Licensed Floyd Rose never stays in tune

Moonrider

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What am I doing wrong? Do I need to just keep doing steps 1 to 4 and eventually the guitar will hold its tuning? Or is there some other problem?

Floyd Rose style trems are tools that Satan uses to drive innocent, well-intentioned guitar players into raving psychosis.

They're really fun until you need to change strings, then the nightmare starts.
Your first mistake was buying a Floyd Rose equipped guitar. Your second mistake was keeping it. Sell that hellish thing to someone you hate.

👿
 

timobkg

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First, that guitar looks wicked! I'm a little jealous. 😄

Anyway, on to getting the Floyd to behave.

Like others said, stretching the strings is key. Stretch then more than you think you need to.

After you lock the nut, check the tuning and adjust with the micro tuners on the bridge. Locking the nut always knocks the strings out of tune, so if you're not tuning again after locking that could be the issue right there.

You want to do everything, from balancing the tension to tuning, in the playing position. I'm assuming the bridge is floating flat when in tune - if not, adjust the claw tension in the playing position.

If you're still having issues, try using Teflon on the posts. Get a bottle of this lubricant:
Shake it up, turn the bridge posts 180°, use a toothpick to apply the lubricant to the posts, then turn them back to where they were. This will put the lubricant right where the blades sit against the posts.

I love my FR guitar - stays in tune for weeks at a time.
 

jtcnj

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One of the common problems with the licensed Floyds is the metal the base is made from.
The knife edges can be easily damaged, even by adjusting the action height under string tension.

When I adjust the action, change strings or slack the string tension for any reason, I first stick a piece of cut off from a leather belt under the base. Not my idea, found on a forum. It works very well to get back close to tune using the headstock / regular tuners.

My Jackson MIJ Dinky just doesnt stay in tune great. Pretty close, but meh.
So, no it doesnt.

I have a replacement Gotoh 1996 unit waiting probably 2 years now. These are supposed to be much better as far as licensed units goes.
No time and I have to route the back of the trem cavity a little for fitment. Probably finally gonna have at it this Memorial day weekend.

I prefer hardtails, and usually am playing others, but I dig this Jackson. It's my 2nd and current only one with any Floyd.
 

phart

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I have never understood the Floyd Rose bashing on this forum. I have one installed on my Ibanez RD550 and in 30+ years have NEVER had any issues with it, tuning or otherwise. 30+ years and it still stays in tune. Yes, I have to tweak tuning with the fine tuners at times, but that's the typical B string tweak. Did I mention 30+ years?

Absolutely. I once owned a hollowbody Gretsch with a Bigsby and a floating bridge. THAT guitar was such a finicky nightmare I swore I'd never own another guitar with a tremolo that isn't a Floyd Rose.

My Jackson stays in tune for months. I basically tune seasonally when the weather causes things to go out of wack. And for all that I have to invest, what, maybe 10 extra minutes tuning? Easy deal.

And the Floyd unlocks a massive pallet of new sounds - divebombs, harmonic squeals, elephant and horse noises, the "receding European ambulance doppler effect" trick, the Harley-Davidson revving trick, and many more! Why even play guitar if you can't do [email protected]$$ whammy bar nonsense?
 

Thorne

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I have never understood the Floyd Rose bashing on this forum. I have one installed on my Ibanez RD550 and in 30+ years have NEVER had any issues with it, tuning or otherwise. 30+ years and it still stays in tune. Yes, I have to tweak tuning with the fine tuners at times, but that's the typical B string tweak. Did I mention 30+ years?
It’s not just this forum, it’s across the internet and I just don’t get it. Floyd’s are not hard to set up and tune if you take the time to learn how to do it properly. I own a dozen or more FR equipped guitars and never experience any problems. The only tremolo system I like more is the Kahler. Shame they’re absurdly overpriced.
 

timobkg

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I have never understood the Floyd Rose bashing on this forum. I have one installed on my Ibanez RD550 and in 30+ years have NEVER had any issues with it, tuning or otherwise. 30+ years and it still stays in tune. Yes, I have to tweak tuning with the fine tuners at times, but that's the typical B string tweak. Did I mention 30+ years?

Absolutely. I once owned a hollowbody Gretsch with a Bigsby and a floating bridge. THAT guitar was such a finicky nightmare I swore I'd never own another guitar with a tremolo that isn't a Floyd Rose.

My Jackson stays in tune for months. I basically tune seasonally when the weather causes things to go out of wack. And for all that I have to invest, what, maybe 10 extra minutes tuning? Easy deal.

And the Floyd unlocks a massive pallet of new sounds - divebombs, harmonic squeals, elephant and horse noises, the "receding European ambulance doppler effect" trick, the Harley-Davidson revving trick, and many more! Why even play guitar if you can't do [email protected]$$ whammy bar nonsense?

Exactly! Sure, a Floyd Rose is a pain to set up the first time you do it (the first time I did it, I thought that maybe I had made a huge mistake buying an FR guitar), and it may take a few extra minutes to tune after that, but you only have to tune it every few weeks, if not months. Those extra few minutes more than pay for themselves in not having to tune it every day - or after every song for some guitars.

