The floyd setup thread - Jemsite
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-21-2011, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: El Paso, TX
Posts: 2,647
The floyd setup thread

For you guys who have floyds and need help working on them here is some information to help you out .

PM Me with any questions you have .


Step 1:
Unlock the three clamps at the nut with a 3mm allen wrench

Step 2:
Set the fine-tuners on the bridge to the middle of there tuning range.

Step 3:
Change one string at a time (starting at either E string) by first loosening the string and unclamping it at the saddle with the 3mm allen wrench.

Step 4:
I insert the string backwards so that the ball end is at the tuners and excess string is cut where the string hits the fine tuner for that string. If you want the conventional way just cut the ball end off and insert the cut end in the center of the saddle in front of the tightening block. I usually tighten the string down finger tight till i have inserted it in to the tuner.

Step 5:
Tighten the clamping screw no more than 1 full turn from finger tight. It will stay, over tightening can lead to groves in the block or saddle. This means the string will come out when tuning to pitch.

Step 6:
Thread the other end of the string under the string retainer bar, then to the tuning key and tune the string. The number of wraps can vary depending on the string but with the ball end at tuners it doesn't matter.

Step 7:
Repeat 2 through 5 until all strings are replaced.

Step 8:
Check your tuning on all strings once again.

Step 9:
Re-clamp the three nut clamps.

Step 10:
Check your tuning once again making any adjustments this time with your fine-tuners only.


Tuning your Floyd Rose bridge is certainly a tricky business when the bridge is floating. This is because the total tension of the strings must balance the total tension of the tremolo springs with the base plate of the bridge parallel to the face of the guitar and with the strings tuned to the desired pitch. So, follow these steps and and it will start to make sense.

Step 1:
Loosen the three string clamps at the nut

Step 2:
Set your fine tuner screws on the bridge to the middle of their adjustment range.

Step 3:
Tune the strings to your desired pitch (this can be drop tuning, open tuning, or standard pitch, the procedure is the same for any tuning) with an electronic tuner starting with the low ‘E’.

Step 4:
When you have finished tuning all of the strings, check the tuning on the low ‘E’ again. If the low ‘E’ is now flat, re-tune the strings starting again with the low ‘E’ but this time tune the E, A, D, G, and B strings a little bit sharp, then the high ‘E’ to pitch. If the low ‘E’ is sharp, re-tune as just described only tuning the first five strings a little flat. You must tune the strings a little sharp or flat to get to your tuning because every time you change the tension (or pitch) of one string, the other strings change pitch in the opposite direction.

Step 5:
Repeat step 4 until all the strings are at the desired pitch.

[Step 6 only needs to be done on initial setup of the bridge or if you change to another gauge of strings or change to a different tuning.]

Step 6:
When the strings are at the desired pitch, check to see if the bridge base plate is sitting parallel with the top surface of the guitar. If you have a low profile floyd or an ibanez variant you may not be able to tell if the trem's base plate is exactly perpendicular to the trem posts. If the base plate is tilted forward away from the body, you must tighten the tremolo springs tension by turning the spring claw screws clockwise and repeat step 4. If the base plate is tilted back toward the body, you must loosen the tremolo springs tension by turning the spring claw screws counterclockwise and repeat step 4.

Step 7:
When the base plate is sitting parallel to the trem posts of the guitar and the strings are tuned to the desired pitch, re-clamp the three nut clamps and re-tune (if necessary) once again using only the fine tuners.

Step 8:
When tuning is complete, check the action of the strings off the neck. If your action is to high or to low, adjust the action with the trem post (two rocker screws) (bridge pivot screws) using the appropriate Allen wrench. This adjustment will slightly change your tuning. If your fine tuners run out of range you must repeat steps 1 through 7.


[note - before intonation you must tune your guitar using the tuning instructions above]

Check the intonation:

Step 1:
Tune all the strings on your guitar to an electronic tuner with all the nut clamps released.

Step 2:
Determine if the intonation of the string you wish to change is sharp or flat by hitting a natural harmonic over the 12th fret and checking the tuning. Then, carefully press the string down to the 12th fret and check the tuning again with the string fretted. Also check the tuning at the 5th fret. If the fretted note is flat then the saddle must be moved toward the nut until the fretted notes at both the 12th and 5th match. If the fretted note is sharp the saddle must be moved away from the nut until the fretted notes match.

To move the saddle:

Step 1:
Once you have determined which direction (toward or away from the nut) to move the saddle, loosen the string until it is limp.

