So, I'm thinking of removing my sideways vibrato...

Discussion in 'Vintage SG' started by Monstronaut, Apr 24, 2014.

  1. Danelectro

    Danelectro V.I.P. Member

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    Here's my prototype conversion block.

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    I designed the conversion block to replace all of the moving parts with a solid block which acts like a stop tail. The vibrato arm is non-functional and is attached for cosmetic reasons only. My goal was to replace everything between the mahogany slab and the diecast string retainer with a single solid block. The block has the same footprint and mounting hole locations as the original vibrato unit, so it it won't make any new impressions in the lacquer and the mod is completely reversible. The prototype part is doing a great job of keeping the guitar from slipping out of tune. :)

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    The prototype is a 3D printed part made of titanium. it worked well to prove the concept, but its a little rough and the titanium is so hard its very difficult to work with. i've made a few refinements to the design and I have CNC machined aluminum parts in the works that should be completed within a few weeks.
     
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  2. Richard L

    Richard L Junior Member

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    That's very clever!
     
  3. Dolebludger

    Dolebludger Premium Member

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    Danelectro,

    When you get production model aluminum models available, please post the info on them right here!
     
  4. Danelectro

    Danelectro V.I.P. Member

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    This is the mess that go me started on this project. As if the sideways vibrato unit isn't bad enough to begin with, mine had the heavy-duty die springs replaced with some smaller random-size springs. Also, I suppose in an attempt to lock the vibrato unit down against the body, the machine screw in the hinge area had been tightened so much that the casting was cracked.

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    Stable tuning was much more important to me than a functioning vibrato, so my first attempt to fix this was to remove the springs altogether and add aluminum sleeves over the studs on both sides of the string retainer casting thus locking all of the parts tightly together, which essentially converted the unit into a trapeze tailpiece.

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    The sleeve mod actually stabilized the tuning fairly well, but still the unit was comprised of several dozen or so individual pieces. It had some bounce and I knew that the Tinker Toy-like construction had to be sucking tone and sustain out of the guitar. This led me to the next step of designing a single solid block that would replace all of the parts except for the string retainer casting.

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  5. Dolebludger

    Dolebludger Premium Member

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    Dan,

    When you get this thing into production, please let us all know right here. You have customers!
     
  6. Frogfur

    Frogfur Senior Member

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    Doh!..here we go with the mojo thing again..geez key word here is.."I've never read anything good about those vibratos." Which tells me you have no experience at all with one and that we're back to blowing smoke around here.
    as long as your tearing the thing up send it to me. I'll pay postage..
     
  7. Frogfur

    Frogfur Senior Member

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    I love this thing! Here is a thinking man with a solution.
    I salute you sir. How can i get one??
     
  8. ColdCobra

    ColdCobra Senior Member

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    not blowing smoke, I worded it that way so it would be obvious that I've never tried one. I wouldn't mind though, no SGs in the stable.

    I guess lots of folks agree with the mojo thing based on the positive reaction from Dan's concepts for the trem lock which keeps the original appearance without modification. mojo is maintained.
     
  9. Danelectro

    Danelectro V.I.P. Member

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    I received the finished CNC machined blocks a couple of weeks ago but I've been busy with other projects and I just haven't had the time to post anything about them. The shop did an excellent job on the machining. I had the parts bead blasted to clean-up machining marks and then nickel plated and I think they came out looking great.

    I designed the block so that the strings have a sharper break angle behind the bridge than you normally have with the stock Vibrola setup. I've got one assembled onto my '61 and I find the tuning stability to be on par with a stoptail setup. Acoustically, the guitar rings more clearly than it did with the spring vibrola setup and there's a noticeable improvement with sustain. This block is made of aluminum which weighs about the same as the linkage parts that were removed so the weight and balance of the guitar is the same as it was originally.

    I have no idea how many people might be interested in converting their Vibrolas to a solid stop, so for now I just had a handful of the blocks made. If there's enough interest I'll definitely be making more.

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  10. Dolebludger

    Dolebludger Premium Member

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    Dan,

    What will the price be? As with most musicians, that is an important factor to me.
     