And on top of the tuning stability, you have so many more sonic options. It doesn't even have to be something as extreme as divebombs or squeals or engine revving. I can't remember which guitarist it was (Orianthi maybe?), but she was doing beautiful, melodic stuff with a Floyd Rose, making notes sing much like a vocal singer would.
 

timobkg

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It’s not just this forum, it’s across the internet and I just don’t get it. Floyd’s are not hard to set up and tune if you take the time to learn how to do it properly. I own a dozen or more FR equipped guitars and never experience any problems. The only tremolo system I like more is the Kahler. Shame they’re absurdly overpriced.
The first time I set up a Floyd Rose (balancing the bridge and everything), not knowing what I was doing, it took me 20 minutes and I was thinking that maybe I had made a horrible mistake buying an FR equipped guitar. Then the second time was much easier and only took 10 minutes.

And once it's set up, it's in tune - I only need to use the micro adjusters every few weeks. Changing strings takes a few minutes longer, but then it's so refreshing being able to just pick up a guitar and play knowing it's in tune rather than having to check the tuning every time.

Just keep a non-FR guitar on hand for alternate tunings. ;)
 

Alamo

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I have a guitar with a "licensed by Floyd Rose" on it that I've never been able to get to work. Typically my attempts go like this:

1. Unlock the locking nut
2. Tune all the strings so they're all in tune. This takes a while, since the floating bridge means that tuning one string will knock others out, but eventually it converges on the right pitches
3. Lock the locking nut, firmly but not too tight
4. Dive bomb the bar one or two times, which totally knocks the guitar out of tune.
5. Repeat steps 1 to 4
6. Get pissed off, say "the Fender synchronized tremolo is way better, and I don't even know why I want to use a Floyd anyway", and put the guitar back in its case for 2 or 3 years.

What am I doing wrong? Do I need to just keep doing steps 1 to 4 and eventually the guitar will hold its tuning? Or is there some other problem?
Once you've stretched and dive bombed your strings enough, keep the locking nut locked at all times.
fine adjustments only at the fine tuners.
I cringe and facepalm when my co-guitarist keeps tuning his Godin super strat between every song . locking nut is always open.
I gave up giving advice. he ain't listening nor comprehending. :rolleyes:

"licensed by Floyd Rose"
buy more lice! maybe there are not enough lice by Floyd Rose ;)
 

telemaster03

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There is a reason why Licensed floyd roses are cheap (poor quality) and why the originals are so expensive it is like night and day
I was thinking this as well. I had an original Floyd on a Kramer back in the day that was solid as a rock. Every Floyd version since (including a Floyd Special) has given me grief. Just purchased a 1985 Kramer Focus 3000 with an original Floyd and it's solid as a rock as well.
 

Audiowonderland

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The low pro on my 94 S540 is not staying in tune.. not sure but it goes flat
 

Alex_C

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Many good answers here. The less expensive FR systems do suffer from inferior metal. The knife edge of the fulcrum degrades quickly, a year or three and it becomes an issue. Never adjust bridge height under string tension.
A properly setup floating bridge will stay in tune, even the cheaper models. I've found that the bridge plate must be parallel with the body when tuned up to pitch. Often the springs on the cheaper system will cause headaches. A package of Fender springs is a worthwhile investment. Thoroughly stretch the strings before locking the nut. Make sure the fine tuners are in the middle of their travel before locking the nut.
I have one guitar with a locking system (Super-V system with a FR locking nut). It works great, until I break a string. That is what I dislike about double locking systems. String changes take much longer.
 

highwaycat

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The low pro on my 94 S540 is not staying in tune.. not sure but it goes flat
When it goes flat tighten the spring claw until it goes back in tune.
My previous post shows how.
I just setup a licensed floyd for a band, A# standard, stays in tune perfectly.

For tuning a floyd I start with the Low E, then tune the a, then d, then g then b then high e THEN i repeat this, low E to high e.
I do the opposite on a vintage style strat. High e to low E repeating until all tuner. You don’t need a strobe tuner for a strat but floyds are sensitive enough you should use one.
 

Audiowonderland

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When it goes flat tighten the spring claw until it goes back in tune.
My previous post shows how.
I just setup a licensed floyd for a band, A# standard, stays in tune perfectly.

For tuning a floyd I start with the Low E, then tune the a, then d, then g then b then high e THEN i repeat this, low E to high e.
I do the opposite on a vintage style strat. High e to low E repeating until all tuner. You don’t need a strobe tuner for a strat but floyds are sensitive enough you should use one.
This doesn't fix the issue though. It was in tune as it was. Why did it not return. To zero point? Nor do they all return to correct pitch. It used to stay in tune now it doesn't. Something has changed
 

itstooloudMike

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The best results I’ve had with “Licensed” Floyd’s, is by blocking them for down-only use. They seem to always return to pitch after dive-bombing. I don’t really ever pull up on the trem anyway, so it does what I need. But if you leave it in-blocked to go both up or down, it will never fall back to correct pitch. It’s the nature of the cheaper materials.
 

highwaycat

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This doesn't fix the issue though. It was in tune as it was. Why did it not return. To zero point? Nor do they all return to correct pitch. It used to stay in tune now it doesn't. Something has changed
Say the bridge is floating parallel to the body. If you make small spring claw adjustments, like 1/4 a turn, it’ll still basically be parallel with the body, it takes small adjustments, sometimes even smaller than a quarter of a turn to fine tune the tuning.
 

Alex_C

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This doesn't fix the issue though. It was in tune as it was. Why did it not return. To zero point? Nor do they all return to correct pitch. It used to stay in tune now it doesn't. Something has changed
One of two things, the springs are shot or the 'knife edge' on the bridge has deformed. The less expensive metal is known to deform over time. If the bridge height is adjusted with strings under tension, it'll damage the knife edge. A FR Special replacement bridge plate is like $40. It'll probably be equal or better than a licensed copy.
 




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