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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I will need help and input with this as im no guitar guru, ive owned and played guitars since roughly 1999 but some heads on here have a deeper understanding and knowledge of the instrument than I do.

For reference, my working background is in motorsport engineering and vehicle mechanics, trying to fabricate/build/engineer a solution here doesn't pose a problem but I only have my Roadstar RS1300's as reference. If i can pull this off then people could potentially crowd fund this thing into existence if the demand is there.

When the parts bin full of used Pro Rock'r parts dries up, and if Repro Guitar stop making T nuts, then its genuinely game over for all Pro Rock'r equipped guitars. There are too many inherent flaws on this thing to try work around.

So im basically gonna try make a fixed bridge option based off of the original Pro Rock'r bridge plate. Ive done a quick mock up using a Power Rock'r and Pro Rock'r bridge.

My plan would be to re-manufacture the main bridge plate from CNC machined steel (i dont do CNC work so please chime in if you do) I would then aim to use off the shelf saddles you see on most fixed bridge or Fender style tremolo's. This would be used with a long bolt and spring assembly to adjust intonation. The only thing im thrown off by is how to retain proper saddle height adjustment.

The sustain block on a Power Rock'r also incorporates the string retention system, the ball end of the string basically locks in to the sustain block. Making a sustain block for a Pro Rock'r with this feature would eliminate the janky OEM saddle design completely.

My plan to fix the bridge to the body may involve using the sustain block and the rear spring cavity to my advantage. In no way shape or form will i be modifying or changing the face of the guitar or the routing, so im gonna work with what i have.
I think with some inventive bracketry and fixings you could mount the bridge to the body via the sustain block. The 2 top trem posts would stay to deter side to side movement. I think most people with a Pro Rock'r who have been through the woes of owning this bridge couldn't care less if was a floating bridge or not, aslong as it works.

Basically what il end up with is a "floating-fixed bridge" due to the RS1300 body being arched, i cant mount it flat, which is why il be mounting it from the underside in the spring cavity via the sustain block.

I know some people might write this idea off, but if i can come up with a fool proof design then i could potentially figure out costs to put this system in to production.

Might save a few vintage Ibanez guitars along the way...

There is currently no aftermarket solution for these (AFAIK), ive seen people try route them for Floyd's etc, im trying to do this without cutting the guitar up. Il use my Edge equipped guitars if i feel the urge to do Dimebag Darrell pull ups on the bar. Im cool with this being a fixed bridge.


Ive included a few photos of my idea and some of the inherent Pro Rock'r faults which highlights why this needs to be done.

I will continue to add to this and i will also lay out all fasteners needed for these things, i see people paying insane money for fasteners online that can be bought at your local hardware store so i will post up fastener specs and measurements so you can buy them all for a fraction of the cost locally.


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The pro rockr bridge is hot garbage; I've owned a few guitars equipped with them, and the whole system just sucks.

You're going to find this process quite difficult; Im sure you've already experienced the side play on the saddles for instance. I actually just threw away some roadstar bodies unfortunately...

Might be able to get some ideas from this thing

As well, Id have to say maybe check out khaler fitments here edit: might be some steinberger options that exist as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thats a shame, ideally if i had a spare body to use as a test bed it would be helpful. I would've happily paid you some cash and the shipping costs.

I think re-engineering a Hard Rock'r would be way easier, ive seen someone online use a Hard Rock'r in place of a Pro Rock'r. The bridge posts line up but the Hard Rock'r doesnt cover the cavity hole and it looks kinda ugly. It could be a good base to work with for ideas though.

I think that if you eliminate all Pro Rock'r issues then some saddle movement is a small price to pay, with that said, im unsure if you could cut 12 straight shallow channels for the saddle height screws to sit in to try deter side to side movement?

Ive kinda realised that ive spent almost £250 posted just for a spare bridge and about $60 for 6 new T nuts from Repro Guitar. Ive just got another RS1300 so i now need another set of T nuts. Unfortunately they are currently out of stock and it means shipping from the states for 6 little nuts again.

