Has anyone used a Vibramate on a ES-335?

Dirtyclinic

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I have a Gibson ES-335 and I bought the Vibramate V7-335 and a Bigsby B7. When I screw the Bigsby to the Vibramate it sits so high on the body that the strap button hole doesn't line up with the hole in the Bigsby to screw in the strap button. I can loosen the 2 big bolts that hold the Vibramate and then attach the strap button, then tighten down the Vibramate but I feel that is putting some stress on the studs (and maybe the top on the guitar) holding the bolts in place. I feel like if I could bend the Bigsby a little more to the shape of the top, that would work. The Bigsby is very straight and pretty rigid, it would probably take a vice an a plastic coated sledge hammer to bend it.
 

DarrellV

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I have a Gibson ES-335 and I bought the Vibramate V7-335 and a Bigsby B7. When I screw the Bigsby to the Vibramate it sits so high on the body that the strap button hole doesn't line up with the hole in the Bigsby to screw in the strap button. I can loosen the 2 big bolts that hold the Vibramate and then attach the strap button, then tighten down the Vibramate but I feel that is putting some stress on the studs (and maybe the top on the guitar) holding the bolts in place. I feel like if I could bend the Bigsby a little more to the shape of the top, that would work. The Bigsby is very straight and pretty rigid, it would probably take a vice an a plastic coated sledge hammer to bend it.
No no no!!! NO bendy!

:photos:please......

@Christosterone .... need some help.

I know the vibramates make different parts and inserts for the tail pins , but I'd like to see what you have and are working with right now...

Lots of closeups from different sides would really help..

Have you seen the B3 or B6 models?

Maybe they would fit better..

We'll get it sorted
 

MSB

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how about some pics


^Darrell beat me to it.

with the B7 on LPs, I've had to loosen the vibramate bolts into the studs to allow the B7 to tilt down towards the strap pin, otherwise it was almost parallel to the back of the guitar not coming close to getting the strap pin in.
 

Dirtyclinic

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I wish I had some pics but I am at work and the guitar is at home. I will snap some shots when I get home. It was last night and I was working on it. Here is a useless pic of just the Vibramate on it though.

 

DarrellV

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I wish I had some pics but I am at work and the guitar is at home. I will snap some shots when I get home. It was last night and I was working on it. Here is a useless pic of just the Vibramate on it though.

I don't know how attached you are to the B7.. but I'll bet a Towner with a B3 or 6 would work the bomb on that. No muss no fuss, because the B3(6) just floats with the strings off the strap pin...

They use a down pressure bar across the tail piece studs for the strings, no plate.

 

Christosterone

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I had this problem on my es les paul

I loosened the bolts as u did and screwed it in...

‘’after about a year, I took it off to polish the gold and it went back on...the year of being forced into the correct position had bent it...

‘’so ur initial instincts were correct
the es Lester has the same top carve as a 335....do it, I promise it will bend...no vice needed

u my notice I used a heavier duty strap screw which isn’t gold for that year....I’m now able to use a smaller gold screw

CEB3CD2E-83C0-49D8-9A2D-8E10384C49BA.jpeg

D2B48CE3-F272-46D5-A78A-B1C9E88C67BF.jpeg


-Chris
 

MSB

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at least with the V7335 you can tighten the screws down with the B7 in place. I'd attach the bigs then screw it to the body, if you need to bend it, so be it, because you CAN pull the bushings out of the body with a V7
 

Dirtyclinic

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With the Vibramate screwed down to the body and the B7 attached, it sits this high off the body.







You can see I cannot see the hole for the strap button through the B7



When I loosen the Vibramate bolt this much, I can Attach the strap button.



Full guitar pic

 

MSB

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that's not far for it to go. I'd loosen the two stud hole bolts, install strap pin, then tighten down stud bolts. Depending how much pressure it takes, I might do them little by little over time, but you will end up bending it to some degree it looks like.
 

XpensiveWino

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Tighten in a rotation. Loosen the two screws on top that go through the Bigsby into the Vibramate until you can get the end pin loosely in place. Then tighten each a little at a time until it's securely set. Bigsby's are designed with a lot of play in them and a lot of sliding space in the end cover. Not everything will seem flush and square. As it secures into place as you tighten, things will get flush. The variance in the top and nature of the variances that come with a hand made instrument add to this issue. The carved/contoured tops of LPs and 335s have caused this issue with every Bigsby I've ever installed.

One of these days I'll get smart and ditch the B7 and go with a b6 or B3 and a Towner. Maybe... ; )

Good luck with yours. Try screwing the screws a little each at a time.
 

Dirtyclinic

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I installed the thing with a Schaller Roller Bridge. I made the big bolts that go into the guitar that hold the vibramate a little loose. It all works but the bolts do not sit flush in the vibramate. I will try to tighten them over time I guess. I am a little worried the studs will start to pull out of the guitar but we will see.



 

mdubya

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Short Bigsby or snakebite it without the Vibramate. Would be less intrusive than damaging the whole guitar, imho.

If you have a press and a jig to gently bend the Vibramate into shape, that would be preferable to using the guitar as your press. :eek2:

A shop with a pipe bender could do that in seconds.
 

Dirtyclinic

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Short Bigsby or snakebite it without the Vibramate. Would be less intrusive than damaging the whole guitar, imho.

If you have a press and a jig to gently bend the Vibramate into shape, that would be preferable to using the guitar as your press. :eek2:

A shop with a pipe bender could do that in seconds.
The Vibramate itself is bent slightly now to the contour of the guitar but the Bigsby is very straight and rigid and sits up about the surface of the guitar's top quite a bit. The end strap button is under some tension to hold everything in place. If anything, bending the Bigsby tailpiece would take some pressure off.
 

mdubya

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Cast aluminum isn't particularly elastic. The Vibramate piece is more expendable, I would think. Is the vibramate steel or alu?
 

MSB

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best advice, sell it (or return if you can) and get a B6 with B3 endplate and the towner down tension bar. works better, smoother, has zero of the issues you're currently having


if you aren't comfortable bending the vibramate, just leave it alone, every few months tighten it a little (eventually it will conform), just make sure you don't pull the inserts out. Not the end of the world, just take your time and keep your eye on them and they won't be an issue.
 


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