Broken ZR tremolo... Is this common?? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-11-2006, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 39
Broken ZR tremolo... Is this common??

Last week, I won an auction for an Ibanez S470 described to be in near mint condition.

Get home and open it up. Everything looks great. A few picks in the side pocket of the gig bag along with some fender bullet strings and a cheap nameless cable. Something wasn't there though... The tremolo arm! Strike one. Missing tremolo arm wasn't in the item description.

So I tune it up and start playing... amazing playability. I mean EXCELLENT. Pickups are generic junk. Not very noisy but pretty bland as far as the tone goes. No problem...dimarzios are on top of the amp waiting to go in.

So I grab a wilkinson tremolo arm and stick it in the tremolo hole..nowhere near a fit but it works well enough to try the tremolo out. First dive bomb goes down and then when it comes up, nowhere NEAR in tune. Hmm... I look down and the tremolo is CROOKED!!!!

Apparently after dissecting the ZR tremolo, the pivot stud that connects the tremolo part to the mounting stud sheered in half on one side of the tremolo and it was only being held by the other side!!

Here are the pictures of the carnage. It's not pretty.









And here's a picture of the broken stud and the other mounting post with the stud holding the ball bearings.



That's what it should look like when it's not broke in half and the ball bearings slide inside the pivot point in the tremolo and that's how it rotates. The design is genious as is the adjustment screw on the back of the trem cavity and the spring system it uses to keep itself super stable.

But... unfortunatley, the guitar isn't playable like this. I did take the time to clean the rediculously dirty fretboard. It didn't look dirty but after 6 runs of windex and wiping, it finally stopped making the cloth brown and black and the guitar honey made this a nice pretty fretboard.

See!



The Dimarzio's are all in though so that's one less thing to worry about.

Anyways, preparations to fix all this have been taken. Ibanez has a fantastic website for tracking down parts for just such an occasion and I actually found the parts numbers I need. I'll have to pay for a whole new pair of mounting studs with the pivot studs in them along with the 3 piece tremolo arm (the arm, a bushing and the sleeve that you screw it down to the tremolo with).

I had to call guitar center since they're the only ibanez dealer nearest me and they said ibanez was closed by the time I called last night. I gave them the part numbers and told them I need them to order these tomorrow and get them as soon as humanly possible so hopefully I'll get a phone call tomorrow telling me my parts are ordered and on their way but I doubt it.

I'm going to wait until I get the price for the parts before I tell the seller. I'm hoping he'll cover at least half of the cost of the parts as a gesture of good business since there was no mention of a missing tremolo arm or broken stud. I went back and examined the pictures he sent me during the auction period and I now see that the left side is a tad crooked indicating that it was in fact broke before he shipped it. Apparently the guy must have never used it or something.

Is this an uncommon problem or are these little studs prone to breaking like this regularly? The only way I can see it happening was if soemthing hit the tremolo hard (no evidence of scrapes or marks on the tremolo though) or that somehow, the thing started to bind and the thing broke.

If this has happend to others, I'm tempted to go to lowes and find a small high strenght alloy bolt that fits through the ball bearings and cut it down to the right size and use that but I'd prefer to leave ghetto rigging as a final option (although I think it'd probably work fine).

Anyways, I'll keep you guys updated. This sucks.
FastRedPonyCar is offline  
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-11-2006, 01:59 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Re: Broken ZR tremolo... Is this common??

I've never actually seen that particular problem with the ZR trem. The main problem that I've seen is on the version 1 trem where the little allen key piece that adjusts the spring tension breaks off. BTW, that is one GORGEOUS-LOOKING GUITAR!!! I'm glad that you're taking the time to fix it instead of getting rid of it because it is soooo freakin' beautiful.
lyconxero is offline  
post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-11-2006, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 39
Re: Broken ZR tremolo... Is this common??

Well...for what I got the guitar for, I figure why not... I just got back from guitar center and the cost of the new stud parts and tremolo arm parts is $50 which added to what I paid for the guitar is still hundreds less than a new one would cost.
FastRedPonyCar is offline  
post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-11-2006, 03:01 PM
 
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Re: Broken ZR tremolo... Is this common??

yeah the colour and the quilt top is [email protected]#[email protected] nice
NormalPerson is offline  
post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-13-2006, 02:29 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Northern Ireland
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Re: Broken ZR tremolo... Is this common??

i think i heard of someone on another site who had a broken ZR. I'm not sure if it was broken the same way, though...
dave_mc is offline  
post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-16-2006, 03:47 PM
 
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Location: usa
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Re: Broken ZR tremolo... Is this common??

YES!

My allen wrench broke about 2 months into owning the guitar, and the tremolo SNAPPED off just like your did about a month ago

Its a horrible design but let me tell you a secret....


After emailing Ibanez 8 times, reforwarding the same message over and over, I eventually got a response from a guy named AJ in customer service.

Not only is my 03 s470 tremolo being replaced for free, they are replacing it with version 2.0 which has a differnt mechanism instead of the allen wrench, and I believe a different tremolo arm screw in mechanism.

so give it a shot!
[email protected]
Steve069 is offline  
post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-17-2006, 07:40 AM
 
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Re: Broken ZR tremolo... Is this common??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve069
YES!

My allen wrench broke about 2 months into owning the guitar, and the tremolo SNAPPED off just like your did about a month ago

Its a horrible design but let me tell you a secret....


After emailing Ibanez 8 times, reforwarding the same message over and over, I eventually got a response from a guy named AJ in customer service.