With the cost involved i would be better selling my spare bridge and not ordering new T nuts. Thats about £/$300 towards a custom effort straight away. If i can get the sustain block machined first it will give me an idea if i can mount this up the way im thinking.

Il look at Kahler stuff as i would obviously prefer not to have to make something, ive never came across any viable options yet though.

All options on the table here, i might be the only dude left on the planet who cares enough to try solve this issue haha
 

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The reality is you cant "remove" the problems. The roller pins are an atrocious design choice; im sure you've noticed but they get "Sticky". Theres a reason floyds have "knife edges" and not "roller edges". More friction is really the issue. Saddle movement is awful to deal with; Im going to toss you out a "Trust me" here unfortunately. lateral movement is a lot easier than you think and tuning stability goes completely out the window.

Ive tried as well, the routing hole is just too big where oyu have gaps for a more traditional floyd/edge to fit in; and it looks terrible. this is a tough nut to crack; and I wish I had a body to help you out with as this is really up my wheelhouse honestly. I just found it easier to make new bodies lol. The rs1300 is a bit more upscale from my old roadstars so I understand the preference to keep it right.


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Thats a tough place to make a bracket to "fix" the tremolo to act like a solid bridge. Too bad you couldn't get the tremolo adjusted exactly where you wanted it and somehow fill the entire cavity with high quality 2-part epoxy... lol. Or could you? You'd have to drill holes and go string-thru-body due to the string mounts on the tone block. I know Jimmy Thackery had a guy fill his old beat up '64 strat with bowling ball urethane and then rereouted it for a Floyd Rose. Jimmy Thackery | Vintage Guitar® magazine

Not meaning to make light of your project, I've often thought about how nice it would be to have the adjustability of a floating trem in a solid bridge. I just don't see a good way to make it solid, although replacing the springs with long metal brackets (or a single bracket?) would probably work... You could still have the leveling ability by using screws similar to the spring tension adjustment screws, but have the bracket affixed to the tone block to solidify the whole mess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
I thought i would update the hardware sizes people need first before going any further with this idea,

So!

x 12 Saddle Height Hex/Allen Grub Screws - M3 x 0.5 x 10mm
x 3 Top Lok II Bolt Hex/Allen Cap Head - M3 x 0.5 x 8mm
x 4 Tremolo Sustain Block Bolt Hex/Allen Countersunk - M3 x 0.5 x 16mm
x 6 String Locking Peg Bolt Hex/Allen Countersunk - M3 x 0.5 x 35mm
x 6 Intonation Locking Bolt Button Head Hex/Allen - M3 x 0.5 x 6mm

Edit: You can also buy the crappy E clips used to secure the intonation adjustment screw, i have some lying around here but i cant remember the size. Buy high carbon spring steel E clips, the OEM ones are chocolate. Also, don't lose or break those intonation adjustment screws as i could never find a replacement for them. Those ones are quite particular. :

Also the humbucker ring screw sizes for these older guitars is M2.3 which is a very oddball size, i ordered a bag in from Asia so i have a whole stash of them lying around now. There may be an imperial equivalent but im unsure.

Allen key can sometimes be called "internal hex" depending on where you are in the world which is why ive used both names above. You should be able to get these at any hardware store, in the UK i can buy bags of 100 for between £5-8. Make sure the ones you order are high carbon steel, most likely grade 10 strength.

Just to clarify, all of the Pro Rock'r bolts i bought to overhaul the whole assembly were bought from general hardware stores, they are not "Mr Hoshino Magic Ibanez Bolts"

Anyone reading this would do well to arm themselves with digital vernier calipers and a thread pitch gauge. Watch some online videos about them and never have to buy overpriced OEM bolts again.

Most manufacturers design things around existing fasteners, this means you can go out and buy them yourself if you understand how to measure them up correctly.


I also found a few photos of my gold Pro Rock'r i took apart last year, it shows you that its possible to separate the saddle assembly if needed.

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So i managed to finalize a sustain block idea that i can make with basic tools just as a rough prototype. This should be done within the next 7 days.

As i mentioned above, i plan on stealing the Power Rock'r sustain block idea and mount the strings that way meaning the OEM Pro Rock'r saddle assembly can get tossed completely.

