Springs

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mmmguitar
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Re: Springs

Post by mmmguitar »

G-string wrote: Mon Feb 21, 2022 4:31 am Hi all,

I broker my flat spring too so I converted my Parker Fly to a hard tail with a mahogany block. I have more of it where it came from. Just cut it to the length you want and sand it for a perfect fit.

download/file.php?id=1317&mode=view

G-string
Thank you, @G-String, and welcome to this little corner of the Parker community. Every bit of know-how from Fly owners is much appreciated, here. We’re all hoping that, soon, blocking the Fly trem will again be relegated to a matter of preference; rather than a measure those hurting for springs resort to.
Summary of the current Parker Guitars market: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_fool_theory
chrisjscott
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Re: Springs (width and markings)

Post by chrisjscott »

Hey, all:

I'm really enjoying this community and dig the enthusiasm for these guitars - just want that out there.

I had a very interesting exchange this evening with a guy from one of the two Facebook groups who responded to a post I made asking if anybody would like to trade a 10 spring for my 9 spring. He asked me to measure the width of my spring (which I thought was odd) and I quickly learned from him that the spring gauge is (in part) determined by its width. That really kinda blew my mind, as I always assumed that the springs were all the same width and that it was the thickness of the metal that differentiated them.

Huh - go figure!

He showed me pics of a stamped 009 measuring 1.35" (wide) followed by a 10 gauge measuring 1.51" so then I measured my 9 spring and it's 1.504" so... I guess I have a 10 with the number 9 written in sharpie on it?!?

With all of this in mind, has anyone documented what the widths are for the different spring gauges? I think that'd be really useful reference info. Particularly when it appears that the markings on the springs themselves may not be reliable (at least, based on this exchange)!
'97 Parker Fly Deluxe (emerald green)
'97 Parker NiteFly NFV4 (black-signed by KP)
Parker PDF60 (white-hacked w/ EMGs & a Roland GK-3)
Parker PDF70 (currently being hacked up)
raw Parker Nitefly body and neck from Wilmington
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vjmanzo
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Re: Springs

Post by vjmanzo »

Hi @chrisjscott—great question.

The short answer is that there are many variables to this and the differences in width and the markings in the original and USM springs vary widely in terms of physical dimensions, formation structures, and, unfortunately, reliability.

The approach we’ve taken has been to:
-model and simulate how the springs should function
-measure how the original springs actually functioned
-analyze the properties of the materials in springs including failed springs
-tweak the materials/heat treatment recipe to retain the function and feel of the original springs without the same propensity to fail

I think that’s the best approach to ensure that what we’re making is doing what it’s supposed to and that were not “cloning” something that has, respectfully, flaws in the design.
mmmguitar
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Re: Springs

Post by mmmguitar »

Bear in mind that springs used to be **free** to request from support@parkerguitars.com

I get the impression that, despite being essential and proprietary components, the springs labeled and installed in Buffalo Grove weren’t held to the most stringent of standards. In the “big picture”, they were largely relegated to case candy in the course of getting people to purchase some very expensive guitars (alongside the bullwinkles and other “accessories”).
Summary of the current Parker Guitars market: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_fool_theory
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vjmanzo
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Re: Springs

Post by vjmanzo »

Hi everyone! This is a brief update, to say that we’ve got some great findings to share soon, and, now, we’re going to begin opening a few slots on our closed beta team to test some new springs based on our research!

We’re still a ways out on this, but if you’re able to help us test our latest batch of springs, please send a private message to Fly Clone (<—by clicking that link) with the following information:

Name:
State/Country (full address not needed at this stage):
String Set Gauge (9, 10, etc.):

The Fly Clone account doesn’t reply (how rude!) and we only have a few spots at the moment, but as we move forward with this release (and future spring recipes we’re planning), we’ll refer to this list of Fly Clone members that have expressed interest in helping us with this and we'll reach out.
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Patzag
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Re: Springs

Post by Patzag »

vjmanzo wrote: Tue Mar 01, 2022 2:06 pm Hi everyone! This is a brief update, to say that we’ve got some great findings to share soon, and, now, we’re going to begin opening a few slots on our closed beta team to test some new springs based on our research!

