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  1. #1
    Romeo Delight
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    12.08.17 @ 06:54 PM
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    Default SOLVED - My Floyd Rose strings going sharp problem.

    So here is my “can’t keep my Floyd rose in tune” story and how I finally think I have solved the problem. I hope this may help someone else out.

    I gig with a Fender Wolfgang (main) and Peavey Wolfgang (backup). I play mostly new and old country and use the tremolo for “steel guitar” sounds and the occasional “deep dive” on some heavier rock tunes.

    About 5 years ago I switched from Ernie Ball strings to GHS Nickel Rockers because the GHS strings seemed to last longer without going dull.

    About 2 years ago, it seemed like my G, A, and low E string were always going sharp after using the tremolo, even on slight usage of tremolo. I stretched the strings furiously, I tightened the locking nuts down harder, I cleaned the saddles, I even put drops of light oil in the saddles. But nothing I did solved the problem. I was about to do something drastic like buy a Wolfgang with a hardtail, and even contemplated buying one of those $1000 titanium Floyd roses.

    I did a Google search, and found a guy claiming that when he switched to “SIT Powerwound Nickel” strings, the same problem I was having, was solved. So I figured they were gonna cost me $20. But I was wrong - they were $5 with free shipping.

    This appears to solve the problem for me.

    My best guess on what happened is this:

    1) My strings may have been “contracting” when pushing down on the tremolo, thus going sharp until I tugged hard on them.
    2) GHS may have changed the chemical composition or the wire making process about 2 years ago.
    3) Or possibly because I would buy a dozen packs of strings at a time and I may have been using strings that were a couple of years old, plus them sitting out in the heat and cold in the back of my shell camper…maybe that could be causing the strings to misbehave?

    Not sure, but it appears that my problem is fixed.

  2. #2
    Atomic Punk RRvh1's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 11:34 PM
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    Pretty interesting !!!
    Wonder if anyone else has discovered this 'cure' ? Also , do people have that issue when using EVH branded strings ?
    "There's too many people on this basketball that's floating around the sun, who are too afraid to allow themselves to FEEL" - Edward Van Halen
    "Van Halen was never about the singer..." - a very wise fan.
    "Embrace the past. Live in the moment but keep your eyes on the future, and keep on moving forward..." - Richie Sambora

  3. #3
    Sinner's Swing! evhintexas's Avatar
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    12.09.17 @ 03:43 PM
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    I use DAdarrio mostly and some EVH strings and have never had that problem.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

    “A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.”

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  5. #4
    5150 GilmourD's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 05:56 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by evhintexas View Post
    I use DAdarrio mostly and some EVH strings and have never had that problem.
    Same here.

    Overtightening the nut can cause grooves which can cause slippage.

    I actually had the mounting bolts for the nut on my Franky come loose, so the nut was shifting slightly, causing tuning to go crazy.

  6. #5
    Sinner's Swing!
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    11.25.17 @ 09:06 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsm40 View Post
    So here is my “can’t keep my Floyd rose in tune” story and how I finally think I have solved the problem. I hope this may help someone else out.

    I gig with a Fender Wolfgang (main) and Peavey Wolfgang (backup). I play mostly new and old country and use the tremolo for “steel guitar” sounds and the occasional “deep dive” on some heavier rock tunes.

    About 5 years ago I switched from Ernie Ball strings to GHS Nickel Rockers because the GHS strings seemed to last longer without going dull.

    About 2 years ago, it seemed like my G, A, and low E string were always going sharp after using the tremolo, even on slight usage of tremolo. I stretched the strings furiously, I tightened the locking nuts down harder, I cleaned the saddles, I even put drops of light oil in the saddles. But nothing I did solved the problem. I was about to do something drastic like buy a Wolfgang with a hardtail, and even contemplated buying one of those $1000 titanium Floyd roses.

    I did a Google search, and found a guy claiming that when he switched to “SIT Powerwound Nickel” strings, the same problem I was having, was solved. So I figured they were gonna cost me $20. But I was wrong - they were $5 with free shipping.

    This appears to solve the problem for me.

