ZR2 trem buzz/rattle/resonance/vibration issue solved? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-10-2013, 04:04 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
Posts: 4
ZR2 trem buzz/rattle/resonance/vibration issue solved?

Has anyone discovered the source of zr2 trem buzz? I can't seem to determine whether or not it's the saddles, the hinges, or loose screws inside, but my guitar is brand new so I'm trying not to dissect it until I pursue warranty action. I've ruled out springs and the intonation screw. The worst part about the buzz is that it seems to be sucking energy out of the strings and weakening the vibration and tone of the instrument.

When the strings are strummed hard the whole tremolo unit rattles a little. If I put my hand near the mounting screws and press a little it goes away. It also buzzes at lower volumes if the tremolo is moved a little bit in either direction. It's an extremely obnoxious and jarring sound, especially coming out of a brand new axe. My issue with it is that I don't seem to be alone, but there are a lot of unfinished threads out there on the issue with no good solutions.

The last discussions I found are either recent and abandoned or old and fragmented. Has anyone really solved this dilemma yet? I'd love to get the answer.
BrandonWWoody is offline  
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-16-2013, 03:24 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
Posts: 4
Re: ZR2 trem buzz/rattle/resonance/vibration issue solved?

Heads up/Follow up:
I sent the guitar to a warranty shop where it stayed for a couple weeks. The tech wasn't able to fix the issue because Ibanez wouldn't pay him enough to take the tremolo setup apart. Instead they preferred that I sent it to them, but I'd have to pay for that, of course. I ended up sending the guitar back to the place I bought it for an exchange. It's too bad, really. I ordered the guitar around the middle of December 2012 and didn't get it until the middle of January, then I was only able to play it a few times before it hit the shop and then the road back as a return. Too sad really, but the other one is on it's way, hopefully within another month. It's now the middle of February 2013.
If an authorized Ibanez tech and pro luthier wasn't able to figure out the source of the obnoxious rattle then that's pretty crazy. If you experience anything like that I'd recommend sending it back right away, no use in trying to fix it or waiting for it to hopefully go away on its own.
BrandonWWoody is offline  
post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-15-2013, 01:48 PM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NYC, NY
Posts: 438
Reviews: 15
Re: ZR2 trem buzz/rattle/resonance/vibration issue solved?

Just today I started tackling the problem. I bought heat shrink tubing of a couple of sizes and covered the rear bar completely. Covered the connectors on the springs. The vibration is significantly less. It must have one more small issue to fix. It might be the tremolo arm. I'll find it in the next few days.
lespauled is offline  
post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-20-2013, 06:41 PM
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Nagoya, Japan
Posts: 5,174
Re: ZR2 trem buzz/rattle/resonance/vibration issue solved?

I'm having a similar problem but mine is really weird. The only places it resonates are on the first string (high E) between the 11th and 14th frets and the open 1st string. The guitar is half step down, so the notes that make a funny sound are D#, E, Eb, F, and open Eb. EVERY other note plays fine and every other string has no problems. Took it in to the shop last night and he said I might have to send it into Hoshino to have it checked (being that I live in Nagoya that's not a big deal but I do lose my guitar for a couple weeks).

The noise started after I changed the strings on Monday.

If anyone can help out with this, or even possibly give me any ideas, please let me know.

Things the guy at the shop checked for me:

Bridge (maybe something got inside there, but nothing was there)
neck (checked if it was slightly off, but I just brought the guitar home like at the beginning of May and no problems there).
Action, string height, nothing wrong there.

So I'm left with a possibility that something INSIDE the guitar is causing all this trouble. Any help would be appreciated.
MatiasTolkki is offline  
post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-14-2015, 03:48 AM
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: France
Posts: 1
Re: ZR2 trem buzz/rattle/resonance/vibration issue solved?

I have a S5470K KOA 60 which is fitted with the ZR2 trem.. It too rattles and buzzes at certain frequencies..
This will be practically impossible to fix as the rattling is certainly coming from the ball bearings within the pivot system..
As the pressure of the strings pulls the trem forward, pressure is put on the ball bearings within the ball race, at the front.. Pressure is therefore released from the ball bearings at the back, and they are left to vibrate freely..
I have experience of this potential problem due to the similar use of ball races in turntable pick-up arms, for vinyl records.. They too can potentially vibrate due to the vibrations caused by the stylus in the moving record groove..
The way around this is to use pre-stressed ball races, and Ibanez should either have done this, or have used a fixing method for the races involving a threaded adjuster at the centre of the races, used to put pressure on the ball bearings and eliminate free play..
However, they didn't, ( not on the model I have, anyway ) and I am considering removing the ZR2 and replacing it with the edge zero, which appears to have the same fixing dimensions..
This will fix the rattling and the guitar should certainly sound better too..
If I do this, I will re-post with the results..
Also, because of the use of ball bearings, the vibrations have multiple paths to choose from, which is never a good thing when dealing with resonance. The 2 point knife edge fixing is to be preferred when high pressure is involved..
Although I have been able to find one, the edge zero is now discontinued, so the edge zero 2 would be the alternative, although it has an inferior trem arm system, and no fine adjuster tool..
Why discontinue one of the best trems they ever made..? Yes, I have the Lo Pro Edge too, which is excellent, but no fine adjuster tool on that.. That's very important to me, as extremely small differences in saddle position make a difference to the overall intonation, and a method of fine adjustment is imperative to get it perfect IMHO..
The ZR2 has the tool and is beautifully made, has no play in the trem arm, and feels great.. What a shame about the rattling bearings..!!
GRYNAN is offline  
post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-21-2016, 06:57 PM
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: East London
Posts: 30
Re: ZR2 trem buzz/rattle/resonance/vibration issue solved?

I found a fix for this that worked for my S2075.

It was a really heavy rattle when I played Bb and F# chords... I thought it was the arm holder, the intonation tool, the ZPS plate vibrating against the body, the springs, the ZPS, the mounting studs... Everything. I even stripped the trem apart and put it back together.

It turns out that the cause of my issues was that the saddles were vibrating. The way I fixed it was to ensure that all of the saddles have equal spacing. They need to be perfectly parallel and not touching. To do this, I placed a plectrum in between the first saddle (E to A), moving it in and out of the slot to ensure that the first two saddles were perfectly parallel. Then I just moved along to the next saddle.

For some reason, this worked...
mahogany_sabre is offline  
post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 03:10 PM
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Sheffield, UK
Posts: 81
Re: ZR2 trem buzz/rattle/resonance/vibration issue solved?


Just tried this using the thinnest pick I've got (a 0.3mm stainless steel one) and it worked a treat! Finally got rid of that annoying little buzz that's plagued my high-E for about 3 years!

Thanks a lot for that!
Roachy is offline  

ibanez , noise , sabre , saddles , zr2

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