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Floyd Rose Factory Setup From Scratch...

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hey all,

i own a fernandes revolver pro 7. it's the long discontinued 7 string model with a floyd rose bridge. i definitely want to keep the FR, but the last time i changed stings, i made a HUGE mess of things by makign all sorts of unnecessary adjustments to the bridge. now the action is severely limited - no possibility of major whammy bar wankery, extreme effects etc. also, intonation is shot to hell, and needs immediate attention.

so i'm looking for a tutorial or something that could guide me through setting up an FR bridge from scratch - like for a new build. the reason i''m asking for advice here is that i live in india and don't particularly want to go to the self-professed "luthiers" here. i'd rather do it myself then, there is a serious lack of experience regarding FR bridges, especially 7 string ones.

how much of a difference would the low B make in the setup process?

thannks in advance for any hints and tips!

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Honestly, a low B really does not make much difference in setup other than it adds one string. I don't know of an online tutorial for setup, but this is what I generally do.

1. Eyeball the saddle locations for intonation first, usually high e is close to all the way foreward, low E/B is all the way back, everything else kinda tapers along that general line except the G. If anything, make the saddle a little extra flat, because it's easier to adjust sharp/forward w/ string tension on there.

2. get the springs connected to the bridge block and claw in the pattern you want

3. install the strings and do an approximate tune to pitch. You will do this many times in searching for equilibrium

4. Watch the bridge and how it sits... if it is level as you approach pitch, you're in good shape, if it sits low, back off the screws for the spring claw. If it sits high, tighten the screws or add springs. You will have to check pitch and adjust, many times in the search for equilibrium.

5. Once you reach equilibrium (where you are at correct pitch and the bridge sits level) you can adjust the action with the posts. Check pitch again every time you adjust.

6. Check the intonation. Reduce string tension to make the adjustment and then tune back to pitch. Do this one string at a time.

7. Once you are done, check everything again.

The rule of physics "for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction" was written for floyd's. They are tedious to set up because every adjustment changes something else, but once you reach the equilibrium, they work very well and need little to no extra attention.

When I do setup a floyd, I also make it a point to take the whole thing apart and clean it really well. They attract alot of gunk and oil and grime from your hands and such. I also lubricate everything, a light machine oil will work, but I prefer Militec which is a synthetic lubricant used for weapons. It generally bonds to the metal and you can wipe off the excess so there is enough to lubricate, but not enough to attract grime.

I hope that helps.

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  • 1 month later...

I don't have a lot of experience with Floyd's, but with the one cheap one that I worked on, it seemed like a good idea to let off the string tension before adjusting the action via the posts - turning the posts while under string tension seemed to be mucking up the knife edges. It could just be the poor quality unit I was working with, however.

I have, however, seen this recommended in a couple of Floyd tutorials. Am I incredibly off-base on this, or is this good advice? I can't see it hurting to take this precaution, but I wonder if someone with more experience will chime in and comment if it's truly necessary.

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Blocking the bridge is really key. Put something stiff like an eraser under the adjuster edge of the bridge to hold it in position. Then block the underside so it can't move up (like for a dive). Tighten the springs some.

Add your strings and TUNE. Be sure to stretch them some too or you'll drive yourself to the nut farm trying to figure out what's going on as they stretch themselves. Play it for a bit too, then retune.

Once in tune remove the block under the adjusters. If your springs are putting more pull than the strings are, then underside blocking should fall out too. Now the trem is floating. Use the SPRINGS to adjust back to pitch.

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My brother and I have had many piss-poor experiences with Floyd-style trems, not because of their design, but because of inferior materials. Original Floyd Rose systems are built with higher-strength steel than most of the copies or knock-offs or licensed systems like Ibanez or Jackson or Schecter. Our biggest problems, are the tiny screws that hold the saddles to the bridge baseplate. The screws are almost always higher-grade steel than the metal they thread into. The worst are the cast baseplates. Cast metals are horrible for tapping holes. The stamped platesteel bases are far superior. We've been looking for guitars with good Floyds or stores with replacement Floyds on sale, just to swap out his guitars.

DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN YOUR SADDLE SCREWS. Yes, you need them to lock tight and not move. But cranking the crap outta them will wear out your threaded holes and strip them.

Loctite or Threadlocker. Use the blue medium-strength stuff. Rely on the Loctite to do the holding, not overtorquing the screw.

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  • 2 months later...

thanks to everyone for the tips. i finally got started on it after a whole plethora of travesties (including moving internationally)...

well, one of the first things i did was take the FR apart entirely according to the instructions here:


reason being that it was totally gunked up and a few days of exposure to bombay weather had caused some parts to start rusting.... so the disassembled parts got a couple of days of wallowing in a WD4ß bath, followed by a toothbrush treatment. going to reassemble it tonight, and perhaps string it up so the strings can get some stretching.

it is a licensed trem, but i can't afford or justify a new original FR for a while. i just need to make the best of what i have right now...

there are no good qualified techs in bombay who i could entrust this job to - hence, in the true spirit of DIY...

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