Just got my brand new JEM7VWM and already..

For discussion of Ibanez, other guitars, and general guitar topics.
Arnaoutov
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Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2005 10:20 am

have a couple of concerns.

I've always had a bad history with Floyd-equiped guitars so maybe its just me and my lack of knowledge..

The thing is brand-spanking new from the factory.

I tuned it up (it wasn't locked) and doing so put on more tension than it was originally in so the floyd is now just past parallel downwards (whammy bar closer to wood).

Now the reason I shelled out 3k$(CAN) for this guitar is so I won't have to worry about it going out of tune all the time like my lower-end Ibanez RG. However, after playing around with the bar (a few dive-bombs and whatnot) the guitar is completely out of tune and I have to pull the bar back upwards EVERYTIME to get it to the right pitch again (how annoying is that)? (also, the strings ARE stretched, AND the nut is LOCKED)

Is this just something I have to get used to or is it just set-up wrong? I'm just suposing that I have to add tension to the springs since the action got higher when I tuned it up after getting it as well... not enough counter-tension? Is it at all possible to go through at least one song and not have the guitar de-tuned afterwards? Please?
Vaimaster
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The tuning/pitch return on all of my Jems is perfect. Now despite the fact that you dished out a ton of cash, problematic guitars have been known to fly through the Ibanez line inspection with flying colors. Whether, or not, you have used a floyd rose system before the first and foremost problem that most people run into is that the strings haven't been stretched correctly. Unlock the nut on your guitar, so that the strings can slide through the nut, and tug lightly but firmly on each string until it goes out of tune, then retune and repeat. Be careful on that high E string because it will break. NOW your strings are stretched, dive bombs just and pulling the floyd backwards into the lion's claw won't do that.
Now, the reason in answer to your other question; Why is the bar going backwards, closer to the wood...? Is because, now that the strings have stretched, they aren't putting enough counter tension on the floyd. Remember, that the system floats, with an ideally perfect balance in tension between the springs and the strings. If this balance is thrown out, the trem won't float perfectly.
Screw off (yes I know what you are thinking) the cavity cover on the back of your guitar. Be careful, the gold plated screws are know to be a tad more slippery than standard screws. Now, you can see two screws in the wood, closest to the neck of the guitar, a baseplate, and then three springs that are attached to the underside of the trem. This is the other side of the trem system that gives it it's balance.
If the back of the tremlo is leaning backwards, into the lion's claw cavity, then there is too much tension. The pull of the springs is greater than that of the strings, the balance is thrown out. If the tem is leaning forward (as if you were doing a dive bomb, but maybe not that much) then there isn't enough tension to counteract the tension that the strings are putting on the Edge Pro II trem. Depending on what is going on here, whether it is leaning forward or backwards, you will need to adjust it.
In your case, as what I am interperiting from your post, the trem is leaning backwards, closer to the end opposite of the headstock. This means, like I said before, there is too much tension pulling on the headstock. Using a phillip's screw driver, relieve some of this tension EVENLY. You don't want to back off on the tension unevenly. Back this off a little bit, and then retune. This will bring out the trem's true character. If you don't retune, then you will be, essentially, guessing how much more you need to back those screws out. Do this as many times as needed.
Of course, the game is more often played the other way around, where the trem is leaning towards the pickups. This means, you can probably guess, that there isn't enough tension being inflicted upon the tremlo, from the strings. You will have to, you guessed it, increase this tension by screwing the screws in the cavity into the body. Do this in the manner that I listed above, by retuning. The strings will sharpen as they are pulled tighter and tighter. Remember to retune.
Another commonly known problem is the way that people tune their floyd systems. Remember, with a Gibson Hardtail style trem, the strings individual tension doesn't effect the others. With your floyd system, if one string goes sharp, what happens to the other? The system is pulled forward, closer to the headstock, by that one string. Then the other strings all go flat because their tension is relieved.
MAKE SURE YOU COMPREHEND WHAT I TOLD YOU ABOVE, THIS IS KEY IN UNDERSTANDING WHAT I AM ABOUT TO TELL YOU!
I like to call this common problem overtuning. What happens to most people, is that they really have no experience in tuning a floyd. They start with the low E, and tune it to pitch, and then tune the A to pitch. But remember, what just happened to the E string when you tightened the A. It went flat, because it's tension was relieved. Then you, unknowingly tune the D string to pitch, and what happened? The A went flat, as it's tension was relieved, and the low E went even flatter. Do you get what is happening.
Now that you know what you are potentially doing wrong, I will tell you how to fix it. I like to tune my jem using a method that I call, countertuning. Now I will tell you what I would do to tune the guitar, the right way, and see what hapens differently.
I go to tune the low E, knowing what can go wrong as I listed above, I will tune the E sharp. This sharpness compensates for the drop in pitch that the string will experience as the others are brought to tune. Sometimes, I will tune it pretty sharp, to maybe E#. Then I will tune the A string, now when the E goes flat, it will not drop below pitch when the A is tuned. I will do the same with the A, but as you move along down the strings E,A,D,G,B,E, they begin to experince less of a pitch drop as you move down, because they are tuned last. So, I wouldn't tune the high E that much above pitch, and in fact I might just go to perfect pitch. But, the idea is that you tune above pitch to compensate for the pitch drop that will come when the other strings are tuned. Make sure that you overtune less and less as you gradually reach the high E string, because the closer to the high E the less pitch drop it will experience.
Now, you are probably close to tune. Chances are that the low E will still be flat, but not anywhere near as flat as it would have been had you not overtuned. Do this again, but don't overtune as much, just a little bit this time, and repeat until you are in perfect tune. Most floyd owners settle with "close" to perfect tuning because they think it is a pain in the ass. I have been dong this for six years, and by no means it is still a pain in my ass.
Once you lock down your nut, you will need to fine tune. You will be very close to perfect tune, but not there all the way yet. With the fine tuners, you really don't have to worry about countertuning because the adjsutments are so minute, that it has hardly any affect on the other strings.
And finally, don't expect to be able to get it right the first time. Your jem is a very nice guitar, and you could experience some minor to intense frusteration, so allow yourself a lot of time and thought in doing this.
Glad that I could help another Vai fan. Note to everybody: this document was just to large to proofread, so I know there are probably some spelling errors, so don't laugh. I don't care enough about the spelling, it is the content that matters.
Good luch with your Jem, it should play magically for years to come and further inspire you on your pathway to guitar greatness. I also reccomend checking out the tech section of www.ibanezrules.com These links don't work, so actually go there, and then click on the tech section. Rich knows his stuff, no doubt. Kudos! :lol:
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miker
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Arnaoutov wrote:I've always had a bad history with Floyd-equiped guitars so maybe its just me and my lack of knowledge...
That is most like it... no offense intended.

