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Discussion Starter #1
I started building a super strat about 2 months ago. The floyd rose on it has been doing nothing but giving me issues.
Are people getting consistent tuning stability out of their Floyds? Should I start a new project (hard tail) or buy a new better Floyd unit? My trem is a Floyd Rose Special from amazon.ca
Thanks
 

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A properly set up floyd stays in tune fine. Whether you keep it is up to you.
 
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ALL vibrato systems rely on the cooperation between bridge, nut, tuners, and tremolo unit itself. What happens at the headstock is every bit as important as what happens at the other end of the string.
 

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There is a method to setting one up. Follow the method and it should float and be flawless. Do you have a wedge to help setup? Normally you use a wedge to put the trem where it belongs, add the springs and strings. Keep the wedge in place until the guitar is in tune. Remove the wedge. Watch some YouTube videos....
 

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I should elaborate, I suppose.
Two things can happen when one uses a tremolo system. One is that the string is "overtensioned" or tension is reduced, thereby changing the pitch. The other is that strings whose tension is altered can change their position; wound strings in particular, since the windings can catch on the nut. In the case of Bigsby-types, the traditional recommendation is to use roller bridges, since the saddles are stationary and the strings are pulled back and forth. The risk is that wound strings, and even unwound, can catch on the top of the saddle. Rolling saddles are intended to avoid that. Locking tuners are also used to attempt to compensate for what tremolo systems might do to string movement when tensioned or untensioned.

In addition to bridge saddles that "forgive" changes to string tension, people will use nuts made of different self-lubricating material, or apply things like "Nut Sauce" to saddle grooves to provide lubrication and prevent strings catching. That is often associated with strong encouragement to use "well-cut" nuts. Seemingly contrary, but really part of the same overall don't-let-them-move-the-wrong-way strategy, are locking nuts, the idea being that if the string is locked down at the nut then it can't move and catch on anything. Fixing the string at both ends, by effectively screwing it into place would seem to make tremolo purely a function of tension alone, and factor out any string movement. Personally, I find locking nuts a bit of a nuisance, no matter how much the physics would suggest otherwise. One still can fine-tune strings at the bridge with the adjustment screws, but I'm more inclined to tuning keys myself. That's a matter of personal preference, rather than any sort of "physics-dictates-you-must"argument.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yes I am using a locking nut.
My issues are most likely from my unfamiliarity with with the system. At first I didn't have the string centered in the the saddles, then it wasn't deep enough. I may have the saddle insert block in the saddle incorrectly (the hole in the block may be facing the wrong way).
If this is just me needing to learn how to use a locking tremolo then thats ok. But every time I look around something new is wrong and I'm wondering if I made a mistake.
 

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Yes I am using a locking nut.
My issues are most likely from my unfamiliarity with with the system. At first I didn't have the string centered in the the saddles, then it wasn't deep enough. I may have the saddle insert block in the saddle incorrectly (the hole in the block may be facing the wrong way).
If this is just me needing to learn how to use a locking tremolo then thats ok. But every time I look around something new is wrong and I'm wondering if I made a mistake.
Hmm. Yeah, strange stuff going on. Are you close to any friendly guitar techs?
 

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Take a few pictures of it and put it up here. There's some pretty sharp eyes here that'll point out if something is wrong... not mine though.
 

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A properly set up floyd stays in tune fine. Whether you keep it is up to you.

I agree, but saying a Floyd stays in tune fine is like calling Gretzky a decent hockey player, as in, the understatement of the century.

Once you have a basic understanding of how the bridge works and the forces at play, I would say that short of a self tuning system, I have not seen a bridge in production by ANYone that holds a tune better than a properly set up Floyd Rose.

There are elements of the system that some people don't like (interaction of pitch and tension from one string to another, mis-informed impression that string changes are a huge task, et cetera), but tuning should not be one of those.
 
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