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Hey everyone, I’m having some trouble (been going on since I bought the guitar in 2018) with my Jem. It’s a basically stock BFP six string. It’s a great guitar when it’s in tune. Like a great guitar.

When I change my strings, I do it the right way I think. The bridge is balanced the way my manual shows. But when the bridge is in the right position (level), my strings are not in tune. So I begin adjusting the tuning pegs on the headstock to bring them in tune. But after a few rounds of tuning (you have to go around several times you know), I’m STILL out of tune, and now my bridge is raised toward the headstock (not level).

At this point I adjusted my string tension to bring the bridge back down, but now my strings are a bit sharp.

But it’s not like each string is sharp by like 10 ct. Maybe my B string and my High E will be in tune. But all the rest of varying degrees of sharp. Some 5ct some 7ct and maybe one 14ct. So I begin to compensate by tuning.

I can never get each string to be in tune AND have my bridge be at the correct position.

My tech at my local guitar shop is no help. I think he has experience with Floyd rose but not Ibanez bridges. He gets the guitar in tune but bridge won’t be level. So my action is too high. And I can’t atand that so I try to adjust it and just mess it all up again.

My Schecter has a Floyd rose and I can literally get it in perfect tune in about 8 minutes. Even a string change doesn’t phase it. I don’t need to let it sit overnight or anything. Within a half hour I’m stage ready with that guitar.

I have zero confidence to gig with this Jem because it cannot stay in tune. I paid like 1500 bucks for this thing so I really expect it to perform better than this. It’s a wonderful guitar when it’s in tune. Exactly what I want. But by the time I actually have it in tune, after messing with it for days, my strings are not brand spankin new anymore.

The whole reason I change my strings so often is so I have brand new strings for recording. But if by the time it’s playable, they’re pretty dead, it’s kinda useless. (I have sweaty hands I guess.)

I’d be glad to send this to a professional if that’s what it takes. But maybe I’m doing something wrong.

If I can get a Floyd rose in tune as quickly as I can, I don’t expect Ibanez to require seriously esoteric steps in order to get it right. But maybe there is. I don’t know.

I don’t wanna sell it. I love it. But I need a reliable tuning system. I’ve been playing for 20 years but if you have bad tuning you won’t sound good. I don’t even like other guitars that much. Like Steve, I feel not many other guitars can do what this one does. Especially while looking so awesome.

Can anyone help? I have no problem compensating whoever can help. I just know I must be doing something wrong.
 

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Re: Ibanez Jen BFP tremolo instability?

Ibanez bridge like every other bridge in universe just obeys laws of physics,
On one side of knives are strings pulling on other are springs pulling.

If bridge is leveled too much up, you need to give more spring force or screw springs in.

If you move bridge in any direction by adjusting springs or moving bar string HAVE TO change pitch.

Since floyd rose types bridges are not synchronised it is NORMAL that 6th and 3rd string change pitch more then 4th and 1st.

If your guitar tech know to adjust Floyd Rose he CERTAINLY know how to adjust this ibanez bridge because it is SAME thing with slightly different shaped parts.

You can not get strings and bridge in tune because YOU do not know how to do it , and that is not JEM's problem.

I can not beleive that in 2 years you didn't adjust properly bridge and you are gigging and recording? ( or that you need to adjust your strings in 8 minutes or they are dead and you need new set.)

Buy the way, there are few tricks to adjust it in less time. For instance , put soft cloth under bridge to keep it levelled when you took string out. Also when you bringing string to tunning, it is faster if you bring it semitone or few more up, because when you bringing next string to tune , this string will go down, so you will bring all strings to tune faster. When you are close to pitch then make this uptunings smaller until you bring all strings in tune.

In short it is not BFP fault, it is you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Re: Ibanez Jen BFP tremolo instability?

Ibanez bridge like every other bridge in universe just obeys laws of physics,
On one side of knives are strings pulling on other are springs pulling.

If bridge is leveled too much up, you need to give more string force or screw strings in.

If you move bridge in any direction by adjusting springs or moving bar string HAVE TO change pitch.

Since floyd rose types bridges are not synchronised it is NORMAL that 6th and 3rd string change pitch more then 4th and 1st.

If your guitar tech know to adjust Floyd Rose he CERTAINLY know how to adjust this ibanez bridge because it is SAME thing with slightly different shaped parts.

You can not get strings and bridge in tune because YOU do not know how to do it , and that is not JEM's problem.

I can not beleive that in 2 years you didn't adjust properly bridge and you are gigging and recording? ( or that you need to adjust your strings in 8 minutes or they are dead and you need new set.)

Buy the way, there are few tricks to adjust it in less time. For instance , put soft cloth under bridge to keep it levelled when you took string out. Also when you bringing string to tunning, it is faster if you bring it semitone or few more up, because when you bringing next string to tune , this string will go down, so you will bring all strings to tune faster. When you are close to pitch then make this uptunings smaller until you bring all strings in tune.