There is a chance that you trem is messed up... but that is prolly the least likely cause of your problem.

Check items 1 through 4 here:

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

Hope it helps you become more familiar in dealing with floating trems. Good luck.
Real_Confusions
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Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2005 10:47 am

Vaimaster wrote:The tuning/pitch return on all of my Jems is perfect. Now despite the fact that you dished out a ton of cash, problematic guitars have been known to fly through the Ibanez line inspection with flying colors. Whether, or not, you have used a floyd rose system before the first and foremost problem that most people run into is that the strings haven't been stretched correctly. Unlock the nut on your guitar, so that the strings can slide through the nut, and tug lightly but firmly on each string until it goes out of tune, then retune and repeat. Be careful on that high E string because it will break. NOW your strings are stretched, dive bombs just and pulling the floyd backwards into the lion's claw won't do that.
Now, the reason in answer to your other question; Why is the bar going backwards, closer to the wood...? Is because, now that the strings have stretched, they aren't putting enough counter tension on the floyd. Remember, that the system floats, with an ideally perfect balance in tension between the springs and the strings. If this balance is thrown out, the trem won't float perfectly.
Screw off (yes I know what you are thinking) the cavity cover on the back of your guitar. Be careful, the gold plated screws are know to be a tad more slippery than standard screws. Now, you can see two screws in the wood, closest to the neck of the guitar, a baseplate, and then three springs that are attached to the underside of the trem. This is the other side of the trem system that gives it it's balance.
If the back of the tremlo is leaning backwards, into the lion's claw cavity, then there is too much tension. The pull of the springs is greater than that of the strings, the balance is thrown out. If the tem is leaning forward (as if you were doing a dive bomb, but maybe not that much) then there isn't enough tension to counteract the tension that the strings are putting on the Edge Pro II trem. Depending on what is going on here, whether it is leaning forward or backwards, you will need to adjust it.
In your case, as what I am interperiting from your post, the trem is leaning backwards, closer to the end opposite of the headstock. This means, like I said before, there is too much tension pulling on the headstock. Using a phillip's screw driver, relieve some of this tension EVENLY. You don't want to back off on the tension unevenly. Back this off a little bit, and then retune. This will bring out the trem's true character. If you don't retune, then you will be, essentially, guessing how much more you need to back those screws out. Do this as many times as needed.
Of course, the game is more often played the other way around, where the trem is leaning towards the pickups. This means, you can probably guess, that there isn't enough tension being inflicted upon the tremlo, from the strings. You will have to, you guessed it, increase this tension by screwing the screws in the cavity into the body. Do this in the manner that I listed above, by retuning. The strings will sharpen as they are pulled tighter and tighter. Remember to retune.
Another commonly known problem is the way that people tune their floyd systems. Remember, with a Gibson Hardtail style trem, the strings individual tension doesn't effect the others. With your floyd system, if one string goes sharp, what happens to the other? The system is pulled forward, closer to the headstock, by that one string. Then the other strings all go flat because their tension is relieved.
MAKE SURE YOU COMPREHEND WHAT I TOLD YOU ABOVE, THIS IS KEY IN UNDERSTANDING WHAT I AM ABOUT TO TELL YOU!
I like to call this common problem overtuning. What happens to most people, is that they really have no experience in tuning a floyd. They start with the low E, and tune it to pitch, and then tune the A to pitch. But remember, what just happened to the E string when you tightened the A. It went flat, because it's tension was relieved. Then you, unknowingly tune the D string to pitch, and what happened? The A went flat, as it's tension was relieved, and the low E went even flatter. Do you get what is happening.
