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  1. #1
    Forum Frontman Double Down's Avatar
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    11.17.17 @ 12:11 PM
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    Default Floyd arm real hard to push down

    Looking for some insight here. I'm trying to figure out why my Floyd is so hard to push down. It is REAL stiff and I honestly don't think I've ever felt one like this. I've been using this guitar for about two months straight while my other guitar was disassembled. Today I got my other guitar back and holy shit, the Floyd is like butter.....so easy to push it down. Exactly how I think it should be. Night and day difference.


    So here are the specs on the one that's really tough:

    Floyd Rose Special
    37mm big block
    strings 10-46
    3 spring tension


    The one that's real easy:

    Kramer licensed Floyd
    stock small block
    strings 10-46
    3 spring tension



    I see the obvious difference in the block size but I can't believe this is the issue. Any ideas on what's going on here? I have to get this solved somehow.
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  2. #2
    Sinner's Swing!
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    11.25.17 @ 09:06 AM
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    Default

    Couple things...I'm sure you totally understand how, and you adjusted the balance between your string tension by adjusting the claw. (More for those who don't know...I had this complaint often in my shop)
    My guess is it's probably the springs themselves.
    There are two distinct types of springs that you can tell apart visually.
    Chrome/nickel plated springs usually found on old Floyd equipped Kramers, and vintage trem Fender Strats.
    ...And springs which appear dull silver or more like a galvanized appearance.

    The chrome or nickel plated spring are usually the higher quality spring.
    They typically are waaaay smoother, and have a static spring rate that feels even throughout a dive.

    The dull looking springs of today are usually crap. They are made of cheaper materials, have more resistance out of the box, and have a progressive rate that seems to actually work harden, and get even stiffer over time.

    so check 'em out. It is possible to have a bad chrome/nickel set...It could even be just one spring causing the issue.
    It also may be just that simple that you don't need 3 springs. Take out the center one, and readjust somewhat. If it's better, then just go with the two, set up the tension balance, and if it still feels bad, then grab some new springs.

    Genuine Fender trem springs are what I use on all my guitars now, and I just installed a set on my friend Brad's Dean a couple months ago. He had the very same issue as you, and they were the dull crap springs. He even started getting issues with the guitar returning to pitch with the bad springs as he sets his full floating.
    Now his is super smooth.
    Good luck
    Last edited by we die young; 03.06.14 at 05:48 PM.

  3. #3
    Hang 'Em High sickman's Avatar
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    12.13.17 @ 03:10 AM
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    Donor

    Default

    I am actually a spring maker. I can tell you that the difference in the performance of the higher quality springs and lower quality may just be the stress relieving of the springs. Once a spring is heated at approx 450 degrees for 30 minutes it will have a more constant rate or "memory" If it hasn't been heated the tension will be all over the place. You can do this yourself at home. It could also be that the cheap ones are made out of a material called basic wire, a low carbon steel. Good springs will be made out of a higher carbon wire called music wire. I''ve seen the chrome/nickel coated ones and imo they are actually Zinc Plated and the dull ones are a galvanized wire. Even after zinc plating the springs should be heated to prevent hydrogen embrittlement. If not they will eventually break.
    Last edited by sickman; 03.06.14 at 07:23 PM.

  4. #4
    Forum Frontman Double Down's Avatar
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    11.17.17 @ 12:11 PM
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    Default

    Appreciate the post, WDY. Thanks.



    I think you might be on to something here. Gotta be honest I just figured springs are springs. I wasn't focusing on the actual springs but more of the comparison between the two setups as a whole. But after checking the springs on both I notice a huge difference between the two sets. On the "bad" guitar the springs are very tense. The one by itself on the outside is like friggin' cement. Almost no play whatsoever. On the guitar that feels good the springs have noticeable flex to them. I can comfortably put my finger under them and pull up.


    Question: How much of a part is the 37mm block playing in this? Before I start pulling things apart tomorrow I'm just wondering if different springs would feel the same because of the block.




    edit - Thanks, sickman. You posted while I was typing.
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  5. #5
    Hang 'Em High sickman's Avatar
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    Donor

    Default

    does the term cavity have enough clearance for the big block. I've heard of people having to route out the cavity because once the big block was installed there wasn't enough room to dive bomb.

