Jump to content

Floyd Doesn't Return To Pitch


Recommended Posts

This is about an Ibanez RG 320 from the son of a friend of mine. He's asked me to look it over because it detunes easily. This guitar has a Lo-TRS III tremolo, which is a pretty standard redesigned Floyd Rose type.

I don't seem to be able to pinpoint the problem, though. The symptom is that it does not return to pitch. If I depress it it comes back flat and if I pull it up it comes back sharp. Strings are not that old.

I think that means it's catching somewhere, it's not slipping because then it would come back flat on pull-ups. The lock nut is good, no slippage there, neither at the string locks on the trem.

I've checked all around the trem, it's not making any contact anywhere. There is some foam at the bottom of the trem routs, front and back, But it doesn't seem to rub there either. I'll try removing the front foam, between the mounting posts, the rear really doesn't touch.

I guess the only thing left is the fulcrum edges. But they look sharper and less burred than any of my own Floyds. I have turned the post a bit to a fresh place to rub against...

Is there anything I might have missed? Does anyone have experience to share?

In case it is the edges, can I just use a file and make them sharper and/or smoother?

I really don't want to tell the guy (high school student) he needs a new trem.

Better to get a new used RG. Less expensive.

Edited by Hollander
Link to post
Share on other sites

If the base plates is hardened steel it is goign to be hard to file them smooth. But I don't think that is the problem. Even though you checked it, I would bet that the strings are slipping somewhere. You can't really tell if the nut or saddle clamps are good by looking at them. When they are really bad you can tell. But if they are just starting to wear, you might not be able to tell yet by eye. Maybe swap the nut pads with ones from a known good set and see what that does, same thing for the saddle clamps. Then move on from there.

Link to post
Share on other sites
If the base plates is hardened steel it is goign to be hard to file them smooth. But I don't think that is the problem. Even though you checked it, I would bet that the strings are slipping somewhere. You can't really tell if the nut or saddle clamps are good by looking at them. When they are really bad you can tell. But if they are just starting to wear, you might not be able to tell yet by eye. Maybe swap the nut pads with ones from a known good set and see what that does, same thing for the saddle clamps. Then move on from there.

Thanks for the reply.

I checked the clamps by turning the tuners a couple of turns intill the strings were loose. The guitar stayed mostly in tune so I guessed that would be good then. Only the D string slipped slightly, I replaced that screw. Haven't tried since. All the strings on the trem side were completely clamped to the bottom of the slot.

I figured the thing with slipping is that if you pull the guitar very sharp, the string would slip even further and it would return to a lower pitch because of that. It doesn't, it returns to a higher pitch. And it's not just one string, it's all the strings. If one string slips the rest gets more tension and returns sharp. I'm pretty sure the problem is in the wiggly bits.

The bridge is just one plate, including the knife edges, they're not inserts. It could be hardened locally of course. I'll recheck them. I'm not really an expert on Ibanez, but I thought their Lo pro trems had a pretty good rep.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Sounds like the locking nut may be loose ...

If it's rear mounted, maybe try tightening the (2) allen screws on the backside of the neck.

Check. They actually did take some turns of fastening, but it still pulls off key...

I really appreciate all your help in this little puzzle.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's caused by the trem not returning to dead center. Filing the knife edges sharp again sometimes helps, as well as a little lube there probably. You could also try replacing the springs. Sometimes my trems get weird like that so I do this. Tune up, do a big dive down and let it return, then tune again. This way if you pull up and it goes sharp all you have to do is push down and let it return and you're pretty much back in tune.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Most of my guitars are floyd equipped and I use them constantly...they always return to pitch.

They are all original floyds..but here are some areas other than the knife edges to check.

Every time you change strings,the same string lock should go back on the same position of the nut...you can't just put them anywhere you wish,because the larger strings will indent after a while into the steel...and if that lock is placed on a smaller set of strings,the string can sometimes slip through the dent.

The "other" string locks that nobody ever thinks about...the ones on the trem itself...the should be CLEAN and free of any oil or graphite in the actual block system...get grime in there,they slip..get oil in there,they slip..GET AN OLD PIECE OF BROKEN STRING IN THERE...they slip

The screws that hold the block against the string must not be stripped...some people tighten them too much and ruin the threads...

But most likely your problem can be solved with a new rear mount floyd nut(...Ibanez RG usually takes an R2...available at stewmac...or at guitarpartsdepot...),a new set of trem fulcrum screws,and a thorough cleaning.

