Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums
Sign in to follow this  
luke21

Problems with Riviera

Recommended Posts

I've had my 1995 riviera for a while now but I've always noticed that the tone sounds very thin and trebley while I'm playing unplugged, especially on the G B and high E strings. Comparing it to a banjo would be exaggerating but it's definitely lacking sustain. I wouldn't normally be too concerned but my fender coronado sounds a lot better unplugged and they're similar guitars, so something must be wrong.

 

I bought it used around 6 months ago and all the hardware is original. The tune-o-matic bridge is a bit rusted and isn't in the best of shape so I'm assuming that might be the problem. The guitar also has a frequensator tailpiece which causes the break angle of the strings to be less than a guitar with stopbar. I've tried raising the bridge up to increase the angle and hopefully add sustain, but there wasn't a noticeable difference. The nut's also slightly worn down, but I don't think it's the problem.

 

So basically I think I've narrowed the problem down to either the bridge, the tailpiece, or the nut, but I have no clue which it is and I figured someone would be able to help me out. The attached picture isn't my guitar but it's the same model and looks identical, so it should give you an idea of what I'm working with. Please share any input you have.

 

post-82897-091822900 1480930270_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Luke, welcome to this nice place in the web. [thumbup]

 

There is some trouble on the world-wide web going on, so I wasn't able to research for valid informations about your Riviera. However, I think I write bit about what I can say based on the informations I have.

 

As you already suggested, clean surfaces are important for parts transferring vibrations like saddles, bridges, posts and screws. I also agree that the nut is not the very problem here. If so, then fretted notes wouldn't be a problem, just open ones. The breaking angle must be enough to keep the strings safely in position when attacked hard, more is not necessary.

 

I think that disassembling and deoxidising the bridge and its parts should help. Use a good deoxidiser suitable for nickel and zinc and give it some minutes to take effect. A contact cleaner would also do if at hand. Then clean all the parts thoroughly with cloths and cotton swabs. Take care that no fibres from cloths or cotton swabs are left before reassembly - they may kill threads as well as hamper the transfer of vibrations again.

 

Hope this helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The picture of your Riviera shows the tailpiece reversed from original. The short fork goes on the bass strings, long on the treble. This may help.

 

 

 

78E6A073-D66A-4E46-A297-C15FCA78C905_zpsjtsuujwr.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Luke, welcome to this nice place in the web. [thumbup]

 

There is some trouble on the world-wide web going on, so I wasn't able to research for valid informations about your Riviera. However, I think I write bit about what I can say based on the informations I have.

 

As you already suggested, clean surfaces are important for parts transferring vibrations like saddles, bridges, posts and screws. I also agree that the nut is not the very problem here. If so, then fretted notes wouldn't be a problem, just open ones. The breaking angle must be enough to keep the strings safely in position when attacked hard, more is not necessary.

 

I think that disassembling and deoxidising the bridge and its parts should help. Use a good deoxidiser suitable for nickel and zinc and give it some minutes to take effect. A contact cleaner would also do if at hand. Then clean all the parts thoroughly with cloths and cotton swabs. Take care that no fibres from cloths or cotton swabs are left before reassembly - they may kill threads as well as hamper the transfer of vibrations again.

 

Hope this helps.

Thanks for the advice, I'm gonna try cleaning the bridge to see if it helps but I noticed a couple of the saddles seem to be damaged a bit, so I might end up just spending the extra $30 to replace it with a gibson tune-o-matic. I'll let you all know the results when I get to it. Thanks again!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The picture of your Riviera shows the tailpiece reversed from original. The short fork goes on the bass strings, long on the treble. This may help.

 

 

 

78E6A073-D66A-4E46-A297-C15FCA78C905_zpsjtsuujwr.jpg

When I found that picture online I didn't realize the pieces were reversed, but the pieces on my guitar are the way they should be, short fork on the bass strings, long on the treble. Thanks for the help though. If replacing the bridge doesn't solve the problem, I think I'll experiment with some different tailpieces and see if I have any luck with a trapeze or maybe even a bigsby. Thanks again

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of the 3 Epiphones that I've had with the frequensator tailpiece, the Zephyr Blues Deluxe was the only one that seemed to benefit from it. I've changed the others out. Best result was a cast tailpiece. Lots of mass for sustain. They do come in chrome, too. Klusen makes another one that has more mass than a simple trapeze tp.

25f995b4-e9ec-4270-a7bf-f98c63abac18_zpsggssg5vb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of the 3 Epiphones that I've had with the frequensator tailpiece, the Zephyr Blues Deluxe was the only one that seemed to benefit from it. I've changed the others out. Best result was a cast tailpiece. Lots of mass for sustain. They do come in chrome, too. Klusen makes another one that has more mass than a simple trapeze tp.

25f995b4-e9ec-4270-a7bf-f98c63abac18_zpsggssg5vb.jpg

Thanks for the advice! I'll make sure to check out Klusen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my experience old Epiphones just lack sustain, are harder to play and generally just sound bad. Maybe they need refurbished to be playable again, luckily I sold mine to collectors for a good price.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...