I only had billet Titanium lying around the house which i cant cut with the tools i have available so i ordered some billet Aluminium to make life easier. It will do for a rough sketch of how it mounts up and works. Final design might be steel, brass or something else. No idea yet.

Visually the new sustain block with just look like an L shape, it will mount using OEM holes and it will extend outwards toward the front of the bridge plate, this will allow for the new string mounting design.

I also mounted all the saddles i had very crudely just to visualize how this might work. Il be brainstorming ideas but i think ive figured out how to deter side to side play in the saddles and also retain a good enough saddle height to allow for radius and action changes.

This project may not be for everyone but through brainstorming ideas and general discussion it might spark an idea for someone who has a broken bridge that they cant repair. I found a guy online who used 2 part adhesive to glue a cheap 6 saddle bridge to his Pro Rock'r so it would function again.

People get really inventive when faced with desperate situations.

We shall see.

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Ha, you guys have some serious Ibanez graveyards going 💀😱.

Not much to add as you and Mr. Bob have covered all the salient points of the problems this bridge has. The anatomy and level of geek is appreciated though. Got my popcorn out.

Ibanez must've spent quite a bit of dough on the designing and tooling up for all these bridges, only to make them out of talc and use 'wider than what everyone else uses' stud spacing so it's impossible to swap with anything else. Given the excessively complicated design, there was no choice but to cast everything.

As I've said previously, I simply locked mine bridge with 5 springs and slammed it against the body. I do enjoy having the fine tuners, though, for quick adjustments, without fiddling with my fretting hand. That's about the only plus of the bridge (and the pop-in arm) :LOL:.

Instead of designing and making a whole new bridge (an interesting challenge all the same), the simplest solution, in my view, would be to machine appropriate adapter plates for a Kahler – two types, allowing for flat or carved to mounting, depending on the guitar model. The plates would have to be sufficiently tall so string height is correct and you wouldn't have to mill down the neck pocket (unless you want to do that for a more Strat-like feel for the picking hand). I have seen someone do this for an RS530 years ago on some forum, I think they used an aftermarket adapter plate you can still get these days.

As an aside, I've seen someone put those Wilkinson locking saddles on a Hard Rocker. Yes, the latter doesn't quite cover the back of the Pro Rock'r route but otherwise works.

I guess you're thinking of adding some kind of metal strip behind the saddles to act as the retainer for the springs.

I haven't tested this myself, but do Pro Rock'r studs have the same thread as 2LE2B?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I would basically be looking to lock the bridge to the body in some way. I dont want it floating much (mines currently sit just off the body at the posts, roughly a debit card thick gap between bridge and body)

I was thinking about a glorified trem stopper. You could make up a new sustain block and drill holes into it so you can mechanically fix the sustain block to the trem stop with nuts either side to lock it in place. Just spec a much longer bolt than is provided with the trem stopper. Failing that there's a few places where you could fasten steel brackets to the rear cavity and then fix the sustain block to those via some nut/bolt/bracket type system.

Think of those Ibanez Zero Point systems, something like that but less flashy and zero movement or springs. I would keep the bridge posts so it doesn't need maximum security via the brackets, its more like support and stability. As it sits right now with the trem claw etc, theres nothing stopping you mechanically locking it off somehow and leaving it like that with the whole OEM spring system still in place.

Im open to any ideas involving Kahler or custom brackets. Any photos or links would be really welcomed. As long as it doesn't involve cutting the guitar, i don't mind punching some holes in the rear cavity but ideally the guitar will look standard and could even be reverted back to Pro Rock'r just for the sake of originality.

Obviously i would love to avoid this whole thing, and people are probably thinking "bro just sell the guitar", it is very ambitious what im trying to do but there's genuinely a Grade A guitar under this.

My brain is constantly trying to engineer my way out of this situation, its like there's a cancer attached to the guitar and i need to cut it out :LOL:

I took measurements of the pins for you, all i have to compare them with is pins i had laying around from a 370DX i had in the 2000's from Cort.

Pro Rock'r posts are M8 x 1.25 and the 370DX posts are M7 x 0.5 so its wildly different


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Mm, I see what you mean. A detachable bracket which would 'grab' the block so it can't move when you fasten it with bolts to the block and the body.