  11. Big John

    Big John drinks are on the house V.I.P. Member

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    Sheesh, whoever aligned that ABR-1 and cut the saddles in the factory must've had a hangover that day.

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  12. Danelectro

    Danelectro V.I.P. Member

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    It will be priced around $150 for the conversion kit which will include the block and all hardware fasteners for installation.
     
  13. Dolebludger

    Dolebludger Premium Member

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    Dan,

    I am out of pocket for the next 10 to 14days, and will let you know by PM after that, thanks.
     
  14. Dolebludger

    Dolebludger Premium Member

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    I bought a Vibrostop from Danelectro for my 61 or 62 LP SG Standard. It was delivered yesterday, which was very fast delivery. I installed it yesterday, and have given it some "test plays". Here is my review, FWIW. Tone and sustain is TOTALLY improved. Clean sustain may well be the best of any guitar I own. Before, tone was dead, and sustain almost non-existant (IMO). Instructions were easy to follow.I recommend these without reservation to any owners of these guitars who feel that the stock sideways trem is sucking tone -- because I now know that it is. and has been doing so on my guitar for over 53 years. Because of what I considered tonal deficiencies on my SG, it has been a closet queen almost all of its life. That will be no more -- she will be played! It is my opinion that this Vibrostop gives better tone and sustain than if I had removed the stock trem and installed a stop TP.

    As a side note, I have been involved in several "professional discussions" elsewhere on this forum as to whether tailpiece (TP) type and material makes a tonal difference. Some say it does not, but I know that it does. Example. Another of my guitars is an Epi 56 LP GT P90. The stock cast zinc TP is "meh". I have a milled aluminum one that is great for classic rock, and a milled brass one that is great for jazz. All three give different tones.

    The trem unit on 61-62 (and some 63) LP SG Standards (And on the 2013 reissues) is probably the worst engineered piece of musical equipment in the world. Instead of providing a solid TP to assist the strings to transfer vibration to the body, it provides a TP that is mounted on springs and a lot of mechanism that transfers little vibration to the body itself, and hinders the bridge in transferring vibration. The Vibrostop fixes all that, plus.You can't use the whammy anymore, but who ever did? And the look is 100% original, and the trem can easily be converted back if some fool wants it that way.
     
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  15. GenderFibson

    GenderFibson Member

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    Brilliant idea to solve the issues of the sideway vibratos!!! Any solutions to the Maestro thingy?:wave:
     
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  16. Chrisroz

    Chrisroz Senior Member

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    This x10000

    I hate my Maestro on my 71 SG, but i dont want to remove it.
     
  17. Dolebludger

    Dolebludger Premium Member

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    I wish Danelectro would respond to this. I'm not sure how a Maestro is configured, or how it could be locked.
     
  18. Britbender

    Britbender Senior Member

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    Clapton dit it to his Fool sg, remove the spring part and
    drill holes through the mount..
     
  19. Dolebludger

    Dolebludger Premium Member

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    If anybody is still reading this thread, I'd like to say that I have had more time with my 61-62 SG LP Standard with the Vibrostop I bought from Danelectro's company installed. The tonal improvements are amazing. I hadn't played this guitar much, because I felt it sounded like a duck quack. With this mod, the tone is great, as is the sustain. The Vibrostop turned my "collection guitar" into a real player. Now, I'd gig with it anywhere, with any style of music I can play.

    This kind of hacks me off at Gibson for ruining this guitar with that awful side pull trem. Surely engineers at Gibson knew that the tailpiece needs to be well secured to the body, and not mounted on some spring mechanism. If I had this Vibrostop 50 years ago when I gigged regularly, I might well have gone further in music. A shame.
     
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  20. Meddled

    Meddled Senior Member

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    I don't wish to derail this thread, but could the sideways vibrato be better if it was manufactured today, with closer tolerances and perhaps a roller bridge? Does all the tuning woes originate from the unit itself or the ABR-1 and nut, downwind of the unit? The design fascinates me.
     

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