Changing String (floating tremolo)

Hi guys! Happy New Year!

I need some help with regards to changing strings of my ibanez az prestige. My guitar has a floating tremolo. Can you show me how to block the trem so I can remove all the strings and clean the fretbord/frets first. Others say that I need to put a cloth box in the cavity of the trem. But I don’t have any idea on how to do it. Thank you!

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Just take out the springs in the back cavity, remove the bridge and put it aside together with the strings, do the cleaning and put everything back in a backwards order. I’ve no experience with these Gotoh (?) units your giutar is equipped with, but this is how I deal with the Floyds I have. I personally never liked the idea of wedging all sorts of stuff into my guitar… Also, if you just change the strings, change one string at a time! That way you don’t have to re-balance the floating bridge. If you change stinge gauges, I’d still do it this way - you will have to set up the bridge either way, but I think it’s easier to start from a previously balanced position tha from totally ground zero. Butthat’s just me, many guys swear by this blocking method.

If you really want to do the blocking thing, then the idea is to put a piece of wood between the sustain block of the bridge and the wall of the cavity in the guitar body. A quick search on youtube about “how to block a floating trem” or something to that effect will return more than enough vids to cue you in! :wink: But be precise with the size of the block, as once you remove the strings, the springs will pull the bridge into the body/cavity with full force and if the block is not thick enough to block any and all movement, than your guitar’s finish or wood might not be so happy about it… :smiley: So absolutely no wiggle room!

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I have the Gotoh on my Ibanez RG. Firstly, I would take a picture of the floating bridge so you have a reference for where it sits from the get go but the idea is that it should be parallel to the guitar body. Unlock the nut clamps locks and begin changing one string at a time starting with the 6th or low E all the way down to the 1st or high E string but keeping in mind you should stretch and re-tune each string before moving on to the next one. At this juncture you may or may not need to re-adjust the bridge so it sits parallel to the guitar body yet while all strings are in tune. Finally, check intonation.

I too don’t like the idea of sticking things into my guitar cavity or blocking the tremolo as this is rather subjective however, many do suggest wedging the tremolo as mentioned here to make this an easier process but personally I’ve come to learn that you can get around it once you’ve gotten the hang of it. Also keep in mind that this can at first be a time consuming balancing act to accomplish so consider to take a look at the attached link below. Note that this is not the all be all method so definitely Google search for others.

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Some great advice there! There’s one only one problem though… OP wants all strings off to work on the board/frets.

BUT! As I see, the AZ Prestige models do not have a locking nut, so maybe the locking tuners (they are locking, right?) have enough string on them to use a string spreader:

That would be even easier.

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Nice idea indeed. Depends I’d suppose. Some thread the strings through the tuning machines and use the ball end as a locking mechanism in addition to the locking nut clamps being there or not which depending on their wind preference may not leave enough string wrapped around the tuners for the use of spreaders. The OP wants to work on the frets I would take the springs off the springs claw in the cavity as suggested should do the trick.

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This is the cloth method.

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With regular/non recessed floating bridges, like the one on the AZ, I just use a card. This is a method suggested by Paul Reed Smith himself, very knowledgeable guy.

It is damn easy and makes it a breeze.

Here you can see I’m ready to clean my Custom 24.

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This is how I do it, Ben Eller style. Above is the YouTube address.
Just another way. As far as blocking the bridge from behind, I use a snug allen key for the front of the tremolo and enough playing cards wrapped in an elastic to block the rear cavity behind the tremolo. It works perfectly so that I maintain the right level while tuning.
Cheers!!
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That’s a great tip and coming from Paul Reed Smith, wow, thanks @Aram!

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Thank you guys! I’m really happy that I’m a member of this community.
You guys are really awesome!

I will try the card method :slight_smile: This is exciting!

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Music Nomad is top notch stuff!

And yes, I consider this spending quality time with your instruments as well.

I do enjoy changing strings, cleaning really good my guitars and doing a nice setup!

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A pleasure. Hope it makes your life easier as well :slight_smile: . Sadly I can’t use the same method on my RG550, but the folded cloth works great though. I just make a loose roll with it, I pull down the whammy bar, put the roll crossed under the bridge and release the whammy bar. EZ-PZ!

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