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Tremolo Bridge problem!!!


frozen_dup1

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I just had the nut changed on my 6 string electric. I changed it to a bone nut from plastic. When I got it back I restrung it with new strings. When I tuned it, then went back through checking tuning, everything was off. E was C, A was F# etc.. I went through and tuned again. Same thing it was out again. Then I noticed the bridge bent all forward point to the nut, instead of fairly flat. I opened the back to the guitar and saw a bracket holding 3 springs to tremolo. I tightened the bracket a little closer to the wall so to pull the bridge back down. I did this a few times and now it seems to hold tuning. Does anybody know if that bracket is suppose to be screwed right to the wall (pointing to bottom of fretboard ). Right now the screws seem to be .75" back from the wall and the plate is held by the screws.

 

Brad

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You can set the claw (the thing that holds the springs) wherever it needs to be set. It doesn't really matter, just as long as the bridge is where you need it to be. Some players like the bridge to be set parallel to the body, while some like it slightly pointed in towards the neck. As long as the springs don't rub against the body, you should be ok.
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No, Brad... the "claw" bracket does not need to be tightened all the way to the body. It should be adjusted to where it allows for the proper spring tension. If you've got it so that the bridge is relatively flat when the guitar is strung and tuned, then you should be in good shape. Factory set-up (for a Strat) would have the rear of the trem 3/32" off the body, but it's primarily a matter of preference... some people like it to sit all the way to the body so it makes a "hard stop" when it returns.

 

Here's what's bugging me about this story... Did somebody replace the nut, but NOT restring the guitar? If so, how do they know they got the slot depths correct?

Scott

(just another cantankerous bastard)

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Originally posted by frozen:

I just had the nut changed on my 6 string electric. I changed it to a bone nut from plastic.

 

Hmm...An actual bone nut?

 

When I tuned it, then went back through checking tuning, everything was off. E was C, A was F# etc.. I went through and tuned again.

 

Sounds like you changed gauges from what you had on there before, OR the shop for some reason restrung it with a different guage and proceeded to set it up for them. OR they changed the height adjustment on your bridge posts.

 

Same thing it was out again. Then I noticed the bridge bent all forward point to the nut,

 

Heavier strings than what was on it...

 

it seems to hold tuning. Does anybody know if that bracket is suppose to be screwed right to the wall

 

No, but there is no scientific method to it.

 

I think it's probably best to *not* have it barely stuck in there, from a sustain/stability point of view.

 

Welcome to the fun world of setting up floating tremelos....

 

------------------

New and Improved Music Soon: http://www.mp3.com/chipmcdonald

Guitar Lessons in Augusta Georgia: www.chipmcdonald.com

Eccentric blog: https://chipmcdonaldblog.blogspot.com/

 

/ "big ass windbag" - Bruce Swedien

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It wouldn't be a bad idea to go back to the shop and have them set the bridge up with the strings that you want to use. They could check the nut slots and make sure that they cut them right for those strings. It sounds like they might have put lighter strings on and that is why the trem was floating.

 

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Mac Bowne

G-Clef Acoustics Ltd.

Osaka, Japan

My Music: www.javamusic.com/freedomland

Mac Bowne

G-Clef Acoustics Ltd.

Osaka, Japan

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Thanks everyone, I actually called the guy who put the nut in. He's a guitar manufacturer that I deal with. I changed the strings to a medium set with a .052, .042, .030, .020, .013, .011.. He said the bridge was set for a .046 weight. So I bought another trem spring. I don't know that much about guitars, so I adjusted the plate a little closer to the fretboard, I told the owner this and he said to put another spring on will accomodate the heavier strings and leave the plate alone. I like the new string weight. I play rock / hard rock, is this a good weight to use or is this personal preference...?

 

Brad

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Hey Brad... now that you've changed the string guage, you are going to need to get the guitar set-up again. They will need to set the intonation and action, and may need to adjust the pickup heights. They will probably also need to open up the slots in the nut, since they were filed for 9's.

 

11's, huh? Don't do a lot of bending, do you?! http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/smile.gif

 

This message has been edited by Scott from MA on 08-24-2001 at 09:50 PM

Scott

(just another cantankerous bastard)

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Do what Scott said! LOL

 

I don't really know of any actual sites that show how to set up a guitar, but there are some good books available. Here are a few I recommend:

 

The Guitar Player Repair Guide by Dan Erlewine

Electric Guitar Setups by Hideo Kamimoto

The Complete Guide To Guitar And Amp Maintenance by Ritchie Fliegler

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Originally posted by frozen:

I changed the strings to a medium set with a .052, .042, .030, .020, .013, .011..