Not only is my 03 s470 tremolo being replaced for free, they are replacing it with version 2.0 which has a differnt mechanism instead of the allen wrench, and I believe a different tremolo arm screw in mechanism.

so give it a shot!
[email protected]
Wow and all it took was 8 e-mails lol, I'm surprised they even replaced it and even responded. Still thier customer service needs to come a long way before it's exceptable...
brothersnowgone is offline  
post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-17-2006, 06:16 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Arlington, TX
Posts: 3,069
Re: Broken ZR tremolo... Is this common??

Dumb question but, My trem arm broke twice, in less than a month, you think I could get a replacement?
C.Thep is offline  
post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-18-2006, 02:26 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 213
Re: Broken ZR tremolo... Is this common??

how can it break twice? n yeah u can get a replacement arm from an ibanez dealer i guess
NormalPerson is offline  
post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-18-2006, 05:49 PM
 
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Re: Broken ZR tremolo... Is this common??

Sweet guitar.

Regards

André



fettouhi is offline  
post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-25-2006, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 39
Re: Broken ZR tremolo... Is this common??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve069
YES!

My allen wrench broke about 2 months into owning the guitar, and the tremolo SNAPPED off just like your did about a month ago

Its a horrible design but let me tell you a secret....


After emailing Ibanez 8 times, reforwarding the same message over and over, I eventually got a response from a guy named AJ in customer service.

Not only is my 03 s470 tremolo being replaced for free, they are replacing it with version 2.0 which has a differnt mechanism instead of the allen wrench, and I believe a different tremolo arm screw in mechanism.

so give it a shot!
[email protected]
I got it fixed and the trem arm too. What type of allen mechanism is different on version 2? Are the tiny screws that you loosen to adjust intonation different?

Also, my trem arm has a sleeve on the end that the tighter it is, the more snug the arm is. The arm itself physically screws down into the bridge but there's a tiny plastic bushing between the trem arm and the sleeve that slides over the trem arm that tightens down onto the arm the tighter the sleeve is so in other words, I can screw the tremolo arm itself into the bridge and detepending on how tight that's screwed into the bridge determines whether the arm stays where you leave it or wheter it swings back down out of the way. The sleeve over the trem arm's tightness relates to how much "play" the arm will have so you can have it tightly screwed on and the arm will have zero play and be very taught or you can loosen the sleeve to get a little looseness so you can keep it in your hand as you play without the trem pivoting if your hand moves the arm.
FastRedPonyCar is offline  
post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-26-2006, 06:32 AM
 
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Location: usa
Posts: 28
Re: Broken ZR tremolo... Is this common??

Quote:
Originally Posted by FastRedPonyCar
I got it fixed and the trem arm too. What type of allen mechanism is different on version 2? Are the tiny screws that you loosen to adjust intonation different?

Also, my trem arm has a sleeve on the end that the tighter it is, the more snug the arm is. The arm itself physically screws down into the bridge but there's a tiny plastic bushing between the trem arm and the sleeve that slides over the trem arm that tightens down onto the arm the tighter the sleeve is so in other words, I can screw the tremolo arm itself into the bridge and detepending on how tight that's screwed into the bridge determines whether the arm stays where you leave it or wheter it swings back down out of the way. The sleeve over the trem arm's tightness relates to how much "play" the arm will have so you can have it tightly screwed on and the arm will have zero play and be very taught or you can loosen the sleeve to get a little looseness so you can keep it in your hand as you play without the trem pivoting if your hand moves the arm.

no the only difference when I was referring to the allen wrench, is that instead of sticking an allen wrench under the guitar through the keyhole to adjust spring pressure (for changing strings, etc) there is a big turning button instead (my guitar is being reparied so I dont have the new one to explain exactly how it works) but im assuming you put the allen wrench into the new slot, and loosen the button, then turn it with your finger(s) then tighten it back and be done with it.

version 1.0 required you to stick the allen wrench into a mechanism that turns two tiny peice of crap gears which in turn stretch or release the spring tension and raises/lowers your tremolo.

as far as the tremolo arm itself being different I could tell from the pictures in there parts section of ibanez website, but im thinking it also may be different.

on mine the cap that tightens and loosens under the trem arm never worked, and my arm just kept getting stripped untill one day it snaped off with the threads still on the trem arm.
Steve069 is offline  
post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-26-2006, 08:25 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 39
Re: Broken ZR tremolo... Is this common??

oh ok yeah I've played the ZR's with the thumb screw. Mine doesn't have that. I usually stick with the same strings so I don't see a need in the immediate future at least of needing to adjust spring tension. If I do, I'd probably end up pulling back on the tremolo arm to relieve that adjustment joint of pressure from the springs pulling.
FastRedPonyCar is offline  
post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-30-2006, 12:42 PM
 
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Location: Mirfield, West Yorkshire, England
Posts: 135
Re: Broken ZR tremolo... Is this common??

The exact same thing happened to me. I waited 2 months for the replacement part, and when it did get here, the damn holding got loose after about 2 weeks' use. The bar won't stay put, it's [i/]very[i\] annoying to say the least. Mine is a 1.0, but all the 2.0s I've played stay put perfectly . My fault for buying new technology, eh?!
Vai_disciple is offline  
post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-01-2006, 12:19 PM
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: usa
Posts: 28
Re: Broken ZR tremolo... Is this common??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vai_disciple
The exact same thing happened to me. I waited 2 months for the replacement part, and when it did get here, the damn holding got loose after about 2 weeks' use. The bar won't stay put, it's [i/]very[i\] annoying to say the least. Mine is a 1.0, but all the 2.0s I've played stay put perfectly . My fault for buying new technology, eh?!
did they send you a replacement 1.0

because they told me sending me a replacement wasnt an option and i had to send my entire guitar to them last week, im still waiting to get it back
Steve069 is offline  
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allen wrench , ibanez dealer , near mint condition , trem arm , tremolo arm , wilkinson trem

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