Step Stop Issue

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reverend-kansas
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Step Stop Issue

Post by reverend-kansas »

I got a lovely 2008 Fly Classic the other day. It is my first 'real' fly, it joins my NiteFly SA. When I have the bridge raised to my liking, the tab on the 3-groove spring plate it too high and does not make contact with the step-stop in Home position. I haven't pulled it apart yet to look, but my first guess is that years of use has chewed away a little bit of the stop. Does any one have suggestions?
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vjmanzo
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Re: Step Stop Issue

Post by vjmanzo »

Congrats, @reverend-kansas! Would love to see/hear that axe sometime!

Is that tab in the three-ridge plate hovering over the stepstop or does it just not meet the stepstop (space in between)? The latter suggests that the spring is beginning to fail, so hopefully it’s not that. Make take some photos once you open it up?
mmmguitar
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Re: Step Stop Issue

Post by mmmguitar »

@reverend-kansas, it may also help if you post photos of the issue along with a shot of the top of the guitar behind the trem; so we can see what kind of angle away from the stop it’s resting at. Also, what string set and spring gauge are you using?
reverend-kansas
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Re: Step Stop Issue

Post by reverend-kansas »

ImageIMG_1489 by Boytbpc, on Flickr

ImageIMG_1486 by Boytbpc, on Flickr

The action is 6/64" on the bass and 5/64" on the treble. The large threaded screw is only 3/8" pushed out. The brass tip on the 3-groove spring retainer just barely misses the step-stop. It is almost like the step-stop is 1/8" too short.
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Re: Step Stop Issue

Post by mmmguitar »

The bridge *appears* to be tilting forward from the string tension. Assuming the spring is working as it should, you can gradually tighten the spring tension and loosen the strings a bit at a time until the spring retainer post comes to rest against the step stop. When I’ve encountered this issue on other Flys, it ended up being a simple matter of calibration.

To put it another way: On a strat-style trem, you adjust the tension between the strings and springs until the trem is balanced with regard to how far you wish to be able to pull up (e.g. the bridge plate can be anywhere from flush against the body top to tilting up enough to be able to pull the G up in pitch a minor 3rd or so). With a Fly trem, it’s considered “balanced” when the step stop is in contact with the post of the spring retainer - Even if the trem is fully functional in every other respect (as yours appears to be).

Note that the step-stop isn’t even necessary to use if you don’t wish to - You can set the trem to pull the G up a 4th or more just by balancing the strings and springs similarly to how your bridge appears in that photo. At the end of the day, it’s a matter of preference that is largely overlooked by Fly owners who consider the step-stop mandatory, rather than a built-in option.

That all said, additional photos of the trem from the top and side will help identify leaning bridge posts or other potential issues this could be symptomatic of.
reverend-kansas
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Re: Step Stop Issue

Post by reverend-kansas »

mmmguitar wrote: Mon Apr 05, 2021 3:32 pm The bridge *appears* to be tilting forward from the string tension. Assuming the spring is working as it should, you can gradually tighten the spring tension and loosen the strings a bit at a time until the spring retainer post comes to rest against the step stop. When I’ve encountered this issue on other Flys, it ended up being a simple matter of calibration.

To put it another way: On a strat-style trem, you adjust the tension between the strings and springs until the trem is balanced with regard to how far you wish to be able to pull up (e.g. the bridge plate can be anywhere from flush against the body top to tilting up enough to be able to pull the G up in pitch a minor 3rd or so). With a Fly trem, it’s considered “balanced” when the step stop is in contact with the post of the spring retainer - Even if the trem is fully functional in every other respect (as yours appears to be).

Note that the step-stop isn’t even necessary to use if you don’t wish to - You can set the trem to pull the G up a 4th or more just by balancing the strings and springs similarly to how your bridge appears in that photo. At the end of the day, it’s a matter of preference that is largely overlooked by Fly owners who consider the step-stop mandatory, rather than a built-in option.

