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 My Goddamn Tremelo System! 
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Dr. X

Joined: Sun Nov 17, 2002 9:17 pm
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Location: Cape Cod, MA, USA
Post My Goddamn Tremelo System!
My PGM simply will not get in tune easily! Is there something that I should be doing? I'm just loosening the allen heads on the nut, tuning with the tuning knobs, tightening the heads, and then fine tuning... but it simply does not get in tune without lots and lots of patience and time... when I tighten one, another string loosens, and vice versa.

GODDAMNIT.

-Ben


Fri Dec 13, 2002 4:17 am
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Dr. X

Joined: Sun Nov 17, 2002 9:17 pm
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Location: Cape Cod, MA, USA
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And... eventually the bridge is pulled far up because of so much tightening with the tuning knobs, and in turn there is a lot of fret buzz.

Can anyone help?

-Ben


Fri Dec 13, 2002 4:20 am
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Dr. X

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Is it because I don't clip my strings (except for the little ball end) when putting them on? Does that create too much tension or something?

-Ben


Fri Dec 13, 2002 4:21 am
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Dr. X

Joined: Sun Nov 17, 2002 9:26 pm
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It sounds to me that you aren't properly stretching the strings when you replace them. When you first replace the strings don't worry about getting them in tune properly until you have stretched the crap out of them. Then they should set up quickly.


Fri Dec 13, 2002 4:24 am
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Dr. X

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I do stretch them... maybe not enough, I guess? Do you have any other ideas?

Thanks,
Ben


Fri Dec 13, 2002 4:26 am
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Dr. X

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I tried stretching again... to no avail. I'm quite worried about this now, because I have a recital tomorrow morning... shit.

-Ben


Fri Dec 13, 2002 4:45 am
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God Of The Sun
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Try putting a forth spring in the back...I had to do that on my Kelly....it might help...

~josh

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Fri Dec 13, 2002 4:50 am
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Dr. X

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Post 
Did you change the guage of string that use? If you started using a heavier set then you'd have to tighten the springs.

Here are some other things that can cause a floating trem to be unstable...

1) Old springs. (the fix is to replace them)

2) Bad trem posts or bridge side post contact points. (same)

3) Wrong size strings. (get the right set)

4) Not properly stretching strings. (and yes that's always the first place to start.)

If the problem only started when you replaced the strings it's because they haven't been stretched enough.


Fri Dec 13, 2002 6:03 am
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This may be stating the obvious, and this may or may not solve your problem, but here goes (others may also have differing opinions) ...

Floating bridges are a bitch to tune. In my experience the two most important rules to follow are

1. Always change one string at a time and retune after each string is changed. And, of course, stretch out the newly changed string before fine tuning it.

2. Always tune with an electronic tuner ... don't try to just tune the guitar to itself.

In my experience, once the guitar is tuned properly, keeping it in tune is easy if you follow the above rules. Once more than one string is out of tune, it can be a real bitch to get it back in tune. In that situation, temporarily fixing the bridge by putting something in the cavity underneath the trem will often times be the only way to get it back in tune


Fri Dec 13, 2002 6:58 am
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Superhero
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Dudes,..
I found this article on the internet

It sounds like you have a Floyd Rose or similar bridge on that guitar. They can be tricky to deal with. It is very important to tune with equal tension on those bridges, or you get what you described here. Many players change only one string at a time with bridges like these...you may find this to be your easiest approach in the future.

The proper way to tune any guitar with a tremelo is with what I call "Cross Tuning." This is a method of tuning back and forth across the strings. If you start at the bass E string and tune in succession to the treble E string you'll find that the bridge will tilt toward the peghead and all of the strings will be flat. Here's what you do (it is best to use a good electronic tuner for this): Your strings are numbered 1 to 6 (#1 being treble E, #6 being bass E.)

Start with some tension on all strings, but make sure none are above pitch (all strings should be flat.) Tune #6 up to pitch. Tune #1 to pitch Tune #2 to pitch Tune #5 to pitch Now repeat this from the beginning(6, 1, 2, 5.) After you have re-tuned 5, tune #3. Now tune #4. Repeat from the beginning until you are in tune.