 

Ahhhhh....

 

 

BTW, that's preference...

 

------------------

New and Improved Music Soon: http://www.mp3.com/chipmcdonald

Guitar Lessons in Augusta Georgia: www.chipmcdonald.com

Eccentric blog: https://chipmcdonaldblog.blogspot.com/

 

/ "big ass windbag" - Bruce Swedien

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Originally posted by Lisa:

The Guitar Player Repair Guide by Dan Erlewine

Electric Guitar Setups by Hideo Kamimoto

The Complete Guide To Guitar And Amp Maintenance by Ritchie Fliegler

 

Great books! I especially recommend The Guitar Player Repair Guide. If you own a guitar, you should have this book (in fact, ANYTHING by Dan is recommended). Other good ones are DIY Guitar Repair (P. Fillet) and Complete Guitar Repair (H. Kamimoto).

 

Brad... if you want to take a crack at setting up your own action and intonation, I say go for it! I believe that every guitarist should learn how to set up their own guitar.

 

Before you do any of that, however, you will still need to get the nut filed for the heavier strings, and THAT you'll need a pro to do, because it takes the right tools and knowledge. If you use the heavier-guage strings without having the nut filed, you will most likely run into tuning problems.

Scott

(just another cantankerous bastard)

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Thanks Scott, I want to set up and do repairs on my guitars. I don't want to be always wondering why something is not right. I'm going to get one of those repair books and do it. I set up the intonnation last night, but I couldn't set the low E. I was using a digital tuner and I have every other string almost bang on. Didn't want to mess with it too much until I have a better understanding of this stuff. I checked the neck; it looks straight on the high strings and a slight dip on the low string end. Is that possible or is it just inexperience? I've read there are some guitars with double truss rods. Lisa, I did find a sight to do intonnation, but that was about it. I will try to get a book today, I have to finish some designs off for work first. It sucks working on weekends....

 

Brad

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Originally posted by frozen:

I checked the neck; it looks straight on the high strings and a slight dip on the low string end. Is that possible or is it just inexperience? I've read there are some guitars with double truss rods.

 

The neck could be twisting slightly... more likely, though, that the relief is just not as obvious on the high side.

 

Double-expanding truss rods don't work the way you are thinking. It's actually a single rod that is made up of two pieces. When tightened, it excerts force upward (toward the fingerboard) in the middle of the neck, and downward at the ends. A normal truss rod only excerts upward, and pulls the ends in. I think Warmoth has a good explanation of this on their site. www.warmoth.com

Scott

(just another cantankerous bastard)

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Ahhhh... we were just discussing this in another thread ( www.musicplayer.com/ubb/Forum19/HTML/000744.html ). If the slots are too tight (they should be a few thousandths wider than the string guage), your strings will "pinch" in them. As you tune up the string, it takes more force to pull the string through. When you get up to pitch, there is still extra force on the tuner side of the nut... so when you start playing, and the string vibrates, it will pull further through and you string will be sharp. Now, naturally, you will tune the string down some... but the same thing happens in reverse. So, you end up constantly retuning!

 

Whenever someone bring me a guitar and says it "won't stay in tune", the first thing I check is the slot widths at the nut. It's SO important that the string path not meet extra resistance. Besides having the proper slot widths, I suggest keeping the nut (and string-trees if you have them) greased so that the string slides freely.

 

Another thing... when strings are pinched at the nut, your tone is heavily effected, and the sustain is reduced. A bad saddle, with a groove worn in it, will have similar effects. The string needs to be able to vibrate slightly at both ends.

Scott

(just another cantankerous bastard)

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Great advice Scott. The only comment I would add is to be sure you're happy with the higher guage strings before you have someone file the nut... It's obvious it's a one-way modification. If you do this and later go back to "thinner" strings, your nut slots may now be too wide.

 

Scott, what's your opinion on the concept behind Fender's LSR nut. I find it works great with any string guage, and seems to allow the string to easily slide without graphite or other "slick" materials.

 

guitplayer

I'm still "guitplayer"!

Check out my music if you like...

 

http://www.michaelsaulnier.com

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I will have to ask the guitar guy what he filed the nut to. He was saying to me that the guitar was set to a .046 set. He gave me a trem spring but I found it was too much pullback. So I reset the bracket that holds the springs to the bridge assy. tighter to the wall and that worked well with only the 3 springs. So far I like the heavier strings. So if I have to change it to accomadate them; I will. What type of lubricant are you recommending for the strings in the nut?

 

Brad

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Originally posted by guitplayer:

Scott, what's your opinion on the concept behind Fender's LSR nut.

 

I've only encountered one LSR so far, and only briefly, so I'm not ready to pass judgement on them yet. http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/smile.gif Seemed to work pretty well though. It's a great idea... time will tell if it delivers as promised. You would still need to keep it lubricated, though, or the rollers will begin to bind.

 

Originally posted by frozen:

What type of lubricant are you recommending for the strings in the nut?

 

There's a number of graphite greases available... check to see what they have at your local store. I use a product called "Slide-Ease" that is actually made for trombones. I've found it does a great job, makes less mess, and is cheaper.

Scott

(just another cantankerous bastard)

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Originally posted by frozen:

He was saying to me that the guitar was set to a .046 set.

 

.046 would (most likely, depending on brand) be the low E string in a set of 10's (.010 - .046). That surprises me, since most shops will set up a guitar with 9's (.009 - .042) unless you specify otherwise.

 

BTW - If you didn't know, it is common practice to refer to string sets by the guage of the high E, not the low E. I find it odd that this guitar tech would call it "a .046 set" instead of "10's".

Scott

(just another cantankerous bastard)

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Originally posted by Scott from MA:

.046 would (most likely, depending on brand) be the low E string in a set of 10's (.010 - .046). That surprises me, since most shops will set up a guitar with 9's (.009 - .042) unless you specify otherwise.

 

BTW - If you didn't know, it is common practice to refer to string sets by the guage of the high E, not the low E. I find it odd that this guitar tech would call it "a .046 set" instead of "10's".

 

 

Actually, although people commonly refer to standard .009 - .042 sets and .010 - .046 sets as "9's" and "10's", you should always refer to them in the long form when dealing with a tech, guitar shop, or when ordering strings.

 

Many string manufacturers offer custom gauge sets. This refers to, for example, a .10 gauge set that has heavier gauge low strings, culminating in a .052 low E string. I had some problems when I first started playing electric because I was unaware that there are several different .010 sets available. No wonder the intonation and timbre changed on my guitar! http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

 

Now you know! http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/wink.gif

 

 

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Neil

 

Reality: A few moments of lucidity surrounded by insanity.

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

Soundclick

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The guitar guy I refer to is a guitar maker. He's been making instruments for over 35 years. Went to a instrument crafting school when he was a kid over in Europe. Started with pianos then went into guitars. He probably talks to me in simpler terms because I'm fairly new at guitars. I don't think I've ever heard him say 9's or 10's. But that might be me not remembering. When I told him that I put on a medium set, he said " Oh, that was only setup for a .046 " He didn't say anything about the nut he just put on. I wasn't there when he put the nut on. He didn't have much time that day, so he didn't put on new strings. But, after I did change the strings to the heavier set, he did say he has to teach me some things. http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

 

Brad

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Originally posted by Scott from MA:

BTW - If you didn't know, it is common practice to refer to string sets by the guage of the high E, not the low E. I find it odd that this guitar tech would call it "a .046 set" instead of "10's".

 

He may be trying to differentiate between different brands of strings (which differ in bass string guages, and likewise overall string pull).

 

 

------------------

New and Improved Music Soon: http://www.mp3.com/chipmcdonald

Guitar Lessons in Augusta Georgia: www.chipmcdonald.com

Eccentric blog: https://chipmcdonaldblog.blogspot.com/

 

/ "big ass windbag" - Bruce Swedien

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Originally posted by Lisa:

Electric Guitar Setups by Hideo Kamimoto

 

I have that book. When I was younger, I had it up on a bookshelf next to my bed (my room at the time was basically all bookshelves, looked like a corner in a library...).

 

I had to move it. I would lay in bed, look over, see the binding of that book, and think to myself, over and over (because it was so self-inclusively Japanese...), "Electric Guitar Setups by":

 

"Hideous Komodo Dragon".

 

------------------

New and Improved Music Soon: http://www.mp3.com/chipmcdonald

 

This message has been edited by Chip McDonald on 08-26-2001 at 11:49 PM

Guitar Lessons in Augusta Georgia: www.chipmcdonald.com

Eccentric blog: https://chipmcdonaldblog.blogspot.com/

 

/ "big ass windbag" - Bruce Swedien

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