That all said, additional photos of the trem from the top and side will help identify leaning bridge posts or other potential issues this could be symptomatic of.
ImageIMG_1487 by Boytbpc, on Flickr

ImageIMG_1488 by Boytbpc, on Flickr

Is this the angle better?
Also, Is the tilt of the bridge (treble side lower than bass side) normal?

Thanks!
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Re: Step Stop Issue

Post by mmmguitar »

Is the bass side of the bridge rubbing against the front of the rout, at all? If not, it looks like it should just be a matter of dialing things in with the spring tension wheel until the step stop makes contact. And I’m envious of your play area.

The tilt due to difference in height between the sides you’re referring to is just bridge height/action adjusted via the allen screws in the bottom of the guitar - The bridge is machined to have a fixed radius that matches the fingerboard’s; meaning that the height of each side is something you can simply adjust until it feels comfortable to you.

One of the “Ooh - Fancy!” aspects of setting up a Fly is that the height adjustment points that the trem actually pivots on are either adjacent to or behind the saddles - Resulting in the strings staying relatively in-tune as you make minor height adjustments to a floating bridge until it feels “right.”
reverend-kansas
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Re: Step Stop Issue

Post by reverend-kansas »



I shot a video to show the issue. I looked at the manual and set the bridge height exactly as the manual states, 0.7" on the bass and 0.5" on the treble, measured at the 12th fret with the 1st fret capo'ed.
mmmguitar
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Re: Step Stop Issue

Post by mmmguitar »

Ah! Yes; that problem’s certainly different from what I thought you were communicating.

As the posts below mine point out, your Fly has a different era part for a step-stop; and it appears to have been mounted nearly a quarter inch or so too high to make contact with the spring retainer. If you remove the bridge and spring so you have room to unscrew and drill a new hole to mount the step-stop just a bit lower, you should be good.

Here’s the positioning of refined and pre-refined step-stops on two of my Flys, for reference:


41FEEA0A-E3F9-486B-9485-2E3AF3213F96.jpeg
23649989-C83E-41ED-BD75-E5636ACB6F72.jpeg
1B39998A-9E66-48BD-96C9-22F34DB780A0.jpeg
BD797F1A-7CFF-45FF-8ED5-A4BE37D8CC9B.jpeg
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vjmanzo
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Re: Step Stop Issue

Post by vjmanzo »

Well...that’s the first time I’ve seen that issue! 😂


Of note: the step stop that’s in your Fly is the original Wilmington-era Step-stop whereas your Fly looks like a “refined” Mundelin-era Fly; there was a different step-stop used in those Flys, and it’s possible that the mounting point of the step-stop (where it screws into the wall of the bridge route) is different between the two versions. I’d have to check our models to know for sure, but my money is on the issue being related to the pre-refined step-stop. It’s possible that the previous owner swapped it—I love that little latch.

I bet anchoring the step-stop lower in the cavity would fix the issue.
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jb63
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Re: Step Stop Issue

Post by jb63 »

Yes.
That is an issue.
It looks like a refined fly with pre-refined parts in it. Is it possible that it is a Frankensteined fly? Would make sense with the gold bridge and mahogany body.
So that the step-stop might be from a pre-refined, and thus not fit exactly?

Since you’ve gone this far, I’d loosen up the tension and take out the spring, bring the bridge down as tight and low as you can and still get it to move without scraping the wood, then reinstall the spring and slowly raise the bridge up to where it plays instead of buzzes.

All this should be harmless but Time-consuming and if it’s still not possible to get the step-stop in place, that’s the part you need.

I wouldn’t do ANY of this before someone else give an opinion similar, though. It’s just where I would go from here.
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Big Swifty
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Re: Step Stop Issue

Post by Big Swifty »

Yeah wow, never seen that before neither!