Do that and you should be good for a year or two...depending how much the trem is used.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Use Chapstick.

Take the chapstick and put it on the posts/knife edges of the trem.

Your flat when diving,sharp when pulling is due to the posts binding on the knife edge.

Putting the chapstick in there makes a nice contact between them without being oily.

Give it a shot , it only costs a buck or two.

Let me know how it goes.

PGFH :D

Link to post
Share on other sites
You could also try replacing the springs.

That was my first guess. I say that because you’ve already talked about the fulcrum points being clean. I think you would notice something if that were the issue. If slipping was a problem, the counter tension on the strings would cause some of the strings to go sharp and others to go flat. In other words, all the strings would not detune uniformly.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I put on my dancing shoes and took a file to the fulcrum edges. These edges certainly are not hardened. I polished them a bit with sandpaper for as far as I could reach it. I guess looking alright and performing well are two different things.

It's a whole lot better. Not perfect yet. I'm guessing it's because I can't file as cleanly as Ibanez can. But with some slight adjustments in using it (Giving the trem a tug upward after a dive bomb, can be done silently) it is at least within playable range.

I'm a bit disappointed with Ibanez. They are asking almost the same for this trem as an original Floyd costs.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Well, I put on my dancing shoes and took a file to the fulcrum edges. These edges certainly are not hardened. I polished them a bit with sandpaper for as far as I could reach it. I guess looking alright and performing well are two different things.

It's a whole lot better. Not perfect yet. I'm guessing it's because I can't file as cleanly as Ibanez can. But with some slight adjustments in using it (Giving the trem a tug upward after a dive bomb, can be done silently) it is at least within playable range.

I'm a bit disappointed with Ibanez. They are asking almost the same for this trem as an original Floyd costs.

Hollander have a look at the most comprehensive trem tuning guide you will ever see in your life from Rich Harris -

http://www.ibanezrules.com/tech/setup/index.htm

most of the stuff written is for the better quality Ibanez trems - edge, lo-pro, edge -pro but still applicable for all floyd styles.

Once you have dismissed all loose locking parts the prob is usually bad knife edges & wobbly posts. Read his guides, knife edges should be 'butter knife' sharp & check the shape of the 'v' in the pivot posts that nothing binds. Loose posts in their inserts hurt tuning, on a trs there are not locking, so wrap some ptfe tape on the threads. One of the reasons original floyds held their tuning so well was the pivot screws were just that, screws striaght into the wood - no movement. & as mentioned earlier if everything is almost spot on, chapstick lube gets it the rest of the way.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Well, I put on my dancing shoes and took a file to the fulcrum edges. These edges certainly are not hardened. I polished them a bit with sandpaper for as far as I could reach it. I guess looking alright and performing well are two different things.

It's a whole lot better. Not perfect yet. I'm guessing it's because I can't file as cleanly as Ibanez can. But with some slight adjustments in using it (Giving the trem a tug upward after a dive bomb, can be done silently) it is at least within playable range.

I'm a bit disappointed with Ibanez. They are asking almost the same for this trem as an original Floyd costs.

Hollander have a look at the most comprehensive trem tuning guide you will ever see in your life from Rich Harris -

http://www.ibanezrules.com/tech/setup/index.htm

most of the stuff written is for the better quality Ibanez trems - edge, lo-pro, edge -pro but still applicable for all floyd styles.

Once you have dismissed all loose locking parts the prob is usually bad knife edges & wobbly posts. Read his guides, knife edges should be 'butter knife' sharp & check the shape of the 'v' in the pivot posts that nothing binds. Loose posts in their inserts hurt tuning, on a trs there are not locking, so wrap some ptfe tape on the threads. One of the reasons original floyds held their tuning so well was the pivot screws were just that, screws striaght into the wood - no movement. & as mentioned earlier if everything is almost spot on, chapstick lube gets it the rest of the way.

Fantastic resource! Thank you very much! I had already applied some Vaseline, but I see where that might amass some grime after a while. But that's something the owner could take care of when changing strings himself.

It appears the RG320 has been fitted with several types of tremolo's during its existence. I believe this is a 2006 model. They call the trem an Edge III?

My own Schaller trem has hardened inserts for the edges. Time to check those I think.

Anyway, The RG is returning to pitch quite nicely, so I'll get it back to the owner.

Thanks for all the help!

Edited by Hollander
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...