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  1. #1
    Top Of The World The Space Ace's Avatar
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    Help setting up a Floyd Rose

    So I just got my first Floyd Rose-equipped guitar, which is a Kramer Pacer Classic (which I chose from suggestions on here). I've never dealt with a Floyd Rose style tremolo system before, and I want to put a D-tuna on it sooner or later, but I know I need to have the bridge set up so the strings will only go down in pitch in order for it to work properly, plus I hear this setup maximizes sustain. I believe EVH has his FR guitars set up this way, correct? However, in doing some Internet searches, it seems no one can agree on how this should be done. Some say the bridge has to be flush against the body, others say it just has to be parallel to the body but can still be floating, and others say the angle/position doesn't matter as long as you block it from raising the pitch of the strings. Right now the bridge is floating and angled upward, and I'm not sure what I should do to it. Can anyone provide any insight on this?

    Thanks again!

  2. #2
    Sinner's Swing! evhintexas's Avatar
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    12.09.17 @ 03:43 PM
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    Watch internet vids and read online about it. Most important is be patient. On floating trems, I use a tremelo stopper type device for dive only. 10 bucks on eBay or Amazon. Google tremelo stopper. It is cheating in my mind but it works.
    Last edited by evhintexas; 06.12.15 at 04:20 PM.
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  4. #3
    Atomic Punk RRvh1's Avatar
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    12.18.17 @ 12:29 PM
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    I can talk from experience here... First of all, congrats on your new guitar! The Pacer Classic is a pretty good (great) deal for the money, and they feel awesome.
    They do come from the factory with a slight floating action. Mine wasn't too bad... was able to pull the notes maybe a half step sharp. All I did was tighten the screws in the claw cavity until the bridge rested on the body.

    Good news is that you don't have to remove the plate on the back of the guitar- there are two notches cut out for precisely that reason. There might be a slight backwards angle to the bridge, due to the setup and string height. You might be able to compensate that by lowering the trem post screws. That's all I did on mine.

    I did put a D-tuna on mine as well, with no problems to speak of, and no modifications needed. Worked like a charm. Didn't take a photo with it on, but here's mine with two of my other guitars at the time: Click image for larger version. 

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    Good luck with it!
    I'd be curious to hear your thought about the guitar overall.
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    Atomic Punk RRvh1's Avatar
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    12.18.17 @ 12:29 PM
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    Keep in mind that you might need to have the guitar taken in for a set up after doing that, because you'll be tinkering with the string height and whatnot.
    I had some buzzing issues but no big deal. Several players have done the same thing (set for dive only) and the guitar can be made to scream!

    I'm actually thinking about picking another one up. The necks are super comfy, and the fret work is amazing. They just feel right, y'know?
    "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
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    Good Enough nobozos's Avatar
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    Congratulations on the new axe. I will do my best to answer your questions for you.

    You will see many different products out there that promise to give you a stable floating trem. Some of them work well, and some aren't so great, but all of them are overpriced.

    As far as the D-Tuna goes, the most important thing is that you have the Floyd set up for dive only. The reason for this is that when the E string goes down to D, the rest of the strings want to go sharp because of the spring tension pulling the trem back. The added benefit of blocking the trem for dive only is that you can tighten the trem springs so that when you are doing bends, the rest of the strings don't go flat. This is great if you use a lot of blues riffs.

    As far as having the Floyd resting on the body, parallel, floating or angled, I'll go through that for you. Eddie has his guitars set up with the Floyd resting on the body to maximize contact between the trem and the body. This should, theoretically, increase the sustain and resonance. If you think about it, on a floating Floyd the only contact the strings have to the body is two knife edges and two to three tiny spring ends. This is the only route the string vibrations have to transfer to the body. If the Floyd is resting on the body, the entire surface of the baseplate is vibrating, and is in direct contact with the wood, which would better transfer the string vibrations to the body.

    Whether or not you can accomplish resting your Floyd on the body will be dependent on the design of your guitar. Obviously, there are guitars that have the trem routed, because they are designed to be floating Floyds, like on an Ibanez RG. On guitars like the Pacer Classic that does not have the trem route, it will depend on the depth of the neck pocket. If you adjust your two pivot bolts down so that the Floyd rests on the body, and all of your strings are laying on directly on your frets, then you probably need to block the trem, unless there are shims in the neck pocket you can remove to lower the neck at the heel.

    If you are generally content with the setup of your guitar, and don't want to mess with removing the neck, there is an extremely simple and extremely cheap method for blocking your trem that I've used several times and it works like a charm.

    First of all, you do want your Floyd to be parallel to the top of your guitar. You don't want it to have a forward or rearward tilt. There are a couple reasons for this. First, whether your trem is floating or dive only, your trem is inherently more stable when it is parallel with the body. It's like a balancing point. If you are off by about 2 degrees either way, then you either have more string tension or more spring tension pulling on the trem, making it harder for it to know where the "zero point" is. It's just happier there. Secondly, if your trem is not level, it throws off your intonation adjustments. Your bridge saddles are designed to be adjustable to increase or decrease the vibrating length of the string. The bridge saddles on a Floyd are also not height adjustable. If the Floyd is not level, lets say it has a forward tilt, then when you adjust the bridge saddles rearward, you are increasing the vibrating length of the string, but you are also raising the height of the string slightly, so the preset radius of the bridge saddles is now all over the place. You can compensate for this on a standard trem by adjusting the saddle height screws, but a Floyd is pre-set, because it is designed to be level with the body, and action is adjusted easily by adjusting the 2 pivot bolts.

