Tuning Stability Issues Due to Vibrato

Discussion in 'PTC - PRS Tech Center' started by Jason Smith, Aug 3, 2018.

  1. Jason Smith

    Jason Smith New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2018
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    9
    Hello,

    I’m currently playing a PRS S2 Standard 24 and an Ernie Ball Musicman Albert Lee MM90 which both have tuning stability issues after a dive on the vibrato. After a dive, the strings(all of them) go sharp. With a slight tug of about an inch off the fretboard, it returns to perfect pitch. I've performed some basic tests using only one string, one spring, and two mounting screws.

    I’ve tried the following:
    • Set the bridge up to exact PRS specifications
    • Using lubrication on every point of string contact(nut, saddle, ball),
    • Lubrication on all moving parts(under saddle, mounting screws, saddle screws),
    • Locking tuners(of various brands)
    • Floating the vibrato
    • Decking the vibrato
    • Swapped Vibratos(between PRS, USA-made Ernie Ball, Super-Vee BladeRunner)
    • Ensured the nut is glued in place and not shifting
    • Changed between 4 manufacturer/makes of string brand(GHS, Fender, D’Addardio XL & NYXL)
    • Springs & tension: Tried the "chicken claw" and parallel methods, both straight and angled
    • And of course, stretched the strings to varying amounts

    After much troubleshooting, I’ve determined that it’s an issue with the vibrato on both of them(which with a search online seems to be a common issue with strat vibratos). For example, when you dive on the vibrato, and return to resting position, after it increases in pitch, with needle-nose pliers, pull on the string from the headstock toward the bridge, it doesn’t go back to the correct pitch. However, if you pull on the string FROM the bridge, towards the headstock, it goes back to perfect pitch. Thus led to my conclusion that it's an issue with the vibrato.

    My thought is that it's catching on something, however, with enough lubrication, it should slip back to pitch. Though the lubrication doesn't have any effect at all. Again this issues is prevailing on two different guitars having used three different bridges that all base around a similar design.

    I've reached out Sean Littleton about the issue, but maybe with my observations written out in detail, it might present itself a little more clearly. If you get a chance to perform this dive bomb test with an accurate tuner, I've love to hear your feedback.

    Thank you so much for taking the time read this lengthy post and thank you in advance for getting back to me when you do.

    Sincerest and kindest regards,

    Jason Smith
     
  2. Alessandro

    Alessandro New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2018
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would say no trem will stay 100% in tune when doing a lot of trem work but it can be pretty good. I used to get really frustrated with this stuff too then I kind of realized if it was a little sharp right after a dive it wasn’t a big deal because it was usually a part of a lead I was playing which also included bends and stuff so if I just continued playing after the dives (or pulling up when I float) that my guitar would be perfectly in tune when I check tunning between songs. Also I decided to instal tremsetters in all my tremolo style guitars which helps even more and elminates the problem of losing tuning stability during bends which I always hated about trem style guitars.
     
  3. Jason Smith

    Jason Smith New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2018
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    9

    Alessandro,

    Thanks for the reply. I feel like at this point there's no reason for the increase in pitch, and yeah, man, it's frustrating. I've see the SuperVee Maglock, but never the tremsetter. I'll check them out. Thanks again for the reply. Sincerely appreciated.

    -J
     
  4. Alessandro

    Alessandro New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2018
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    No problem bud I get it I used to tear my hair out about it and even had the bridge decked for a while just to avoid this stuff totally but I felt like this was a waste. The tremsetter really works I can definitely say but it takes care to install properly.

    Check out this video

     
  5. JJJ

    JJJ asleep

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2018
    Messages:
    263
    Likes Received:
    226
    You might have to play with the screws in the back and add tension. Usually I would say you have a sticking point at the nut...

    No vintage floating trem is going to do dive bombs and return to perfect pitch. Maybe you need a full locking system
     
  6. dogrocketp

    dogrocketp I drank the PRS kool aid, and it was tasty!

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2013
    Messages:
    1,692
    Likes Received:
    934
    How many springs are on the trem? I have anywhere from 4 to 2, depending on the instrument. Try removing one, retensioning the trem to level by turning the trem claw screws. Sometimes there's simply too much tension from too many springs. I use it a lot, and all my guitars stay in tune. You also didn't mention what gauge of strings you're using. If you went above the standard gauge, there could be binding, even with the lubrication.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice