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  1. #1
    Romeo Delight
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    05.15.08 @ 05:52 AM
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    Default Guitar Tech Questions

    Have an Ibanez RG770, and a have a couple questions.

    When locked down the guitar goes completely out of tune. I realize with a Floyd Rose it will do that, but not to the degree that it is, pretty much an entire step. When in tune and the bar is used, guitar is totally out of tune. Has become quite annoying.

    I played around with the saddles, probably a bad mistake, but the guitar has to go to someone for a fret dress anyway so figured what the hell. I moved the saddles back farther, two holes for the small alen key screws, moved them to the furthest hole from the pickup. Also lowered my action which leads me to this question. I love the action lower, but find it very difficult for pinch harmonics, is this nowmal? Really suck at the tech stuff. When I did all this I changed the strings and have not yet locked it all down so I don't know yet how bad out of tune it will go once I lock it all down.

    Had/Have an Ibanez RG450 which I never had this problem with before, but that guitar is firewood now as the body cracked right through at the bridge.

    Also, by trem is blocked off, cannot pull back on it so it is no longer a floating system.

  2. #2
    Sinner's Swing! Bullwinkle's Avatar
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    06.07.15 @ 10:30 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Royal Crown View Post
    I played around with the saddles, probably a bad mistake, but the guitar has to go to someone for a fret dress anyway so figured what the hell. I moved the saddles back farther, two holes for the small alen key screws, moved them to the furthest hole from the pickup.

    Yes, this was a mistake. The saddles fix the length of the string so that the octave of the string is over the 12th fret. It's a pain to adjust and readjust them on a floyd-type tremelo and the repair guy might charge you a few extra bucks for the extra labor.

    I don't quite understand your tuning problem. Are you saying that when you use the bar the guitar goes out of tune? Or, are you saying that when you lock the strings down the guitar goes out of tune?

    If the guitar goes out when you use the bar, then it's probably not completely locked down somehow. Something is slipping somewhere; either at the bridge or the nut.
    If the guitar goes out of tune low just by the action of locking it down, then that's a tough one! I've seen them go a little sharp lots of times, but not low.







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  3. #3
    Good Enough
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    11.17.15 @ 08:56 PM
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    Default

    Sounds like a problem with the locking nut ...
    Worn pads or it may be possible that the string retainer bar needs to be lowered in order to create more of an angle coming off the nut.
    Just a guess, but if it only happens when you "lock down" on the nut, that's most likely your problem.

    If all of the open strings are in tune when you lock down, and it only sounds out of tune when figuring notes or chords, then your intonation is probably off.

    If you've messed with the saddles in an effort to correct the other problem you have with the locking nut, then chances are both problems now need to be addressed.
    Last edited by Dino5150; 03.25.08 at 10:15 AM.

  4. #4
    Romeo Delight
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    Hey Bullwinkle thank you for your reply. It generally goes flat when locked down. Nothing is slipping, checked all that, in fact I probably tighten down too much.

    And I should be more specific here. The guitar can be totally fine using the bar etc, be half way through jam, then do a dive or something and guitar is totally screwed, right out of tune, and will be for no apparent reason.

    I realize playing with the saddles was a mistake, but I got this guitar used and let me tell you it was a mess. I kept breaking strings all the time, and it could be any string brand new or not, turned out to be because the third string saddle was way out of wack. So at this point a few more bucks is not a big deal, I guess it is just more trying to figure it out.

    Oh, and everything is good at the 12th fret after I played with saddles. Is in tune using the harmonic, and open string, and fretted 12th fret note.

  5. #5
    5150 A&Z Guitar Repair's Avatar
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    03.24.17 @ 08:25 AM
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    Donor

    Default

    As Dino stated, the string retainer bar may not be tightened enough. I don't want any tuning changes when I tighten the locking nut. Make sure the string retainer bar is low enough, check your locking pads, and make sure there are no burrs, etc on the nut slots. If the guitar is of some age or has been restrung with different guages of strings, go ahead and install a new nut. They're relatively cheap and will correct some of the wear caused by strings and use.

    As for the saddles, as stated above, they're for setting the intonation. I'd take it to a tech to have a complete setup on the guitar. It will be worth your money.

    As for chords ringing untrue... If you've got jumbo frets, you'll find finger pressure will cause certain chords, (the D chord comes to mind) to ring sharp/flat. I've found you've got to adjust your pressure on certain chords when using jumbo frets. They're not a bad thing, just difficult sometimes.

    I'm not sure about the pinch harmonics. I achieve those with pick and finger vs. low or high action. Are you talking about artificial harmonics/tapped harmonics?
    Scott Eivins
    A&Z Guitar Repair

  6. #6
    Sinner's Swing! Bullwinkle's Avatar
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    06.07.15 @ 10:30 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Royal Crown View Post
    Nothing is slipping, checked all that, in fact I probably tighten down too much.

    And I should be more specific here. The guitar can be totally fine using the bar etc, be half way through jam, then do a dive or something and guitar is totally screwed, right out of tune, and will be for no apparent reason.
    I'll bet you a Canadian nickel that it's the lock nut. (Do the Canadian nickels still have beavers on them? That was so cool.)

