Ibanez Jem BFP tremolo instability? - Page 2 - Jemsite
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post #16 of 62 (permalink) Old 10-02-2020, 12:19 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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Re: Ibanez Jen BFP tremolo instability?

Been away for work, just now got to see this thread again. Thanks for the replies.

Peromucho, just so I understand.. once its in tune, if the bridge is not level then I need to loosen or tighten the claw accordingly, but I need to adjust it FURTHER than I need to? That makes sense. Although I did try this and I found that I need to turn the screws considerably in order to get it to move. Like over one full rotation per screw. Does that sound normal? I'd not have expected it to need such a significant turn.

Albee, I bought the guitar new from an authorized Ibanez dealer, so I believe it was truly brand new. Although its possible I may have caused some wear.. Who knows. I've gone over each of your points and I will pay close attention to these things.

I also noticed tonight, I was checking intonation at different locations on the neck. I fretted a note and saw it was in tune then I accidentally bumped my tremolo arm, lowering the pitch for a second. But once it returned to neutral position, the note remained slightly flat. I then fretted a note, and pulled up on the bar and released. After that, the note remained slightly sharp. Just a bit each time, but significant. About ten ct. or so. I've got even bigger problems than I realized if this is happening. Once I can get the guitar in tune consistently, I need to find out why raising or lowering pitch using the trem arm causes the tuning to change..


Thank you all for your help thus far.
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post #17 of 62 (permalink) Old 10-02-2020, 04:24 AM
 
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Re: Ibanez Jen BFP tremolo instability?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Devourly View Post
Been away for work, just now got to see this thread again. Thanks for the replies.

Peromucho, just so I understand.. once its in tune, if the bridge is not level then I need to loosen or tighten the claw accordingly, but I need to adjust it FURTHER than I need to? That makes sense. Although I did try this and I found that I need to turn the screws considerably in order to get it to move. Like over one full rotation per screw. Does that sound normal? I'd not have expected it to need such a significant turn.

...
Doesn't matter how much turns in spring screws, you are aiming to correct bridge angle.
It will save you some time if you adjust bridge angle a bit further because no matter in which direction you correct bridge angle,
when tunning afterwards, tuning strings will always bring bridge back a bit.


LIke when you tuning locking bridge, FR or Ibanez or what ever, when you start tuning ,
to save some time, always tune string a bit higher,
because when you are tuning next string, previous wil go down in pitch..
and before tuning put fine tuning screws in midle position,

also when when locking nut,
locking pads wil usually turn a bit with allen key,
so you can predict that upper string, under pad, will after locking usually go up in pitch just a bit
and the other will go slightly down in pitch after locking.
With time and expirience, you can predict that,
tune acordingly,
so after you lock, string will be even closer to pitch,
and correct it after with fine tuners.
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post #18 of 62 (permalink) Old 10-02-2020, 10:25 AM
 
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Re: Ibanez Jen BFP tremolo instability?

For anyone new to Floyd Rose style systems, its near impossible to lock the nut without putting things out of tune(why the fine tuners were invented ). One more thing; if the knife edges on the bridge are clean and sharp, and the grooves on the posts are nice and unworn, a drop of light oil on each might help it come back to the same point every time.
post #19 of 62 (permalink) Old 10-06-2020, 06:49 AM
 
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I always put one of these (pictures attached) in the guitar. That way when I change strings and I want to do a thorough cleaning... I can remove all the strings. I just run the set screw in to touch the block before changing strings. It allows me to keep the bridge level. And the stretching of strings and retune is much less time consuming. A tremol-no is also awesome for that reason. But it's a lot more expensive than this little thing. Then once the strings are on and everything is in tune... Then it's just minor adjustments.

You can make it even easier on yourself if when you start to change the strings, run the set screw to touch the block, then tighten your springs that way the bridge sits nice and snug against the set screw. Once the new strings are on, tuned and stretched... Back off the spring tension until the trem just barely comes off the block. Then run the set screw all the way back off... And adjust the spring tension in small increments until the guitar is in tune.
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post #20 of 62 (permalink) Old 10-14-2020, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Ibanez Jen BFP tremolo instability?

Hello again everyone. I figured I'd use this thread rather than make a new thread.

Thank you all for your help so far. My problems have lessened since posting this.

I've gotten a bit better with understanding this bridge. I've even taken further steps to be absolutely certain that my strings are completely stretched just in case. I used to grab the strings with two hands, giving several upon several bends at different spots around the neck. Recently, I've been using some moleskin to protect my hands, then applying the bend to the string, and literally dragging that severe bend ALONG the length of the neck. Instead of many bends in different places. Strings that I thought were fully stretched in, actually needed far more stretching. When dragging a bend along the length of the neck, you stretch the entire string uniformly. I'm imagining that the spots I had 'skipped' while stretching retained their elasticity. I hope that makes sense. Instead of stretching the string in several places, I hold the stretch and drag it from the nut to the bridge area. No one has ever mentioned this method in front of me, so I don't know how many of you have ever thought to do it. So I hope that makes sense.

