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String Changing & Tremolo Issue: Jtv69


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#1 LarryLion

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 05:21 AM

Every time I  change strings on my JTV-69, the entire tremolo assembly pops out, causing me to open up the back panel, re-insert the spring/s that has/have managed to work free, before continuing with the re-stringing.  I think it is the tremolo spring design, but it could also be the design of 2-pin anchor for the trem assembly on the top of the guitar.  Once the spring pops off, it takes a lot of manhandling to get the whole system in place again.I admit that I did install heat-shrink material on my springs (to control ghost notes through the sensors), but the heatshrink is not tight, and is not inhibiting the springs in any way.

 

I've owned lots of strats with similar trem setups, and never experienced this problem. Anyone else experienced this?  Any fixes out there I can try?

 

Many thanks, Larry


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Larry d'Lion

 

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Plus lots of Tele's, Gretsches,

Mesa Boogie amps, Fender Blues Jr.,

... and lots of acoustic stuff


#2 thorneven

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 05:42 AM

I own a 59 (no trem) so can't help with specifics, but if you did something with the trem assembly (installed heat sinks), are you sure you put it back together correctly?  I don't know how many parts there are, but maybe whatever holds it all in place was put back in an incorrect order?


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#3 moondancer

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 06:29 AM

I own an 69 since November 2012. I never had problems with ghost notes. Sometimes when I change my strings the trem slips out of the notch of the 2 screws, but it is easy to put it back in place. Maybe when shrink the heat-shrink hoses you heat the spring to much. The steel of the spring can lose his tension in case of to much heat.

What I don't understand: What do you mean, that the whole assembly pops out?

When I remove my string the trem will be be pulled in direction of the neck by the string. The pull is hard enough on my jtv, that the trem cannot fall apart.

You should provide some pictures to see what happend.


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Stay tuned brothers

Regards Edgar


#4 LarryLion

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 06:32 AM

It was properly re-assembled.  The sleeves over the springs (shrink wraps) do not impede the springs in any way, and Line 6 actually used to install them on early versions of the JTV-69, anyway.  I think the springs themselves might be worn, that's why I posted this - to see if anyone else had experienced the problem, and maybe recommended after-market (more durable) springs, etc.

 

Larry


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Larry d'Lion

 

2012 Line 6 JTV-69

Plus lots of Tele's, Gretsches,

Mesa Boogie amps, Fender Blues Jr.,

... and lots of acoustic stuff


#5 LarryLion

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 06:38 AM

I own an 69 since November 2012. I never had problems with ghost notes. Sometimes when I change my strings the trem slips out of the notch of the 2 screws, but it is easy to put it back in place. Maybe when shrink the heat-shrink hoses you heat the spring to much. The steel of the spring can lose his tension in case of to much heat.

What I don't understand: What do you mean, that the whole assembly pops out?

When I remove my string the trem will be be pulled in direction of the neck by the string. The pull is hard enough on my jtv, that the trem cannot fall apart.

You should provide some pictures to see what happend.

Moondancer

 

When your trem pops out, do the springs come adrift too?  And no, I did not overheat the springs - when I applied the heatshrink material, I was careful to use a heat gun, only on the plastic, did not touch the metal.  How do I know that?  I was holding the spring in my hand at the time, and I do not have any burns, promise!

 

It's the popping out of the trem assembly that I meant by "the whole assembly".

 

I've owned my JTV69 since May, 2012, by the way, and the dampening of the springs helped a lot with ghost notes, especially in the acoustic models and Rickenbacker 12-string electrics.  Spring dampening plus raising the action a little fixed that.

 

Thanks

 

Larry


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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Larry d'Lion

 

2012 Line 6 JTV-69

Plus lots of Tele's, Gretsches,

Mesa Boogie amps, Fender Blues Jr.,

... and lots of acoustic stuff


#6 davidb7170

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 07:02 AM

I got my 69S in October 2012, and have the same experience as Larry. I read a couple of posts before the meltdown of the spammers hitting the prior forum, but really not many complaints about this issue.

 

My 69S is my 2nd JTV -- got my 59 in May 2011, and have not had any issues with string changing like I've read recently on this forum... I did not install any extra stuff on the trem spring arrangement, but did change my pickups to DiMarzio noiseless. I usually dress and oil the rosewood fingerboard on the 59 and now the 69S when changing strings, and have all the strings off. When I did this the 1st time with the 69S, and took off the last string, the whole tremblock assembly was pulled away from the 2 posts and popped back to the body. It did it with a lot of force, and I was afraid it damaged the gold finish, but luckily it didn't. My '78 Strat has the standard Fender tremblock with 6-screws on the front of the assembly that hold everything in place, so this was new behaviour fo me, and it startled me.

