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I heard from a lot of people that they blocked their guitar bridge because it detuned the guitar even with a nut lock. Is this really possible? I always thought that moving it can detune guitar but not just keeping it not locked.

I'm really surprised how many youtube gear testers block bridge by default to provide "better tuning stability".

  • Do you mean can a FR make a guitar go out of tune? If you do mean De Tuned then yes certain EVH floyd setups do have build in detuners. – Neil Meyer Nov 10 '16 at 10:03
  • I mean that guitar needs tuning more often – teodozjan Nov 10 '16 at 10:12
  • You may want to edit your question to make it more clear, detuned means something specific like this dtuna.com/index.php – Neil Meyer Nov 10 '16 at 10:15
  • @NeilMeyer - unfortunately, 'detune' now has two specific meanings - to become out of tune, OR to retune to a different specific pitch/tuning. – Tim Nov 10 '16 at 11:46
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    Try A Tremelno - cheap and transforms into a fixed bridge and back again - no blocking needed. – guest Nov 10 '16 at 12:24
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In my experience, having had 9 Floyd Rose / Kahler trem guitars over the last 30 years or so is that no, there is absolutely no point blocking the trem unless you really wanted a fixed bridge.

Moving it can detune the guitar (although as you probably know, a locking nut really minimises this) and there are ways around this to keep it in tune with only minor tweaks, but leaving it alone is unlikely to do anything more than if you had a fixed bridge—increases in temperature will slightly change the tuning as springs and strings stretch and shrink, but those would require retuning anyway.

A floating trem will go briefly out of tune any time you bend a string, or pluck a string, or even if you press with your fret hand or damp with your right palm too forcefully, but anyone who uses one all the time will automatically compensate for this.

So realistically, blocking the trem is really only useful if you actually want to remove the trem action. And at that point you should so what most guitarists do—and buy another guitar, one with a fixed bridge :-)

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    To add, when bending a note, the other strings will detune slightly because of the FR's movement, so in that sense an FR can detune a string as well. – Kyle Nov 10 '16 at 10:04
  • That has nothing to do with when it is being unused though, as per the OP's question – Doktor Mayhem Nov 10 '16 at 10:05
  • Ah- but is it the guitar or the vibrato that's not being used... – Tim Nov 10 '16 at 11:48
  • I'll update - as the question has slightly changed – Doktor Mayhem Nov 10 '16 at 12:01
  • I see, the edit made it more clear. I'll leave the comment for future users though :) – Kyle Nov 10 '16 at 12:08
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My experience with floating bridge was of constant de-tuning.

It was because the bridge wouldn't balance properly with the tension of the strings and moved upwards even if not played. This is sometimes due springs being worn-out, but this also happened after I replaced them.

Though, I must admit that the model I used was shipped with low/mid-budget guitar. (Ibanez RG-370B IIRC)

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Yes, it is possible for a Floyd Rose style tremolo system to go out of tune even though it is locked at the top nut and not used.

As touch on previously here, changes in temperature, humidity and other environmental changes, will cause the wood in the neck and body of a guitar to expand and contract. This will cause the tension on the strings to change, which of course leads to the pitch changing. This tends to be minimal if your guitar is kept in a semi stable environment that doesn’t change much. But, if you pull a guitar out of a cold trailer and walk into a warm bar to play a gig, you may find your guitar out of tune, or worse, some body checking might occur, small cracks in the finish. Hard tail bridge guitars and not immune to this either. Leave the guitar closed up in the case for a while to acclimate slowly.

However, the most likely reason for this type of trem system to go out of tune when not played would be the quality of parts and guitar. The original Floyd Rose double locking tremolo bridge was well crafted and designed with quality components. In many cases, the more commonly found “licensed Floyd Rose” trem system is poorly made and constructed with parts that are softer than the original design. The force of all the strings and springs is focused on two knife edge fulcrums which are set against two posts that are installed into the body of the guitar. If that knife edge, or the post, is not made of quality alloys, it will be reshaped by that force. If the wood of the guitar is of a softer quality “hard wood” the posts will shift and the screws that hold tension against the springs can move as well.

In short, the quality of the guitar and the quality of its components contribute to how well they play and remain in tune. As the old adage goes, you get what you pay for…. most of the time. If you make your living playing guitar, you don’t want to skimp on the tools of your trade. On the other hand, if you are an amateur or even an enthusiast and an out of tune guitar won’t destroy your career, then you can learn to deal with it. in fact, if you do get a FR style bridge you should learn how to change your strings and adjust the tension on it when you change your string gauge. In the end, when you break a string on stage in the middle of a song, you’ll want to have another guitar close by. Or, block your FR tremolo.

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