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I have a Floyd Rose bridge on my guitar that I bought (used) last year and I have never been able to lower the bridge.

I've tried twisting the pivot screws but there's no difference. I use the guitar a lot but I can't shred or anything considering the strings are way too high from the neck.

Not sure if this is relevant, but it's currently in C tuning and I'd like to keep it that way. Here's what it looks like:

http://i.stack.imgur.com/rF3yK.jpg http://i.stack.imgur.com/DX6X1.jpg

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3  
I smell troll. "I use the guitar a lot". For what, slide? Hanging laundry? –  Kaz Apr 18 '13 at 0:47

6 Answers 6

I can see from your photographs that your guitar is so far out of its proper adjustment that the easiest way to fix it would be to take it to a professional guitar repair person and pay them for a setup. That way you know that the job will be done right.

The biggest problem is the bridge. But beyond that, the repair person will also adjust the tension on the truss rod in the neck (to compensate for the tension of the strings according to the gauges you are using and your alternate tuning), and possibly raise or lower the nut (at the headstock). These can affect string height and "action" as well.

Be sure to buy a brand-new set of strings in the the set of gauges you prefer and to give them to the repair technician. They will put the new set of strings on the guitar as part of the set-up procedure. Technicians are never willing to keep the same old set of strings on the guitar during a setup.

Now, about the bridge:

Can you remove the cover on the rear of the guitar and photograph the springs on the back and post it here?

You may need to add more springs to the assembly. The springs provide a counterweight to the tension on the guitar strings, pulling the bridge down and enabling the bridge to sit in the right position (after which the position of the components can be calibrated to provide the kind of behavior you want, such as making the bridge sit flat or "float")

With heavy-gauge strings, tremolo systems like the Fender need to have 5 springs in place.

enter image description here

With extremely light-gauge strings, you can use only 2 or 3 springs.

enter image description here

Here is a YouTube video where a guitar technician explains the relationship between string gauge and string tension and the number of springs on the back and how to adjust them.

The number of springs isn't the only deciding factor: it's also the adjustment of the plate you can see in the photograph above whose position is determined by the two long screws.

Here is another point in the same video where this is explained:

But again, as your guitar's bridge is so very far out of its proper alignment, I think it would be worth it for you to pay a professional guitar technician to calibrate everything correctly.

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Loosen the strings and take off the cover on the back of the guitar. There will be two screws that secure the plate that the bridge springs attach to. Tightening them will pull the bridge down. You may need to trial and error a bit to get it where you want it.

Different tunings will affect the floating bridge height due to different amounts of tension, so the C tuning may be the reason that it's so high right now.

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Take the back off as @ecline6 says, but also check to see how many springs you have from the hooked plate to he bridge. Normally 3 are used, but there are often 5 slots. Depending on the tension you need, you may need to add springs - the angle of your bridge is extremely high!

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Tremolo bridges are a bit more work to get setup just right compared to fixed bridges.

From your photos, it looks like the there is too much tension from the strings, or not enough tension from the springs (in the back of the guitar). I say this because the tremolo is being pulled too far forward. Typically, the tremolo should look parallel to the body of the guitar if things are setup properly.

Either your string gauge is too large, your tuning is too high for string gauge, or the springs on the back of the tremolo are too loose.

Once you get your tremolo parallel to the rest of the guitar, if further adjustment is needed, you can lower the two pole pieces that the knife edge of the tremolo touches with an Allen wrench.

EDIT: since you said your guitar is in C tuning, I would make the assumption that there is not enough tension from the springs in the back of the guitar.

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As per the other answers, it looks like a setup issue. The are plenty of good guides online which explain how to setup a floyd rose type bridge correctly. Here are a couple I found with a quick search on google, although there are plenty of others:

http://www.soundunlimited.co.uk/articles/how_to_setup_a_floyd_rose_trem

http://www.glowingtubes.com/p/FloydTuning.htm

Warning, it does take time and patience! If you don't feel confident setting up, a good guitar tech will be able to sort it out for you.

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DO NOT tighten or loosen the screws holding the spring claw in place on the back of the guitar. Those screws should never be tightened or loosened. They're not meant for making adjustments. Instead, you make adjustments to bridge tension by adding or removing springs....from the looks of it...in your case i'd say youre missing them.

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Those two long screws that hold the plate that the springs are attached to are there for that exact purpose.They work in the same way on Strat vibs. Floyd Rose instuctions call them adjustment screws ! Ecline6 will agree. Yes, adjustment is made coarsely with the number of springs, but fine adjustment is made using the claw screws. That's why they're there !! In my opinion this edit is incorrect, as is the information contained in it. –  Tim Jul 6 at 8:41

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