Remember to ALWAYS tune up to pitch and never down. If you are sharp, tune below the desired note, then tune back up. It may seem confusing at first, but you will get used to it. I've gotten so used to it that I tune fixed bridges this way too. What this method does is apply even tension to the strings from side to side so that the tremelo rises level. If you go from one end to the other, the trem continues to raise and as it does all of the strings you've tuned become flat. This is more controllable with cross tuning.

If you get to the end and are in tune, but the bridge does not sit parallel to the body, then you need a set-up and you should probably visit a good repairman. Good Luck!



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Fri Dec 13, 2002 8:25 am
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Motorman
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Lots of info here:

http://www.ibanezrules.com/tech.htm


Fri Dec 13, 2002 4:07 pm
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Viking Kong
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Dammit Doc...ALWAYS one step ahead of me...Benny the key is one string at a time just like Doc mentioned above...X


Fri Dec 13, 2002 10:09 pm
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Dr. X

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Thank you all for the advice (and thanks for the article, Mike... I'll try that out tonight).

The concert went well (I played the Silent Night rendition that I posted, among other things of course---that was an unaccompanied solo).
One more tonight (leaving in an hour)

Thanks again!

-Ben


Fri Dec 13, 2002 10:19 pm
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God Of The Sun
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benl47 wrote:
And... eventually the bridge is pulled far up because of so much tightening with the tuning knobs, and in turn there is a lot of fret buzz.

Can anyone help?

-Ben


If theres alot of fret buzz when the trem is pulled far up then you need to raise the bridge and tighten or add another spring to your trem.

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Sun Dec 15, 2002 4:35 am
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benl47 wrote:
Thank you all for the advice (and thanks for the article, Mike... I'll try that out tonight).

The concert went well (I played the Silent Night rendition that I posted, among other things of course---that was an unaccompanied solo).
One more tonight (leaving in an hour)

Thanks again!

-Ben


GOOD JOB BENNY!!! I hope someone video taped it so maybe we can check it out???


Sun Dec 15, 2002 7:13 am
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Superhero

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:oops: i think its just me in the whole world who doesnt know what the hell stretching is?? can someone explain pleaseee??


Sun Dec 15, 2002 12:52 pm
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Godzilla

Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2002 12:10 pm
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Sounds like your guitar needs a setup.. If you can't do it yourself, take it to your local guitar shop.


Sun Dec 15, 2002 1:25 pm
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carnflab wrote:
:oops: i think its just me in the whole world who doesnt know what the hell stretching is?? can someone explain pleaseee??


When strings are new, they tend to stretch out as increased tension is applied. This means that your new strings will go flat when you do string bends or lift up on a vibrato bar until they are completely stretched out. You can avoid this problem by stretching the new strings out aggressively when you first put them on. This is done by performing very agrressive string bends (1 1/2 to 2 steps) on the string in question at various fret locations on the neck. After each bend, you will notice the string going flat. Continue to do the bends until the string has equilibrated and no longer goes flat when you bend it. Then fine tune it to its correct pitch.


Sun Dec 15, 2002 7:56 pm
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Dr. X

Joined: Sun Nov 17, 2002 9:17 pm
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Xelatunes wrote:
benl47 wrote:
Thank you all for the advice (and thanks for the article, Mike... I'll try that out tonight).

The concert went well (I played the Silent Night rendition that I posted, among other things of course---that was an unaccompanied solo).
One more tonight (leaving in an hour)

Thanks again!

-Ben


GOOD JOB BENNY!!! I hope someone video taped it so maybe we can check it out???


hehe thanks man. Yeah, the concert was recorded "professionally" (I guess) and my mom also taped it. I'll try to find out how to make mpegs out of stuff like that... if so, I'll post a link.

-Ben


Sun Dec 15, 2002 9:42 pm
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Superhero

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TheSurgeon wrote:
carnflab wrote:
:oops: i think its just me in the whole world who doesnt know what the hell stretching is?? can someone explain pleaseee??


When strings are new, they tend to stretch out as increased tension is applied. This means that your new strings will go flat when you do string bends or lift up on a vibrato bar until they are completely stretched out. You can avoid this problem by stretching the new strings out aggressively when you first put them on. This is done by performing very agrressive string bends (1 1/2 to 2 steps) on the string in question at various fret locations on the neck. After each bend, you will notice the string going flat. Continue to do the bends until the string has equilibrated and no longer goes flat when you bend it. Then fine tune it to its correct pitch.


Cool! Thx! :D


Mon Dec 16, 2002 8:04 pm
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