 

You need about three hands to get the trem into position, put the string in the locking tuner, and get the string to lock into the slot at the bridge, wind it up enough to hold. I don't let go of the bridge until I have 2 strings (high & low E's) on with enough tension to hold the bridge. I use the trem arm to have enought leverage to hold until the 2 strings will hold it in place.

 

Now, I avoid removing all strings at once, I leave the outside high & low E strings on when doing a re-string -- the fretboard oiling works "ok" with this arrangement, but any dressing will need all strings off, so I put it off as long as possible, due to the hassle. I am not really a tremolo user -- more of a hand vibrato guy, and never used mine on the strat either. I put all 5 springs on my strat and back the trem to the body - improves sustain. Wish I could lock down the 69S's trem, but I tightened the spring claw and took it down to rest on the body, but I know it wil disengage from the pins the next time I take all strings off at once.

 

The tension of the springs has enough force to tip the bridge backards and up to pull away from the top flange of the pins and pop back on the guitar top. I took out all trem springs, and the bridge just flops around in the cavity -- it would need the springs to hold it in place, if it wouldn't disengage from the pins. If the 2 pins had somewhat larger caps on them, they would most likely be able to prevent the bridge from popping away... I notice the pins can be adjusted up & down (screwed in & out), but have not messed with that as I am unfamiliar with any bad effects this could give me...

 

I have an "acceptable" work-around, but don't particularly like it. I love my 69S (especially with noiseless PU's), and this is more of an annoyance, but would like to see if anyone has a solution that I'm missing. I am surprised this doesn't come up more, as it is quite a startling POP when it happens the first time -- so you want to avoid it.

 

Dave


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#7 LarryLion

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 07:48 AM

Dave

 

Aha!  So someone else has experienced this ... and yes, the POP can be startling.  I thought I'd broken the darned thing when it happened the first time.  It ALWAYS happens when I change strings, and because I have acidic sweat, I usually trash a set of strings after a few hours using the Variax.  Probably why I don't use that guitar a lot, although pure nickel strings and "Ax Wipes" do help prolong string life for me.

 

Just for the record, one time the bridge popped, and I lost one of the little hex adjustment screws from one of the digital bridge pickups.  I heard it, rather than saw it, but gave up trying to find something that small.  This is a design flaw in the JTV-69, in my opinion.  That, the "ghost notes" issue, the lack of noiseless mags, and the battery drain problems are things that Line 6 is hopefully addressing for future versions.

 

Aside from not changing all strings at the same time, which I like to do for the same reason that you do (oiling the fretboard), maybe someone has come up with some way to help the claws to keep the strem assembly in place - that's the kind of know-how I'm looking for.

 

I'm curious about the noiseless pickups - did you have to modify the guitar at all to get the noiseless pups in place? 

 

Larry

I got my 69S in October 2012, and have the same experience as Larry. I read a couple of posts before the meltdown of the spammers hitting the prior forum, but really not many complaints about this issue.

 

My 69S is my 2nd JTV -- got my 59 in May 2011, and have not had any issues with string changing like I've read recently on this forum... I did not install any extra stuff on the trem spring arrangement, but did change my pickups to DiMarzio noiseless. I usually dress and oil the rosewood fingerboard on the 59 and now the 69S when changing strings, and have all the strings off. When I did this the 1st time with the 69S, and took off the last string, the whole tremblock assembly was pulled away from the 2 posts and popped back to the body. It did it with a lot of force, and I was afraid it damaged the gold finish, but luckily it didn't. My '78 Strat has the standard Fender tremblock with 6-screws on the front of the assembly that hold everything in place, so this was new behaviour fo me, and it startled me.

 

You need about three hands to get the trem into position, put the string in the locking tuner, and get the string to lock into the slot at the bridge, wind it up enough to hold. I don't let go of the bridge until I have 2 strings (high & low E's) on with enough tension to hold the bridge. I use the trem arm to have enought leverage to hold until the 2 strings will hold it in place.

 

Now, I avoid removing all strings at once, I leave the outside high & low E strings on when doing a re-string -- the fretboard oiling works "ok" with this arrangement, but any dressing will need all strings off, so I put it off as long as possible, due to the hassle. I am not really a tremolo user -- more of a hand vibrato guy, and never used mine on the strat either. I put all 5 springs on my strat and back the trem to the body - improves sustain. Wish I could lock down the 69S's trem, but I tightened the spring claw and took it down to rest on the body, but I know it wil disengage from the pins the next time I take all strings off at once.

