How to Lock Down an Edge III Tremolo

Written by simon foden Google
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How to Lock Down an Edge III Tremolo
Steve Vai's Ibanez features a Floyd Rose system, similar to the Edge III. (David Livingston/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images)

The Edge III is a type of locking tremolo system made by Ibanez. Locking tremolo systems allow for greater tremolo scope and better tuning stability. The bridge part of the system sits in a cavity, rather than flat against the guitar body. This enables you to bend the tremolo arm upward as well as downward. To prevent the tremolo action from pulling the strings out tune, three locking nuts "stop" the strings just above the nut. Use this to lock down the Edge III and keep your guitar in perfect tune.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Hex key (supplied with Ibanez guitars)

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  1. 1

    Loosen each of the three nut-locks with a hex key. This relieves the pressure on the strings and removes the "stop." When tightened, the nut-lock resists string vibration and prevents it from influencing the tuning machines. Conversely, it prevents movement of the tuning machines from altering the tuning of the strings.

  2. 2

    Tune the strings. Use the tuning machines in the normal fashion to tune the strings. Use a tuner for accuracy.

  3. 3

    Adjust the thumb screws so that they sit half way between minimum and maximum height. This gives you equal scope in both directions. Although the nut-lock prevents the strings from slipping out of tune during tremolo use, humidity can cause the strings to slip slightly. The thumb screws are for fine-tuning in such circumstances. They don't have the same scope for tension adjustment as the tuning machines, but they are convenient for correcting strings that have deviated slightly out of tune, without the need to remove the nut-lock.

  4. 4

    Correct the tuning. The thumbscrew adjustment will make the previously in-tune strings slip slightly. Correct this by adjusting the tuning machines.

  5. 5

    Tighten each of the three nut-locks with the hex key. Start with the nut-lock over the low E and A strings, then tighten the other two. Fasten the nut so that the attached metal plate applies sufficient downward force to hold the strings.

  6. 6

    Adjust the thumb screws again. The downforce from the nut-lock will cause the strings to go slightly out of tune. This is normal. Turn the thumb screws clockwise to correct flat strings and turn them counterclockwise to correct sharp strings.

Tips and warnings

  • The strings hold the bridge in place. When changing strings, always remove them one at a time. Taking off all strings will cause the bridge to slip out of position.

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