    My best guess on what happened is this:

    1) My strings may have been “contracting” when pushing down on the tremolo, thus going sharp until I tugged hard on them.
    2) GHS may have changed the chemical composition or the wire making process about 2 years ago.
    3) Or possibly because I would buy a dozen packs of strings at a time and I may have been using strings that were a couple of years old, plus them sitting out in the heat and cold in the back of my shell camper…maybe that could be causing the strings to misbehave?

    Not sure, but it appears that my problem is fixed.
    Well, you have just described ONE of the problems I encountered with GHS several years ago. I switched completely from GHS Boomers in 2011 going over to D'Addario, which sucked because I had a healthy supply of them..... but, I've never had the problems since.
    They have changed a lot, both in their construction, as well as their quality control. I was pretty much a lifer with them, and this going sharp was a persistent issue I had in early 09, but even worse was from set to set, I couldn't retain the intonation for shit. It started most notably on my Strat. I thought I had bridge problems...Nothing! all good. Tuner issues? I really though the tuners were pooched! I could not keep the guitar properly tuned no matter what, but everything seemed fine mechanically.
    Then after I had just bought a load of them, (they were my fav strings forever) to replace some that were long in the tooth, I started to notice weird intonation issues on almost every guitar I changed them on. Same gauge and model type.
    I though I had just a few bum packs, but
    I swear man.....Just about every guitar would not stay in tune, or intonated for very long.
    The wound strings were so inconsistent.
    I would have to move a saddle almost from one extreme to the other, and STILL wouldn't have room enough to intonate the string completely without it being sharp or flat.
    Just terrible QC.
    Not to mention the rapid unforeseen breakage, and the strings unwrapping themselves at the ball end on my Strat. Some of them unwrapped during stringing up!

    Now all that said....I'm not sure if all their strings are made out of the same factory....but it was pretty obvious something has gone wrong for them in a big way. You're not the only other person I've heard this from.
    My local shop doesn't even sell them anymore.

    Good on ya for finding the problem.
    I'm pretty sure you've got it licked getting away from them.
    Hopefully they will finally get enough feedback to do something about their quality issues.
    They were a great name for many years.
    Last edited by we die young; 04.06.15 at 02:05 PM.

  7. #6
    Romeo Delight
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    12.16.17 @ 12:00 AM
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    I use Ernie Ball 9-42 cobalts on all my guitars, i never have tuning issues and for me they last quite a while.

  8. #7
    Atomic Punk RRvh1's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 11:34 PM
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    I'm also an Ernie Ball 9-42 user .
    Certain times , I've had tuning problems arise , but I'm pretty sure it's from various issues that have been chatted about in other threads .
    "There's too many people on this basketball that's floating around the sun, who are too afraid to allow themselves to FEEL" - Edward Van Halen
    "Van Halen was never about the singer..." - a very wise fan.
    "Embrace the past. Live in the moment but keep your eyes on the future, and keep on moving forward..." - Richie Sambora

  9. #8
    Romeo Delight
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    Quote Originally Posted by we die young View Post
    Well, you have just described ONE of the problems I encountered with GHS several years ago. I switched completely from GHS Boomers in 2011 going over to D'Addario, which sucked because I had a healthy supply of them..... but, I've never had the problems since.
    They have changed a lot, both in their construction, as well as their quality control. I was pretty much a lifer with them, and this going sharp was a persistent issue I had in early 09, but even worse was from set to set, I couldn't retain the intonation for shit. It started most notably on my Strat. I thought I had bridge problems...Nothing! all good. Tuner issues? I really though the tuners were pooched! I could not keep the guitar properly tuned no matter what, but everything seemed fine mechanically.
    Then after I had just bought a load of them, (they were my fav strings forever) to replace some that were long in the tooth, I started to notice weird intonation issues on almost every guitar I changed them on. Same gauge and model type.
    I though I had just a few bum packs, but
    I swear man.....Just about every guitar would not stay in tune, or intonated for very long.
    The wound strings were so inconsistent.
    I would have to move a saddle almost from one extreme to the other, and STILL wouldn't have room enough to intonate the string completely without it being sharp or flat.
    Just terrible QC.
    Not to mention the rapid unforeseen breakage, and the strings unwrapping themselves at the ball end on my Strat. Some of them unwrapped during stringing up!

