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Lyre Vibrola on a Les Paul

=JL=

Member
Messages
984
Hi, has anyone ever done this? Pros/cons?

Google turns up Roger Filgate, ex-Wishbone Ash, but I can't find any decent photos of how everything would line up, specifically in relation to the volume knobs.

Cheers all!
 

Geetarpicker

Member
Messages
3,069
The issue is mounting a flat vibrola on a curved top guitar. Those lyre type vibrolas were basically designed for SGs and Firebirds mainly, both being flat top bodies. That said it might work on a slab both LP special or Jr. with some mods. Still if someone can make a Bigsby stand off in the air on a flying V I guess anything can be done...
 

=JL=

Member
Messages
984
The area the spring mounts to is flat enough, and the other bracket fits on the strap button area.
They also fitted them to various semi-hollowbodies over the years so the don't only fit on slab bodies. I'm more interested in whether it'll fit around the neck volume pot and how much clearance I'll have.
 

Jayyj

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
10,591
There's a Midge Ure signature model Vintage guitar which is basically a Les Paul copy with a vibrola installed, with significant modification to the guitar:

http://www.ivormairants.co.uk/vintage-v100mu-midge-ure-signature-model-gold-top.html

Assuming you didn't go down this rather extreme route you'd need to look at whether the long plate sits comfortably against the top carve - yes, Gibson used this unit on various ES models but the top carve of a Les Paul is very different in profile to a 335 - and whether you had enough break angle over the bridge. It's possible the two issues will be connected in that the top carve will jack the end of the vibrola up a little, raising the point at which the strings leave the vibrato. That point needs to be lower than the height of the top of the bridge or there's no chance of the unit working.

As an alternative, it's worth considering the short plate vibrola used on SG Specials, Juniors etc that would feel identical in use and might be less of a headache to install.
 
Messages
1,997
The issue is mounting a flat vibrola on a curved top guitar. Those lyre type vibrolas were basically designed for SGs and Firebirds mainly, both being flat top bodies. That said it might work on a slab both LP special or Jr. with some mods. Still if someone can make a Bigsby stand off in the air on a flying V I guess anything can be done...

I thought the same but considering they put these on 355s I wonder if the body arch is as big an issue as thought.
 

wgs1230

Fully Intonatable
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,365
The big "con," having had one on a '70 SG for many years, is that it's a terrible design. The string retainer doesn't couple very well, which compromises both sustain and tuning stability, and the pitch range is limited. If you need a vibrato on your Paul, go Bigsby.
 
Messages
1,997
The big "con," having had one on a '70 SG for many years, is that it's a terrible design. The string retainer doesn't couple very well, which compromises both sustain and tuning stability, and the pitch range is limited. If you need a vibrato on your Paul, go Bigsby.

All my SGs have these and I haven't had any issues with them.

Not sure what you mean about "retainer doesnt' couple". It's an inch of metal sandwiched between two other inches of metal that is bolted onto the body.

Only real issue is the guitar going out of tune if a string breaks, but thats the case with Bigsby as well.
 

wgs1230

Fully Intonatable
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,365
Not sure what you mean about "retainer doesnt' couple". It's an inch of metal sandwiched between two other inches of metal that is bolted onto the body.

The retainer is the piece to which the strings and bar attach, and which falls off the tailpiece with no strings to provide tension. The thickness of the bent metal sheet that fits inside the retainer's notch is nowhere near an inch, or even a half-inch! It's that contact point I'm referring to when I say it doesn't couple very well.
 

27sauce

Member
Messages
37,198
I could see that being a problem if you played without strings, which I sometimes do. ;)

Really, is it any less than s Strat? Or a guitar with s trapeze? Or s Bigsby? How do you measure the value of the coupling?
 

scotticus

Member
Messages
871
The issue is mounting a flat vibrola on a curved top guitar. Those lyre type vibrolas were basically designed for SGs and Firebirds mainly, both being flat top bodies. That said it might work on a slab both LP special or Jr. with some mods. Still if someone can make a Bigsby stand off in the air on a flying V I guess anything can be done...

These were used frequently on 33x's in the 60s and 70s. No issue with an arched top.
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
39,798
i have to agree with wgs1230, it's a pretty lousy, crude trem with poor sustain and stiff limited bar movement. the only reason i can see to have one is to be period-correct on a classic guitar, which precludes trying to jerry-rig one onto a les paul.

a bigsby B7 on a vibramate mount would work way better, still look cool, and not alter the guitar.
 

=JL=

Member
Messages
984
Thanks for the input everyone.

The only reason I'm not keen on having a Bigsby again is that volume control use is an inherent part of my playing style, and Bigsbys really mess that up for me.

Time for a rethink about trying to get one guitar to do it all!
 




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