    So, now onto the simple, cheap and easy solution to blocking your trem for a D-Tuna. Here is what you will need:
    1 X cheap ass cast bridge saddle from an import guitar
    2 X pickguard screws
    1 X phillips screwdriver

    So, we have the Floyd slightly raised from the body, which isn't necessarily a bad thing when you have a D-Tuna, since it can get a little close to the body when you have your fine tuner adjustment screwed in a bit, and you try to pull it out. You take off the spring cover on the back of the guitar, and place your bridge saddle on the wood between the trem springs, and against the sustain block. Run a screw into the MIDDLE of the saddle (where the string would ordinarily come trough. Check to make sure the Floyd is parallel with the top of the body, if not, slightly loosen the screw in the bridge saddle and slide it to the position that makes the Floyd parallel when the sustain block is resting against it. Once you have it located, run a screw in at the end of the bridge saddle opposite of the sustain block to keep it from moving with the spring tension on it. See Picture Below:



    One thing that I've found in blocking a trem this way is that I did notice an increase in resonance and sustain. I'm assuming because I've given the vibrations from a strings a conduit to the body on the sustain block right under the pickups.
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  10. #6
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    ^^^Very good post!!!

    My Pacer bridge lowered to sit flush, without any serious tinkering. On the flipside, my EVH Striped b/w guitar's setup was way off base. The action is low and the guitar plays great, but there is one of those trem stoppers installed in the cavity, and the bridge sits a bit higher than the body itself.

    Just goes to show that no two guitars feel exactly alike - even two of the same make.model.
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    Atomic Punk RRvh1's Avatar
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    Here's two pics from today, showing the trem stopper in my EVH b/w striped guitar, and how the bridge sits up slightly from the body :

    Click image for larger version. 

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    "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

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  14. #8
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    12.18.17 @ 12:39 PM
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    My Floyds are off the body too.
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    Surprisingly, the action on mine is still really low and comfy!
    My r/w/b EVH striped guitar's Floyd sits flush on its own, and the two axes have similar action... Click image for larger version. 

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    Do you also use a trem stopper, Brett?
    "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
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    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    Default Help setting up a Floyd Rose

    Two of them were set up years ago by a luthier (when I used one) with wood blocks. My Rasta has a wood block I put in, the others have trem stopper devices similar to yours yes. I have no floating Floyds. I like real low action but my Floyds often aren't right on the body.
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    Atomic Punk RRvh1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett View Post
    Two of them were set up years ago by a luthier (when I used one) with wood blocks. My Rasta has a wood block I put in, the others have trem stopper devices similar to yours yes. I have no floating Floyds. I like real low action but my Floyds often aren't right on the body.
    My b/w is the only guitar I have with the trem stop device. All others sit flush as intended.
    Agreed on the floating Floyds... Can't stand them on my guitars.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RRvh1 View Post
    Here's two pics from today, showing the trem stopper in my EVH b/w striped guitar, and how the bridge sits up slightly from the body :

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Don't have a pic at the moment, but I go the DIY route too for trem stoppers on my guitars that have higher mounted Floyds. I use those National brand mini "L" brackets you get at Home Depot. They work great to stop the trem, but if for some reason I want the trem to float, like to pull up, I've got it set so I just depress the bar, and I can flick the bracket in reverse, and it's full floating.
    Works like a charm...I always have a hard time justifying paying the prices they want for those gadgets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett View Post
    Two of them were set up years ago by a luthier (when I used one) with wood blocks. My Rasta has a wood block I put in, the others have trem stopper devices similar to yours yes. I have no floating Floyds. I like real low action but my Floyds often aren't right on the body.
    Yeah...I've owned some Kramer Pacers, and Focus 1000's, and I don't think one of them had the Floyd down on the body. The neck pockets also were not routed for that, so if you did drop the Trem flush, the neck would have to have some kind of reverse shimming from the rear to get the strings up off the frets. which I never like the idea of doing, and it looks real hack, although some people do it.
    I usually would just redo the pocket, but making a trem stopper out of wood, or metal like the brackets I use now....Way easier.

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    Top Of The World The Space Ace's Avatar
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    Thank you for all the help guys! This is probably the most helpful place I've gone to in terms of guitar questions.

    So, I tried setting the bridge flush with the body, but there was just way too much fret buzz. I need to adjust it some more since the action is insanely high on the bottom half of the neck. I did angle the bridge parallel to the body, and I'm going to get a stopper for the tremolo.

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    5150 GilmourD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Space Ace View Post
    Thank you for all the help guys! This is probably the most helpful place I've gone to in terms of guitar questions.

    So, I tried setting the bridge flush with the body, but there was just way too much fret buzz. I need to adjust it some more since the action is insanely high on the bottom half of the neck. I did angle the bridge parallel to the body, and I'm going to get a stopper for the tremolo.
    You could shim the neck. If the bridge is sitting directly on the body is it close to having no buzz? If so, a strip from a business card under the end of the neck pocket furthest from the bridge will pop the neck up enough to get rid of that buzz. If that raises the action too much then you can try folding a small piece of paper (like a small Post-It) to different thicknesses to fine tune it.

 

 

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