    I was just about to add a post reminding you not to tighten down too hard on the lock nut because it only needs to be finger-tight if it's working properly. It may have had worn out pads when you got it because the previous owner cranked it down too hard.
    I'll bet that you can get it to work for a while but it just slips loose over time.

    Sometimes your local repair guy will have some extra pads in a drawer full of left over parts. If this is the case, you can get it fixed pretty quick and for not much money. If you have to order parts (or a whole new locknut), it'll cost you more.

    Let's see what Dino has to say. He knows the most about this stuff.
    Or A&Z.







    Don't read this.

  7. #7
    Romeo Delight
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    Pinch harmonics. Until I lowered the strings I had to try and stop myself from doing them, now it just sounds stupid. The frets do need a dress, they are bad, I mean you can see the grooves in them with the naked eye from a distance and I use bifocals.

    The locking nut is good, there are absolutely no grooves at all, thought of that myself as I have had that problem before.

    I am wondering if maybe I need tighter springs or something. Also, I tightened the tuning pegs with the hope it would reduce the play. I guess I should not have said anything until I locked it all down again to see what kind of changes take place...but, this info is awsome, thanks guys, really appreciate it.

  8. #8
    Romeo Delight
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    I have tons of pads, changing those not a problem. Have always used Floyd Rose trems, is that cursed EVH inffluance lol Just never had this kinda problem with any guitar I have had. And the nut is in excellent shape, I am surprised actually. But the frets are bad.

    Yes Beaver's are still on the nickle. The quarter actually makes a good pick too.

  9. #9
    Sinner's Swing! Bullwinkle's Avatar
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    Default

    By the way, a pickup that's too close to the string can affect the harmonics. Since you lowered your action, that may have done it. Try raising the action or lowering a pickup a little and see if the harmonic comes back.

    One more: If you moved the saddle, you also moved the location of the harmonics. Try picking a different place on the string. With "pick squeal" harmonics, a quarter of an inch makes a big difference.







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  10. #10
    Romeo Delight
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    Ok, before I post anything further I am going to adjust the pickups because I also had raised them. Next time I get to my guitar will be Sunday (family always gets in the way of this stuff) then I will post the results. I know should have mentioned that, but did so much to it can't remember all of it only the problem. Thanks again, been a reall great help.

  11. #11
    5150 A&Z Guitar Repair's Avatar
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    03.24.17 @ 08:25 AM
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    Donor

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    I know it's obvious, but you are stretching your strings?

    You might look at your trem post and knife edges. If it's working fine thru first set and then goes out during a dive later in set, the trem might not be returning to zero position. If that's the case it can cause the strings to go flat. I've had it happen due to old springs, worn knife edges, etc. Measure the distance from bottom of trem plate to body of guitar when in tune. Abuse your whammy bar for a while and check measurements again. If it's not coming back to the original position, it could be your problem.

    You might also try the tremol-no unit. It works well for locking your trem, dive only, and zero return. Here's a link... http://www.tremol-no.com/
    Scott Eivins
    A&Z Guitar Repair

  12. #12
    Romeo Delight throb's Avatar
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    07.20.17 @ 08:35 AM
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    just a few things,
    -check the 2 screws that hold the lock nut in place. they might be loose. it could be causing the nut to shift when you dive down on the bar.
    -also, the trem posts may have moved forward over time. check to see that they are straight/vertical.
    -you may also need to add or remove the amount of springs in the rear cavity. if you have 2 springs holding the trem, try three. don't forget to loosen the screws holding the spring claw if you do. the added spring will make the bar very stiff and difficult to push down on. if you already have 3 or more, try removing one. this time, tighten the screws holding the claw until the tension on the bar feels adequate.
    -have someone check the relief on the neck. sometimes too much relief can cause tuning problems.

  13. #13
    Good Enough SLEEPER5150's Avatar
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    12.03.10 @ 03:16 PM
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    Hey. Another thing to check again is the saddle screw threads in the trem unit. These things can be deceiving. I had the same problem in a Schaller Floyd unit. Sounded great for a while but would go out of tune all of a sudden. I checked everything. The nut, neck, saddle screws felt tight. What I found is that alot of the new units are cast, not forged, and also alot of the forged units metal is softer than it use to be. The threads were stripped just enough on this thing to allow the saddles to shift just a hair (it doesn't take much). The solution was I had to redrill the trem body to the next size up hex cap screw. The problem is gone. Also it doesn't hurt to use a little blue lock-tite once you have made your final adjustments (marking your saddle position of course). Hopefully this will solve your problem. It was a gremlin that had me baffled for months.
    Take care and let us know.

  14. #14
    Romeo Delight
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    Just wanted to thank everyone and give quick updat. Lowered my pick-ups and now have the pinch harmonics back. Everything else seems much better, guess I got real lucky playing with the saddles. Guitar stays in tune much better now. Jammed yesterday and although it took awhile to get used to the setup, it is much more playable now. So again thanks to everyone for the help. But I do have another question. What are good settings on a Boss Flanger for Unchained?

 

 

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