Guitar Gadget Review

Red Bishop Accu-Locator EZ2

The EZ2 model Accu-Locator from Red Bishop is for the… wait for it… Edge Zero 2! Get it? Got it? Groovy!

The Ibanez Edge Zero 2 double-locking tremolo system is one that I’m really taking to pretty well. It’s a derivative of the original Floyd Rose system, just as the original Ibanez Edge system. But something about the EZ2 takes a hold of me from right away. You may remember that it comes stock on the Ibanez JEM 77P Blue Floral Pattern JEM guitar that I picked up new in 2022.

Now, I try to buy from zZounds when I can. One of the best reasons is that the do not touch the gear. How it comes to you is how it is straight from the factory. Why is that important to me? Flat out, “techs” that do and do not know how to set up a double-locking tremolo system. Additionally, I’ve been very fortunate to have hands-on access to highly capable luthiers over the past 10-11 years. Not “assemblers”, but people that can take raw lumber and craft it in to a finely-tunes (ha! a pun!) instrument.

Why does all that matter? Because I prefer to set up my guitars myself. No need to let someone else spend time on something I will just be re-visiting anyway. Know what I mean?

Initial Setup

Before getting in to the intonation and the usage of the Accu-Locator, everything else needs to be set up to your preference. Neck relief. First fret action. Higher fret action. Tremolo spring tension. Tremolo baseplate alignment. All that comes first. Any tweaks afterward will risk affecting the intonation.

What is Intonation?

Sure you can Google it. And please do. I’m only giving the quick version here, so please educate yourself as much as you need to be certain and comfortable about the topic.

Intonation has to do with the “scale” of the guitar neck and frets. On many guitars, such as the JEM, it is 25-1/2″ scale. That’s 25-1/2″ from the nut to the break point of the high E string on the saddle. Intonation comes in to play at the 12th fret. That is not just halfway down to the 24th fret. That is half the actual distance to that high E saddle break point. With the open string at pitch, the 12th fret harmonic and 12th fret fretted note should all match.

How to Intonate?

If those notes do not match, you move the saddle toward (to shorten) or away from (to lengthen) the nut. On a locking tremolo system, the saddle is typically held in place by screws/bolts. The tradition method is to loosen the string, loosen the saddle screw, move the saddle as needed, tighten the saddle screw, tune up, and re-check.

Many players consider it tedious. But the results of a perfectly intonated guitar are so satisfying that the effort pays off. Especially if you are using a super accurate tuner. I’ve been using Petersen’s iStrobosoft app for many years and it always helps to deliver the best setups.

Why So Tedious?

That is what Red Bishop is here to answer. Those familiar with my other Red Bishop articles will remember they had been in-house at Ibanez for many years. They know the benefits of an opportunity to elevate the game on locking tremolo systems. What if you could eliminate the guess work of where to reset the saddle before locking it back down? Imagine the time you could save while still getting the same result. And how does that play in to the EZ2?

The Ibanez EZ2 addresses one of the lowest hanging fruit with this type of tremolo system. The placement of saddle intonation screw. Here, look at this photo of my own JEM 77P:

Ibanez Edge Zero II on JEM 77P
Ibanez Edge Zero II on JEM 77P

The screws are off-center. Yes, they are not directly beneath the string. Why am I so excited about that? It means that you can use your allen hex wrench to loosen and tighten the screw without needing to move the string out of the way.

In other words, you do not have to put pressure on the string to move it out of the way. Imagine this: you get the intonation spot-on perfect. Your guitar is going to sound better than ever! Then you scoot the string over to one side to tighten the screw back down. That applies pressure to the string and the loosened saddle shift. Maybe just a cent or two. Still, what’s the point if it’s not perfect?

Red Bishop Accu-Locator EZ2 on Ibanez JEM 77P
Red Bishop Accu-Locator EZ2 on Ibanez JEM 77P

For me and my time and my effort, the Edge Zero II and the Accu-Locator are perfect for each other. The leg hooks on to the end and the claw drops down into the saddle block hole. From there, jus turn the Thumb Wheel until you dial your intonation to the perfect spot.

And check out that Thumb Wheel! There is one tool out that has a totally slick, smooth surface. Bleh! The Accu-Locator had a knurled surface for a solid grip. And if you want, look at the allen hex socket in the end! That’s the regular 3 mm you’re already using for other screws on your locking bridge system.

Red Bishop Accu-Locator EZ2 Thumb Wheel
Red Bishop Accu-Locator EZ2 Thumb Wheel

The Red Bishop Accu-Locator EZ2 is a an ideal must-have for any Ibanez with the Edge Zero II locking tremolo system. Add the Red Bishop Magik Arm and Hantug Titanium Sustain Block and your Ibanez Edge Zero II is fully stocked and locked. The Accu-Locator can be purchased from options that include directly from Red Bishop and from Amazon.

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