We’re still a ways out on this, but if you’re able to help us test our latest batch of springs, please send a private message to Fly Clone (<—by clicking that link) with the following information:

Name:
State/Country (full address not needed at this stage):
String Set Gauge (9, 10, etc.):

The Fly Clone account doesn’t reply (how rude!) and we only have a few spots at the moment, but as we move forward with this release (and future spring recipes we’re planning), we’ll refer to this list of Fly Clone members that have expressed interest in helping us with this and we'll reach out.
Grand! Email sent!
Musikron
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Re: Springs

Post by Musikron »

Yup, I'll give it my still and give you a detailed report back. As well as place an order!
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Laughinglarry
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Re: Springs

Post by Laughinglarry »

vjmanzo wrote: Sun Feb 27, 2022 10:26 pm Hi @chrisjscott—great question.

The short answer is that there are many variables to this and the differences in width and the markings in the original and USM springs vary widely in terms of physical dimensions, formation structures, and, unfortunately, reliability.

The approach we’ve taken has been to:
-model and simulate how the springs should function
-measure how the original springs actually functioned
-analyze the properties of the materials in springs including failed springs
-tweak the materials/heat treatment recipe to retain the function and feel of the original springs without the same propensity to fail

I think that’s the best approach to ensure that what we’re making is doing what it’s supposed to and that were not “cloning” something that has, respectfully, flaws in the design.
So, it would seem to me, and PLEASE correct me if I'm wrong, that the most reliable test would be a simple torque wrench. Take known (at least factory stamped) springs with the corresponding string sets and measure pound-feet of torque, then you'd have a (relatively) scientific standard, wouldn't you? Is there a better, or known way, to determine the springiness of the springs (i.e. the correct gauge a spring is made for)? I have a couple with no markings at all (in various states of decay, sadly - but at the time they were available and, compared to TODAY'S market, CHEAP!).
Owner since '98, ADDICT since '08
That would be a SWARM...
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vjmanzo
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Re: Springs

Post by vjmanzo »

Hey @Laughinglarry—if a spring floats properly (it returns to zero when bent and transitions between fixed bridge mode and floating mode without the pitch changing) then it’s working as intended; for sake of jargon let’s call this “the functional test”.

The tests and steps I’m referring to (above quotation) are to quantify, among other things, 1) how a spring passes the functional test and 2) how the springs fail, which is inevitable with the current design. Failure is not just “they snap”—failure is anything that impedes the spring from passing the functional test. You can put your unmarked springs in your Fly and, if they work, then they work, but that doesn’t really tell you much about that spring’s reliability (over time), which is now becoming an issue we’re all facing with all Fly springs.

There are many tests that can help make sense of what’s going on with original springs and new springs, and you’re right that a force sensor can give you readings about how much resistance the spring is handling. To be clear though, there’s the resistance of the spring pushing back on the bridge, and there’s also the resistance that impacts “feel”, which is the force required to move the vibrato arm in order to change the pitch. We want to know how both of these things work; we’ve modeled the environment in a simulation package called Ansys and have also done real-world tests.

If an OEM spring was not made with the correct hardness (a factor of heat treatment), for example, it may pass the functional test, but only for a short time. This is how we’re observing springs that break outright or slowly begin to stop being springy. If you do a torque test, you’re only observing how that spring is performing in a specific way at the time of the test, but if you know the properties of “the perfect spring”, you can check the hardness and other properties of the spring to infer how that spring will behave over time.

Our immediate goal is not to make unbreakable springs, but we do want to know everything we can possibly know about “the perfect spring” and the “in real life Fly springs” as part of this process; by doing so, we will, ideally, be able to engineer out some of those shortcomings—particularly, that slowly-failing sort of condition that occurs with springs near the end of their life. If there’s no clear metric of how springs should behave (which is unfortunately how we are all flying right now!) then, even with a bucket full of shiny new springs, it will be trial and error and “feel” and wishful thinking whenever a spring is installed.
mmmguitar
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Re: Springs

Post by mmmguitar »

vjmanzo wrote: Sat Mar 05, 2022 7:41 am[…]even with a bucket full of shiny new springs, it will be trial and error and “feel” and wishful thinking whenever a spring is installed.
Which (combined with a crude sort of mock-up torque test), as I understand, is historically how they seem to be have been “rated” and installed at the factory. I’ve been under the impression that, had JAM not shelved the brand, this flatspring QC process likely would have continued until whichever cost-cutting revision finally increased the depth of the Fly body until generic strat coil springs could be used.
Summary of the current Parker Guitars market: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_fool_theory
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vjmanzo
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Re: Springs

