Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: Balance wheel/trem issue  (Read 4536 times)

Offline JamieCrain

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 196
Balance wheel/trem issue
« on: June 04, 2016, 07:26:44 AM »
Hi there,
I've switched string gauge from 9 to 10 on my maxxfly DFMV7 but of course when I tune up, the bridge is floating "high" due to higher tension. I want to lower it so it is parallel with the guitar body (same direction as pulling up on whammy bar).  The trem already has a 10 Spring.

Problem 1: the Parker instructions are ambiguous. It talks about turning the balance wheel clockwise but that all depends on which direction your viewing it from.  If you're looking from the butt of the guitar along the neck to wards the headstock  then clockwise means turning the wheel up to wards the top of the guitar. I've tried both directions but haven't had any joy and also I've run into a problem number two.

Problem 2:  when I turn the wheel in either direction the threaded spindle also turns so it has absolutely no effect.  I'm guessing this isnt meant to happen.

Can someone please clarify which direction is deemed to be clockwise and also what I can do to prevent the spindle turning when I use the tool?

Thanks
JC

 
Parker NiteFly RF622
Parker DFMV7
EB Music Man Majesty 6
Ibanez UV777BK

Re: Balance wheel/trem issue

Offline billy

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1733
Re: Balance wheel/trem issue
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2016, 09:50:26 AM »
You probably need an 11 or 12 spring. The 7th string has a lot of extra tension compared to the 6 string sets, so a jump from 9s to 10s is not as linear as 6 string sets. 

I don't know, but I doubt they made new springs for 7 strings and likely just took a "+1" approach to getting balanced tension to account for the extra string, which is also significantly thicker.
Billy

[always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question.  e. e. cummings]

Re: Balance wheel/trem issue

Offline sybersitizen

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2656
Re: Balance wheel/trem issue
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2016, 10:37:33 AM »
I've switched string gauge from 9 to 10 on my maxxfly DFMV7 but of course when I tune up, the bridge is floating "high" due to higher tension. I want to lower it so it is parallel with the guitar body (same direction as pulling up on whammy bar).  The trem already has a 10 Spring.

So apparently you now want to increase the pressure applied by the spring.

Quote
Problem 1: ... If you're looking from the butt of the guitar along the neck to wards the headstock then clockwise means turning the wheel up to wards the top of the guitar. I've tried both directions but haven't had any joy and also I've run into a problem number two.

Problem 2:  when I turn the wheel in either direction the threaded spindle also turns so it has absolutely no effect.  I'm guessing this isnt meant to happen.

Problem 1 (no observed change in spring pressure) is a direct result of problem 2, which indeed is not mean to happen. Turning the wheel is supposed to cause the screw/spindle within it to move, thus changing the pressure applied by the spring. If yours is rotating along with the wheel rather than moving laterally, something has gone wrong and that will need to be fixed.

Quote
Can someone please clarify which direction is deemed to be clockwise and also what I can do to prevent the spindle turning when I use the tool?

Clockwise/counterclockwise refers to viewing the assembly from the 'butt' of the body. Counter-clockwise should increase the pressure applied by the spring. The spindle should require nothing from you. It should just move, as it's supposed to.

I would think the guitar shipped from the factory with the correct spring installed - which would very likely be marked '10' (correct pressure for a .010 set of six strings or for a .009 set of seven strings). You had better not increase that spring pressure too much. Stressed springs can break, and that's bad news.

Are you the original owner?
« Last Edit: June 04, 2016, 08:56:05 PM by sybersitizen »
'01 Fly Deluxe|'69 SG Standard|'69 EB-3|Pignose Strat|Savannah SGO-16CE|Glen Burton GE47|Dean Vendetta 7-String|Loog 3-String|Fishman Aura Spectrum|Roland Amplifiers

Re: Balance wheel/trem issue

Offline billy

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1733
Re: Balance wheel/trem issue
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2016, 11:28:00 AM »
Sybers post made me think you might have changed the position of the wheel on the spindle while trying to adjust.

