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Tokai JSX 70 Floyd Rose Will Not Intonate


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I am working on a 1985 Tokai JSX 70 with a Floyd Rose. It will not intonate, in that the bridge saddles are as close to the nut as they can go, yet it is still flat when the fretted at the 12th fret. All the little bridge shoes are pushed as far towards the nut as possible. (To double check, I pushed them as far away from the nut as possible, and it made the problem worse.) There is no excessive wear anywhere on the bridge. The pivot mounting bolts are straight. The nut is in the correct place. The neck is in the correct place, in the sense that the mounting screw holes are not worn, they line up, and the neck is fully seated in the neck pocket and cannot go any further towards the bridge. The bridge plate is level with the surface of the guitar, about 2mm high. This is an old guitar and it is a mystery to me how it could have gone through 37 years like this, but there it is.

It seems to me that the best fix for this is to grind the knife edge slots deeper so that the whole bridge can move closer to the nut, reshape the knife edge, and then fine tune intonate with the little bridge shoes.

Does this make sense, or does anyone have a better idea?

Thanks for reading.

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Are you using fresh strings when checking and adjusting the intonation?

 

2 hours ago, antiquodian said:

There is no excessive wear anywhere on the bridge

Is the bridge original? You've described it as a 'Floyd Rose' but it looks like the original Tokai JSX came with some proprietary thing called an 'Ayers Rocker III' installed?

 

2 hours ago, antiquodian said:

The nut is in the correct place.

How are you determining that? 

Quick check - measure from the leading edge of the nut where the strings leave the headstock to the 12th fret. Specs that I can find for the JSX indicates that it has a scale length of 25.5". Nut to 12th fret should be exactly half that = 12.75". If you then measure from the nut to the bridge you should find that the closest saddle is no less than 25.5".

Intonation compensation is an additive adjustment. Even though the scale length is specified as 25.5" each string length with compensation applied will always be slightly longer. If you're finding that the string length wants to be shorter than 25.5" in order for it to intonate correctly and you've accounted for all the obvious stuff, suspect larger problems with the guitar.

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Bingo curtisa!

I think you've hit the nail on the head. This Floyd Rose bridge is not original. I blew up the picture from the reverb ad you pointed me to and the factory bridge is radically different. In fact you can see that the saddle takeoff points are closer to the nut than in a Floyd Rose.

So I'm gonna deepen the knife edge slots.

Awesome detective work, thanks!

 

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