I just bought my first guitar with a Floyd Rose system and I absolutely love it. Now when I tuned it all up, and do some dives with the bar, and let it come back, my strings are all de-tuned a small bit down. Some more then other. My low E string de-tunes like a quarter step down, other strings maybe a few cents. When I pull the tremelo bar again, in any direction, it tunes back perfectly.

The strings have just been replaced with Ernie Ball Super Slinky's (09 - 42).

What could be causing this? Could this be a defect or is this a matter of setting up the guitar? It's a Charvel San Dimas guitar equipped with a "Floyd Rose® 1000 Series".

  • 2
    This problem is strange, in more ways then one. The Floyd 1000 is not a "transposing tremolo" in any way, shape or form; it cannot tune all strings exactly down by the the same musical step value. Are you sure about that The thicker strings (like wound E, unwound G) should detune by a significantly larger amount.
    – Kaz
    Jul 9, 2019 at 1:40
  • 2
    The guitar has some issue; the bridge is somehow getting stuck that prevents it from returning to the equilibrium position. I would take it back.
    – Kaz
    Jul 9, 2019 at 1:42
  • Yeah, you are right, other strings de-tune by more amounts. Are these common problems on floyd roses?
    – Bas
    Jul 9, 2019 at 19:52
  • Absolutely not; not even on cheaper Floyd rose "licensed" bridges and knockoffs. It's a simple system: strings pulling the bridge one way, springs in the back pulling it the other, pivoting on a thin, steel edge that has negligible friction. Check that everything is moving freely: nothing is stuck in the springs in the back (you may have to remove a cover plate); the locking nut is locked up tight; no foreign objects around the bridge in any of the recesses between the bridge and guitar body, ...
    – Kaz
    Jul 9, 2019 at 19:57
  • @kaz - some Floyds have roller saddles greatly decreasing the friction, so no thin steel edge Jul 15, 2019 at 12:10

2 Answers 2


Most likely this is a setup issue, although a manufacturing defect is a possibility. New, out of box guitars usually require some setup to get into perfect playing condition as "factory setups" are usually less exacting.

From your description, something is interfering with the bridge returning fully to position. It may require examination by a technician who knows what to look for to fully diagnose it.

Some possibilities are the position and setting of your stud posts, a misaligned or not fully tightened tremolo block, or obstruction or mechanical problems with your springs.

If possible, you could get the bridge into the de-tuned condition and then tap lightly on the bridge with your finger and see if you can get the bridge to move back into correct place. You may be able to see it move at the stud posts, or see if the springs are catching on something, or if there is foreign material or out of alignment parts interfering with the bridge movement.

Ultimately a trip to a Qualified setup/repair technician will get the instrument in its best playing condition or inform you if there is a manufacturing problem with the instrument that requires warranty repair or replacement.

  • The bridge does come back to the right position when I tap it yeah... I just returned it to the shop. I hope they can fix it for me. Another thing is though, for this price range, am I expecting to much from the guitar?
    – Bas
    Jul 21, 2019 at 13:54
  • 1
    No, it should be in full working order when you purchase it. It is mostly likely just an adjustment issue. Things can get moved around in shipping, and quality control at a factory can only catch so much. The fault lies with the store where it should have been checked before being sold. That's a problem with some music mega-stores and brands being sold at warehouse outlets, they often don't have anyone qualified to examine the instruments. Jul 21, 2019 at 17:51

consider examining the saddles in case the strings are binding. You might try some, as in a tiny amount, of chap-stick (lip balm) on each saddle then replace the strings in their saddles.

  • Wouldn't this make the strings more loose from the saddles?
    – Bas
    Jul 15, 2019 at 10:47
  • no, it would make them glide more easily - the string shifts slightly in the saddle as you push and pull the vibrato arm. The string is under tension and so sitting firmly on the saddle, moving when you release its tension, or increase it. Sometimes they get stuck and then (sometimes) release when you play them next giving an instant tiny change in tuning. Imagine the cable on a cable car, they move over rollers and so on, do you lubricate those to stop them getting stuck? Jul 15, 2019 at 12:07
  • This didn't work unfortunately.. I just returned it to the shop hoping for them to go and fix it.
    – Bas
    Jul 21, 2019 at 13:53
  • good plan - the best thing about bricks and mortar shops is that you can actually talk to someone who knows what they are doing and can see the item. We can only extrapolate about likely causes and solutions. Jul 22, 2019 at 7:15

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