Regarding Kahlers, if you go on Whammy Parts, you can see the different bridges and respective adapter plates for them. They're also stackable in case the guitar has a steeper neck angle. Some relevant text: Kahler: Adapter and stacker plate installation guidelines - Whammy Parts.

Actually, I found the pics of the guitar I was talking about on an old hd (hooray for archiving). I'm not sure how much or if the beck pocket has been milled down at all, so the bridge isn't sitting high like in the stock configuration. Looks cool and probably works much better than factory spec! You can also lock Kahlers so they become hardtail.
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Found another modder, of a PR1660: This one seems to have the stock neck mounting, and maybe a diy adapter plate.

Hm, those studs have pretty fine threads, similar to OFR. I was thinking actual Edge/Lo Pro studs, which look like this. Obviously, they are shorter because all double lockers now are recessed, but the threads look kinda similar, hence my question.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
@Ashurbanipal the Pro Rock'r bridge posts and original Edge posts are loosely the same, i measured them this week because i have my 540P in bits. The only difference is the size of the head and the recess where the knife edges sit. The Pro Rock'r posts screw in to the 540P body no problem

Ive managed to make a very rough working prototype for the sustain block. Literally all i used was a cordless drill and a little chinese hacksaw. I dont even have a bench vice where i am just now.

As long as i can mock up a working design then i can decide on where it needs to go afterwards, i also noticed the saddles im using to mock this up are 10.5mm and not 10.8mm like they should be, it should fit much better when i get the right size saddles. There will probably be some side to side movement but the Pro Rock'r saddles are 10.8mm and those are a pretty snug fit so we will see how it goes.

I still need to drill and tap four M3 holes to mount the sustain block properly so i just clamped it together to see how it looks just now. I did have the correct drill bit but i snapped it so i need to wait on another turning up.

You can probably see the snapped drill bit in the picture of the underside of the sustain block :LOL:

Quietly confident i can make something work, il deal with microscopic saddle movement as long as i can ditch those OEM saddles.

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Also, just to note.

In one of the photos above i speculated that an M3 size tap might work for threading the holes for the ZAMAK knife edge inserts, that is incorrect.

I tried an M3 grub screw and it passed through no problem so there's not enough material to tap a thread for M3, i did have a M3.5 screw at hand which i tried and that seems viable, steel knife edges would be cool but its not a deal breaker.
 

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Good to know about the studs; I thought they looked similar in their threads and diameter. Another element carried over to the Edge, in addition to the arm holder. So basically if you make a new trem with knife edges, existing inserts can be used with a pair of 2LE2Bs ;), though you couldn't lock them, because the Pro Rock'r inserts don't have a solid base.

You're going all out :whistle:. Like when Floyd was starting out back in the day - those early trems were all hand tooled.

I wonder if it might be worth trying these saddles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I have looked in to those locking saddles but they seem to be quite hard to find and usually fairly expensive. I think i seen a used set selling for over £60 recently.

With the sustain block idea it also offers extra stability to the bridge plate as well because its oversized, i think what i will end up doing is heavily modifying a Pro Rock'r bridge and leaving it at that. It would be nice if i could offer a solution for others but i failed to take in to account that other peoples bridge plates would need straightened. I can sort all these issues out on my own guitar but i dont know how capable other people are at doing any of this.

At least if i document the procedure on here it might give people some ideas, once i get this prototype functioning i can then mount it on my Roadstar and see how it works. One thing i would like to do is have a 1.5mm thick steel plate to mount on top of the Pro Rock'r bridge plate but i don't know if its possible yet.

I think overall i can come up with a solution for my own guitar, il be using a modified bridge on my 1300NT and my 1300TR will stay OEM. I wouldn't care so much if these guitars were trash but they play amazingly well and the sustain in the neck is wild, Especially when you consider the only real contact point for the bridge is roughly 4mm worth of ZAMAK.

If these bridges had steel knife edges and a more sturdy and simplified construction then it would absolutely sing...
 

