Japanese vibrato

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don barroso
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Japanese vibrato

Post by don barroso » Fri Nov 20, 2020 11:09 am

Hi, I have a Japanese made Jazzmaster. I noticed that the lock function of my vibrato was not working so dismantled the unit from the guitar body and checked the online resources. I see that the cylindrical moving lock, internally is too far in the locked position to actual grab the moving tremolo and lock it.
Is this common with japanese made vibrato?
Thank you

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HarlowTheFish
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Re: Japanese vibrato

Post by HarlowTheFish » Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:50 pm

Yeah the Japan trems are kinda finicky and inconsistent. You can try to dremel or file out the hole to get it to work, but that's honestly not really worth the effort when an AV/AVRI trem is like $80, an AmPro is like $70, and a Classic Player is $50 or so.

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Sanguine
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Re: Japanese vibrato

Post by Sanguine » Fri Nov 20, 2020 3:23 pm

I have a MIJ traditional Jazzmaster and trem lock not working was a big surprise to me so I dismantled it too and found out that there were not enough of that lock to hold the unit in place. So I guess this problem plagues all recent Japs. Solved this by ordering AVRI tremolo.

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Mechanical Birds
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Re: Japanese vibrato

Post by Mechanical Birds » Sat Nov 21, 2020 12:02 am

I mean no offense but do you guys know what that is and what it’s actually used for, let alone how to engage it? If it’s properly set up, without the arm being depressed, sliding it back will have it simply sit in front of the balanced plate part. You need to depress the arm, then slide it in to where it actually moves the whole intended distance, and then you can let go of the arm

This doesn’t ‘lock’ the trem the same way as something like a Floyd Rose. Engaging it while still having all 6 strings intact is pointless as it’s not intended to block anything off. Once properly set up it exists so that in the event of a string breaking, you simply depress the arm and slide the lock down, Release the bar, and voila! Yr guitar that would otherwise be wackass out of tune has returned to perfect pitch so that you can finish yr song/set or whatever. The only thing engaging the lock on a fully stringed guitar is doing is keeping you from being able to bend upward in addition to downward.

The MIJ tremolos seems a little cheaper and crappier than other modern reissues, but they’re still pretty serviceable. If I’m preaching to the choir, my bad, I just feel like there’s no real reason that one of these would simply not work as it’s a pretty simple unit.

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HarlowTheFish
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Re: Japanese vibrato

Post by HarlowTheFish » Sat Nov 21, 2020 1:46 am

Mechanical Birds wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 12:02 am
I mean no offense but do you guys know what that is and what it’s actually used for, let alone how to engage it? If it’s properly set up, without the arm being depressed, sliding it back will have it simply sit in front of the balanced plate part. You need to depress the arm, then slide it in to where it actually moves the whole intended distance, and then you can let go of the arm

This doesn’t ‘lock’ the trem the same way as something like a Floyd Rose. Engaging it while still having all 6 strings intact is pointless as it’s not intended to block anything off. Once properly set up it exists so that in the event of a string breaking, you simply depress the arm and slide the lock down, Release the bar, and voila! Yr guitar that would otherwise be wackass out of tune has returned to perfect pitch so that you can finish yr song/set or whatever. The only thing engaging the lock on a fully stringed guitar is doing is keeping you from being able to bend upward in addition to downward.

The MIJ tremolos seems a little cheaper and crappier than other modern reissues, but they’re still pretty serviceable. If I’m preaching to the choir, my bad, I just feel like there’s no real reason that one of these would simply not work as it’s a pretty simple unit.
No I mean yeah you're absolutely right, the issue is that a lot of cheaper import trems and some batches of MIJs (though the latter are kinda inconsistent about it) have actual manufacturing flaws meaning that when the lock is in the "engaged" position in the notch, the actual post thingamajig that blocks the plate from raising the pitch doesn't go far back enough to actually do its job - in this case you either take tools to the top plate to make the hole longer, or you swap to a trem that doesn't have this issue (either another MIJ if you want or something like an AVRI or Classic Player. So TL;DR you're absolutely right on all points (though I will say that it's also great if you want to tune down to say Drop D without having to retune everything), but the unit itself is sometimes so borked it's either replacement or modification to get everything working as intended.

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Mechanical Birds
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Re: Japanese vibrato

Post by Mechanical Birds » Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:49 am

Ok yeah, I have only minimal experience with the MIJ version, but enough to note the differences in feel/metal quality, etc. so I’d buy that. I think we can all agree that typical guitar people talk about these guitars somehow with total confidence, regardless of how apparent their ignorance is - calling the trem unit the ‘bridge’ or the pickups ‘p90s’ or jazzmasters got popular because of Kurdt Cobain or calling a Jaguar a Mustang and a Jazzmaster a Jaguar, etc. and a huge one is talking about the trem being a ‘locking unit’ in the same way a Floyd is a locking unit. I know it’s cynical but I’m so used to it I’m always bracing for the worst on stuff like this

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Re: Japanese vibrato

Post by gila_crisis » Sun Nov 22, 2020 4:52 am

On my MIJ JM (2019 model), the locking unit is working great. I just had to set it up correctly when I first got the guitar.

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don barroso
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Re: Japanese vibrato

Post by don barroso » Mon Nov 23, 2020 6:03 am

Sanguine wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 3:23 pm
I have a MIJ traditional Jazzmaster and trem lock not working was a big surprise to me so I dismantled it too and found out that there were not enough of that lock to hold the unit in place. So I guess this problem plagues all recent Japs. Solved this by ordering AVRI tremolo.
This is exactly my trem lock situation

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