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SG Special with short vibrola - help!

#1 User is offline   stupac99 

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Posted 07 December 2008 - 08:46 PM

Hey there,

I recently bought a Gibson Historic Reissue SG Special. I jumped on it, partly because it's this very cool "Frost Blue" color: http://i2.photobucke...ee/IMG_8589.jpg

The guitar sounds great!! But, I am having a heck of a time trying to keep it in tune. The wraparound bridge doesn't really work like a proper wraparound bridge because the strings go to the vibrola. Seems like a lot of people wind up dropping the vibrola altogether. I kinda rather not do that though. Any recommendations for people who have dealt with this? Maybe a different bridge? Or, is it all in the art of setting her up? It is definitely frustrating me because I really want to play this guitar!!

Thanks so much!

Take care,

-Stuart-

#2 User is offline   80LPC 

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 05:15 AM

Posted Image

Great looking guitar ! Unfortunately, these trem systems never work very well. I would keep the arm out of the way, and enjoy the sound and the looks. You could try some powdered graphite in the nut slots, and only use the trem for subtle effects.

#3 User is offline   stupac99 

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 05:20 AM

Thanks. She is definitely a beauty!!

Trouble is that I can't get her to stay in tune even if I don't touch the trem arm at all! So, I need to figure something out...

#4 User is offline   80LPC 

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 05:43 AM

If you have fitted new strings, there will obviously be a period of initial stretching during which you will have to do a fair bit of retuning. Have you got too many turns on the machine head posts ? I usually go for 2 turns on the 6th, 2.5/3 turns on the remaining wound strings, then 3/4 on the rest. If you haven't cut your strings flush with the posts, carefully grab the string, and pull to take up a little more slack in the windings, then snip off and retune again.
To help the stretching process, lift each string in turn at the end of the fretboard. Lift it a distance of 3/4 of an inch away from the fretboard. Do this 5 times. Repeat this for the other strings. Retune, and play the guitar. I hope this helps !

#5 User is offline   stupac99 

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 06:27 AM

Thanks! I will do some more stretching on the strings. I usually do a pretty good job of that on my other guitars. But, this is my first vibrola.

That said, I do have a friend with an SG with the long vibrola. And, his works okay. But, his vibrola is coupled with a tune-o-matic bridge and not the unadjustable wraparound that mine has.

I'm wondering if keeping the vibrola but changing the bridge change (just the wraparound) might help?

Has anyone tried the short vibrola with:
1) TonePros wraparound - http://www.guitar-pa...ound-Bridge.htm
2) Pigtail wraparound - http://www.stewmac.c...cs.html#details

Or, have people tried other things? I'd love to see someone make a tune-o-matic bridge that is wide enough to install in place of a wraparound bridge. That might be perfect for this situation!!

#6 User is offline   80LPC 

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 06:41 AM

The bridge you have looks so good. I think I would keep it completely stock. Presumably it is the historically correct aluminium one ?

#7 User is offline   stupac99 

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 08:44 AM

Quote

The bridge you have looks so good. I think I would keep it completely stock. Presumably it is the historically correct aluminium one ?


It does look really good. But, I don't think it's aluminium. I would like to keep it the way it is. But, I also need to make it playable too. I wouldn't do anything that isn't 100% easily reversible. And, I'd get the new bridge aged to match. But, I'm just curious if anyone else has tried this?

Thanks!

#8 User is offline   stupac99 

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 09:55 AM

Quote

The bridge you have looks so good. I think I would keep it completely stock. Presumably it is the historically correct aluminium one ?


It does look really good. But, I don't think it's aluminium. I would like to keep it the way it is. But, I also need to make it playable too. I wouldn't do anything that isn't 100% easily reversible. And, I'd get the new bridge aged to match. But, I'm just curious if anyone else has tried this?

Thanks!

#9 User is offline   stupac99 

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 10:08 AM

Quote

The bridge you have looks so good. I think I would keep it completely stock. Presumably it is the historically correct aluminium one ?


It does look really good. But, I don't think it's aluminium. I would like to keep it the way it is. But, I also need to make it playable too. I wouldn't do anything that isn't 100% easily reversible. And, I'd get the new bridge aged to match. But, I'm just curious if anyone else has tried this?

Thanks!

#10 User is offline   stupac99 

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 11:42 AM

Quote

The bridge you have looks so good. I think I would keep it completely stock. Presumably it is the historically correct aluminium one ?


It does look really good. But, I don't think it's aluminium. I would like to keep it the way it is. But, I also need to make it playable too. I wouldn't do anything that isn't 100% easily reversible. And, I'd get the new bridge aged to match. But, I'm just curious if anyone else has tried this?

Thanks!

#11 User is offline   Dynadude 

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 12:48 PM

I remedied the problem of the wobbly bridge on my SG by tapping two holes for set screws on the outsides of the tangs of the bridge. They affectively lock the bridge in place.

The TonePros claim to be a locking system, but I'm not familiar with how theirs works, so I can't really recommend it. The intonation adjustment alone is a big improvement, and if it locks too, that should clench it. Just be ready to take a hit in the wallet. They're really proud of their stuff.
1962 LP/SG Special - 1998 LP Studio DC W/EMG 81/85 pups - '98 Squier Fat Strat - '04 Hand Built Teleblaster W/Vintage Vibe pups - Hand Built Lap Steel W/Fender pups - Kona K2SB A/E Don't laugh, it sounds great!
'09 Fender Deluxe VM - Fender Sattelite - Marshall G80R CD - Fender Champion 600 - Orange Crush 10

#12 User is offline   stupac99 

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 12:59 PM

Thanks Dynadude!

I hear ya about the TonePros stuff not being cheap! I think I will try their locking studs for sure. I'm just deciding now whether to go with their bridge or the Pigtail to go along with the locking studs.

Do you have any pics of your bridge? I'd love to see what you pulled together!

#13 User is offline   Dynadude 

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 01:41 PM

It works like the TonePros stop tailpiece. Instead of just having the two screws that allow inline adjustment, it has two set screws on the outside of the tangs that hold it from the sides. It stops the rocking, and won't allow the bridge to move backward.

I got rid of my tremolo right away, but still had tuning problems with the original bridge. I replaced it with a bridge with individual saddles for intonation adjustment, and then added the two set screws to lock it in place. I'd never seen a locking system when I did this. It just seemed like a good idea, and it's worked great.
1962 LP/SG Special - 1998 LP Studio DC W/EMG 81/85 pups - '98 Squier Fat Strat - '04 Hand Built Teleblaster W/Vintage Vibe pups - Hand Built Lap Steel W/Fender pups - Kona K2SB A/E Don't laugh, it sounds great!
'09 Fender Deluxe VM - Fender Sattelite - Marshall G80R CD - Fender Champion 600 - Orange Crush 10

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