I reckon @vjmanzo is is on the money, the step stop itself is a pre-refined era one, and you have a refiend era Fly, so it's been replaced at some point, and consequently isn't working as it's supposed to.

Just moving it down/relocating will mean the little tab may not poke through the back plate any more.. on those step stops the round brass stop bit that actually makes contact with the step stop itself does so about halfway up the steps top, there's lots of plastic under it.

Refined era step stops actually require a little tool or pin to engage, one of those "refinements" they made... so this may have been an attempt to change that situation, there'll be pics around on this forum of the two different designs.

So it's not a deal breaker, you can live without it and look around for a refined one or possibly fashion one yourself from brass or something if you're that way inclined..a good blob of JB Weld and a file might do the trick too!

B.S.
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vjmanzo
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Re: Step Stop Issue

Post by vjmanzo »

For reference:

Original Step-stop:
FE57E5EA-A6B7-4727-B905-47496FE9B858.jpeg
Refined Step-stop:
3C26C0FF-C671-4FA4-AB01-47289BA99DE2.png
3C26C0FF-C671-4FA4-AB01-47289BA99DE2.png (109.47 KiB) Viewed 224 times

And, FYI: if you ever get a refined step-stop, here’s a little guide to adding a latch to that part.
reverend-kansas
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Re: Step Stop Issue

Post by reverend-kansas »

Thanks for all the responses. The guitar came with a small collection of parts in the case, including the original bridge. It had been changed as the previous owner did not like the amount of wear that it had sustained over the years. Also included were 3 of the grooved spring retainers, the other end of the spring retainer, another spring, and some screws, but alas, no refined-step stop.

Imagefly_parts by Boytbpc, on Flickr

Regarding the difference between the refined and pre-refined step-stops, is there a difference between the size, screw placement, or shape of the stop? Does anyone have either an extra refined stop or a 3D printer file for the refined stop?

Cheers!
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jb63
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Re: Step Stop Issue

Post by jb63 »

Whoa! That guitar is magic! It comes with gold! Don't lose that stuff!
It can't be too tough to print that step stop, but I don't think anyone's done it yet!
Now we have a reason!
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vjmanzo
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Re: Step Stop Issue

Post by vjmanzo »

Okay, that makes sense. I am 99% confident that both step-stops are the same dimensions and that the only differences are in the latch vs. hole design; I will confirm soon. I’d like to retract my earlier guess that the problem is with the step-stop; it might just be with the bridge height.

If it were me, I’d do what @jb63 is suggesting; I’ve done this before (in frustration!) and it can be helpful. As long as you’re confident that the neck has the correct shape/relief, and that the nut slots are not cut too deep, then adjusting the bridge height is a good next approach.
jb63 wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:28 pm Since you’ve gone this far, I’d loosen up the tension and take out the spring, bring the bridge down as tight and low as you can and still get it to move without scraping the wood, then reinstall the spring and slowly raise the bridge up to where it plays instead of buzzes.
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vjmanzo
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Re: Step Stop Issue

Post by vjmanzo »

jb63 wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:33 pm It can't be too tough to print that step stop, but I don't think anyone's done it yet!
Now we have a reason!
@
reverend-kansas
, we can make you this part, so please PM me; no guarantees that it will fit, but if you're up for reporting back and back-and-forthing through the refinement process, we can make something happen.
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jb63
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Re: Step Stop Issue

Post by jb63 »

I just took a very close look at my pre-refined vs. refined step-stops and they are a little bit different, but they look interchangeable.

I forgot to take pictures!
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reverend-kansas
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Re: Step Stop Issue

Post by reverend-kansas »

I took the strings off, removed the spring, and removed the step-stop. It is installed in the original factory location. I adjusted the bridge height to the lowest it can be without buzzing, and the stop works, but when I adjust it to the height that I prefer, it doesn't.
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Re: Step Stop Issue

Post by vjmanzo »

Are you confident that the neck has the correct shape/relief, and that the nut slots are not cut too deep?
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