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Maestro Tremolo/Case Question


Fainting Goat

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I'm new to the forum, so let me apologize in advance if this topic has already been covered.

 

Today I picked up a VOS '61 RI with a Maestro tremolo. When putting the guitar in the case, there's no "low" position for the tremolo arm. It seems to be at its lowest when positioned along side the two pickups. Still, when I close the top of the case it pushes the arm down so much that there's little tension left on the strings. I'm concerned about keeping the neck straight when storing the guitar without tension on the neck.

 

Any suggestions?

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search this topic dude, ive heard it before,

 

gibson was putting out some tremelo arms with the wrong angle, and you can barely close your case!

 

the arm has to be replaced,

 

gibson f-cked up on that one, i think they owe everyone with the problem a replacement trem arm, just my opinion

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Mine swings around behind the bridge' date=' works fine that way.[/quote']

 

That's interesting! The tremolo arm is actually more elevated when I swing it behind the bridge (like I would a Bigsby). For some reason, on this guitar the arm is at its lowest point when running along side the two pickups. But it's still too high for the case.

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Any suggestions?

Where did you buy it?

 

(Please don't say Guitar Center)

 

If you can't get it fixed at your dealer and decide to call Gibson, they will send you to an authorized repair center in your area. The issue I have is that something may have been altered on the guitar after it left Gibson.

It was shipped in a hardshell case to the dealer, so what happened after that?

If it's GC, there's no tellin'....

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It should be behind the bridge, alongside the metalplate for storing within the case. If it´s lowest point is alongside the pickups, it looks like the spring has a wrong bending/angle rather than the lever. The lever could be bent if that would make any sense. I had to bend the lever on my A.Y. downwards a bit. That worked out well. But it´s lowest point is and was alongside the metalplate.

 

Do you have any pics of the spring and/or string holding plate?

 

Greetings

Kurt

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On the ones that I've seen with this problem, there are 2 issues- the spring has the wrong angle for the string retainer plate, and the arm is a bit wrong too.

 

On the ones that I've seen a new arm will not solve the problem.

 

You can remove the arm and leave it off, which many guys have done over the years anyway.

 

Or, you can change the spring assembly with an Allparts nickel one and put the Gibson cover plate and string retainer plate on it, which is what I did.

 

You can see it in this thread:

 

http://forums.gibson.com/Default.aspx?g=posts&t=10836

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Like I said, I'm new to the forum and want to say "thanks" to everyone for being so willing to help me out.

 

I bought the guitar new at More Music (www.moremusic.com) in Santa Cruz, CA yesterday.

 

The tremolo arm is curved, but it doesn't look bent. It appears to be fabricated that way. I hope these pictures help. One is of the full guitar, one shows the arm in an upright position next to the pickups, the other has the arm pointed down toward the strap button. It may be hard to tell in the pictures, but when pointed down the arm is more elevated than when pointed up.

 

LPSGfront.jpg

 

LPSGsidearmup.jpg

 

LPSGsidearmdown.jpg

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It appears to be the spring. Since it is a new guitar I wouldn´t try to do anything myself. Take it back to the shop and ask them to repair or replace the maestro. The stringholder must have an upward angle towards the pickups. If the angle is alright the lever is lowest when alongside the plate. But in the shop they should be able to fix or replace it.

 

Greetings

Kurt

 

B.t.w. nice guitar.

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on my firebird i turn it the 3rd way.... so it is parallel to the bridge. basically, pointing up at your head if you were playing it. for that guitar, it's the best way to store it. i agree yours is one of the ones with the bad spring angle though. replacement is the only option.

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Nice 61. jameswithesg is right. the arm has a bad angle. if you look at the long axis of the arm, the bend looks to be way up, and it should bend a little to the left of the long axis and then a little up. you can see it on my 65 MM. looks to me like your arm has an incorrect angle just as jameswithesg said. With a correct angle like mine, the arm should fold counter-clockwise over the trem spring and then no problem closing the case. I saw an arm recently, I think at StewMac.com

(might need a refresh to full size the pics)

65MMfront.jpg

 

65MMfront4.jpg

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Nice 61. jameswithesg is right. the arm has a bad angle. if you look at the long axis of the arm' date=' the bend looks to be way up, and it should bend a little to the left of the long axis and the a little up. you can see it on my 65 MM. looks to me like your arm has an incorrect angle just as jameswithesg said. With a correct angle like mine, the arm should fold counter-clockwise over the trem spring and then no problem closing the case. I saw an arm recently, I think at StewMac.com

(might need a refresh to full size the pics)

[img']http://i724.photobucket.com/albums/ww249/BigKahune/65MMfront.jpg[/img]

 

65MMfront4.jpg

 

You didn't read my post.