    Now all that said....I'm not sure if all their strings are made out of the same factory....but it was pretty obvious something has gone wrong for them in a big way. You're not the only other person I've heard this from.
    My local shop doesn't even sell them anymore.

    Good on ya for finding the problem.
    I'm pretty sure you've got it licked getting away from them.
    Hopefully they will finally get enough feedback to do something about their quality issues.
    They were a great name for many years.
    Wow...I wonder how many other guitar players are fighting this?

    I kind of recall that when using Ernie Ball ( the cheap ones ) for over 20 years, I would have a similar problem for the first few hours of playing, and then they settled in. When I switched to GHS, I was so happy that I could get twice the playing time before they went dull.

    But yea, I got 6 sets of GHS Nickel Boomers that I want to get rid of ASAP.

    This off brand SIT strings worries me, so I think I will check out the D'Addario assuming they are not too expensive.

    Thanks for your input...I thought I was losing my mind for years, and my band mates have been giving me crap for a long while over my intonation problem. I might actually enjoy playing again.

  10. #9
    Romeo Delight
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    Quote Originally Posted by evh5150vanhalen View Post
    I use Ernie Ball 9-42 cobalts on all my guitars, i never have tuning issues and for me they last quite a while.
    I might check out the cobalts....how many hours of playing time do you get out of them on average...and how much do u use your tremlolo? Thanks.

  11. #10
    Sinner's Swing!
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsm40 View Post
    Wow...I wonder how many other guitar players are fighting this?

    I kind of recall that when using Ernie Ball ( the cheap ones ) for over 20 years, I would have a similar problem for the first few hours of playing, and then they settled in. When I switched to GHS, I was so happy that I could get twice the playing time before they went dull.

    But yea, I got 6 sets of GHS Nickel Boomers that I want to get rid of ASAP.

    This off brand SIT strings worries me, so I think I will check out the D'Addario assuming they are not too expensive.

    Thanks for your input...I thought I was losing my mind for years, and my band mates have been giving me crap for a long while over my intonation problem. I might actually enjoy playing again.
    No problem man!
    Yeah...I was like I said, die hard GHS user for many years.
    Since around 87, 88. They wouldn't go dead for a long time, and there were never any intonation problems at all. They were rock solid quality.
    I really don't know what happened with them. They either compromised their quality knowingly to cut cost, or maybe they changed their machine line.
    Either way, it's unacceptable.
    Conversely, when I was young, I hated D'addario strings.
    They went dead pretty quickly, and I didn't like how quickly they'd corrode...No different than Fender, or LaBella garbage from that time. (Remember Hard Rockin' Steel's? Dead outta the package)
    Fast forward to the 2000's, they are an amazing string!
    I use 9 thru 46 XL's. They just work for me.
    Don't go dead to any obvious degree (they mellow, but don't ever sound distinctly dead), don't corrode, hardly ever break, and intonation is bang on at every change.
    About the same price as GHS too.
    The other more trendy "new tech" strings, the Cobalts are good...I don't really notice the exaggerated marketing claims they make, but a good quality string nonetheless, but I've heard no increased output, or dramatic sustain gains.
    Elixer's are fantastic acoustic strings. Very articulate, yet warm tone, but I've yet to see if they last any longer than my usual acoustic strings, the D'addario Phosphor Bronze.
    If they stay bright longer than the D'Addario's, then they're worth the extra 3 bucks a pack, or whatever they are.
    I've not tried them on electric yet though.
    Last edited by we die young; 04.06.15 at 03:29 PM.

  12. #11
    Eruption
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    I used to be a pure Ernie Ball user. I recently switched in the last two or three months to using EVH 9-42 on one, EVH 9-46 on another, and then Daddario 9-42 (or whatever is the smallest) on the rest.

  13. #12
    On Fire ejmaes67's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 04:34 AM
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    I've been using Dean Markley lights for over 20 years and never had a problem and they last a long time. Although I've also used EVHs and did not have that problem either.
    “Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants to see us happy.” - Benjamin Franklin

 

 

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