Now that you know what you are potentially doing wrong, I will tell you how to fix it. I like to tune my jem using a method that I call, countertuning. Now I will tell you what I would do to tune the guitar, the right way, and see what hapens differently.
I go to tune the low E, knowing what can go wrong as I listed above, I will tune the E sharp. This sharpness compensates for the drop in pitch that the string will experience as the others are brought to tune. Sometimes, I will tune it pretty sharp, to maybe E#. Then I will tune the A string, now when the E goes flat, it will not drop below pitch when the A is tuned. I will do the same with the A, but as you move along down the strings E,A,D,G,B,E, they begin to experince less of a pitch drop as you move down, because they are tuned last. So, I wouldn't tune the high E that much above pitch, and in fact I might just go to perfect pitch. But, the idea is that you tune above pitch to compensate for the pitch drop that will come when the other strings are tuned. Make sure that you overtune less and less as you gradually reach the high E string, because the closer to the high E the less pitch drop it will experience.
Now, you are probably close to tune. Chances are that the low E will still be flat, but not anywhere near as flat as it would have been had you not overtuned. Do this again, but don't overtune as much, just a little bit this time, and repeat until you are in perfect tune. Most floyd owners settle with "close" to perfect tuning because they think it is a pain in the ass. I have been dong this for six years, and by no means it is still a pain in my ass.
Once you lock down your nut, you will need to fine tune. You will be very close to perfect tune, but not there all the way yet. With the fine tuners, you really don't have to worry about countertuning because the adjsutments are so minute, that it has hardly any affect on the other strings.
And finally, don't expect to be able to get it right the first time. Your jem is a very nice guitar, and you could experience some minor to intense frusteration, so allow yourself a lot of time and thought in doing this.
Glad that I could help another Vai fan. Note to everybody: this document was just to large to proofread, so I know there are probably some spelling errors, so don't laugh. I don't care enough about the spelling, it is the content that matters.
Good luch with your Jem, it should play magically for years to come and further inspire you on your pathway to guitar greatness. I also reccomend checking out the tech section of www.ibanezrules.com These links don't work, so actually go there, and then click on the tech section. Rich knows his stuff, no doubt. Kudos! :lol:
Where were you when I needed you? :P
changer
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Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 5:53 am

Here's a wee tip for ya:

After you've sorted the tension issue, and got your knife edges all nice and level.

Before removing old strings for a string change, block the trem with a piece of foam slipped into the lions claw, a plastic bottle cap ( I find that a ribena bottle cap is perfect size), and a strip of folded card on top of the bottle cap. This is to hold the trem block at exactly the same angle while you remove the strings.

Restring and tune as you would a fixed bridge guitar, stretch the strings, tune again, and remove your home made trem block. tune again and do a couple of full dives & pull ups to get the knife edges properly seated. tune again and lock the nut.

You should be pretty much there for a string change.
It takes quite a lot of the one goes sharp the rest go flat out of the process.


Remember if you change the string guage, or tuning type on the guitar you will need to set up the trem again as the tension will be all over the place.

Another wee tip, check the tightness of the nut screws going through the neck. In my Jem7v these were a bit slack from the factory, tighten them if you can do so without adding any kind of pressure to the screws.
DONT over tighten them or you might damage the neck.

Hope that helps.

