Ibanez JEM Forum banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, guys.

I have an Ibanez s470 with the early ZR Trem, the one without the thumbwheel adjustment, and began noticing that the strings are at weird heights relative to each other. Mainly, the G and A strings are lower than the adjacent ones.
I know about the issues regarding the mismatch between trem radius and fretboard radius, but I don't think it's related. It seems to me that the saddles are of unequal height, either bent of with some other problem.
There is a photo of the rear side of the trem attached. What do you think is going on?
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Dude, that's your fine tuners that are screwed in to get the guitar in tune. It's a totally normal behavior.
To get them even unlock the nut pads, turn the fine tuners completely back (ccw) and back in about 1.5 turns. Now tune the guitar with the normal tuners and then lock the nut. Tune again with the fine tuners. Then the fine tuners will be about even.

The different height of the fine tuners does not affect the action of your individual strings! They only affect the pitch of the individual strings.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi! Thanks for the attention!
That's not the issue. Even when the fine tuners are all the way up, the base in which they're screwed remains misaligned. You can see it in the six parts that have holes in them. They are all randomly scattered, and their heights don't change when moving the fine tuners.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Ok, maybe I don't really get it.

The parts with the holes have to go up and down when turning the tuners. You can press on them with your finger and they will go down. Otherwise something is blocking and you can't fine tune.
OTOH the parts with the holes seem to be tilted too. That's strange. Please check if you can press them down with your fingers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Oh, yeah. Checked it with my Edge Zero. The parts with the holes are fixed and should align. The upper parts have to move.

The misaligned Parts seem to be bent or something similar. You can disassemble the trem. Loosen the string e.g. of the G string and unscrew the intonation screw. Now you can take off the saddle. It should be straight. The part with the hole is a string saddle that has to be straight. Maybe your saddles aren't fixed properly. You will see when you disassemble them.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That's weird, isn't it? I have no problem with the fine tuners or their range of adjustment. I'll take it apart tonight and post the results here later.
Thanks!
 

·
Vendor
Joined
·
26,504 Posts
String radius on the early bridges was horrible. If the lockdown washer didn't slip under the saddle when somebody was setting intonation then shims are your only answer. All saddles are the same height [theoretically] and the radius is built into the baseplate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Got it!

As I was taking apart the trem, I instantly understood what was going on, when removing the first saddle.
The saddle is fixed into place via the intonation screw, in its front, and fine tuner in the back, which pushes down a spring against from the top to the base of the saddle.
Normally, the "part with the hole", which is the base of the two-piece saddle, rests flat on the base plate.
However, when the intonation screw is tightened in the front, it pivots in the middle and raises the back of the saddle. I don't know if it is because of flexing or because the base is simply not flat enough.

So, the workaround would be to set the intonation screw in that rearmost hole, when possible, and tightening it just enough to prevent the saddle from moving forward under the tension of the strings. That shall mitigate the difference in string height.

Thank you all for the help and attention. I wish you guys a happy New year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
The saddle shouldn't raise/pivot when tightening the intonation screw. You should check the reason for that.
Are the saddles flat on the downside? Is the baseplate ok?
I only have one guitar where all the intonation screws are in the same threat (the front one). On all other guitars they vary. You need the freedom to put the screw where the intonations demands it.

Have a happy New Year!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It really shouldn't.
The base plate is all right.
The saddles aren't too flat, I checked against a flat surface and the bottoms are very slightly convex, enough to have this effect. I'm guessing that either they were overtightened by the previous owners, or the manufacturing on such early units was less than optimal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
It really shouldn't.
The base plate is all right.
The saddles aren't too flat, I checked against a flat surface and the bottoms are very slightly convex, enough to have this effect. I'm guessing that either they were overtightened by the previous owners, or the manufacturing on such early units was less than optimal.
Hi,
What is the current status?

I have the same problem. In my ZR the base plate is not flat at all. The saddles are ok. I'll machine the base plate to make it flat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hi,
What is the current status?

I have the same problem. In my ZR the base plate is not flat at all. The saddles are ok. I'll machine the base plate to make it flat.
Hello! Sorry it took so long to get back.
Current status is as follows: i tried to use it for a while with less torque on the screws. This reduces the misalignment somewhat, as the saddles are no longer pivoting as much on the convexity of the bottom. But it introduces a much worse problem: the saddles start moving and compromising intonation.

Current status is: my sweet sounding Ibanez is stored in its case at my father's house, with the bridge disassembled in its one thousand pieces, while I play my deliciously simpler Telecaster at home... Hehehehe
No solution, but it awaits a new custom made brass trem block.
If you have any ideas, please feel free to tell us.
Since you talked about machining the base plate, I guess i could do the same to the saddles and grind them really flat. Risky, though...

3 of your fine tuners are missing washers. really shouldn't effect tuning, but they should be there.
Hello, thanks for pointing that out. They really aren't missing; it just seems so due to the angle of the photograph combined with the very problem I was talking about in the thread. The raised back of the saddles is hiding the washers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The saddles are equal. The height is managed by the base plate, that has steps to (poorly) match the radius of the bridge to the freteboard.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top