Higher tension springs for Ibanez ZR trem system?
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Thread: Higher tension springs for Ibanez ZR trem system?

  1. #1


    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Cambridgeshire, UK
    ME: Charvel So Cal
    Rig: Triple Rec

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    Higher tension springs for Ibanez ZR trem system?

    I've had a few of these through my workshop in the last couple of years, and I fucking hate them.
    It's fine if the customer wants it blocked, but to have it fully floating with anything higher than 9s is practically impossible.

    I've fitted them with 10s in standard for a guy once, and that was with the tension absolutely jacked all the way up.

    I currently have a customer who has attempted to put 11's on his and it's just not going to happen. The trem is sky high with the tension wheel at the end of its thread.

    Is there anywhere to buy aftermarket trem springs of a higher tension for this abomination? In true Ibanez fashion they're not a standard length/shape.
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  3. #2


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Virginia Beach, USA
    ME: ESP Baby Metal
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    I complained to Ibanez and they sent me some for that RG7 I had for a minute, it was absurd I needed high gauge springs for 10-59 daddarios.

  4. #3


    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Daytona, FL
    ME: Charvel Strathead
    Rig: Laney Ironheart

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    Could you trim a few rings off the stock springs to make them shorter/stronger?

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  6. #4


    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Cambridgeshire, UK
    ME: Charvel So Cal
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    I actually managed to just about do it. There was more thread on the tension wheel than was first apparent, but it still took an awful lot of fucking around and some elbow grease.

  7. #5


    Join Date: Feb 2010
    Location: Laramie, Wyoming
    ME: Jackson AT Pro
    Rig: Rivera K Tre

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mattayus View Post

    Is there anywhere to buy aftermarket trem springs of a higher tension for this abomination? In true Ibanez fashion they're not a standard length/shape.
    Ibanez is one of the companies big enough for it to be possible the design is proprietary, and not available at any sort of hardware store. But it always cracks me up when trem companies sell parts that are just the exact same thing you can get at hardware stores for a 1200% markup.

    The worst are the hex bolts for holding the pads on, and the L shaped hex wrenches. You can got to the hardware store and get a pound of l shaped allen wrenches for what Floyd Rose wants for the "official" version.

    In terms of springs, even if Ibanez has those made special, you can probably find something nearly identical. "Spring suppliers" aren't really the kind of stuff where you will find a huge variety in your neighborhood hardware store, but there are definitely quite a few out there. I would bet even if Ibanez orders theirs special and you can't get the exact same thing, you can find something functionally identical with minimal effort.

    In terms of tracking down suppliers, of which there are probably only a few big ones in the "global springs industry", you'll have no luck approaching guitar companies. They'll just want you to buy their overpriced official versions. You'll have more luck approaching companies that make spring reverbs. Accutronics or Mod. Spring reverb springs and trem springs aren't made in house.

    https://www.springsfast.com/stock-extension-springs.php

    https://www.centuryspring.com/produc...nsion-springs/

    I actually bought a set of the "official Kahler high tension springs" for a Kahler guitar. Never ended up using them, the price was something ridiculous, like $40. As you can see from the links from bulk spring suppliers, the mark up there is fucking astronomical. There is no fucking way Kahler didn't get those things from one of the above companies for like 15 cents a piece.



    The black Ibanez springs are already lightly coated, but you can actually plasti-dip springs to increase tension. The "heavy duty"/"noiseless" springs companies like Floyd Upgrades sells are just regular springs coated in varying degrees of plastidip. There are obviously a bunch of formulas for all sorts of things spring related. Hooks law and all that shit, but the diameter of the wire itself factors heavily into the tension/strength of a spring. Plastidip isn't going to be as much of an increase in tension as making the spring from the get-go with a heavier wire, but if you do it right and it bonds to the metal well, you will get an increase in tension. Although if it doesn't bond well you might just get an increase in tension from gunking it up. You probably have to suspend the springs and hang a weight from them and spray them when they are at some degree of extension to avoid that.



    I would look up those bulk spring suppliers or something of the same nature on your side of the pond. At least if it's a common problem you deal with all the time. You can probably just ask them and they'll tell you what the guitar companies order. A lot of them even have the stuff they make for musical applications labeled on their sites with stuff like "music wire". Spring manufacturers do quite a lot of business with the musical instrument on a number of fronts obviously. You might not just be able to call and get the right guy to tell you what to order for something obscure, but for stuff like spring reverbs or standard trem springs you can definitely just call them up and be like, "What does so and so company order? I want a shit ton of those."

  8. #6


    Join Date: Feb 2010
    Location: Laramie, Wyoming
    ME: Jackson AT Pro
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    Also. I wouldn't trim them (extension springs that is, trimming smaller compression springs like in pickup ring assemblies is no big deal ovbviously), there's a lot of shit that goes into spring design. It's not super, super advanced, but they are purpose designed. On something with the tension levels of a guitar trem it won't be like, a catastrophic failure, but things like diameter and number of coils are designed with the end application in mind. Some more esoteric or advanced trem designs like Ibanez stuff use compression springs along with extension ones to counterbalance them or something else, which is cool in theory, but in practice I still like the OFR best.

    You can definitely experiment with them though. You'll sometimes see custom guitars that have longer springs than normal.

    One of the super obvious ones is Brian May's Red Special, the springs used in the original construction of that were automotive springs, not "standard strat style trem springs".

  9. #7


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Virginia Beach, USA
    ME: ESP Baby Metal
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    The new coated springs they sell are to reduce vibration (spring noise) not to increase tension that's why they were first sold as low noise.

  10. #8


    Join Date: Feb 2010
    Location: Laramie, Wyoming
    ME: Jackson AT Pro
    Rig: Rivera K Tre

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kagami View Post
    The new coated springs they sell are to reduce vibration (spring noise) not to increase tension that's why they were first sold as low noise.
    Yeah, for sure, but they do increase tension if the finishes bond with the spring itself is solid. How appreciable it is would require measurements and shit, but making the actual material thicker in diameter has an effect on the spring's tension. Since that's one of the main factors in determining a strings characteristics. I doubt it's the same as if it was the same diameter in metal, but there is definitely an effect there if it's bonded well.

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