Just to re-assure you, I can do all sorts of trem madness and it always returns to perfect pitch.
Rahab
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Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2005 4:23 pm

More reassurance! Both of my edgepro equipped guitars stay in perfect tune. I'd recommend taking it to a tech and shelling out the 50 bucks to get it set up.

I'm usually pretty good about doing that kind of stuff, but when I got my Jem for some reason I had the same problem.. and 3 hours worth of messing with it accomplished nothing but pissing me off.

Left it with a local tech for a few hours and it came back perfect!
Derek
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Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2003 12:22 pm

There's another method of tuning that I read about recently (here or jemsite, or an Eric Johnson article... I'm not sure) that I've found works quite well, and is worth trying, I've found it helpful in dealing with the floating trem issue of tuning.

Basically, tune outside inwards to compensate the left and right side of the trem. Tune the Low E, then the High E, tune the A then the B, the D, then the G. It still takes several re-tunings to get them all balanced (each time you have to tweak it a little less) but it saves me time compared to tuning across the strings where you have to re-tune at least 5 times to get everything balanced.

I think I'll try to Overtuning method described above and see how that works also.... Thanks to Vaimaster for the idea!
jemvan
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i dont know im fairly new to the floyd rose tremelo, owning my first one on a jem i got a year ago. Anyway ive never had that much trouble because i had a strat to start out my floating trem days and i set that strat up so its parrallel to the body but not touching it just floating about an 1/8 of an inch up so i could pull off some van halen stuff i was listening to. Anyway what seems to work for me when tuning any floating trem is to just tune the guitar by feel, for instance start tightening up the low E string until you feel pretty good tension on it then just keep going up and never try to tune the high E or even B string until the other strings have are at least half a step away from tuned of course i protect the guitar by stuffing the claw cavity with some paper towels or cloth. The one time i did have a problem with a high E string was when i cut it too short. And the next time is when i restrung the instrument to find out that the elixir nanoweb .010's have much more tension than my previous strings when tuned. For now i just tune the guitar half a step down until i feel i have to put on a fourth spring since the two adjustment screws in the back of the guitar are all the way up.



Anyway you guys put some really great posts up and thanks for it
Arnaoutov
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Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2005 10:20 am

I'm REALLY frustrated now! I tried all of the above and I still have the same problem. Mind you, I DO NOT have problems TUNING the instrument. The problem is once it is TUNED and LOCKED, it does not STAY in tune.

I added tension to the springs and that didn't fix anything. When I dive bomb, and release the bar, all the strings go flat, when I pull it and release, all the strings go sharp. It really "feels" to me like my 400$ POS Ibanez trem, and I KNOW that it shouldn't.
Arnaoutov
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UPDATE: Now that I added tension, when I do dive-bombs only the strings stay in tune.

Now, if I PULL on the bar, and return it back to normal, all the strings STAY sharp. Is as if pulling on the bar gives them a new "setpoint" to return to, you can actually hear a little "crack/click" thing going on JUST LIKE with my old trem.
Derek
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This is sounding like a hardware issue or a serious setup problem. try these?
http://www.ibanezrules.com/tech/setup/t ... bility.htm
http://www.jemsite.com/tech/3other.htm#tremtune
fyrie
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Yes, read and follow the ibanezrules and jemsite guides. Also, be sure to try the chapstick trick on ibanezrules. I'm not kidding - my guitar would probably go out of tune on pullups by about 10% (and back into tune on divebombs). After applying the chapstick it's about 99% in tune after pulling. Go figure.
fyrie
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Oh, and i might add, the chapstick trick is one of the easiest things to try, so I'd give it a whirl before you remove the trem and all that other fun stuff.
jemvan
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maybe the knife action of the trem needs to be sharpened its new right because you wouldnt have a problem like that after years of use.


Image

this zero resistence system by ibanez gets away from the knife action completely by using roller bearings check it out http://www.jemsite.com/news/edge2003/

But you say its new its just so weird but how sharp or flat do the strings get, i mean if you were to strum a chord after doing a dive bomb or a pull up would you hear it.
ChopVai
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ive just gotten mine brand spanking new bout 3 or so weeks ago.. and have had no problem..

the nut was not locked, and strings were not tuned properly, but, once i stretched them correctly (even did some dive bombs and pull ups whilst stretching), strings stayed in tune... locked the nut, and bang.. the thing hasn't been outta tune for 2 weeks now... pitch returns perfect when doing heavy dive bombs..

im guessing its not the guitar, instead how the guitar is setup.. i could be wrong though...

follow every single line that rich says on ibanezrules (it works)

including the bit...

"...you must learn to deal with the fact it's a pain in the ass. OK? Once you concede this you'll stop pulling your hair out and learn the tricks..."
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