Guitar question

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Velkov, Mar 23, 2001.

  1. Velkov


    Jan 17, 2001
    Lansdowne, Ontario
    A friend of mine has this Yamaha guitar with a tremolo bridge system that makes the instrument always sound out of tune. He never uses the tremolo anyway, so the whole thing is useless. Is it feasable to put a normal static bridge in without too much wood work?
  2. I think you missed the turnoff a few miles back. You're in Bassland now. :D
  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    The vibrato system is probably not set up properly. But you need to tell us what type of vibrato it is - vintage-style or Floyd Rose.
  4. Velkov


    Jan 17, 2001
    Lansdowne, Ontario
    Xavier, I don't know of any guitar site where people discuss this kind of stuff and know so much.

    It has springs that go through the body. There is a metal plate on the back of the body to cover the big cavity. It looks like a stratocaster tremolo. Would that be a Floyd Rose type?
  5. Velkov, I apologize for my response to your guitar question. It was meant as a joke. In retrospect, after re-reading my post, I see that it may have sounded really snitty. Sorry.

    Actually, I play the guitar myself, and know the problem with bad tremolos very well. With an old Strat of mine, the tuning would mess up every time I used the tremolo. I pulled out the arm and let the bridge 'settle', and haven't had a problem since. Cheaper than buying a new bridge.
  6. Velkov


    Jan 17, 2001
    Lansdowne, Ontario
    What do you mean by "let the bridge settle" ?
    Can I just disconnect the bridge itself from the rest of the stuff and screw it tight to the body? That way makes sense to me but I don't know how stable the bridge will be.
  7. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001
    I was going to venture a guess, but that's still not enough information on the guitar's trem.

    One thing I can tell you is that Floyd Rose licenses their design to be used by countless manufacturers. Some do it well, some don't...

    For example, I have an Ibanez RG-570 with a floating bridge Floyd Rose trem. In this case, they did it right, and it stays in tune wonderfully once the strings break in. It is however a floating bridge, which has it's consequences if not set up properly.

    If it looks like a Strat trem assembly(huge difference from a Floyd Rose), good luck. :(

    I'm not a fan of the standard tuners and trem on a Strat. I like locking nuts on my guitars, reliable tuners (Gotoh or better), and a reliable bridge. For all the criticism that Floyd Rose trems take, I think they can be pretty darn reliable if you have:

    1) a quality reproduction of one
    2) the trem assembly is set up properly

    ***Strat assemblies go out of tune more often than not in my experience, so I can't offer any help there.***

    If however he has a Floyd Rose type, I recommend going to

    It's a website set up specifically for certain Ibanez guitars, but it has a tremendous amount of technical setup information regarding Floyd Rose type trems. In fact, this page

    even has a section titled "Tremolo Problems, Why can't I stay in tune?"

    Have your buddy bookmark this site if he has a Floyd Rose, he won't regret it.

    Finally, if in doubt, take the guitar to a qualified technician and pay them to set the guitar up up properly.
  8. Settle? Well, basically, the tremolo changes string tension. Ideally, you want the mechanism to return to original tension at rest. I didn't want to fiddle with it too much (I don't use that guitar very often) so my solution was to remove the arm and let the string tension pull the springs until they wouldn't pull any more. With no tremolo arm to change that tension, the guitar remains in tune. This worked for me, but, there are other factors to consider. Type of strings (ball end or 'bullet' type? - ball ends can be a problem because of the way the ball sits against the bridge plate). Also, if there are adjustment screws, it may be a good idea to take the guitar in to a pro for a good setup. I'd pay $20 for a pro to look at it and give you his opinion before I fiddle with alterations.
  9. I added an extra tremelo spring to my Harmony Strat-copy and basically just "cranked it down" so the tremelo does not move anymore. I don't even know where the wammy bar is to mine.

    That's the cheapest thing to do. If you remove the back plate you can see if there is any way to tighten down on the springs with a couple of wood screws. Lots easier than changing bridges.

  10. odie

    odie Supporting Member

    I second throbbinnut on his idea, also you can put a block on the tremolo so it doesnt move.
  11. Cornbread


    Jun 20, 2000
    Lawrence, Ma
    You can have a guitar tech put a piece of wood underneath the tremolo. I saw a description of someone who fixed john scofield's guitar in that fashion.
    That's pretty much the extent of my tremolo knowledge.
  12. inmy experience i've found out that the reason that floyd rose trems don't hold a tune is because somebody, somewhere (for whatever reason) has removed a spring from the cavity in the back of the guitar. thus not allowing the bridge to return to it's starting point. i would check that first. then we'll go from there.

    this is, of course, assuming that it is a fr trem.
  13. ubersam


    Oct 12, 2000
    one thing to remember when setting up floating bridges (i.e. Floyd Rose [& licensed types], wilkinson) is that the String tension has to counter the Spring pull such that the base of the tremolo is parallel with the surface of the guitar body. when you see that, you know that it is set up properly. if you don't want to use the trem, do as what has already been suggested: insert a block of wood in the spring cavity to block the tremolo from getting moved.
  14. Velkov


    Jan 17, 2001
    Lansdowne, Ontario
    Thanks a lot guys,
    My friend is going to bring his guitar over to my house tomorrow and this thread will be a good reference.
  15. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB

    Jan 28, 2001
    New York
    What's a Guitar? :D
  16. I would just unscrew the whammy bar. Then, if it's anything like my strat's bridge, there are 2 large screws that you have to screw in as far as possible, this way the bridge will be flat, therefor lowering the action and keeping the guitar in tune most of the time. My guitar also has 5 springs instead of 3, so this helps too.