Post by vjmanzo »

Yes, unfortunately, I have heard the very same story from a few members of our Fly Clone community that were close to this part of production. Ugh—very disappointing and unfair to ask of those technicians if that was, in fact, the case.
mmmguitar wrote: Sat Mar 05, 2022 4:22 pm I’ve been under the impression that, had JAM not shelved the brand, this flatspring QC process likely would have continued until whichever cost-cutting revision finally increased the depth of the Fly body until generic strat coil springs could be used.
I suspect the same thing, sadly. Regarding the flat spring vs. a strat-type coil spring—to quote the Mandalorian (the Manzo-lorian?)—I feel like "this is the way" :lol: The flat spring is such a great concept; ahead of it's time I think! If I can be critical: JAM should have empowered USM and Parker Guitars to explore the flat-spring concept further! I'd absolutely retrofit my Strat with the Fly vibrato bridge if I could!
mmmguitar
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Re: Springs

Post by mmmguitar »

Even as a guy who still prefers the Kahler/Steinberger cam design, I agree wholeheartedly that Ken’s flatspring design was (and, in some ways, remains) ahead of its time.
Summary of the current Parker Guitars market: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_fool_theory
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Patzag
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Re: Springs

Post by Patzag »

mmmguitar wrote: Sat Mar 05, 2022 6:11 pm Even as a guy who still prefers the Kahler/Steinberger cam design, I agree wholeheartedly that Ken’s flatspring design was (and, in some ways, remains) ahead of its time.
By the way, I had a Kahler installed in a Hard Tail fly by a pro. I sold the instrument since, but it proved that that system would've worked well in a Fly. And it did. I just did not bond with the guitar.

Did I ever post a picture of it?
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Patzag
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Re: Springs

Post by Patzag »

mmmguitar wrote: Sat Mar 05, 2022 6:11 pm Even as a guy who still prefers the Kahler/Steinberger cam design, I agree wholeheartedly that Ken’s flatspring design was (and, in some ways, remains) ahead of its time.
By the way, I had a Kahler installed in a Hard Tail fly by a pro. I sold the instrument since, but it proved that that system would've worked well in a Fly. And it did. I just did not bond with the guitar.

Did I ever post a picture of it?
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vjmanzo
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Re: Springs

Post by vjmanzo »

Patzag wrote: Sun Mar 06, 2022 9:07 am I had a Kahler installed in a Hard Tail fly by a pro.
Wow! think I do remember you mentioning that, @Patzag, but I don’t recall seeing a photo—I’d love to see a photo of that!

I’m also curious what you didn’t bond with.
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Patzag
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Re: Springs

Post by Patzag »

vjmanzo wrote: Sun Mar 06, 2022 10:13 am
Patzag wrote: Sun Mar 06, 2022 9:07 am I had a Kahler installed in a Hard Tail fly by a pro.
Wow! think I do remember you mentioning that, @Patzag, but I don’t recall seeing a photo—I’d love to see a photo of that!

I’m also curious what you didn’t bond with.
I made a number of mods to this guitar. Kahler (no Piezo), locking nut, electronics, paint job (Chrome). But the final result was not my bag.
The Kahler was great. "Easy" to retrofit on a hard tail. The rest was not to my liking.

I'm just a sucker for the original Fly!
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Patzag
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Re: Springs

Post by Patzag »

Photos attached ...
Attachments
IMG_2751.JPG
IMG_2745.JPG
IMG_2743.JPG
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vjmanzo
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Kahler installed in a Hard Tail Fly

Post by vjmanzo »

Love it, Patzag! Mod and color look awesome!

#FlyMods
mmmguitar
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Re: Springs

Post by mmmguitar »

For the record, I want that guitar.
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billy
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Re: Springs

Post by billy »

I remember that project!

I tried but never could bond with the Kahler systems, much preferred the Floyd style. There were more cool whammy tricks with a Floyd than other styles.

And I believe the df series is a bit thicker to allow for mounting a Floyd with the shorter block. I guess they had more than a few requests for Floyd flys.

Mostly I prefer hard tails the last decade or so but fun to use a whammy sometimes too.
Billy

Spruce spruce and CF forever...
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