My current question deals with intonation. Even after getting the guitar back from my local tech (who had just set the intonation), the intonation is STILL not right. Octave chords that are in tune at the top of the neck are varying wildly when played above the 12th fret and further. Adjusting the fine tuners to compensate makes the octaves back toward the nut go out terribly. So obviously something is wrong. I'd like to believe my tech DOES know what he's doing, but I cannot be certain.

On most guitars, when intonation is set correctly, I've noticed the high E, B and G string saddles are sort of in a diagonal line. The high E closest to the pickups, the B a bit more towards the bridge, and the G is the closest to the bridge. A diagonal line. This is mirrored on the D, A and low E. D being closest the the pickups, low E furthest (towards the bridge, away from the pickups) and the A saddle in between them.

Does this always happen? If my guitar does not look like this, is it set wrong? Currently, my high E, B and G saddles are all basically even, in a flush line. Closer to the pickups. My D, A and low E strings are basically in a flush line, but closer to the bridge end, away from pickups. Is it normal for them to be in a straight line?

Furthermore, I do have an intonation tool. I've set intonation on guitars for years, so I figured I'd try to fix the problem with intonation. But I've run out of room to move the saddles. As in, a string is in tune when open, but sharp when fretted at the 12th. But I cannot move the saddle further towards the bridge unless I remove the intonation screw and place it in the second threaded hole, further from the bridge. Is that normal? Its like that for all of them. Some need to be moved towards the pickups, but I cannot move it any further. The saddle is already as far as it will go and there's not an extra threaded hole any further up.

I'm starting to believe there exists a problem somewhere else. Like there is something else that will prevent proper intonation from ever being achieved. Can anyone give any info on this?

Thank you.
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post #21 of 62 (permalink) Old 10-14-2020, 08:01 PM
 
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When setting intonation on any floyd rose style trem it should be done at the end of a full setup. Meaning the neck relief is adjusted, the strings are stretched, the guitar is in tune, the bridge height is correct an it is level. Once that is the case then the intonation can be set. You don't need a tool to adjust but it does make it way easier with a floating bridge. The saddles don't need to be in any specific orientation... They are set specifically to where they need to be based in relation to where open tuning is, to the where it is on the twelfth fret. If it's sharp at the twelfth fret then the saddle needs to be moved so the string is longer. If it's flat then the saddle needs to be moved to make the string shorter. If you run out of room, the saddle screw can be removed and moved to another hole. The baseplate has more than one hole per saddle to allow a longer range of intonation. The reason for this is because different gauge strings will require different distances from nut to saddle to be properly intonated. So yes, moving those screws if needed is normal.

Now when it comes to doing that without that tool... It's pretty damn difficult because it's time consuming. In my earlier post you can see a picture of what I bought and installed in my guitars to make the setup faster and easier because I do not have the tool. It temporarily blocks the bridge from being able to raise, that way you can loosen the tension on a string, reset the saddle and then retune. It makes the bridge only able to dive. Setup is much simpler with it. It makes tuning easier when installing new strings as well. If you reread earlier post I explain why.

I attached some pics of an original edge trem and a gotoh locking trem so you can see what level looks like... It can be a bit deceiving with the original edge because the baseplate is angled.

I have had an original floyd rose give me issues with running out of room for intonation. It was on a kramer beretta. I was using 11's back then and tuned down a half step. The issue was with my low E... It was sharp and I couldn't set the saddle back any further. I wound up buying a set that had a 47 on the low E instead of a 52. Now I use 9's haha. Having the low 47 allowed me to intonate in a different spot.
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Last edited by JsXLine6; 10-14-2020 at 10:11 PM.
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post #22 of 62 (permalink) Old 10-14-2020, 10:31 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Ibanez Jen BFP tremolo instability?

I believe it is fully and correctly set up now. I've been working on it every day for a while. I put the guitar in tune and started checking intonation with the tool I have. I'd never even attempt it without the tool.

I went forward and completed the intonation adjustments, but its still way flat on most strings. Even though my tuner SAYS its in tune. I can't figure that out. The tuner says its perfect but I can hear how flat it is. Why would a tuner giver a false reading? (and its not the tuner, I checked on four different tuners, one of which I bought yesterday)

Side question.... There is no knife edge visible on my trem. I've seen all these pictures of where its located on this site and IbanezRules, but I certainly don't have a visible knife edge. As far as I know, This guitar came brandnew from an Ibanez Dealer when I bought it. I mean, the music store ordered the guitar straight from Ibanez. I can't believe I have a knockoff. There's no way its a knockoff if it came from Ibanez. But why wouldn't I have a knife edge sticking through the side? Its just smooth metal like the rest of it.
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post #23 of 62 (permalink) Old 10-14-2020, 10:33 PM
 
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I've had a tuner read incorrectly if it was ran through my fx loop. The high gain confused the tuner for some reason. Can you post a picture of your trem? What trem is on your guitar? Because the standard DL tremolo doesn't have knife edges like other edge trem systems. It's more like the gotoh trem I have pictured in my previous post. You said it was a $1500 guitar. If it's an edge or lo pro edge and it doesn't have knife edges... That's definitely a huge problem.