 

The tension of the springs has enough force to tip the bridge backards and up to pull away from the top flange of the pins and pop back on the guitar top. I took out all trem springs, and the bridge just flops around in the cavity -- it would need the springs to hold it in place, if it wouldn't disengage from the pins. If the 2 pins had somewhat larger caps on them, they would most likely be able to prevent the bridge from popping away... I notice the pins can be adjusted up & down (screwed in & out), but have not messed with that as I am unfamiliar with any bad effects this could give me...

 

I have an "acceptable" work-around, but don't particularly like it. I love my 69S (especially with noiseless PU's), and this is more of an annoyance, but would like to see if anyone has a solution that I'm missing. I am surprised this doesn't come up more, as it is quite a startling POP when it happens the first time -- so you want to avoid it.

 

Dave


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Larry d'Lion

 

2012 Line 6 JTV-69

Plus lots of Tele's, Gretsches,

Mesa Boogie amps, Fender Blues Jr.,

... and lots of acoustic stuff


#8 davidb7170

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 09:41 AM

No, I didn't have any particular problems physically getting them in -- while they are a bit taller than pure single coils, not hugely so, and have plenty enough room in the 69S body cavity or a strat body. They were a set of 3 from DiMarzio - the Paul Gilbert Injector '67 Pickup Set.  I replaced 'em one by one to get the wiring right. Quiet as a church. At some point will do my strat with the same style.

 

The wiring harness under the face plate is kind of short, so it makes a tight quarters while you do it, if you don't want to disconnect everything, which is how I approached it -- just wanted in and out without disurbing anything else

 

I didn't have any issues with the original 69S pickup sounds, except for the hum. I use the mags in my 59 & 69S the lion's share of the time, and mostly use the models for special tunings and acoustics or banjo's etc. I use them with my HD500. The 59 & 69S both sound really good with their mag pickups.

 

Dave


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#9 LarryLion

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 10:55 AM

Dave

 

I almost pulled the trigger last year on a set of Kinman pups from Australia, but wanted to wait until my warranty was over, which is now the case.  I think I'm going to spring for a set of Kinmans for my HSS JTV-69, after all, even if they do cost a little more, but provided that Chris Kinman can tell me if they will fit a JTV-69 without body mods or cutting. If anyone reading this is interested, check out the Kinmans (http://www.kinman.com/index.php) and listen to the sound clips. Noiseless alnico's, amazing technology.  Probably overkill, but if I'm going to keep the JTV, may has well have decent mag tone, I figure.

 

I'll try a a few things to see if I can cure the string change problem (trem popping) and post here.

 

Cheers!


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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Larry d'Lion

 

2012 Line 6 JTV-69

Plus lots of Tele's, Gretsches,

Mesa Boogie amps, Fender Blues Jr.,

... and lots of acoustic stuff


#10 davidb7170

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 02:33 PM

Larry --

I'll be interested in what you come up with. The thing that surprises me the most is the relative lack of comments on this. If it's a common issue, I would expect more posts on it in the forums. I'm hoping that it is a simple adjustment some how, like raising or lowering the pins that the bridge holds against. I haven't messed with that, as I was used to the classic Strat style with the 6 screws holding the bridge. I see the 2 point tremolo block arrangement on other strat-type guitars in catalogs, but this was the first time I had any contact with it, so didn't know if I'd screw up another adjustment.

 

Also, I think the 69 style of the JTV are probably more numerous in people's hands than the 59's and 89's. I love my 59 and it was my first one -- the style I got focused on initially. I was not thrilled with HSS strats, so the initial 69's were less attractive to me... I saw the 69S's come out last fall with the SSS arrangement, and fits more into my comfort zone, and I thought the Shoreline Gold was gorgeous and they had a $200 price drop for a couple of months to promote the Dream Rig, so I jumped and got one.

 

I have been a Fender player for around 40 years, now, but the 69S made me realize how spoiled I had gotten by humbuckers in the last few years... That's what made me pull the trigger on the DiMarzio hum-cancelling PU's. I know there are many other brands with that, now, but those are just the ones I went with.

 

Please post if you find the magic bullet for the popping problem.

 

Dave


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#11 moondancer

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 11:17 PM

When your trem pops out, do the springs come adrift too? 

 

Hi Dave,

no, my springs won't get lose in any way. Maybe you should increase the tension of the springs by tightening the two screws at the spring holder.


