Gibson LP special tremolo suggestions

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by bosetuno, Mar 14, 2019.

  1. bosetuno

    bosetuno Member

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    Hi!

    My first post in this area, i believe. Thanks in advance.

    I just got a Gibson LP custom special/studio and I want to install a tremolo on it, a normal tremolo I must say, the one with the full routing in the body. I had other guitars with bigsbyes, and vibrolas and I still prefer the feel of a strat style tremolo. I prefer it over a floyd.

    So I´ve been checking dimentions and the strings on the Gibby are 1.8mm over the body wood at the bridge saddles, which is over 6mm above the average of my strat guitars. So, a vintage style trem will not work at all. I´ve been checking some stud posts trems and I think this particular model might work
    https://schaller.info/en/tremolos/349/vintage-tremolo?number=13050142&c=51
    The saddles can go up to 10mm high and therefore I will have to raise the stup posts around 4mm higher than average , which to me seems reasonable.

    I would like to have a more expert opinion on this, or if somebody has gone with a similar experience any tip will be more than welcome.

    Thanks

    Bose
     
  2. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    ugh.

    it's gonna be an ugly, difficult install, will obviously destroy any value the guitar might have, will likely rob a lot of the gibson tone and sustain, will likely be too wide a string spacing to fit the neck width right, and with the gibson headstock angle and string spread will likely be really frustrating to try and keep in tune.

    other than that it's a great idea :bonk
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
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  3. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    bigsbys sort of work on gibsons because there's very little pitch travel compared to a strat trem.

    hate to say it but if you want a gibson-y tone and feel but with a strat trem's responsiveness and range, you're looking for a PRS.

    the whole body is designed around having a strat trem, from the shallower headstock angle and straighter string pull preventing binding at the nut to the shallower neck angle and flat center area of the top allowing the bridge to stay close to the body where it belongs.

    (or if you're really serious you're looking for a TCM by one @Terry McInturff!)
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
  4. bosetuno

    bosetuno Member

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    Yes, I know its gonna ruin the value of the guitar. However, this is not a R9, its a simple and cheap LP custom Studio
    http://espanol.gibson.com/Products/Electric-Guitars/2017/USA/Les-Paul-Custom-Special-S-Series.aspx

    And anyway, i´m going to install a Roland Hex pickup and electronics, so the value of it is going to get ruined anyway. and thats the reason I dont get a PRS.

    On the other hand I am also considering to install a Maestro Vibrola, its much simple to install and time is something I dont have on spares...

    My main concern with strat style tremolos are the maximum heinght the stup posts can be raised until there too much force on them and bend.

    Alse the string spacing may be an issue, although uo to 10.8mm string pitch will be good enough in my opinion

    Thanks for you suggestions.

    Cheers
     
  5. vortexxxx

    vortexxxx Member

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    The Maestro Vibrola is something that won't give you anything close to what a Strat tremelo can do. In fact most people who have Maestros rarely use them. I have a firebird with one and other than looks, I like a little bit it adds to the tone. Some people hate that. Let's just say that Bigsbys are easier to use than Msestros or some of the other tremelos Gibson developed over the years ,(one was only on 60s Epiphone guitars).
     
  6. bosetuno

    bosetuno Member

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    Yep, I know, I also have a firebird with lyre vibrola on it. It is far from the action and feel of a Strat tremolo (by the way, my fav tremolo regarding action an inmediacy of vibrato is the parker trem, and soundwise the gotoh ge101ts, and the G&L tremolo might be the best of both worlds). Bigsbies are also an option, however, my main idear is to go for a strat type trem. Vibrola or bigsby is a second option (or a transition installation)
     
  7. Terry McInturff

    Terry McInturff 40th Anniversary of guitar building! Gold Supporting Member

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    Unfortunately IMO you should abandon the idea of installing a Strat style trem. It will not work for the reasons already pointed out.
    You could consider installing a Kauler on it, the sort that was designed for Gibsons etc with a TOM and stop tailpiece.
    https://www.kahlerusa.com/stud-mount-tremolos-bridges
    The tone will suffer some, as I recall single notes 12th fret and up suffer a bit, but it would work and you'd have all the travel you'd want.
    Im sure you'd want to avoid installing a nut clamp, but you'll probably need to.
     
  8. bosetuno

    bosetuno Member

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    Yes, the Kahler is still being produced, although there is still needed to route the body for it.
    Unfortunately this guitar dont have a stop tailpiece, otherwise thare would be more options on the market (les trem, kahler, etc.) There is another Kahler for non TOM guitars, but then I think I will have the same troubles as with a strat style. My initial idea was to instal a Schaller LP trem which is kind of a direct replacement on a TOM bridge as long as it is not a nashville type. Since this guitar has a stoptail bridge, this tremolo can´t be installed without tapping the bridge holes and making new ones...
     
    Terry McInturff likes this.
  9. bosetuno

    bosetuno Member

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    what aboiut those LP with Floyd installed on them?

    Kind regards
     
  10. burningyen

    burningyen Vendor

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    If you don't do big pull-ups (more than a whole step on the G string), then a Stetsbar is worth considering.
     
  11. Terry McInturff

    Terry McInturff 40th Anniversary of guitar building! Gold Supporting Member

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    Installing a Kauler wouldn't be too hard and given the instrument, your desires, and the need for something that will work AND feel acceptably good (some folks really like them) I think that the Kauler is your better choice.
    1) Due to the neck pitch you'd need the stud mounted version.
    2) Pull the existing studs and plug the holes.
    3) Rout the body
    4) Drill for the "tailpiece studs" and install your old studs.
    5) Drill for a pair of "Nashville T.O.M." style bridge bushings and press them in.
    6) Done
     
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  12. vortexxxx

    vortexxxx Member

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    Or... you can try one of those sideways vibratos ;) I have one of the re-engineered ones but it still is easy to throw things out of tune with just one use. I noticed Billy Gibbons has a couple including a Bolin one and he has had a TOM style bridge with rollers installed that might help. I dont know if he uses it live. The only person I have seen brave enough to use it live was Angus Young in 1982. I hadn't seen one of those in person before. He only used it at the very end of a song where things got crazy with an extended ending,so it didn't matter if it went out of tune.
     
  13. RicOkc

    RicOkc Member

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    I have the Gibson LP/SG with the sideways vibrato. It's hard-tailed now. It looks cool, but is still worthless.

    Even though Gibson says it's re-designed it still de-tunes the guitar after the lightest use.
     
  14. eclecticsynergy

    eclecticsynergy Member

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    Another option might be the Duesenberg Les Trem. Better than a Bigsby or Vibrola, and no routing.
    Certainly nothing like a Strat trem though.
     
  15. vortexxxx

    vortexxxx Member

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    I opened mine up when I got the guitar and compared the internal mechanism to photos of the internals of the originals. I noticed barely anything different of note. Perhaps the measurement for the string angle changed or something small like that. Unless I have a vintage one on hand to compare it to, it looks pretty much the same. I do recall that even when Angus Young did use it at the end of whatever song it was, he was fumbling to get the arm out of his way. Billy Gibbons may only be having it on mostly for looks as he keeps the cover off showing the shiny chrome mechanism. He does have a roller bridge on his but I dont think that would be much help.
     
  16. bosetuno

    bosetuno Member

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    Thanks for all the responses.

    I will think about the kahler, althoug they are quite expensive. Maybe i can find a used one.

    The sideways tren is ole of the most beautiful piece of useless metal one can put on a guitar imho. I think i will give a try to a bigsby, at least until i decide which final tren i want to put on the guitar
     

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