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Adjusting JTV-69S (Gen 1) Tremelo Bridge

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Hey guys:


This may have been covered already in another post but I was having problems with the tremelo bridge rising up and not laying flush on my JTV-69S Gen 1 model (no threads on whammy bar). I did some Googling and found a few chat sessions and a couple of You Tube videos that were helpful in pointing in the right direction. That said, I couldn't find anything that described what I did to address the issue so here goes.


To address the issue, I removed the back cover protecting the springs with the guitar strings on (and tuned to pitch). I took the same Phillips screw driver and gently tightened the 2 screws that help hold and position the tremelo until the tremelo bridge lay flat on the guitar. In my case, it took only a little tightening. That was it. Everything seems to be fine now. 👌ðŸ»


I did learn in reading through some forum posts that it may be best to leave the low and high E strings on while changing strings. I typically take all of the strings off and this may have resulted in the Tremelo bridge behaving in the manner it did. Not sure about that but just mentioning it.


Hope this post helps. If anybody has another solution that works, I'm all ears.


Ps: I do have to say that while I'm long time Variax user going back to the very first release, the tremelo on the JTV-69S is mediocre at best. I'm sure Line 6 could have done better with a little more thought. 🤓

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Not sure I understand the problem you were having. Are you saying the bridge rises up and moves off the two pivot points when you remove all the strings? Or are you saying this happens when the guitar is tuned to pitch?


The JTV-69S bridge is intended to float parallel to the guitar body, about 1/8†up from the body. This limits friction since there are only two pivot points touching the bridge and gives tremolo bar movement up and down.


I too have noticed that the bridge pops out of position when you take all the strings off, and on my JTV-69S it pulled the pivot bolt and bushing right out of the guitar. I had to glue it back in. I tried using various wood blocks to keep the bridge in position, but I think the technique of keeping the two E strings on is a better solution. This keeps the bridge in position, keeps some tension on the neck, but still makes it easy to clean the fretboard.

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The tremelo unit was tilted out of the body and bending toward the neck of the guitar on a 15 degree angle (give or take a few degrees). To address this issue, I did what I explained in my post. The trem is now flush with the body and seems to be operating properly. I will leave both E strings on when I change the strings to make sure the tremelo stays in place.

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What's been described here is true of every 2-point floating tremolo on earth... there's nothing particularly unique about the Variax's design in that respect. You can't expect the bridge to stay in place if you remove all the string tension. The strings pull it one way, and the springs in the back pull it the opposite way...if you remove all the strings, then the springs will win the tug of war, and out pops the bridge.


Periodically, you can expect the bridge to get pulled out of alignment one way or the other...especially as the neck moves with the change of seasons. Adjust accordingly with the claw screws...that's what they're there for. It ain't rocket science.

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This is a 2nd generation tremolo system - the first generation was only on the early runs on JTV-69; it had been replaced long before production started on JTV-69s.

I think you will find a thread in the hollow end of the arm - it should be pushed in and then tightened clockwise until it resists and then back to a normal playing position. If just pushed in then all of the forces when using the arm are being applied where it joins the plate with no real leverage to support, it is supposed to be screwed in.

It is personal preference - you can do whatever you want and nothing is specifically wrong, but the plate is designed to be floating parallel with the body allowing a little raise in pitch and significant dive (nothing like a floyd though). You should normally slacken the strings a little bit before tightening the claw screws.

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69S doesn't use the 1st gen bridge, the 1st gen bridge was phased out before the 69S came out.

It's a good idea to change strings one at a time on a dual post tremolo system. Threading on the

Trem Bar is an internal, not external threading.


The tail of the bridge is angled up? You change the gauge of the strings? Then the set-up

needs to be checked and adjusted. When you change gauges, you change the tension, and

so the set-up is also changed. The set-up needs to be adjusted for that. 

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