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What is the proper procedure for installing strings using a Floyd Rose locking tremolo system?
Well! I could go on for a while on the ins and outs of a Floyd, but I'll see if I can make it as simple as possible.
First you'll need a 3mm hex key to unlock and lock the strings.
Make sure the neck adjustment and action are set well or where you want it it, we proceed.
1) Remove the back cover on the guitar exposing the springs and unlock the strings from the locknut at the headstock.
2) Find something to prop under the tail of the trem on the face of the guitar that will hold it up so that the baseplate of the trem is PARALLEL to the surface of the guitar. If the trem is lifted away from the surface, then tighten the spring claw in the back of the guitar until the trem pulls down nice and snug on your prop. TAPE THE PROP TO THE FACE OF THE GUITAR.
3) At this point, you may need to adjust the height of the trem at the pivot studs for proper string action, and adjust the prop to maintain the plate parallel to the body.
4) With the old strings still on, set the fine tuners to the middle of their adjustment range and re-tune the guitar using the tuning keys. If the fine tuners push on the prop, you may need to adjust the thickness of the prop again to keep the bridge parallel.
5) With the old strings still on, set the fine tuners to the middle of their adjustment range and re-tune the guitar using the tuning keys. If the fine tuners push on the prop, you may need to adjust the thickness of the prop again to keep the bridge parallel.
6) When all the strings are loaded and stretched, dump the bar and check the tuning overall. All the strings should be in tune after you dive the bar and let it up.
7) Now lock the strings in at the locknut. Check the tuning - still with the prop in place. You may need to unlock and re-tune a string or two, but get them as close as possible without touching the fine tuners.
8) Remove the tape from the prop and loosen the spring claw in the back of the guitar - adjusting each screw equally to maintain good "square" positioning of the claw. Back off the claw screws equally until the prop falls out from under the bridge.
9) Now zero in the tuning using the claw adjustment. When really close, you should be able to make any minor adjustments with the fine tuners at this point and you're done.
Sounds like fun, eh? Hehehehe - you'll get it.
Once you've gone through all this trouble you will be able to change the strings one at a time without using the prop. If you need to take all the strings off the guitar - for cleaning or whatever, using the prop will speed up the tuning process greatly.