In short it is not BFP fault, it is you.
You know, if you actually read the post youd have sensed my adoration for this guitar. I never once spoke like the guitar was a piece of ****. I said several times how much I love it. And several times I said I KNOW I MUST BE DOING SOMETHING WRONG.

So Peromucho, Take your **** Attitude and go to youtube to yell at people.

You didn't read the post. If you did you'd know you did not answer my question.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: Ibanez Jen BFP tremolo instability?

To the other guy, Rich, Thanks for the Link. Although the problem Im having goes beyond simply learning the physics of floaters. Might my issue be involving the set screws or some other piece of the trem? I know the Ibanez bridge is a bit more complicated than a traditional floyd rose.
 

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Re: Ibanez Jen BFP tremolo instability?

...

If bridge is leveled too much up, you need to give more string force or screw strings in.

If you move bridge in any direction by adjusting springs or moving bar string HAVE TO change pitch.

Since floyd rose types bridges are not synchronised it is NORMAL that 6th and 3rd string change pitch more then 4th and 1st.

...........

it is faster if you bring it semitone or few more up, because when you bringing next string to tune , this string will go down, so you will bring all strings to tune faster. When you are close to pitch then make this uptunings smaller until you bring all strings in tune.
I red your post. And its tittle as well.
So, in short, when you adjust spring tension you need to retune.
 

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Re: Ibanez Jen BFP tremolo instability?

To the other guy, Rich, Thanks for the Link. Although the problem Im having goes beyond simply learning the physics of floaters. Might my issue be involving the set screws or some other piece of the trem? I know the Ibanez bridge is a bit more complicated than a traditional floyd rose.
There is nothing more complicated about an Ibanez bridge, it's still a balance between springs and strings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What if the bridge is set at the right angle? And my strings are still way flat? If I tune the strings up, the extra tension pulls my bridge way up. So now they may or not be in tune, but my bridge needs adjusted again. And lowering the bridge makes my strings go sharp.

I’m obviously doing something wrong. On my FR bridge on my schecter, I can block the Trem and remove every string Tovar’s clean the neck. Then when I put all the strings back on, it’s in tune or close to it, and my bridge is still level. As long as I’m not changing from standard tuning, or changing string gauges, it should be exactly the same right? Physics should dictate that al things are equal. The strings are the same gauge. The same tuning. The same bridge spring tension.

But every single time after changing the strings I need a tech to fix my action, bridge angle and tuning.
Sorry, I know I might be missing something simple. But I must be missing something. It doesn’t make sense that it would be different after changing strings.
 

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Re: Ibanez Jen BFP tremolo instability?

Pero already answered you and you blasted him for it.

I gave you 2 links to read. It's a see saw. heavy kid on one side throws it that way, and vice versa. You balance it until it's flat and in tune.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I’m not gonna solve this then. Something keeps the guitar from ever balancing. It will balance out of tune or it will be in tune and out of balance. Two years and I’ve never had success with it.
 

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Re: Ibanez Jen BFP tremolo instability?

Firstly I'm going to ask everyone to chill out a bit. A lot of folks here have years and years of getting these sorts of guitars in tune, and sometimes we all get a bit overzealous when we're we trying to help or be helped.

The full manual for the trem can be found on the Hoshino Gakki (Ibanez's parent company) website here...

http://www.hoshinogakki.co.jp/pdf/ibanez/manual/en/eg/03_EN_AUG14978_edgezero2.pdf

This should have all the little details of this precise bridge, which coupled with Rich's guide should mean that even *I* can set up the trem.

It's not about the physics so much as just getting in there, opening up the trem cavity panel, loosening the right screws and tightening the right screws. If your trem leans too far forward at pitch you need to screw the trem claw in a bit tighter, then return and repeat until it balances. It's not rocket science, it's just a pain in the ass.

Once you crack it, you will see how good the guitar can be. I urge you to stick with it and see just how good the JEM is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I definitely don’t mean to sound rude. My apologies for that. It’s been two years and I can’t grasp this issue. Of course it’s my fault. I’m missing something.

I’ve had Floyd Rose guitars for years. They’ve just always been the actual like name brand FR versions. This is the first Trem I’ve ever owned from a different maker. But I’m definitely fairly well versed in how they work.im just at a loss for words I guess.

I always feel that I’m unable to explain my problem adequately. My bridge does sit level. I’ve adjusted the claw in the back as per the manual. I actually don’t even put the rear plate on the guitar because I have to adjust it so often.

But it does sit level. However when it’s level, perpendicular, the guitar isn’t tuned. So like I said, at that point I begin tuning. But the more you try to even put the pitches, the more your bridge gets pulled up. So it’s no longer level.

At that point, I need to adjust the claw again? Am I right in that assumption? Because it’s no longer level. And, so long as I keep trying to adjust the tuning, the bridge will only get higher and higher. Because I’m adding more string tension. Which works against my spring tension. In other words, it gets further and further from being perpendicular.

