Vader Trem Tuning Stability Issue

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forestd
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Vader Trem Tuning Stability Issue

Postby forestd » Fri May 22, 2020 2:50 pm

Hoping someone can help me out with this very annoying problem. When I go for a solid bend (whole step or more) on a string, that string will detune 15-25 cents. Then, if I use the tremolo afterwards, it will return to the proper tuning (mostly). If this description doesn’t make any sense, I’ve recorded a video: https://streamable.com/hlwdgc

In the video I just go through each string with the camera on the tuner, then alternate between bending the 3rd string at the 12th fret, and just wailing on the tremolo to demonstrate how inconsistent the pitch is.

This is an issue for all of the strings on my Vader 6X, but it’s most pronounced on the 3rd string. The problem has also persisted through many sets of strings.

Any tips appreciated! This is driving me crazy.

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Re: Vader Trem Tuning Stability Issue

Postby HarlowTheFish » Fri May 22, 2020 2:57 pm

It's an issue with most non-locking trems - the string will get caught on the saddles and go out of tune and come back when you use the trem. The Vader trems have been pretty good about not doing that, but if you're having issues maybe either the Graphtech string saver saddles (which are made of the same material as their nuts or in the case of the SS Classics have an insert of that) have helped me with that issue on other guitars.

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Re: Vader Trem Tuning Stability Issue

Postby forestd » Fri May 22, 2020 3:10 pm

Interesting, did not know that. Which of the models on their website (https://graphtech.com/collections/strin ... s-electric) would work with the Vader 6X?

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Re: Vader Trem Tuning Stability Issue

Postby UnexplodedCow » Mon May 25, 2020 9:18 pm

Try a little lube on the pivots, saddle grooves, and nut. Be sure the strings are snug in the headpiece. Check the headpiece screws for snugness. Check the pivot posts for forward lean. I had this on my Z6X and sent it back for warranty work. No problems since. Finally, string choice matters very much. Cheaper strings, like Cargo, will consistently break at the ball end, or unravel there. The most reliable string I've run into are the Ernie Ball M steel strings. A bit stiffer than usual, but they don't stretch like regular strings, and have been more reliable. Upside is that I get almost a year out of them with barely noticeable sound change through the amp.

Hopefully this gets you stable.
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Re: Vader Trem Tuning Stability Issue

Postby HarlowTheFish » Mon May 25, 2020 9:25 pm

forestd wrote:Interesting, did not know that. Which of the models on their website (https://graphtech.com/collections/strin ... s-electric) would work with the Vader 6X?

You'd have to double-check the measurements, but one of the offset lefty block saddles should work ok (again, as long as the measurements line up). I'd recommend trying Cow's suggestion above, it might solve your issue without any mods needed. Also, just in case you haven't checked - make sure your trem posts are lined up heightwise. With a strat 2-point trem it's usually fine to have a bit of difference, but I've found that the non-headless hipshot trems (which use the same pivot mechanism as the headless iirc) are really sensitive to this, more so than basically any other trems I've played with.

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Re: Vader Trem Tuning Stability Issue

Postby forestd » Wed May 27, 2020 8:09 am

Thanks so much everyone. I was able to make some huge improvements thanks to your tips.

I did a few things so I'm not sure what exactly fixed it. I changed the strings one at a time to a heavier gauge (Ernie ball mammoth slinky, 12-62) and dropped a bunch of graphite I shaved off of an old pencil into both the nut grooves and the saddle grooves. I had to pretty dramatically increase the spring tension in the bridge to get the trem level and the action right, since these were way heavier strings than I was using previously, so I wonder if that had some impact.

Anyway, the stability is much better now. I can actually do a big bend and the string won't drop out of tune anymore. Hope this thread helps someone in the future.

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Jack'O'Licious
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Re: Vader Trem Tuning Stability Issue

Postby Jack'O'Licious » Thu May 28, 2020 11:25 am

Dayum Zakk, 12's? Thats pretty heavy lol.
Kiesel's:
2017 DCM8, 2020 Vader 7X (Used to have an Aries 7H with Piezo but regretfully sold it)

Other's:
Cheap Peavey Strat (1st axe ever), Ernie Ball JP13, 2018 Dingwall NG-3 5 string, 2017 Warwick RB Corvette 6 string

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Re: Vader Trem Tuning Stability Issue

Postby HarlowTheFish » Thu May 28, 2020 1:04 pm

Jack'O'Licious wrote:Dayum Zakk, 12's? Thats pretty heavy lol.

I've got a set of 12-68 on my Ormsby. Compared to going from 10s to 11s, 11s to 12s is chump change. 13s are wild tho, I don't mess with those - when I was a freshman, I literally gouged my finger so deep on a set of those, my Jazz Improv professor made me go to the health center in the middle of class. Couldn't play with my left ring finger for like a month.

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Re: Vader Trem Tuning Stability Issue

Postby Jack'O'Licious » Fri May 29, 2020 5:59 am

HarlowTheFish wrote:
Jack'O'Licious wrote:Dayum Zakk, 12's? Thats pretty heavy lol.

I've got a set of 12-68 on my Ormsby. Compared to going from 10s to 11s, 11s to 12s is chump change. 13s are wild tho, I don't mess with those - when I was a freshman, I literally gouged my finger so deep on a set of those, my Jazz Improv professor made me go to the health center in the middle of class. Couldn't play with my left ring finger for like a month.

Wow. I havent ever played 13's either. When I was young I was into Zakk Wylde and I thought you werent cool unless you played 11's or 12's. I have changed since then lol.

I will say my Dingwall bass has a .180 on the low B string. I tune it to drop E (1 octave down from standard E).
Kiesel's:
2017 DCM8, 2020 Vader 7X (Used to have an Aries 7H with Piezo but regretfully sold it)

Other's:
Cheap Peavey Strat (1st axe ever), Ernie Ball JP13, 2018 Dingwall NG-3 5 string, 2017 Warwick RB Corvette 6 string

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Re: Vader Trem Tuning Stability Issue

Postby HarlowTheFish » Fri May 29, 2020 8:26 am

Jack'O'Licious wrote:Wow. I havent ever played 13's either. When I was young I was into Zakk Wylde and I thought you werent cool unless you played 11's or 12's. I have changed since then lol.

I will say my Dingwall bass has a .180 on the low B string. I tune it to drop E (1 octave down from standard E).

I play with a set of 11-58s in Drop D on my guitars (the Ormsby was tuned to B for one of my girlfriend's projects until pretty recently, now it's in Drop D for a bit until my Bass VI 24-90 strings for it get here - tuning it to bass Drop D). It's honestly pretty great and the Lithiums in my CL6 really love thick strings - it really sings and the annoying treble spike they can have with 9s (and still a bit with 10s) is completely gone. Also really great to keep bends in control, and has been really great for my tendonitis because it makes me use my left-hand wrist and elbow more often rather than just flailing my fingers around into awkward positions.


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