How to service a Floyd Rose-style vibrato
21st Aug 2009 | 14:32
There’s no such thing as a maintenance-free vibrato. In fact, most components on an electric guitar need regular maintenance, even if that just means a wipe over with a clean cloth.
The biggest threat to your vibrato unit is you. For a kick off, the sweat from your hands can eat into the metal’s finish. You’ll also wear out some parts just by using the vibrato. That means you’ll have to inspect your vibrato regularly for any parts that need to be replaced.
Take care of your guitar’s vibrato and it will last for years. Here’s how…
When you replace the strings on your guitar, give the Floyd a helping help by stretching the strings before you lock down the locking top nut. Yes, we bleat on about this, but it makes a huge difference.
Whenever you finish playing your guitar give it a good going over with a clean, dry cloth. Pay particular attention to the vibrato. Wipe around the fine tuners and make sure the saddles are sparkling too.
If your Floyd doesn’t stay in tune, check its ‘pivot’ points (see the picture for the location of these points). If these parts are worn they should be replaced.
If the fine tuners are difficult to turn, put a small amount of light oil on the threads. Once they’re turning, unscrew them from the vibrato and apply a bit of grease to the threads.
Now and then check the string saddles on the vibrato for rust or cracks. Cast metal vibratos can fracture, so always be gentle when restringing. Don’t over tighten any parts.