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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This beauty is also my first ibanez electric guitar......and I have over 10.....

I hope I've posted this in the appropriate ibanez guitar section...I found info on this guitar in a different subsection, but I believe this is the correct location.

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during my research prior to purchasing this, I was attracted to the fact it was made in Japan, has the original edge floating tremolo bridge, has double humbuckers, and the mahogany body.

first thing I did when I got home was give the edge a good thrashing with the whammy bar, and as advertised, it stays in tune like a champ.

I have a couple questions and should preface by saying I'm mechanically challenged. also I won't be lazy and I'll check the tech thread or forum for info as well. and I guess there's someone rich was posted a lot of valuable info. if there is a specific thread or post that addresses my questions would appreciate guidance in the event there's so much help I might have difficulty finding the best advice.

I noticed the bridge had 'licensed under floyd rose patents' on it which had me wondering if it is indeed the original edge bridge. I'm assuming the licensed verbiage doesn't mean anything and it is in fact an original edge tremolo system. the whammy bar abuse sure seemed to backup the widespread affinity for the tuning stability of the system.

I then realized the previous owner had it tuned down a half step, so on I went to remove the string locks and tune it to standard tuning. I applied a technique I've used on other Floyd Rose bridges where you tune the low E then the high E, then check the low E again, and then the high E, then the A, go back check the E....repeat repeat etc until low E high E, A, B, D, G and the guitar is tuned. I tightened the string locks, hooked it up and checked the tuning on my pedal, and it's all out of whack. tried the same routine a couple more times, same result.

So here's where my mechanically challenged brain comes into play. is it possible all need to change the strings in order to tune it to standard tuning?

Also, In regards to tightening the nut locks as well as the string locks on the bridge, which I don't think come into play unless you're changing the strings, what is the correct amount of tightening? I've learned enough to know tighter isn't always better if you go so far to where you create issues by over tightening.

appreciate any and all help, and direction to any tech threads specific to my questions.

I need to go rock this thing out!
 

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Check the height of the retainer bar above the nut. It is mostly likely too high. You have to remember that you are clamping the strings down and adding additional tension.

Try lowing the bar until the strings fully contact the nut across its whole width.

I also leave my fine tuners out on the unwound strings to allow for tuning when the strings stretch out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Here's where my mechanically challenged brain rears itself....

My first thought was wouldn't that have also been a problem prior trying to tune to standard tuning? But then I realized all I knew before was that in its original state I bought it, was it stayed in tune despite heavy whammy abuse.

So is it the fact I'm tightening the strings, and that's pulling the strings down enough thus making the retainer bar not low enough anymore?

Wait, tightening would raise the strings, not lower them....?

Well, if anything it should be clear to all my mechanical challenges.
 

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Please check out IbanezRules website in tech section. It will enlighten all your set-up questions. String retainer bar should be low enough that the strings follow the same angle as they come down the back of the nut. Also the rectangles on the sides of bridge (knife edge plates) should be level with the body.
 

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When I got my Charvel, also had a FR, I dropped the tuning half a step, in order to get the trem at the correct angle I also loosened the screws in the back that attach the L clip to the body, that the trem springs are hooked to. In your case it might be necessary to tighten them, thus pulling the trem more toward the body.
 

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When changing the tuning from Eb to E, it takes forever...you're not the only one having issues if you have not done it before.
The issue is that the previous owner tuned it to Eb, which puts a tension on the strings, which is lower than the tension given by tuning it in E.
The bridge, in order to stay afloat, needs to have the springs at the back pulling the same tension as the strings, but on the opposite side. If you apply more tension on one side (strings) or the other (springs), the bridge position will zero in at a different angle.

It takes a few tries to get it right, and that affects how the strings stay in tune.
It is frustrating and time consuming. If you haven't ever done it before, I would suggest you take a good hour to find the correct tension/countertension.
 

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I had the same trouble... Not sure if my way is right, but when changing tunings I like to "block" the trem with it level... change my tuning as if it were a fixed bridge... then unblock the trem and adjust the springs until it comes back to level and in tune. Seems to work well for me.

BTW - Nice guitar! My first MIJ Ibanez w/Edge tremolo was a dark blue/green RG520QS I bought a little over a year ago. Fantastic guitars... I'll never part with mine if I can help it. Once you get it leveled and tuned it will be rock solid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everybody. the knife edges parallel to body comment from metalhead helped me understand 'what had changed' when I tried to tune up to standard. Along with the additional comments since then I understand in theory what is causing the issue.

Now it's just a matter of me putting in the time. It needs new strings so I'll go ahead and do that (after spending time at ibanezrules) and then plan on a lot of time, frustration, and beer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Update:

I did it!

I wisely decided not to change strings so as not to introduce another tuning stability challenge, and allow me to focus on the exercise of setting the correct trem angle by balancing the tension from the strings with the tension from the springs.

I over compensated initially which created severe fret buzz, began to think I better stop before I really screw something up, but I took a deep breath and realized once I unscrew the screws holding the trem claw which I had screwed in too far, that 'should' fix the problem I had created. It did and I was quite pleased with myself.

I got the guitar tuned to standard, left every string a bit sharp since it seems tightening the nut locks usually results in them going a little flat.

Did some minor fine tuning, and there you have it! In tune, with the correct trem angle. Apply some whammy abuse and right back to perfect tuning. I did it, thanks to all the advice and referrals to excellent resources.

I also discovered a tremel-no had been installed.....I DON'T plan on using that! Lol.

FYI - extremely helpful info on the ibanezrules site regarding learning to 'rough tune' when changing the tuning on your guitar up or down a half step or more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Now I'm wondering if all I needed to do was put the tremol-no in fixed bridge mode and tune up half step? But I'm thinking that would still change the trem angle....and require an adjustment to the trem claw. Appreciate if someone can confirm and also if there's any other consequences associated with a tremol-no that's installed on an edge bridge that impact normal maintenance on a standard edge bridge.
 

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Now I'm wondering if all I needed to do was put the tremol-no in fixed bridge mode and tune up half step? But I'm thinking that would still change the trem angle....and require an adjustment to the trem claw. Appreciate if someone can confirm and also if there's any other consequences associated with a tremol-no that's installed on an edge bridge that impact normal maintenance on a standard edge bridge.
Yeah, it'll work as long as the Tremol-no remains locked, but when you unlock it the trem will move and throw it back out of tune, and will necessitate a claw adjustment to get it balanced again. If you just want to tune up a half step for a song or two and then go back to standard that works poerfectly, but if you want a longer-term adjustment you need to balance the trem first, THEN lock it down.
 
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