So at that point do I need to readjust my claw? To pull the bridge down level again? (I usually don’t actually adjust it to be perfectly level at this point, because then my strings will be sharp, so I’d have to tune down, which would leave my Trem dipping into the body as I reduce string tension... it is a balancing act. So I usually just pull the bridge back down just a bit.)

I think that might be where I’m doing something wrong. But I don’t know how else to approach it. If I just keep trying to get it in tune without trying to keep my bridge level, eventually my action would be sky high and the Trem would be pulled way away from the body.

I just can’t seem to get the bridge level AND have it be properly tuned.

Actually there have been a few times where I get the bridge level, and the guitar is in RELATIVE tune. Meaning each string is tuned correctly in relation to each other, but a tuner reveals that each string is -10 ct or so. So it’s in tune, but then my bass player would have to tune down to be in tune with me. Which.. I guess works.. but I like to add piano to some recordings. And I can’t add a piano that’s perfectly tuned to +/- 0 ct, if the rest of the instruments have to be tuned flat.

I don’t know if that last part makes sense.

But it’s occurred to me, that it seems that perfect zero balance for my guitar does not equal a perfect ‘C’ tuning. Almost like the guitar WANTS to be tuned 15ct or so flat. Does that make sense? As if the guitar is naturally built to balance with a perfectly flat bridge, ONLY IF the strings are kept 15 ct flat. And tuning it to proper pitch forces the bridge out of balance.

That’s nonsense of course. There’s no way that’s the case. But that’s what it seems to want to do.

Once again that’s probably me making it do that. But somewhere in my steps I’m getting something wrong then.

And please don’t think I’m bashing the Jem. It is without a doubt the most addictive and well playing instrument I’ve ever used. When it’s set right, when it’s tuned properly, it is an AMAZING instrument. I just need to learn how to make it perfect all the time. It’s my favorite guitar but I’m forced to rarely use it for gigs or studio work because of this problem.

Sorry for the sharp retort, mucho. I’m just desperate to have this instrument perform as well as I KNOW it can.
 

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Re: Ibanez Jen BFP tremolo instability?

I will try to be simple and short.

Tune your guitar.
if bridge is high, screw springs in.
But not to right angle. You need to screw bit MORE to compensate strings that went up in pitch.

After you screw springs, retune again. Bridge must be sitting lower then before If it is not enough, repeat screwing springs.
But not to right angle. You need to screw bit MORE to compensate strings that went up in pitch.

Then retune,
if bridge is high. screw springs in.
But not to right angle. You need to screw bit MORE to compensate strings that went up in pitch.

After you screw springs, retune again. Bridge must be sitting lower then before If it is not enough repeat screwing springs.
But not to right angle. You need to screw bit MORE to compensate strings that went up in pitch.
Then retune,

and repeat until you are satisfied.

Seems to me that you stop after first screwing springs but you need to retune every time you screw or unscrew spring screws..
So procedire is

1.tune
2. correct springs
3.tune
4. correct springs.
...
until you are satisfied,

and when screwing springs you know that pitch is going up so screw springs a bit more then right angle.
 

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Re: Ibanez Jen BFP tremolo instability?

Maybe the issue is worn posts, knife edges or both? Or maybe the springs are not matched? If you bought the guitar used, who knows what condition those critical parts are in? In any case, You need a better guitar tech if he can't sort this out. If you are anywhere near CT/RI, I'd be glad to look it over and see if I can spot something wrong. Here is some more stuff I posted for another Jem owner with tuning issues. Maybe something in there can help....

Here are some things that can cause tuning issues with the Edge trems(in no particular order):
1-Adjusting the post height and not first loosening the locking screw(small allen screw that is down in the center hole). Not all Edge posts have this, but if yours does, its important to loosen or you might break the large allen head(these parts are replaceable with Ibanez Rules being a great source). Once height is set, tightening this screw creates a very solid connection from bridge to body.
2-Adjusting the posts with full string tension; this will eventually wear both the knife edge of the trem and the V-shaped part of the post. As those 2 parts wear, they will not always go back to pitch.
3-Brand of strings. Sometimes changing brands will make the difference. For me, Dean Markley seems to hold tune a bit better than D'Addario.(no idea why)
4-stretching the strings(already mentioned)
5- A locking nut that is either not tightly locked, or has loose bolts in the neck. I have seen a few where the locking nut actually moves when the trem is lowered and then returns.
6-Bridge not setup correctly. At rest, the baseplate of the bridge should be level with the top of the body. To set that, I will tighten the springs(or add more), block the bridge so it stops when at the correct level, Tune to pitch and lock the nut, remove the block(the guitar will go way sharp), loosen the spring claw(remove extra springs) evenly on each side until the guitar is back in correct tune. Changing string brands, composition or gauge can all require this to be reset.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
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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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.

...
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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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.
 

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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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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
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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