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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had this guitar for a little over a year and have had non-stop string breakage issues at the bridge. I've broken every string including the low E!! I can usually only get 1 show or a band practice and 1 show in before a string breaks. Mostly high E, but have broken B and G plenty of times, a few times on the D, and once on the A and low E.

Love the guitar, but having to change strings after almost every play session is becoming a chore. The worst part is having this guitar break a string during a performance and it just goes wildly out of tune hahaha. My other guitars do not have this issue and I'm wondering if I should just have the whole bridge replaced? Maybe get some fine sandpaper and smooth out the the spots where the string is in contact with the saddle?

Side note, have had serious tuning stability issues with the tremolo as well. Seems like the top 3 strings want to go a few cents sharp when the trem comes back to zero. I have to either pull up on the bar to hopefully reset or manually lift on the strings to stretch them back in tune. Was I sold a lemon haha? Haven't heard of too many other people having these issues.

Guitar has had a setup once since I purchased. That got rid of the 12th fret intonation issues and made the guitar much more playable, but the breakage and trem issues have stayed.
 

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Sounds like some of the saddles might have some rough edges if strings are breaking down there.

Regarding tuning - would be probably best to evaluate every friction point - string tree, nut, saddles, knife edges. Resident Ibanez guru Rich has also noted that the locking tuners can be a bit recalcitrant, and that detuning into tune seems to help, as opposed to tuning up, which is what one should usually do.
 

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Gotoh T1502 tremolo. No pics right now, I'll have to take some later when I get a chance.
Mostly using Elixir 10 gauge strings, but I've tried out D'addarios, Ernie Balls and DR's on this bad boy
I have had the same issue on. Fender Strat I used to have. I had to smooth the edges of the holes in the bridge plate where the strings came out the top. I used a diamond jewler’s file, a round one, and that took care of the problem. There was a sharp edge around the hole.
 

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How do the strings sit in the nut? I assume it came with 9's just like everything else does... if the nut slots were opened up to accommodate the larger gauge that will contribute to your trem tuning stability.
 

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I have had the same issue on. Fender Strat I used to have. I had to smooth the edges of the holes in the bridge plate where the strings came out the top. I used a diamond jewler’s file, a round one, and that took care of the problem. There was a sharp edge around the hole.
I'm not cetain, but I think the Gotoh trem bridges already have a smooth edge where the strings cross the plate. May be mistaken, though.

In any case, you should be able to tell where the string is breaking. Even though the short part at the ball end will fall out, the remaining length of the string can be held up to the bridge to see whether the point of breakage is at the saddle or further along. It's really strange to have multiple strings breaking, but filing/sanding at the point where each one is breaking should fix the problem. Maybe a defective set of saddles? Or, as @3bolt79 says, maybe a sharp edge to the bridge plate.

+1 on lubricating all the contact points to help with tuning stability. The Gotoh trem is excellent, and it's usually a nut issue that causes instability. Perhaps widening the nut slots just a little will help. I think Ibanez ships this model with 9s, so using 10s may have some of them binding a bit in the nut.
 

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I just looked up the Gotoh 510 trem series and found that "GOTOH’s original FST feature (PAT.) between the saddle and ball end, keeps the strings from touching the plate. Because of them, the unit’s ability to return to tune when using the tremolo arm is significantly improved." (More info here.) I believe the T1502 is a version of their 510 series that they make for Ibanez, and even if not it'd be really surprising if it didn't also include this FST feature.

So the string breakage probably isn't near the plate, as supposedly the string isn't making any contact there. I'm guessing it's rough saddles.
 

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Which models does Gotoh make?
I don't know the comprehensive listing, but I think Gotoh makes the best trem bridges available. The GE1996t is a direct replacement for a Floyd series, the the 510 series is a direct replacement for a Fender 2-point. The GE1996t comes with different colors and block lengths, the 510 series has many varieties to offer different string spacing, colors, block materials, maybe more. Both are drop-in replacements (the GE1996t for an OFR or other compatible Floyd series, the 510 series for a Fender 2-point), but each also comes with posts that are better because they lock. Using the Gotoh posts requires drilling out slightly wider holes for their inserts. Or you can just use the original, non-locking, posts.

The Gotoh bridges are superb in every way: design, materials, craftsmanship, functionality, everything else. The attention to detail is really impressive. They also cost less than the more popular units they replace (OFR or Fender 2-point trem). I talk these up so much, maybe I can work out a deal where I get a commission on sales I refer their way!
 

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I second the gotoh bridges being awesome. They also make the original edge and lo pro edge for Ibanez. Not sure about the other high end Ibanez bridges. But my ge1996t is awesome on my js100. I actually like it better than the original edge.
 
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