I got this guitar a few months ago. Had it setup to have really low action and I was really digging it. I tried experimenting around and took out the floyd and put it back... also messed around with adjusting the neck a bit...

So, I put it all back together and now my action is crazy high, even thou the floyd is at its lowest position! I have no idea what's going on....

And I can't get the floyd to stay in tune. Every time I try to tune it up, by the time I'm done with all strings - the Low E is D# or flatter - so I have to retune everything up again and end up with a bridge sticking up.. I even try to tune everything sharp, expecting it to drop... same effect. I have 3 springs in the back that came with the guitar...

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  • What do you mean by "upwards"? Do you mean to have more range above the standard note? I don't have a Floyd Rose personally, but I have played one and it had allot of play in the bending range. Are you sure you needed more? I wonder if you don't end up putting too much tension on the strings when you bend. Perhaps a picture would help.
    – amalgamate
    Mar 16, 2015 at 20:16
  • 1
    He means to bend the note to a higher pitch
    – Chris
    Mar 16, 2015 at 21:41
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    I think you should ask this to a guitar forum. Or google it. Setting up a floyd rose is a delicate procedure but there is much information on the web. Although it is not something that you can't learn, you may end up with more problems than those you are trying to solve.
    – Chris
    Mar 16, 2015 at 22:18
  • I have moved the pictures over from your other question
    – Doktor Mayhem
    Mar 20, 2015 at 15:35
  • I suspect that you have the springs parallel to each other. Try placing the diagonally.
    – Chris
    Mar 20, 2015 at 17:54

5 Answers 5


Snapping strings has nothing to do with using a trem. A trem in the right position, will let you tune your strings quite happily to the right notes, so you have a separate problem here

Aside from raising the trem up to gain more upwards movement, what else have you done? Are your tension springs in the same place, and is the tension bar screwed in the same as it was before?

If these are all the same, and you are using the same gauge strings, then there should be no problem tuning it.

After looking at the pictures you posted, you have an obvious problem: the trem is supposed to sit parallel with the body of the guitar. Yours is up at a crazy angle - so you are doing one or both of these:

  • Tuning the strings to too high tension
  • Running too low tension on the springs at the back

So, things to look at:

  • check for sharp/scuffed edges on bridge pieces or nut (you may have caused damage during adjustment)
  • check your string gauges (try a set of standard 9's or 10's)
  • check your trem tension (adjusting the screws holding the spring anchor in position)
  • check your tuning (are you going an octave too high?)

You don't need a professional this is an easy fix. Next time don't take your Floyd rose apart though that was not a good idea these are temperamental and it makes it harder to get back to proper working order. Anyway, your bridge is sitting way too high so all you need to do is first loosen but clamps, then loosen each tunning head for each individual string so the strings are all relatively loose before any adjustments are made to bridge so you don't break any strings. Then with a Phillips head screwdriver tighten the 2 screws on back of guitar that control spring tension (the higher your bridge sits, the tighter you need to make the spring tension). Maybe even tighten the 2 hex screws on top of Floyd rose also because your screws look a bit high as well, this is done with an Allen wrench. Then retune guitar starting with low e working up to high e (a Floyd rose usually requires a different tuning method it's a pain in the ass but needs to be done proper the first time you restring after messing with assembly/adjustments) you will have to tune the low e, then the A, then low e again, then A again, then D, repeating procedure until you make your way to high E. Then tighten nut screws and check tuning. If this did not fix bridge (which would surprise me) then you need to do all over and tighten springs a bit more. Eventually you will find the sweet spot so don't give up, it will be worth it.


Let me address your problem in two points:

Regarding the vibrato arm: The bad news is that the fact that your guitar is not routed should prevent you from using the arm "upwards". The good news is that with this setup you don't have to worry about changing strings (which is the trickiest thing to do on a floyd rose) yet you still have a fully functional vibrato with the added bonus of the locking system. If you want to use your floyd rose up to its full potential you should ask a luthier to do the job. I strongly object to your approach because shimming the neck and raising the bridge is going to make the neck screws and the bridge studs to become less firm and with the tension of the strings you're probably going to damage the instrument.

Regarding the string breakage: Most of the times the string breaks in the saddle. If that is the case with your guitar then its a problem with your bridge. Strings should not break that easy.

Visit some guitar forums for information, spot the minor details (like where your strings break) and decide what your playing style needs. Then visit a guitar shop and describe them your needs. Some things are better left to a professional as long as we know what -and most importantly, why- are we asking him to do.

  • I get your point about taking it to professional. Ive done it a bunch of times but wanna learn to work on the guitar myself. I dont mind the hit and miss approach. In regards to the high E breaking - it breaks because it keeps going flat every time i get it to an E - so I have to tighten it more - untill it finally snaps
    – nuway
    Mar 17, 2015 at 15:04
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    It shouldn't snap because if you tune it to E every time that means that the string has again the same tension. Probably your bridge rises too and compensates. This is where the springs in the back play their part. Anyway, watch some videos on youtube, do some google searches and visit some guitar forums and you will spot the problem if you want to do the setup yourself. When you fiddle with the bridge you're not calibrating just the vibrato system, you calibrate the whole guitar (namely the action & the intonation) so you should educate yourself on the whole matter of the guitar setup.
    – Chris
    Mar 17, 2015 at 19:55

Use an electronic tuner, I am sure you already are, but its important to state because the bridge is "floating" and does not have a true home position. The bridge is set level relative to the tuner. If you have just put your stings on and all of the strings are flat with the bridge tilted back and not level, opposite of your photos. Tune each string one at a time to your desired tuning, it does not matter what order you tune the strings but you have to tune all six once to your desired tuning never tuning the same string again before starting over. Keep doing this until the bridge starts to break co-planer with guitars top. When that happens tighten the tremolo claw evenly increasing the tension on springs. Tune all six strings one at a time again never repeating the same string until all others have been tuned, repeating this over and over until you can pluck all six strings without having to re-tune. At this point you should have an idea of weather you need to adjust the claw again. If your bridge is tilted back you will need to loosen the claw, and if it is tilted forward or past level tighten claw. If the claw hits the cavity wall and bridge is still forward/up and not level, it may be time get new springs or add one. Its a go no go operation that can be time consuming if things are out of adjustment.


btw, i had this same issue and tightening the springs worked for me. And for newbies like me that is in the back under a cover usually.
The springs were connected to the under-side of tremolo and the other end connected to a bracket. This bracket had screws on each end.
I just tightened each side a bit and then re-tuned (btw, I loosened all guitar strings first until tremolo base wrested back on guitar body. Now when tuned the tremolo plate (not sure what to call it) is parallel with body. And after doing it once, I found I still need to be a little tighter in back. But finally got it pretty good.
This is an old guitar and guessing at some point (now probably) the springs should be replaced and then find that sweet spot again. I'm guessing they'd for sure need to be replaced if you tighten the spring as far as it will go and it still is not tight enough.

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