Last edited by JsXLine6; 10-14-2020 at 10:42 PM.
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post #24 of 62 (permalink) Old 10-14-2020, 10:57 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Ibanez Jen BFP tremolo instability?

Sure, I didn't know exactly what to show you, So I took a few. I pulled the bridge all the way down in one of the pictures, showing the lack of knife edge. If you'd need any other angles or parts shown, I can get them up in minutes for you. Thank you.
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post #25 of 62 (permalink) Old 10-14-2020, 11:17 PM
 
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Okay so what I have circled are your knife edges. I also included a pic of a knife edge for a lo pro. Your edges are definitely there. Your bridge is an edge zero ii. The knife edges sit in the divot of your trem post. So that isn't your issue. And from what I can see from your photos, it doesn't look like your saddles are out of room for adjustment. They can go where the center of the screw is almost at the edge of the saddle fingers. So you can go further if you need to. On the saddles that are furthest from your neck, like your low E, you have room to keep traveling further from your neck. That allen screw can over hang slightly. You can see an example in the picture of that lo pro bridge down below. And from it looks like, I am not too sure if your bridge is still sitting too far forward... normally the saddles should be level with the face of the body. But from some photos I've seen online, yours doesn't look far off from where they are. And definitely lube your knife edges with some 3 in one oil or something like d'Adarios friction remover... It will keep your edges lubed so it stays really stable.
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post #26 of 62 (permalink) Old 10-14-2020, 11:37 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Ibanez Jen BFP tremolo instability?

Oh I actually started from scratch and readjusted everything, That's why the saddles look better. They do have more room now.

When you say the saddles should be level with the face of the body, which part do you mean? I've added a white line along what I'm thinking you mean on this picture.

I have been trying to get the angle to be level with this other part, shown in blue underneath. Everyone I've seen says to make the base of the trem level (the blue line).

If I have to pull it back that far, so that the tops of those saddles are level... there's no way in hell I'd ever be able to have the pull-up range Vai has on his Jems. That's why I think I'm a little confused. Although, If the base plate is what should be level, I can see it is up too far either way.
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post #27 of 62 (permalink) Old 10-14-2020, 11:47 PM
 
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Yeah, I see that now. I actually edited my post before you submitted yours hahaha. I looked at some setups for your style bridge and yours looks pretty much on the money now when it comes to angle. But your saying you still need your intonation adjusted? Try and keep moving those saddles further. I've never had a hands on setup with your exact bridge so I can only assume that you saddles can continue to slide back. Unless there is some other physical thing that can prevent it. Judging on where you saddle screws are positioned, it looks like you still have room to intonate.
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post #28 of 62 (permalink) Old 10-14-2020, 11:50 PM
 
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Aren't floating bridges fun?! 😝😅. It sucks learning how to set them up, but once you know how, it's not so hard.
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post #29 of 62 (permalink) Old 10-14-2020, 11:57 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Ibanez Jen BFP tremolo instability?

Oh must have been while I was posting lol.

I'm gonna fiddle with it a bit more this evening, but I'm not gonna start intonation tonight. I'll have to do that tomorrow. If you look at the photo I put up, my baseplate is just a tiiiiiiiny bit too far forward. So I'm gonna adjust my spring claw to pull it in a bit.

The absolute hardest thing for me at this stage is tuning correctly... Even with this small amount I'm going to adjust, It will pull my strings sharp. Pedro said earlier in this thread that I should pull the claw in further than I need to. From what I understand thats so when I start lowering my strings back into tune, they will compensate for the extra distance I pulled the bridge.

I will admit, this is extremely complicated for me for some reason.

As far as the knife edge... I thought you were supposed to be able to see it from the side of the bridge? I thought the side of the trem was supposed to be cut out so you could see the end of it. Like a small rectangle. That's what people say to use to make sure its level. There's a few things that are confusing. It seems that there are several different versions of different bridges..
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post #30 of 62 (permalink) Old 10-14-2020, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Ibanez Jen BFP tremolo instability?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JsXLine6 View Post
Aren't floating bridges fun?! 😝😅. It sucks learning how to set them up, but once you know how, it's not so hard.
Yeah I'm very determined to figure this out. When this guitar performs correctly, Its the only guitar I ever wanna play. Its perfect. Its just so tempermental for me..
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