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Stay tuned brothers

Regards Edgar


#12 Rewolf48

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 03:58 AM

Maybe this is just one of those things that is just common sense to some and a mysterious trick of the trade to others....

 

With a floating trem when changing more than one string I simply shove a bit of cardboard or two between the back of the trem plate and the body to hold it as close as possible to the normal floating position. One or two Beer Mats are perfect for this. 

 

The trem springs then compress the cardboard rather than tension the strings and it all stays in place unless you really try to move it.  The other benefit and a main reason for doing this is so that there is relatively little slack on each string to be taken up by the locking tuners - for maximum tuning stability the string when fully tensioned should not go around the post more than about 3/4 of a turn.  


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#13 davidb7170

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 07:25 PM

Thanks Rewolf48 --

 

I tried that early on, but was trying to take of all 6 strings for fret board oiling and dressing, and it did not work -- it just shot the cardboard out from between the back of the bridge and the guitar top. I can take off all but the outside 2 strings and it has enough forward tension to keep the bridge in place against the pins. I can then oil the fret board, put on the inner 4 strings, and they have enough tension to retain the bridge in position while I replace the outer 2 strings.

 

I have tightened the spring claw to keep the tremolo block & bridge against the top of the guitar in normal use, as I am not a tremolo user - I do this on my strat as well - gives better sustain.... I also tried to shim it with cardboard from underneath, with the spring cover off to change the strings, and that also did not work. When the strings are not pulling the bridge against the 2 posts, the whole assembly wants to tip up and back. I would understand the bridge going against the guitar body, but the upward force slips the bridge of the top of the posts... I'm wondering if I unscrewed the posts a couple of turns -- made them taller, if the taller position wouldn't stop the bridge from slipping past the post tops... Or if the posts had a more pronounced "cap" on them if it would retain the bridge in that circumstance better... That would take a redesign of the posts -- doubt that's going to happen if it's not a statistically large problem.

 

My springs did not come undone when they popped the bridge, as moondancer was asking about. When I was trying to figure out what was going on, I tried taking the springs off and the whole bridge assembly was just flopping around, not physically connected to the guitar.

 

I'm still surprised this doesn't come up more often in the discussions here, unless it actually doesn't happen much. If that's the case, I'm missing something -- some adjustment, or something obvious, like you said. 

 

I've been playing guitars with and without tremolo's for over 40 years, and never ran into this one before. I'm not a big user of the tremolo, but have had them in different versions (except for Floyd Rose types). Usually they are no big problem to deal with. When I change strings, I have always taken 'em all off at once -- the only exception was with floating bridges, such as found on semi-hollow arch-tops. I had a '67 Gretsch Country Gentleman about 25 years ago that I had to be careful with -- had a Bigsby and a floating bridge. Also arch-tops or acoustics with trapeze tailpieces and floating bridges have the same issues. I usually steer away from buying that type of guitar with floating bridges and go for fixed bridges if possible.

 

Thanks for your ideas on this. I'm open to suggestions. Sometimes it just stares you in the face, and can't see it...

 

Dave


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#14 Rewolf48

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 04:27 AM

Hi Dave,

 

I really don't think it comes up that much - at least it has never happened to me using the cardboard to support the trem in the floating position.

 

And I suspect that is the key to this - my trem and that of most other JTV69 users will be in or close to the original floating position, but you have "tightened the spring claw to keep the tremolo block & bridge against the top of the guitar in normal use, as I am not a tremolo user".

 

So you have the trem in the fully pulled up position all the time, and in this position it must be firmly touching the body wood in one of two places - either the tail end of the plate is against the top of the guitar or the inside of the block is touching the body wood next to the spring cavity.  It is just possible that it is both evenly, but in practice it is probably one or the other.

 

Against the top body the position is stable when the strings are removed (relatively), but the edge of the trem plate where it makes contact with the posts is at an angle that is right at the extreme of where it is intended to be (not at 90 deg), and it is probably close to slipping.

 

Against the inside body position is not stable.  The springs are pulling the bottom of the block towards the neck and the lever point is inside the body meaning that the trem plate is being pulled away from the posts when the strings are taken off, and because the angle is already outside of the intended position it will pull off every time.

 

The problem is that the "tighten the springs" method of disabling the trem is fine for the old strat trem where the screws go through the front edge of the trem plate, but it doesn't really work for the floating against posts trem design as found on the JTV unless you lower the posts so that the plate is completely flat to the body, and you can't generally do that because it lowers the action - probably to the point where the strings are flat on the neck.  This might be adjusted for by changing the neck relief by putting some card between the neck and body, but that is just taking things further and further from the intended set-up.