Take the rear cover off and make sure the wheel is towards the butt end of the guitar. Watch the wires...

But make note of my earlier comments on the spring. If you over tighten a lower gauge spring you can break the spring. Won't be pretty. 
Billy

[always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question.  e. e. cummings]

Re: Balance wheel/trem issue

Offline JamieCrain

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 196
Re: Balance wheel/trem issue
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2016, 10:08:50 PM »
 Thanks for your replies. No I'm not the original owner, but the guitar is in new condition.

 I've managed to use a couple of tools to turn the balance wheel whilst preventing the inner spindle from also turning.  Even after turning the wheel all the way anticlockwise, the brass nub at the neck end of the spring still does not touch the step-stop in home position.  Of course if I turn the wheel clockwise, the nub gets even further away from the step-stop and the strings go flat. I'm worried that the spring is over-tightened if it's all the way anticlockwise.

The string gauge is 10-46 plus a 56 for the 7th.

So yes I'm thinking that perhaps the spring should be an 11?
Parker NiteFly RF622
Parker DFMV7
EB Music Man Majesty 6
Ibanez UV777BK

Re: Balance wheel/trem issue

Offline stevie axeman

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 670
    • http://www.myspace.com/stevieaxeman
Re: Balance wheel/trem issue
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2016, 03:10:47 AM »
Can you see if the spring is almost "flat" - so it looks like its under max tension?
As the guys said you do not want that leaf spring to go "bang" - it can rip right thru the front of the guitar

Suggest detune the strings by a couple of semitones for now and release the pressure on it a little
See if that makes the trem feel "looser" and not so "stiff"
I wouldn't do any dive bombs until you get the root cause sorted
Definitely worth looking for an 11 spring online to try

The string gauges you are using - are they pretty heavy duty? Or a fairly regular 7-set like a 10-59?
Majik Blue 02 Fly Deluxe, Blue/green-burst 09 Fly Deluxe , Natural Mahogany 05 Fly Mojo, Vigier Shawn Lane, Caparison Horus,  Schecter C7 Hellraiser ,   Brian Moore i9.13 ,Godin ACS-SA
Bogner XTC Classic ,Fishman Performer amps
,Fishman Aura Blender,

Re: Balance wheel/trem issue

Offline Big Swifty

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 418
Re: Balance wheel/trem issue
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2016, 03:15:04 AM »
I'd suggest taking off the strings to relieve all tension on the spring to start with, might give you a better look at what going on.

Spin the whammy bar around to face the back of the guitar and push it down so as to increase tension in the strings if they were still on the guitar (or just pull it it up from normal position i guess), that'll take a little more tension off the spring as well, you may be able to get it out for a proper look see.

Big Swifty

Edit: DOH! stevie axeman got there before me! Next time stevie...next time.... ;-)
94 Fly Deluxe
2010 DF 524
The system can't get you in your dreams.

Re: Balance wheel/trem issue

Offline JamieCrain

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 196
Re: Balance wheel/trem issue
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2016, 04:37:32 PM »
Thanks for the tips.

I managed to link a photo:

http://imageshack.com/a/img921/4083/9V908q.jpg

The spring isn't flat, but you can see that the threaded spindle is fully extended as the wheel has been turned anticlockwise and the other end is still short of the step stop.

The other thing I would mention is that the trem feels ok even at this setting. It doesn't feel like it's under stress, bending in either direction. But maybe it wouldn't anyway.
Parker NiteFly RF622
Parker DFMV7
EB Music Man Majesty 6
Ibanez UV777BK

Re: Balance wheel/trem issue

Offline sybersitizen

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2656
Re: Balance wheel/trem issue
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2016, 08:41:11 PM »
Look at the image below (hopefully it will expand to full size if you click it). It shows that the groove in the screw is intended to fit into a 'tab' in the bushing that's embedded in the wood. That way it just slides in or out when the wheel is turned. Apparently something has happened to yours and the tab/bushing is no longer doing its job.

