Improving the bridge of a HH2X

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ItAllanLover
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Improving the bridge of a HH2X

Postby ItAllanLover » Sat Feb 02, 2019 5:10 am

Hi everyone,
i'm a happy owner of a HH2X and i love it.
The only thing that can be improved is the bridge, in my opinion: it's a sort of floyd rose, with springs on the back, and it doesn't stay perfectly in tune...plus it's hard to make very small adjustment when tuning, tuners are hard and when you roll them the pitch moves a lot.
Any tips on how to improve it?
Anyone who have changed the bridge for something better?

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UnexplodedCow
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Re: Improving the bridge of a HH2X

Postby UnexplodedCow » Sat Feb 02, 2019 1:08 pm

It's not a bad design, but it's not like the old XS (Steinberger copy) design that was originally used on the headless Holdsworths.

The headless "X trem" is based on a Hipshot Contour design, to start. It's a two-post fulcrum style, much like a typical Fender/Wilkinson/Floyd/Gotoh/Edge/most other designs. It shares the same inherent "issues," namely the string height will rise and lower with use.

Anyway, a couple tips on using it: grease the pivots with some sort of light grease that stays put. I've been using some planet waves stuff, and it works well. After that, grease the threads on the tuning screws. Take tension off the strings, and then use a #1 phillips screwdriver in the center of those tuning lugs, loosening the screw and taking it out of the string claw that's in the bridge. Work some grease onto the threads, and then move the lug up and down some to distribute. Install it back in the string claw and snug it in the claw. Tighten the string normally and notice the improvement.

It's best to do the greasing while restringing the guitar, since you're going through the motions anyway.

One design that's never changed, and baffles me, is how the springs connect. Gotoh uses screws in the sustain block to lock the spring hooks into place. However, the other end is just a loop, and small shifts can make subtle differences. A hook/screw design at both ends would solve some more issues, but that's not yet been made (and gives me an idea for the winter).

There is no other tailpiece that will drop in, and the design is honestly fine and stable once lubed. I use my Z6X daily, and do dive-bombs, pullups, and flutters, just fine.

One thing I have noticed is that string choice matters. It came with Elixir strings that worked ok, but one eventually unraveled at the ball end on me, so I swapped on some D'addario 10-46 strings. While they did not unwind, they weren't as stable as expected. I've been using some Ernie Ball M-steel strings (10-46, and slightly more tension than a normal set), and they were stable on the first tune-up.

At the other end, be SURE the grub screws are tight enough, and also beware that some of the screws may have a sharp edge or burr that cuts the string (or won't tighten fully). The 1st and 2nd strings on my Z6X had this problem, and I took a small file, reshaping the edge for each screw. Kind of fiddly, but that's a headless sometimes. After the re-shaping, I can lock the strings in, and don't have tuning issues. It's ever-so-shy of being as stable as a Floyd, but easier to change strings on.

Furthermore, how the string is placed in the claw matters. The best method I've found is to just hook the string in there, and let it grab how it wants; don't aim to make the barrel sit perfectly flat, as I've had problems with tuning then. Don't let the string twist at all when locking it down. It's simple stuff, but small detail that kind of matters.

It's a good design overall. I think Hipshot may have had some bad QC at one point with the grub screws. My V6 from 2015 has slightly different grub screws, with smoother threading. It's not a big issue; they can be replaced if it becomes a real problem. Anyway, hope this helps.
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ItAllanLover
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Re: Improving the bridge of a HH2X

Postby ItAllanLover » Sun Feb 03, 2019 4:15 am

Thank you UnExplodedCow!
I'll do that next time i restring (by the way, i'm also using stainless steel strings and they are much better than nickel).
I'm sure Kiesel can improve this bridge, and we will see it in the future ;)

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UnexplodedCow
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Re: Improving the bridge of a HH2X

Postby UnexplodedCow » Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:29 pm

Kiesel would need to grab Hipshot's ear again to make a new design, and I highly doubt that'd happen.
We are entitled to our own, wrong, opinions.

Guitar theorem: G=X+1 where G= guitars one needs, and X = guitars one has.

Do or do not; there is no understand.


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