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Unread 03-07-2008, 04:31 PM   #76
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
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It is easy, and reversible. You won't really have to make any other intonation adjustments if you make the shim the right thickness to put the bridge at the same position it is now. read the thing below - with the back trem cover off, you can experiment with the shim and get it to the right thickness before you silcone it on there. Here's a reprint of my method:

What I have done on all my guitars is glue a little thin piece of wood (around 3/16' thick) onto the cavity wall closest to the neck. It doesn't need to be the exact size, in fact you could probably use 2 or 3 popsicle sticks glued together into a stack, and then cut off about a 1" long piece or so - glue that in approximately the center of the cavity wall, making sure the springs clear it. Adjust the springs so that they pull the block against the newly installed shim, bring it up to pitch, and then readjust the spring tension so that it returns the block to the shim with a little pressure, but not so much that it slams it aginst it. I use silicone glue - it holds it good enough, but will be completely removable later if desired.

There is also a little technique to tuning with this setup - as you bring the string UP to pitch, lower the trem a little, like about a half step or so, and return it. This will usually raise the pitch a little (especially on the wound strings), since the slack tension has shifted, so leave the pitch a hair flat to compensate for that. Check it again, and bring it UP to pitch a little more if necessary, repeat the lowering and and return of the trem and checking pitch. After a while you will become proficient at this, and it won't take significantly more time or trouble than however you do it now. Here's the payoff - as you play and bend strings, etc. some of the strings will tend to go flat; all you have to do now is lower and return the trem, it will bring those strings right back to pitch ! Instead of the trem being a de-tuning device, it is now a re-tuning device. Also - if you don't have a graphite nut, put some graphite in the nut slots. For convenience I just use a pencil and rub it back and forth across the slots; the shavings drop in there. Of course you also need to "stretch" new strings when you put them on.

A guy at a music store showed me this tuning thing years ago - I gigged in bar bands regularly for years with strats and other trem guitars (enough to wear the frets off a couple of 'em), and with the exception of a few very minor tweaks I could pretty much play all night without touching the tuners.

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Unread 03-07-2008, 08:53 PM   #77
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Joined: May 2004
Location: Maple Valley, WA
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I think Tom's earlier suggestion of graphite in the nut is a good place to start. That might be all you need for the tuning situation.
I've been humbled many times, but always for my own good!

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