count the threads showing up top so you can get close when you put it back and check that stud out, see how it locks down and such.

Saying that, and I am all for learning how to do things yourself, taking it to a good tech can turn an "ehh" guitar into one of your favorites.
Those studs were meant to be adjusted with tension on them.

Jimmy
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-09-2013, 11:39 AM
 
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Re: Action Issue with 540R

It's next to impossible to get the studs 100% on the money with no tension on them. I've done enough guitars that I can eyeball them 90% correct without the trem in the guitar, but I still need to make some adjustments once I get the strings in and the trem level.
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