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 Post subject: Floating the Floyd Rose
PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 7:21 pm 
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Walnut
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Hello folks, so I got a Jackson Soloist with a licensed Floyd Rose in for setup and electronics repair. This guitar came to me with 3 strings on it, missing string clamping blocks, missing locking nut clamps and screws, all the saddles had been switched around etc... absolute nightmare. the owner claims he leant it to a friend and they got it all out of whack...hmmm... so after hunting down and modifiying some parts i was able to start setting this baby up and got to balancing the bridge. Now this is not my first time floating a floyd rose, i'm pretty familiar with the process and have done it succesfully many times, but for some reason i just can't figure this one out. I've got to a point where if i dive on the wammy bar everything stays a few cents flat and if i pull up on the bar everything stays a few cents sharp, what really gets me is that either way you pull on it, it does eventually work its way back into tune after maybe 10-15 seconds of playing, which is great but theres still that unpleasant purgatory of dischord that i'm not happy with. has anybody else experienced this situation? i wanna blame it on the "licensed floyd rose", just because i've only ever worked with originals before, but i know thats just the easy way out. any suggestions? idunno


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 8:12 pm 
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That's a sign of too much friction on the posts or knife-edges bearing on the posts, which causes the bridge not to fully return to it's neutral point.

Try a bit of lubrication on the posts?


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 6:40 am 
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This sometimes happens when the posts get a worn spot or small not h in them wher the blade bears on them. Try turning them a quarter turn to expose fresh surface


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 6:51 am 
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Sounds like damaged knife edges on the plate possibly.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:44 am 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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One of the reasons why many shops charge more to set-up guitars with Floyds is that they basically suck.....

The bearing points, posts and notches benefit from being cleaned up and polished and as mentioned any groves are just not going to cut it....

Many of the licensed copies are made out of the crappiest metal around and it's not unusual for even when they are set-up just perfectly, polished bearing points, balanced perfectly for string tension for them not to return to neutral perfectly all or even most of the time.

Trems in general can be problematic in this respect as you know and IME no one has ever engineered and built a trem that works perfectly all of the time.

In the strat world even though typically not a Floyd.... we often are asked or we ask ourselves about setting the trem flat for the same reasons, returning to perfect pitch is not a given.

With all of this said you do what you can, do all the tricks to make it function as well as it can but at the end of the day if the engineering and materials suck it is what it is.....

The old story about the frog swimming across the river with the scorpion on it's back and then the frog gets stung. It's the nature of a Floyd to not work well and some of the copies are even worse.

The back story, loaning the instrument to someone else is not a story that we hear from folks when they absolutely are thrilled with the guitar..... People loan out stuff that one could say..... they are not loaning their best.... It's likely that this thing always sucked even when new and the best that you can shoot for with crappy materials and engineering that never was ready for prime time is returning the guitar to a state that the owner may not value it any more than they ever did.....

Sorry to be negative but I'm concerned that you may be stressing over something that has a long history of not being worth stressing over....:)

Lastly IME part of being a successful Luthier, and this is not directed at you my friend, is knowing when to not let people "deposit...." crap in our shops..... It does not have to be our problem unless, of course, we want it to be. Many shops won't work on certain instruments for exactly this reason. I'm not advocating not working on Floyds but I am advocating not letting it stress you out because the thing was never right and likely never will be.



These users thanked the author Hesh for the post: Clinchriver (Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:34 am)
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:04 pm 
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Thank you everybody, very helpful stuff. i'm gonna try a very little bit of light machine oil on the posts, see what that does, but theres no way i'm breaking this thing back down to inspect the knife edges and posts. i actually did speak to the customer about it and he did say that the thing never really worked that great, he also says he hardly ever uses the whammy and mostly just plays in the lower register, so i'm not gonna waste much more time on it, plus i need to get paid! And thank you, Hesh, no offense taken, i love and invite professional criticism, and i will heed your advice and put more thought to the work i take on before i commit. I certainly don't want the unecessary stress in my life. Love this forum, thanks for all the help folks!



These users thanked the author HappyAccidents for the post: Hesh (Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:06 pm)
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 4:21 pm 
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Quote:
and he did say that the thing never really worked that great


Back in the 80's, Eddie Van Halen was asked about the Floyd Rose.
His response was, "I like it, and I don't".

Even back then the truth about the Floyd was known well by the guy who made the POS famous.

Suggestion: Have you mentioned blocking the trem solid to the client? This will take care of "the problem".

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These users thanked the author Chris Pile for the post: Hesh (Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:06 pm)
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:31 am 
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Walnut
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Chris Pile wrote:
Quote:
and he did say that the thing never really worked that great


Back in the 80's, Eddie Van Halen was asked about the Floyd Rose.
His response was, "I like it, and I don't".

