trouble tuning up floyd rose guitar

usablefiber

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My new FR fitted evh guitar is great but can’t get the darn thing in tune. it has the locking tuning nut and drop d tuner thing. whenever i tune it up then lock it down with the tuning nut it doesn’t stay, like screwing down the allen wrench lock on the nut readjusts it or something.

I had it set up by my tech and it was working great and in tune and all but once the strings wore on and got out of tune i can’t figure out how to do it. Also can’t figure out how to tune the low E i think you tune it to D then push in the trigger to bring it to E but can’t get it tuned right. Also the intonation seems off on the high E even though it was fine when got it back from the shop.


Any tips on how to get it right again?
 

George Dickens

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My new FR fitted evh guitar is great but can’t get the darn thing in tune. it has the locking tuning nut and drop d tuner thing. whenever i tune it up then lock it down with the tuning nut it doesn’t stay, like screwing down the allen wrench lock on the nut readjusts it or something.

I had it set up by my tech and it was working great and in tune and all but once the strings wore on and got out of tune i can’t figure out how to do it. Also can’t figure out how to tune the low E i think you tune it to D then push in the trigger to bring it to E but can’t get it tuned right. Also the intonation seems off on the high E even though it was fine when got it back from the shop.


Any tips on how to get it right again?
Sounds maybe like youre over tightening the nut, It doesnt need a lot to hold it firm.
Get it tuned best you can then use the fine tuning adjustments on the bridge. Asfor the high e you may have damaged the string in the ove-tightening, try swapping it out.
Its like anything it can take practice. Be patient, go slow, perfection is not vital. You must tune it to the way you finger.
I'm ham fisted, so I like my frets as low as possible to avoid such tuning troubles. I play like a cave man. ha ha.
If youve got large frets practice the lightest touch you can.
Easier if you use larger strings at first and work your way down. If light and fast is your goal.
 

WellBurnTheSky

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The way an OFR works, the bridge is balanced between the tension of the strings and the tension in the springs. So anything affecting that balance (usually, strings wear) will mess with the ability of the trem to return to its center point.
Note that a D-Tuna does exactly that, which is why you can't use one on a fully floating trem and expect it to return to its center point. The D-Tuna was designed for a trem that is setup for dive-only (as that's how EVH used his), no to fully float.
So, if you want to use your D-Tuna, you either need to block your trem from going up in tune (EVH used a coin screwed into the body of the guitar on the Frankenstrat, but there's lots of aftermarket options out there, I use the Göldö "black box" on my Classic FR Strat), or at least use some device that sets up a "zero" point, such as the Tremsetter or the Tremol-No. Note that either way, you lose the ability to do flutters and similar tricks, as you trem isn't fully floating anymore, but that's a necessary compromise.

Also, use fresh strings as much as possible. And when re-tuning, do tuning passes with the nut un-clamped until the trem balances, the tighten the nut and adjust with the fine tuners (which are better set at a middle point up until then, except for the low E, which has to be almost completely out if you want to use the D-Tuna).

Hope that helps...
 
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pedecamp

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My new FR fitted evh guitar is great but can’t get the darn thing in tune. it has the locking tuning nut and drop d tuner thing. whenever i tune it up then lock it down with the tuning nut it doesn’t stay, like screwing down the allen wrench lock on the nut readjusts it or something.

I had it set up by my tech and it was working great and in tune and all but once the strings wore on and got out of tune i can’t figure out how to do it. Also can’t figure out how to tune the low E i think you tune it to D then push in the trigger to bring it to E but can’t get it tuned right. Also the intonation seems off on the high E even though it was fine when got it back from the shop.


Any tips on how to get it right again?
This is really easy, stretch your new strings good and plenty before locking the nut, also set your fine tuners on the bridge in the middle, tune up the guitar and lock the nut, then fine tune with the tuners on the bridge. Your strings will be in tune FOREVER! One last thing, make sure new strings are cranked down good and tight in the bridge and nut to prevent slippage.

Do you have a floating bridge or is it set flat? Floating bridge adds another level of complication so I set mine flat, tighten down the trem springs a bunch to set the floyd flat, might even need to add an extra spring.
 
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George Dickens

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My new FR fitted evh guitar is great but can’t get the darn thing in tune. it has the locking tuning nut and drop d tuner thing. whenever i tune it up then lock it down with the tuning nut it doesn’t stay, like screwing down the allen wrench lock on the nut readjusts it or something.

I had it set up by my tech and it was working great and in tune and all but once the strings wore on and got out of tune i can’t figure out how to do it. Also can’t figure out how to tune the low E i think you tune it to D then push in the trigger to bring it to E but can’t get it tuned right. Also the intonation seems off on the high E even though it was fine when got it back from the shop.


Any tips on how to get it right again?

Just tune it up like a regular strat with out even using the locks.
It should play and stay in tune like a regular guitar; at least for awhile, even with wild to mild whammy action.