 

What I think you should do is to use the "block" method to disable the trem - that is find some wood that will fill in the gap between the body and trem block on both sides so that is is wedged in the correct position with the trem plate parallel to the body.  Something like this: http://www.strat-tal...html#post148969


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#15 davidb7170

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 08:43 AM

Thanks, Rewolf48 --

 

Quick note -- I didn't resort to tightening the springs so the assembly was down on the guitar top until after I had the bridge popping issue, and messed with it to try and figure out what was going on, so I don't believe the tightened springs are the root cause in this case. Your thoughts are good though, and I appreciate them. Makes me look deeper at the physics of what's going on, here. Why it's problematic for some & not for others, unless a design has changed, the most likely culprit is an adjustment.... Nothing looks defective. The only thing I haven't messed with is the post height, at this point....

 

Thanks,

Dave


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#16 stevekc

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 08:52 AM

My JTV-69 Tremolo Setup thread explores all the details
http://line6.com/support/thread/73637

On guitars like these with floating tremolos, It's handy to keep a few wooden Popsicle sticks nearby, place a stack of 3 or 4 Popsicle sticks under the rear edge of the JTV-69 Tremolo to prop it up and hold it in the same relative position during string changes.
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#17 spmartin

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 08:54 AM

Every time I  change strings on my JTV-69, the entire tremolo assembly pops out, causing me to open up the back panel, re-insert the spring/s that has/have managed to work free, before continuing with the re-stringing.  I think it is the tremolo spring design, but it could also be the design of 2-pin anchor for the trem assembly on the top of the guitar.  Once the spring pops off, it takes a lot of manhandling to get the whole system in place again.I admit that I did install heat-shrink material on my springs (to control ghost notes through the sensors), but the heatshrink is not tight, and is not inhibiting the springs in any way.

 

I've owned lots of strats with similar trem setups, and never experienced this problem. Anyone else experienced this?  Any fixes out there I can try?

 

Many thanks, Larry

Larry, 

I just got my JTV-69s a few days ago. I too had the problem with the tremolo unit "popping out" when I changed the strings. Very weierd - and difficult for one person to re-assemble. But, I did and it works fine. My question for you is related to ghost notes. I seem to get ghost notes most often on the high E string on alternate tunings like DADGAD. It does not appear on Standard tuning. So, in your post you mentioned that you used heat shrink material under your strings. I'd love to know how you placed it there. On the JTV-59, I can see that it would be easy, but not so on the JTV-69. If you have a small photo you could post, that would be great. Did you eliminate the ghost notes with this? Thanks in advance.

Steve


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#18 ThreeDogNate

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 10:03 AM

I use a deck of playing cards, just slide enough cards under to hold it.

My JTV-69 Tremolo Setup thread explores all the details
http://line6.com/support/thread/73637

On guitars like these with floating tremolos, It's handy to keep a few wooden Popsicle sticks nearby, place a stack of 3 or 4 Popsicle sticks under the rear edge of the JTV-69 Tremolo to prop it up and hold it in the same relative position during string changes.


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#19 Charlie_Watt

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 10:58 AM

Other option is to change one string at a time.  I realize that you can't easily clean the fretboard this way but you won't have a problem with the trem.


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#20 pheld

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 04:19 PM

This is a common problem on many trem-bridges if they are set to float. My solution to this problem is to install a tremol-no . It is a device that installs on most trem-bridges with traditional springs (including floyd-rose) that makes it possible to lock the bridge in position so that it becomes possible to use different tunings etc despite the bridge being set to float. For string changes you only have to remember to lock the bridge before you start, then rip off all strings, clean the fingerboard etc, restring, tune, loosen the lock and fine-tune. The tremol-no doesn't hamper the operation of the tremolo or affect tone when it is unlocked. When locked it may add a touch more sustain on some guitars, but in most cases changes to tone are unnoticeable. 


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#21 stevekc

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 01:30 AM

Up until recently i had the Tremol-No on my JTV-69 -

 

(I explain it here)

JTV-69 Tremolo Setup

http://line6.com/sup...e/323936#323936:

 

 

 

However I'm playing the JTV-69 more in a band situation and in my case - i found the Tremol-no just did not hold up  - and was way too fiddly - missing set screws and actually falling right off the guitar at a gig once. 

 

So I removed it - and now rely on a SuperVee Maglok on my JTV-69  - WHICH I LOVE!!

 


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#22 snhirsch

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 05:12 AM

+1 on the Mag-Lok.  Should be standard equipment on floating-tremolo instruments, IMHO.


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