'01 Fly Deluxe|'69 SG Standard|'69 EB-3|Pignose Strat|Savannah SGO-16CE|Glen Burton GE47|Dean Vendetta 7-String|Loog 3-String|Fishman Aura Spectrum|Roland Amplifiers

Re: Balance wheel/trem issue

Offline JamieCrain

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 196
Re: Balance wheel/trem issue
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2016, 09:31:58 PM »
Thanks, good photo. Yes I suspect the bushing has lost its grip and is now turning freely. I can live with this, as once it's set then I won't have to touch it again often.

On the tension matter, I think my choice is to either tune down a whole step to ADGCFAD to relieve the pressure, or install a higher gauge spring to compensate for the tension of the 7th string.
Parker NiteFly RF622
Parker DFMV7
EB Music Man Majesty 6
Ibanez UV777BK

Re: Balance wheel/trem issue

Offline JamieCrain

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 196
Re: Balance wheel/trem issue
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2016, 09:07:12 PM »
Quick update on this.
I ordered a 12 spring as I figured the tension from the seventh string and set of 010s strings would equate to a spring size of 11.6 (16% increase in tension due to seventh string). So a 12 would be the closest fit.
I installed the spring and discovered the plastic housing that holds the balance wheel thread was spinning freely, so I glued that back. So far so good.

However, the trem is now so stiff in floating mode, that it's really not useable. Especially pulling up on the whammy, it looks like the whammy bar is bending! :o

So it looks like I now need to order an 11 spring, unless anyone else has any suggestions to make the trem more flexible?
Parker NiteFly RF622
Parker DFMV7
EB Music Man Majesty 6
Ibanez UV777BK

Re: Balance wheel/trem issue

Offline billy

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1733
Re: Balance wheel/trem issue
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2016, 05:56:52 PM »
Post some pictures of the guts and the top side. It may be there's something else going on.

Not surprised about the effects of extra tension though.
Billy

[always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question.  e. e. cummings]

Re: Balance wheel/trem issue

Offline JamieCrain

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 196
Re: Balance wheel/trem issue
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2016, 07:21:12 AM »
Thanks for all the tips so far.

Some pics:

Original 10 Spring. 9 threads visible, still not quite touching the step-stop (wheel wouldn't turn anti-clockwise any more)
http://imageshack.com/a/img923/9182/jZFM9k.jpg

Different 10 Spring. 8 threads showing, but touching the step-stop.
http://imageshack.com/a/img923/4121/55pKym.jpg

12 spring. 4 threads showing, touching the step stop.
http://imageshack.com/a/img923/2825/D0B2sG.jpg
http://imageshack.com/a/img921/2537/RB9BaW.jpg

Front/bridge with 12 spring installed
http://imageshack.com/a/img922/1465/ekOEIk.jpg
http://imageshack.com/a/img923/7889/rCl50C.jpg

With the 10 installed, the trem feels great/normal but worried about over-tension of the spring due to 7th string. With the 12 installed, the term feels awful, way too tight and I expect the whammy bar will break one day.

Options are:
1. Get an 11 spring
2. Stick with the 10 and take the risk that it won't break
3. Stick with the 10 and revert to .009-.052  gauge strings

Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.
Parker NiteFly RF622
Parker DFMV7
EB Music Man Majesty 6
Ibanez UV777BK

Re: Balance wheel/trem issue

Offline billy

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1733
Re: Balance wheel/trem issue
« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2016, 09:24:59 AM »
Bridge still looks a bit like string tension is higher than spring tension even with the 12. 

I think option 1 or 3 are your best bet, leaning towards 3. You might try the 11 with 9-52 too.
Billy

[always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question.  e. e. cummings]

Re: Balance wheel/trem issue

Offline TinMachine

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 642
Re: Balance wheel/trem issue
« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2016, 12:00:25 PM »
Is it possible that each spring could be a little light or a little heavy in tension due to manufacturing specs?  Almost as if the 10 were really a 10.5 or 9.5 and so on. Or perhaps it was given the wrong numerical value?  It was supposed to be a 10 but they wrote 11?