So how does a gibson vibrola tailpiece work?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by funkmaster, Dec 20, 2009.


  1. funkmaster

    funkmaster Member

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    excuse the stupidity, never used a gibson wang bar before (hehehe), but how does a vibrola bar work? I know how a bigsby vibrato works but these maestro's perplex me..........

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Bruceman

    Bruceman Member

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    They're a very simple design as you can see. And I love them. I never use anything else and have always been able to keep them in tune. But they seem to get a bad rap from too many cats. I'll take every one I can get my hands on..cheap. !

    My 63 and 64 Firebirds have/had them. My curent '65 SG does too. See link below. I use a touch of graphite grease on the nut, and my Leo Quan rocks enough not to be a problem. Although i did a very simple mod to the LQ - I used a small diameter wire to wrap around the LQ and secured it to the back two p/u cover screws. I installed extra long p/u cover screws so it would stay anchored. It does and once I get my video recording crap working or find a pal close that will let me use their Window movie maker I'll post some action.

    Wait a minute, just remembered there's a video with me beating a bit on the Vibrola. Here's me messin' around with an upbeat blues. I didn't get to pull off all of the tricks I thought of, but it was fun anyway.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bM042Rws4PU
     
  3. funkmaster

    funkmaster Member

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    Hey! I went to the king of the blues thing at my GC too! they picked this young rocker kid that did EVER-Y-SINGLE trick he knew, the girls in the front were sure impressed and apparently so were the judges. This dude was about 25 and wasn't playing the blues of any sorts. The runner up was in his 60's and was playing some DEEP original blues. Pissed me off to see the young kid walk away with the regional title and the girls.

    anyway, you had a sweet thing going on there, not sure I get how a maestro tailpiece works still
     
  4. Bruceman

    Bruceman Member

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    What is it that has your mind a wanderin'?
     
  5. Aslan

    Aslan Supporting Member

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    The Maestro is simply a bent piece of metal, the handle allows you to bend it even more changing the pitch on the strings. I've had two Gibsons in the past with them (SG, ES 355) and I had trouble with the strings returning to proper pitch after using the Maestro. Also the metal bar would change with temperature changes (Ex. under stage lights, etc.) so I eventually sold both instruments. I love the look of the Gibson Maestro on a SG, wish I had better luck with mine.
     
  6. Bruceman

    Bruceman Member

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    No, no, no, I don't believe it.
    Stage heat has never affected my Vibrolas in 40 years.....
    Most guys don't take the time to science them out. A little grease on the nut, make sure the bridge can rock a little. If it can't then sure, the strings will move over the saddles and potentially not came back where they belong.

    The touch of the Vibrola is sesnitive, which I like. It doesn't take much movement to have a nice bend. Either subtle or diving.,...

    **see video above**
     
  7. Rhomco

    Rhomco Silver Supporting Member

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    Have killed more trems of any brand than we will ever know. Bridge slots are the second worst offender. If your guitar has both problems your trem does not have a prayer.
    Rob
     
  8. panoramic

    panoramic Member

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    the answer is "like ****"
     
  9. Radagacuca

    Radagacuca Member

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  10. Amp360

    Amp360 Senior Member

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    I love them. The trick is just to set them up right as has been discussed above.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. scottlr

    scottlr Member

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    I don't have tuning issues at all with mine. I think they are the coolest looking vibs, but I never even try to do dive bombs with it. I just use it for a shimmer effect.
     
  12. funkmaster

    funkmaster Member

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    well an improperly cut nut pretty much screws everything. Your axe won't stay in tune, your trem will will just be an untune stick, and bends will feel like crap. EVERY GUITAR NEEDS A WELL CUT NUT
     
  13. Bruceman

    Bruceman Member

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    Let's hear it for well cut nuts !!

    yay!!!!

    As soon as I can get a video link up I'll show you how good mine works. Dive bombs? No problem.
     
  14. funkmaster

    funkmaster Member

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    I'm guessing you get your nut cut by a Luthier?

    And I'm also guessing that SG you own has a properly cut nut?
     
  15. Bruceman

    Bruceman Member

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    Roger Thurman set up and maintained all my guitars for 14 years til I moved to Ca. So....seeing how his work is impeccable and I've never had an intonation problem I'd have to say he cut the nut right. Wish the heck he wasn't so far away! He's still in business in Kent, Ohio.
    Google Roger Thurman. Auth Martin repairman too.
     
  16. mark norwine

    mark norwine Member

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    what they said.
     
  17. HEY!YOU!

    HEY!YOU! Senior Member

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    Mine on my FB V works fine.
    Good nut, good tuners, no issues.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Bruceman

    Bruceman Member

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    Is a beautiful thing.....
     
  19. Radagacuca

    Radagacuca Member

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    imho the problem with these is that due to there is virtually no downpressure from the strings onto the tom and these are usually not tight fitting and have some play back and forth the guitars go out of tune easily as the tom won´t stay in a fixed position. at leasr that was the case with the 62 reissue sg i had. after i locked the tom, slight shimmering vibrato was possible without the guitar going out of tune. this tailpiece was not made to be the dive bomb king anyways.

    if the tom saddles are not cut deep enough chances are that you will pull a string out of it´s saddle when picking hard.

    if you take care of these issues i guess they are fine for what they are supposed to do. i didn´t use the tram at all so i removed the arm and just enjoyed the cool looking thing... :)
     
  20. sleepingtiger

    sleepingtiger Supporting Member

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    No problems with mine. When they & the nut etc., are set up, they work very well IMO.

    Tony
     

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