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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I looked at my trem angle earlier on my 550 and the knife edges arent perpendicular to the body. Then I remembered I did this in order to tighten the tension as it's tuned down to Eb. This got me wondering, should I just put in a 4th spring? Right now it has 3 springs in an arrow formation (the 2 outer springs are angled in towards the middle spring). The bridge is OE.

As it is, there isn't any trouble but I'm wondering how much a 4th spring will effect the tension. Will the tension be closer to that of a standard E tuned guitar? I know LP uses 4 springs when he tunes down to Eb but I'm not sure how it will effect overall playability.

Also, if I do put in a 4th spring, what formation should I put it in for best overall balance?
 

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It depends on what gauge strings you are using. The springs need to match the tension of the strings in order to balance out, it could probably work with 3 or 4 but 3 is the norm.
 

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The more a spring is stretched out the less effort it takes less to start moving it. Three springs will make the trem feel a little looser, Four will make it stiffer.

As far as playability goes all other things equal with a properly set trem angle, strings will seem easier to bend with MORE springs because the trem won't move as far when you're bending the string. Therefore, the string doesn't need to travel as far to get to pitch. With FEWER springs they will be stretched out farther and start moving easier; you will have to move the string farther to get to pitch on bends.

That's about all moving springs around will do for you...
 

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OK, the part about a stretched spring taking less force to move is wrong. Springs are linear, so the force they exert is always the same for additional stretching, regardless of how much they're currently stretched.

Where you are correct is that with additional springs, the trem will move less when you bend a string. This is because the force of balancing the string tension is spread across an additional spring, which means that the set of springs has to move less to offset the additional tension caused by the bend.

All this said, if you're running 9-42 strings in standard tuning on an Ibanez, you probably can't just put four springs. You might not be able to get the trem to level properly. In order to do it I think you need to use shorter springs.
 

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You'd be quoting Hooke's Law which states spring dynamics are linear, but I was always taught, and experimenting with setups have always felt, that a more closed spring is harder to open than a more open spring. YMMV ;)
 

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OK, the part about a stretched spring taking less force to move is wrong. Springs are linear, so the force they exert is always the same for additional stretching, regardless of how much they're currently stretched.
You might want to tell that to every spring that's ever been in one of my guitars... They aren't/never were linear ;)
 

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All this said, if you're running 9-42 strings in standard tuning on an Ibanez, you probably can't just put four springs. You might not be able to get the trem to level properly. In order to do it I think you need to use shorter springs.
9-42 in standard tuning, standard springs, not even very long screws for the spring claw. :) For what it's worth, the tremolo sits fairly high (#4 pull up on the G string), that will add some distance from the tremolo block to the spring claw.
 

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10-46 gauge strings with 3 springs is what I've constantly used but would 4 springs be too restricting?
Just put another spring in it and try it out... No one can tell you whether you'll like it or not. You could have already tried it, found out you hated it and set it back up with 3 springs by now :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Just put another spring in it and try it out... No one can tell you whether you'll like it or not. You could have already tried it, found out you hated it and set it back up with 3 springs by now :lol:
Actually no I couldnt have :( That implies I actually have time to stop at a guitar shop before work (I work afternoon-evening) and having the time to install it :(
 

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You'd be quoting Hooke's Law which states spring dynamics are linear, but I was always taught, and experimenting with setups have always felt, that a more closed spring is harder to open than a more open spring. YMMV ;)
Yes

You might want to tell that to every spring that's ever been in one of my guitars... They aren't/never were linear ;)
And yes

As you can see Hooke's law only applies within a certain amount of strain on the spring



but having said that I think the amount is probably pretty small and may or may not be noticeable
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well what's the point of talking about it if you'll never have time to do it? :p
I can pick up a spring tomorrow, gonna stop and get my red volume knob for my 550 so it's all good :D

I need to finish readjusting my bridge to get it back to correct angle and lowering it to get it to the height I want it. That'll be tomorrow night probably :?
 

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As you can see Hooke's law only applies within a certain amount of strain on the spring



but having said that I think the amount is probably pretty small and may or may not be noticeable
If the elastic limit were exceeded, the spring would remain permanently deformed.

Of course this is all good in theory but it wouldn't be surprising if real behavior of springs weren't completely linear. It might have something to do with the springs being in coil bind in their relaxed state? There may also be some geometry considerations at play?
 
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