Tune the g string first and work your way through d,b,a,e',E. Do this several times depressing the bar to the top after each. Initially its easier if you block the tem with a small block. I use an small pencil eraser. The guitar should play and stay in tune.
Using a nut driver tighten down the locks with fingers very lightly, A vit more than it takes to wind a watch. just a little.
Or just take them off.
Repeated tuning is good for the ear, and when its locked down you may break a string. You can also just leave them finger tight but still able to tune.
That should do it depending on how much you play.
Some folks swap out tuners for locking ones and dispense with the nut, but many just dont use the nut at all.
 

Biff Maloy

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It's been years since I've had a Floyd but every advice thought that came back has been covered above.

Like mentioned, definitely insure the fine tuners are in the middle so you have plenty of adjustment once you lock down the nut. Also, locking the nut is going to change string tension slightly.

Another thing i did was if your guitar is excessively flat tuning up and you have a ways to get up to pitch i went a bit sharp on the first few strings just to take up the slack. If I didn't bu the time i got to the last string the first ones are going to be flat. It's a "feel" thing that gets more intuitive the more you do it.
 

matttornado

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The trick for me with Floyds is to 1. deck the bridge so it can only dive bomb and 2. make sure there is enough tension on the springs so that when you tune, the bridge doesn't tilt forward. I always adjust the fine tuners to around the middle of adjustment range first, then tune, tighten the locking nut, then re-tune with fine tuners. Done. Floating trems are tricky. Plus with a decked bridge, if a string breaks, the guitar still is in tune.

I am not familiar withe the drop D-Tuna thing so I don't know anything about that.
 

Crikey

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This why i dont have a Fr guitar
 

pedecamp

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Drop D-Tuna looks interesting I might get one just for the heck of it to fool around with, I dont really play my floyd guitar any more this might get me to bring it out a little more. :yesway:
 

crossroadsnyc

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There's a really funny meme floating about where a guy pulls his car up to a hooker and offers her money to change the strings on his FR equipped guitar :lol:

As has been said, there's a learning curve you're just going to have to get through ... but yeah, assuming the guitar is set up properly (I assume it is having been to a tech and it playing well prior to changing the strings), just tune it up as best you can, lock it up, and then use the fine tuners to get it spot on (make sure you set them in the middle to start out as mentioned above).

Not sure if this would help, but I tend to work from the outside in ... meaning, I'll tune the high E, then tune the low E, then I tune the B, then the A, then the G, and finally the D (using standard tuning as an example). I do the outside-in thing on the locking nut as well ... first I tighten the top, then the bottom, and then finish it off w/the one in the middle. Oh, and don't over tighten ... just make them nice and snug (same thing with the screws on the back ... if those are loose, you'll encounter problems, so make sure they are nice and snug as well). I do this on all of my guitars, but it seems to especially help keeping things in balance w/a FR. If I were to tune the guitar in order (EADGBE), by the time I get to the lower strings, the higher strings are going to be all out of whack.

Good luck!
 

junk notes

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Drop D-Tuna looks interesting I might get one just for the heck of it to fool around with, I dont really play my floyd guitar any more this might get me to bring it out a little more. :yesway:
A nice little extra feature, but works fine with anchored whammy's!
 

mrjones2004x

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As it’s an Evh it probably sits flat so everyone’s covered you here with good descriptions.

But if it’s floating the trick I use it to tighten the back claw screws quite tight then push down trem arm, wedge something between trem and body like a pencil or a bunch of picks so that it sits level. Tune it up so it goes to pitch and lock up then fine tune. Then after slowly unscrew the rear screws till the bridge stays level and in tune and you can remove the wedges. Tweak again and done. Can easily settle it like this in a floating position.
 

StrummerJoe

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Go back to your tech and ask him to show you how he tunes it. It won't take long and he/she would most likely walk you through it at no charge. Call first so they are aware you are coming and can arrange a time convenient for both of you.

You have already gotten some good advice here but sometimes learning visually is better for some. I know it is for me.
 

Matthews Guitars

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On my FR equipped Charvette, I start by tuning above standard pitch until I've got all six strings tuned to concert pitch or above. Then I start stretching and bending the strings out repeatedly until they basically stop stretching.

It doesn't take very long if you tune high and then adjust down to pitch. Tuning to pitch, stretching the strings, and then retuning back to pitch takes FOREVER.
 

Eric'45

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Since this summer I own a Floyd Rose Guitar, and while it felt quite odd at first, I have become accustomed to it.

I just set the fine tuners roughly into the middle position, tune up with the Headstock Tuners, then I lock the Nut down. I stretch my Strings, a bit around the whole length, and a few times more where my Plek hits them, they are all flat after this procedure. Most of the time I have to unlock the Nut once and retune with the Machine Heads then, but after that, I can work with the fine tuners.
I just start with the Low E and go down the Strings. If I arrive at the high E, the lower Strings will be out of tune again. After 2 or 3 times, that becomes less and less, and when my high E is in perfect pitch and the low E is still, too, I'm done.
I just have to readjust after extreme changes in Humidity.
 

anitoli

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Floyds are easy to restring. A little mind work is required to set up a fucked up Floyd but its all intuitive. A floating Floyd HAS to be balanced. Once you achieve that it's easy.
 

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