Step 2:
Loosen the attachment screw holding the saddle to the bridge plate while holding the saddle in place. Move the saddle in the desired direction a small amount (about 1/16in on the first adjustment and your best guess on subsequent adjustments) and re-tighten the screw. [Note: If the saddle will not move forward because it is resting against the attachment screw, you can move the screw to the next hole forward on the bridge plate. This will give you more adjustment range. Also, if you need to move the saddle away from the nut to a position where the attachment screw can no longer clamp the saddle firmly, you can move the screw to the next hole back on the bridge plate.]

Step 3:
Re-tune the string and check the intonation again using the procedure outlined above (check the intonation).

Step 4:
Repeat this cycle until each string is properly intonated.
When you’re finished with the intonation procedure re-tighten the nut clamps. This will not change your intonation setting.
j.arledge is offline  
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-21-2011, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: El Paso, TX
Posts: 2,647
Re: The floyd setup thread

To change to a heavier gauge of strings you need to tighten the springs, reset the intonation, and possibly adjust the truss rod tension. If your not accustomed to working on guitars you may want to take your guitar to a qualified guitar repairman who is familiar with Floyd Rose systems. But if you want to try it, here’s what you do...

To change to a heavier gauge of strings:

Step 1:
Replace all your strings with the heavier gauge strings and tune the guitar to an electronic tuner
(leave the nut clamps un-clamped).

Step 2:
Check to see if the base plate is perpendicular.

Step 3:
If the base plate seems to be tilting up away from the body, increase the spring tension and re-tune.
If the base plate seems to be tilting down closer to the body, decrease the spring tension and retune.


Trouble Shooting the Floyd Rose Tremolo

If your bridge is an Original Floyd Rose, it should function perfectly if properly installed and properly setup. Here are some things you can check that may be adjusted incorrectly or might be damaged.

Step 1:
Check to see if the base plate is sitting parallel with the top surface of the guitar. If it seems to be tilted forward, toward the pickups, then you need to tighten the springs and retune the guitar and check the tilt again. If it is tilted back toward the body of the guitar loosen the springs and retune the guitar. Repeat this procedure until the bridge sits level.

Step 2:
Make sure the nut is attached securely by tightening the nut attachment screws. This is critical for tuning stability.

Step 3:
Make sure the string clamps at the nut and bridge are very tight.

Step 4:
Make sure the saddle intonation screws are tight.

If these things have been done correctly and your bridge still does not come back to the proper pitch when using the tremolo, the knife-edges may be damaged. To check this you must remove the bridge. You can easily remove the bridge with the strings still clamped in the bridge by removing the tremolo springs. [Be sure to hold on to the bridge when removing the springs.] If you don't feel comfortable doing this, take the guitar to a good guitar repairman. Check the knife-edges. They should not be dull or rounded or chipped. If they don't seem sharp you can order a replacement base plate at

The dull knife edge is a rare problem on Floyd Rose Original bridges, but is more common on
licensed bridges. If your bridge says, "Licensed under Floyd Rose Patents" or similar anywhere on it, this is a
licensed bridge, and "not under our quality control." If your bridge is a licensed bridge, you should contact the manufacturer of your guitar for replacement parts.

If your tremolo is "floating" (i.e. you can pull up or push down on the tremolo arm) and you bend a string, the other strings will go slightly flat. This is normal operation. If you don't want this to happen you must block the tremolo so that you can't pull up on it (Edward Van Halen uses his Floyd blocked this way). When the bridge is mounted in this manner it is as stable as a fixed bridge for string bending but the trade off is the loss of subtle vibrato effects. This blocking should be done by a qualified guitar repairman.


Parts for your Floyd Rose Bridge are available from our distributor, AP International. Please visit them online at: they will be able to assist you with the parts you need.

If your bridge says "Licensed under Floyd Rose Patents" or similar on it, it is a licensed version of our product and not under our quality control. We do not stock parts for licensed bridges. If you need parts for a licensed bridge, you may want to contact the original manufacturer of the guitar. You may also find parts at: or or


The Original Floyd Rose tremolo should retrofit on any licensed Floyd (of the same style). The Floyd Rose Pro tremolo will also work, but some guitars may require a slight modification.

For pricing information or to purchase these bridges go to

The SpeedLoader bridges will also retrofit licensed Floyd's and will be available January 2003 in stores and on line at Prices to be announced.


Yes, we do have a seven-string version of the Floyd Rose Original bridge available. For information and pricing on Floyd Rose Original, Seven String Floyd Rose and Floyd Rose Pro bridges, please visit,

Currently we do not have a 7-string version of our new SpeedLoader bridge, however we are planning on releasing by the end of 2004. Please check our website periodically for updates.