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Part of it is probably to do with the supply chain/manufacturing backlogs still going on, but the cost generally reflects its more specialty function, also since presumably only they can make them (no licensing out of the design).

I guess a 'from scratch' solution would be cutting/machining a hardened steel plate with knife edges to work with 2LE2B studs and allowing for the mounting of aftermarket saddles, Edge/Lo Pro arm holder, maybe even aftermarket blocks, since a steel trem wouldn't need the same degree of support as the oem type.

All in all, it's a job for a situation which needs some knowledge of design, engineering and the right tools :D.

It'll be interesting to see what the feel is like with your modded bridge. I didn't use mine much before I locked it down, but compared to an Edge, it felt kinda like those old see-saws in playgrounds we all had a go on back in the day :LOL:, probably because the block is further back than on most trems.

The 'tragic flaw' of a Roadstar - great guitar, crappy bridge which potentially leads to situations of fateful doom, like using the whammy beyond what the gods allow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yeah i couldn't seem to find them anywhere, i think it could be a good idea though. As it stands the only real thing ive spent on this is time, il keep chipping away until i have a rough idea, dont want to spent money on expensive saddles i might never use.

So far im thinking, finish my aluminium block and get regular 10.8mm saddles, i already have longer M3 bolts and springs to work as intonation screws. The steel plate i want would basically act as a brace to prevent the bridge plate from warping again. It would cover the full recess of the bridge where the OEM saddles sit, i mocked up a photo in paint as to how it might look.

If i actually have the bridge plate re-produced then i can sort alot of problems quite easily but im not going down that route yet. I basically want a working proof of concept first before i commit real money to it. A modern day 5 axis CnC machine would make light work of reproducing that bridge.
I can have a sustain block made from any material i want based off my design, super easy to make, basically an L shape with some holes in it. A first year college student with a pillar drill and basic hand tools could make it.

If i did re-make the bridge plate i would simplify the design to something like ive posted below, dont need any rectangular cut outs because the OEM saddles are gone, also done need the whammy bar insert because il fix the bridge anyway. The black holes represent where the string holes would need to be.

Basically the whole operation of the bridge gets thrown out the window with my design, Essentially all i need is a metal baseplate with the same footprint as the one on it already. As long as that can house six 10.8mm saddles with intonation still available then im on to a winner. Im not concerned with having a proper floating bridge with whammy bar functionality. The bridge will float purely because its an arched top but it will be fixed in place in the rear cavity.

When i take my bridge plate to the engineering shop for them to straighten it out im going to ask if they can press a steel plate to match. Basically it goes, 22.5mm, right angle bend, 5mm, right angle bend, 33.5mm using 1.5mm steel plate.

If i can get that whole set up to function correctly and it makes sense then i would ask how much it would be to fabricate a new bridge plate.

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yeah, the thread diameter and thread pitch are the same however the cut out for the knife edges is different and so is the overall size.

Ive taken a photo with the Edge trem arm holder and the Pro Rock'r trem arm holder swapped over so you can see that they are interchangeable, slight variation in the design though.

Ive actually done a bit more with regards to this custom Pro Rock'r design, i managed to drill and tap the holes to mount the prototype sustain block, i also bought a cheap fixed bridge to use the baseplate to cut up and mock up some ideas. I really need to have the Pro Rock'r bridge plate straightened out before i do any more so i need to wait until i get to the engineering shop before i continue with this. The prototype block is rough but it gives you an idea of what im trying to do. Nothing is final and its all subject to change.

Quite confident i can make something work here, the guitar il be using this on plays fine just now and its my main player when the others are under going surgery so its stayed in one piece for now. In the next few months il make some more moves with this and see what i can come up with.

Ive recently been considering sacrificing the RS1300NT and putting a tune-o-matic on it with a new veneer and new binding, basically rebuilding the whole thing. Il see how successful by custom bridge is first though....

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This is probably a very unorthodox question... But is there enough room to install a tunomatic style bridge on this? I came across this from Floyd rose... It's a weird bridge but who knows maybe it could work 🤷


It replaces a tunomatic and allows you to have a double locking type bridge. This would cover the cavity that would make a tunomatic a deal breaker...
 
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