Even back then the truth about the Floyd was known well by the guy who made the POS famous.

Suggestion: Have you mentioned blocking the trem solid to the client? This will take care of "the problem".



I actually hinted at that by telling him that i've blocked my strats in the past with much success but he didnt seem to bite. The guy is a carpenter so i figure if he wants to fabricate some blocking to do it himself than he is more than qualified. I'm personally done with this job, i need to get my bench clear for the next nightma...i mean, repair.

So what is it that people like about floyd roses anyhow? besides the fact that they're jet black and look like a piece of steampunk jewelry. it seems like they took the concept of the fender trem and just made it less adjustable, no saddle height adjustment screws, more difficult string length adjustment. i'm personally not a whammy bar man, so i block all mine and now i've taken to building everything hardtail. I do enjoy a good neck/body bend though, like using your picking hand and pressing against the bass horn while pushing your neck forward and giving the guitar a good hard shake while your doing this. makes for a good stinger, the guitar probably doesnt like it too much though.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 4:53 pm 
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HappyAccidents wrote:
Chris Pile wrote:
Quote:
and he did say that the thing never really worked that great


Back in the 80's, Eddie Van Halen was asked about the Floyd Rose.
His response was, "I like it, and I don't".

Even back then the truth about the Floyd was known well by the guy who made the POS famous.

Suggestion: Have you mentioned blocking the trem solid to the client? This will take care of "the problem".



I actually hinted at that by telling him that i've blocked my strats in the past with much success but he didnt seem to bite. The guy is a carpenter so i figure if he wants to fabricate some blocking to do it himself than he is more than qualified. I'm personally done with this job, i need to get my bench clear for the next nightma...i mean, repair.

So what is it that people like about floyd roses anyhow? besides the fact that they're jet black and look like a piece of steampunk jewelry. it seems like they took the concept of the fender trem and just made it less adjustable, no saddle height adjustment screws, more difficult string length adjustment. i'm personally not a whammy bar man, so i block all mine and now i've taken to building everything hardtail. I do enjoy a good neck/body bend though, like using your picking hand and pressing against the bass horn while pushing your neck forward and giving the guitar a good hard shake while your doing this. makes for a good stinger, the guitar probably doesnt like it too much though.


Not that bad, I've had guitars with Floyd Rose (My install) and various licensed versions for longer than I like to think about :mrgreen: I've never had any trouble once I did the initial setup. Matching the radius of the saddles to the fingerboard really helps.


Last edited by Clinchriver on Fri Apr 14, 2017 5:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 4:41 am 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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We have not even begun to discuss what a nightmare the locking nut is too.....

What makes it a nightmare is it's all compromises. We can't individually set the nut slot height of each individual string and instead have to set the two extremes, the e's and accept what that does for the rest of the strings. AND..... that's not that easy to do.

I have to turn off my dust collector since I will be making sparks.... and get a cup of water to cool the thing when I use the belt sander to take the nut bottom down. Trial and error and a special tool that Dave made that measures individual nut slot depth and back and forth to the tool room. Sand the stupid thing, dunk it in water before it burns my hand, trial fit, repeat. If I go too low out comes the shims, etc.

To compound matters most Floyd equipped guitars have jumbo frets making nut slot height even more critical because if the strings are too high notes will go sharp when fretted..

[headinwall] gaah :D It's enough to turn me into a b*njo player....... [uncle] :D

AND if that is not bad enough will someone consider molding in directional arrows into the three locking caps because folks never seem to remember what direction these things go either.

Honestly I enjoy a floyd equipped, well-set-up guitar when I'm through but they are so very difficult in ALL respects... Even setting intonation the strings are in the way of the screws that we have to loosen and then string tension slides the saddles forward as soon as the screws are loosened. :?

Come to think of it when I get in the shop today I am going to change our price sheet from a $10 premium to work in these POS's to a $20 premium..... Now I feel better. ;)


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:20 am 
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Of course, Floyd Rose was a real guitarist who wanted to emulate Hendrix.
But he OBVIOUSLY had no engineering or practical knowledge of how to make that happen, and had someone else make the one he used.

When I finally saw a real Floyd, I remarked to the sales rep, "This is just the prototype, right? The real one comes out later?" When his eyes widened, I added "Because this looks like a POS!" (remember, the first ones didn't even have fine tuners).

Compare to Gary Kahler - owner of a huge machine shop who also played guitar. He actually had some brains and the means to make his vision complete.

Upon seeing my first Kahler, all I could utter was, "Finally! The real deal". Since my tech training was tool & die making, Gary and I got along famously at NAMM shows. We spoke each other's language.

They are completely different critters - no doubt. But as far as development (in concept and execution) - the Floyd is a Model A and the Kahler is a Cobra.

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