The new (six string) Floyd Rose SpeedLoader bridges and strings will be available in January 2003 in stores and on line at Prices to be announced.

taken from
This is my way
j.arledge is offline  
post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-21-2011, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: El Paso, TX
Posts: 2,647
Re: The floyd setup thread

the number one reason why floyd get a bad rep is because people buy them and they dont know how to work on them or set them up . I was the same way when i got my first guitar with a floyd .

first off setting up a floyd is a pain in the ass , get use to it , once you have it set up , it will stay setup for as long as you use the same gauge stings .

so here is how i setup my floyds .

if you are using 9 gauge strings you need 3 tremolo springs in the back cavity.

If you use 10s you can get away with 3 springs but the tremolo claw will be screwed in fairly far . I'd recommend that you use 4 tremolo springs for 10 gauge up .

the floyd has two studs which are met by the base plate of the tremolo .

That base plate needs to be level or parallel to the body . ( perpendicular to the trem post)

if it is is raised so that it isn't parallel you need to take the back cover off so that the tremolo springs are uncovered .

Depending on how far raised the floyd is from the neutral position(totally parallel to the body) tells you how far you need to screw in the claw that holds the springs . BE SURE TO LOOSEN up the strings a bit before you screw in the trem claw , that way if you go too far the strings wont be under as much tension . If the tremolo is only slightly raised then only screw in the trem claw 1 to 2 turns on each screw then check your tuning, make sure all the strings come to correct tuning, then check the tremelo to see if it is level. If it is in the correct tuning and is level , then insert your tremelo bar , dont lock the nut . Do a series of dives and pull backs on the floyd , this stretches out the strings and also helps the floyd to go to absolute neutral . if the floyd is still level after this, check your tuning , if your tunning isn't relatively close then adjust the tremelo claw so that it the floyd is still in neutral position and the tuning is what it is suppose to be .

if the tremolo isn't parallel and is sunk into the tremolo cavity

you need to open up the back and loosen the screws that hold the tremolo claw , the process is the same as if it were higher then the neutral position only you loosen the screws that hold the tremolo claw until the floyd becomes parallel(in neutral position)

this isn't a short process , expect to spend an hour or so getting it right . once you think you have it right , lock the nut down and use the floyd , if it is smooth and easy to bend up and down with the trem bar , you got it right , if it isn't you need to spend some more time trying to get the floyd level .

If you can't get it after about 2 hours , take the back cover off . when sitting down you should have to floyd side down resting on your leg . The springs and tremolo claw should be facing up . NOW GENTLY very gently take a screw driver and pop the tremolo springs off. It is important that the floyd rest against your leg so that you can apply a little pressure to the floyd because the strings no longer have the tension of the springs on them . Once you have all the springs off , reach under and put your hand on the floyd to hold it in place while you flip the guitar over so that the floyd is facing you . Once you have it flipped take and gently pull the floyd rose out of the guitar with the strings still attached . It may take a little bit of moving and jiggling but it should come out with fair ease. once you have it off take a slightly damp rag or towel and clean the studs that hols the tremolo on . Also clean the knife edges of the floyd , the knife edges are the two spots where the base plate of the floyd meets the studs .

Once you have everything clean put the floyd back in the guitar. take the tremolo springs and put them back on . if you can't stretch them far enough just unscrew the tremolo claw far enough so that you are able to hook the springs back on . A pair of needle nose pliers work well and make it a lot easier to stretch out the springs .

repeat the process above to tune back up and get that floyd level . [/b]

how to set up the intonation on your guitar .

setting your intonation simple means that you adjust the saddles on the floyd rose so that the pitch of the string when fretted is as close to in tune as possible . Since the guitar can be played in any key there are a few sacrifices made in tuning so that the guitar can produce a similar note to what is actual note is .

so what i do is grab my tuner after tuning up ,and un-lock the nut.

so tune again now . Hit the 5 fret and see how close the pitch is to A . then hit the 12 fret and see how close the pitch is to E.

if they are both in tune or very very close to in tune then the intonation is fine.

if both notes are flat , de-tune that one string far enough that you can take and move the saddle forward .

if both notes are sharp then move the saddle back .

now that you have adjusted the saddle either way tune back up and check again .

the bigger strings you have usually the farther back you have to move the saddles , the lighter gauges usually need the saddles moved forward .
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-22-2011, 12:31 PM
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Toronto
Posts: 29
Re: The floyd setup thread

Excellent post perfect for a newbie like. Ill be the first to say thanks.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-22-2011, 01:22 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: New Lenox, IL-USA
Posts: 10,116
Reviews: 2
Re: The floyd setup thread

Thanks for the post J. Very well done!! You've gone to the trouble of explaining both what needs to be done and how to do it. Very helpful to new members.

There is more to know about Ibanez trems though......mainly, how to set level as the baseplates on most Ibby trems is not supposed to be flat.

If someone needs it, more info on setting up Ibby trems can be found here:
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edge pro , floyd rose , lo-pro

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