  6. #6
    Forum Frontman Double Down's Avatar
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    11.17.17 @ 12:11 PM
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sickman View Post
    does the term cavity have enough clearance for the big block?
    Yes. Not an issue. The problem is all about stiffness, not whether there's room in the cavity.
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  7. #7
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    12.13.17 @ 12:45 AM
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    Default

    The block shouldn't be the issue.
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  8. #8
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    11.25.17 @ 09:06 AM
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sickman View Post
    I am actually a spring maker. I can tell you that the difference in the performance of the higher quality springs and lower quality may just be the stress relieving of the springs. Once a spring is heated at approx 450 degrees for 30 minutes it will have a more constant rate or "memory" If it hasn't been heated the tension will be all over the place. You can do this yourself at home. It could also be that the cheap ones are made out of a material called basic wire, a low carbon steel. Good springs will be made out of a higher carbon wire called music wire. I''ve seen the chrome/nickel coated ones and imo they are actually Zinc Plated and the dull ones are a galvanized wire. Even after zinc plating the springs should be heated to prevent hydrogen embrittlement. If not they will eventually break.
    Thanks for the info! Yeah..I was describing their appearance, but that helps more. You're right. It seems that the more finish quality is present though, the overall quality is more likely to be there. Like for some time, I'd buy Allparts springs, but it's tough to find the high finish or zinc plated as you described. They're usually the galvanized, and virtually all the galvanized ones I've had on my own guitars I've turfed.
    I've had real good luck with the Fender ones. Little more money, but never have an issue with them at all.
    Last edited by we die young; 03.06.14 at 09:34 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default

    As Brett said, the block should not be the problem. It's usually just the springs/tension. If you have it relatively balanced to the string tension (trem level neutral), and it's still stiff, then the springs themselves most likely have too much resistance.

  10. #10
    Good Enough nobozos's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 03:16 PM
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    Default

    As the other guys have said, it's probably the type of springs you are using.

    One other thing you may want to consider. How many springs are you using, and what configuration are they in?

    The reason I ask is that most people have two trem springs arranged in a "V".
    One thing you may want to try before you replace the springs is to re-arrange them from a "V", where they go from the middle of the trem claw to the outer edge of the sustain block, to a direct pull, where the springs are parallel with one another. You will probably have to make a trem claw adjustment, but it might do the trick.
    "Having an opinion that people disagree with doesn't make you a Douche, arguing with the people who disagree with your opinion and calling them stupid does!" -Me.

  11. #11
    Eruption
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    12.12.17 @ 07:05 PM
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    Default

    Easy way to tell if it's the springs...switch them. If both tremolos rest against the body, use an eraser, scrap of wood, etc. to block the tremolo block from moving back against the body cavity and remove each spring lifting up from the block first, slowly relieving tension towards the claw. You will need to have a strong grip!

  12. #12
    Eruption
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    Default

    Crazy question here.

    Can I throw some springs in the over at 450 F for 40 min. and make them work better?

  13. #13
    Hang 'Em High sickman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Lee View Post
    Crazy question here.

    Can I throw some springs in the over at 450 F for 40 min. and make them work better?
    If they haven't been heated by the manufacturer than yes. We stress releive all of our music wire springs at 450 degrees for 30 minutes. By doing this the springs will have more memory.

    I will warn you though, if they are shiny they will dull in color. If they appear to be galvanized they shouldn't change color.

    Some Chinese manufacturers of these may not heat them to save on costs, which is ridiculous but that is what they do. I can tell you though that for the size orders that Floyd Rose probably places for the springs they cost about $.05 each to make.
    Last edited by sickman; 03.08.14 at 05:19 PM.

  14. #14
    Forum Frontman Double Down's Avatar
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    11.17.17 @ 12:11 PM
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    Default

    So everything is looking good but this situation went in a direction I didn't expect it to.


    On the guitar with the really smooth tremolo I went to use the tremolo key to fine tune the intonation and discovered the lock screws were these short fat screws with no lip on the end so I wasn't able to attach the key. So all I did was switch them out one at a time with regular screws. I didn't touch any other part of the guitar and didn't alter any other strings than the one I was working on. But when I was done the trem was all fucked up for some reason. Stiff as shit to press down. Can't begin to figure out why switching the screws made such a dramatic difference because the weight feels the same.

    Here's a picture of them:




    So because it was all messed up now I decided to finally swap this black Floyd with the chrome Floyd on my other guitar. I did that, set it up, and it works beautifully. Smooth as silk.


    Tomorrow I'll tackle the Floyd that was giving me problems and set it up with new springs and ditch the really stiff ones that were in it. I expect it to work fine because I think the springs were the issue in the first place.



    Thanks guys for chiming in with the insights. I really appreciate it.
    Last edited by Double Down; 03.12.14 at 05:59 PM.
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  15. #15
    On Fire KS 5150's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 05:59 PM
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    Default

    Glad this all worked out! Good on WDY for being so helpful!
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