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Discussion in 'Vintage SG' started by skydog, Jul 7, 2011.
I've always liked the Derek Trucks solution:
Homemade I would assume, but it was like that when I bought it. It's very well done and looks professional.
I actually just bought this Custom this weekend that I'm going to convert back to a vibrola. The previous owner cut off the end and added a tailpiece because he was having stability issues. I was hoping I could just get that one piece but it looks like pretty much the entire thing is attached, aside from the lyre cover. Oh well, the hunt for a used one begins!
Might as well have used a strat.
Unless you prefer shorter scale guitars, as Marino does.
I respectfully disagree. Obviously they can't be used like a floyd, but if used tastefully for slight vibrato, adding shimmer to chords, etc. they work fine. Mine never goes out of tune.
I just put an Allparts Maestro style on my '98 SG. It feels slinkier to play and sounds springier, for lack of a better term.
I'll never use it as a trem, I just wanted the looser feel that I thought I'd get, based on putting a stop tailpiece on my 335 w/Custom Made plaque covering tailpiece studs in the 80s. Didn't like the feel, switched it back to the Maestro pretty quick.
@patrick: can you post some before and after pics?
Here ya go!
= problem solved.
i have vibrato tailpieces on just about all of my guitars. bigsbys and such on my sgs and my LP. I installed graph tech string saver saddles and i can wail on my vibrato all day and stay in tune just fine.
The tuning issues you may encounter have nothing at all to do with the tailpiece. Tuning
issues with this setup are totally related to the bridge. Worked for years as a guitar-tech
and depending on the bridge and saddles will dictate how the guitar stays in tune. If your
tune-o-matic saddles bind to the string when you use it, they will slip, and then stick when
you come back up and the guitar is out of tune. One solution is to use nylon saddles in
your bridge and make sure they are cut well to allow the strings to slide easily.
I have a '67 Standard that I modified by putting a Schaller roller-bridge on it. I can
literally do Van Halen-style dive-bomb drops on it, and it stays in perfect tune (though I
also had to cut and graphite the nut to prevent problems there).
The moral of the story is, there is *nothing* limiting about the vibrato, it's all about the
bridge and nut!
My first really good guitar was a 63 sg that had been modded like that. Mine still had the pickguard, but had grover tuners.
If your nut and bridge saddles are filed correctly, you won't have any problems using a Lyre vibrola. I have owned 5 SGs with vibrolas--two 61s with the sideways (gotta be extra gentle with those), two historics with the long vibrola, and a 62 ebony block with a short vibrola. I don't use graphite or lube anywhere on my guitars, and I don't have any special aftermarket bridge saddles or nuts. What I do have is a FANTASTIC guitar tech who understands how to set these things up, so that my strings don't get hung up in the nut or in the saddles. The only vibrola'd SG I have left is my 62 ebony block LP Std, and I'm just as rough on that as I am on a Bigsby.
Most of the vibrola'd guitars out there need some serious setup help, and some of them truthfully are unusable due to a poorly folded vibrola spring or a weak neck angle (or both). Stay away from those guitars. And apparently, no one at Gibson in the custom shop cares or knows how to set these up properly...both of my new historics required some attention from my tech.
The older Gibson 1960's era models that were equipped with vibrolas had the bridge stud holes enlarged,and used a domed top height adjuster wheel.This allowed slight rocking of the bridge.This was similar to the Bigsby rocking bridge,but Bigsby had a V edge on the base of the saddle to rock against flat adjuster wheels.Now I use GraphTech bridges with low friction saddles.I have had problems with weak springs on the vibrolas from Allparts,but have now been getting them from W D Music.No problems with theirs.
You are partially correct, but not entirely. In 61 and at the very least up to 62 they did not have the domed thumbwheels. The ABR-1 that was supposed to be used on the vibrola equiped guitars was a different version where the underside was curved so that it could rock (slightly) on the flat thumbwheels. I say they were supposed to use that one because this is Gibson, and they used what was in their parts bins at the time the guitar was being assembled so if their bin didn't have any left then it may get the other ABR-1 and I have seen several that way but still no domed thumbwheels. This is why you see stud lean on some of these guitars. My all original 62 has the curved one so I know it was used at least to the end of 62. Not 100% sure about 63 and 64. If anyone here has an all original 63 or 64 I would LOVE to know which bridge/thumbwheels your guitar has.
By late 65 they had definitely changed over to the standard ABR-1 and used domed thumbwheels and my 65 has that set up.
Here is a couple pics of the curved bottom ABR-1
Now here is my 65 whith the regular ABR-1 and domed wheels