 

The arm is not the problem- it's the angle of the spring.

 

If he puts an arm like yours on it it will sit very close to the pickguard and will not be usable at all.

 

Take a closer look.

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Yes lous1952, I did read your post, and Fainting Goat's spring does look flatter than mine. Yours (I take it the pic is after your replacement spring) looks to have a spring angle similar to mine (BTW nice fix, looks original - your cherry 65 is sweet, what's the neck profile?). But changing the spring without changing the arm you end up with an even higher arm angle (although turned back like in your pic, it fits in the case). The simpliest solution seems like it would be an arm with less of an upward bend, if you could find one that fit the geometry right. Actually, if it's a nickel arm and not plated, you might be able to have it bent. Just curious lous1952, how much did you spend on your parts? I see a trem arm, but no trem spring at Allparts.

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You guys are awesome and I want to give a huge thanks to each of you for your input. I've been going back and forth with Gibson and they're going to make the repair. They've been great to deal with, but it was difficult to properly diagnose through e-mail and phone calls. Some things are just easier to do in person. I should have already turned it in, but I'm jonesing to play it at a gig this Friday, so Monday of next week I'll part with it for the fix.

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You guys are awesome and I want to give a huge thanks to each of you for your input. I've been going back and forth with Gibson and they're going to make the repair. They've been great to deal with' date=' but it was difficult to properly diagnose through e-mail and phone calls. Some things are just easier to do in person. I should have already turned it in, but I'm jonesing to play it at a gig this Friday, so Monday of next week I'll part with it for the fix.[/quote']

 

This is the best solution. Let Gibson make the repair. Lous1952 is right, it is the angle of the spring. Nothing else. Another lever won´t help. The stringholding plate has to point slighlty upwards towards the pickups. There is no other way, because the lever has to point upwards when it is alongside the pickups for using it and downwards when it is alongside the lyre plate for storing it inside the case.

 

Greetings

Kurt

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Yes lous1952' date=' I did read your post, and Fainting Goat's spring does look flatter than mine. Yours (I take it the pic is after your replacement spring) looks to have a spring angle similar to mine (BTW nice fix, looks original - your cherry 65 is sweet, what's the neck profile?). But changing the spring without changing the arm you end up with an even higher arm angle (although turned back like in your pic, it fits in the case). The simpliest solution seems like it would be an arm with less of an upward bend, if you could find one that fit the geometry right. Actually, if it's a nickel arm and not plated, you might be able to have it bent. Just curious lous1952, how much did you spend on your parts? I see a trem arm, but no trem spring at Allparts.

[/quote']

 

I only mentioned this again because I didn't want people buying replacement arms thinking that a new arm alone will solve the problem.

 

I bought an entire nickel plated Allparts Vibrola assembly for $105 from an Allparts dealer.

 

Allparts dealers will generally sell parts for less than they cost directly from Allparts.

 

I used the Allparts spring assembly and the arm with the Gibson string retainer and cover plate.

 

It's an expensive fix, but I did it for 2 reasons:

 

1- I've been fixing guitars for 40+ years, and I wanted to control what was being done to a limited edition SG.

 

2- I was not about to let Gibson get their hands on it, I don't trust them one bit- they have screwed up many guitars and refused to correct them- see the Alex Lifeson ES-355 neck volute problem as a good example.

 

The arm is nickel plated, you can try bending it, but you might crack the plating.

 

The arm won't break if you do it carefully.

 

Here are pictures of the Gibson Vibrola with just the arm changed to an Allparts arm, which is very similar to a '60s-early '70s arm Gibson arm..

 

As you can see, when folded back, you can close the case.

 

When put into position over the pickguard for use, it sits so close to the pickguard as to be unusable.

 

DCP_0137.jpg

 

DCP_0138.jpg

 

From the SGs that I've seen with this problem, it's not possible to bend the arm into a position that will be usable over the pickguard and still allow the case to close without hitting the arm when folded back.

 

Believe me, I tried arm solutions, they didn't work without changing the spring angle.

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as a comparison, here's my vintage Firebird. it's actually such that the arm doesn't like being pointed backwards. it doesn't easily clear the knobs.

here are 3 pictures of it though. one that shows where the arm is in playing position, one to show how i store it, and one to show the angle of

the spring.

 

 

IMGP0132.jpg

 

IMGP0133.jpg

 

IMGP0134.jpg

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lous1952 - yes, now I see the problem easily. Thanks for the additional info. Wow, your 65 looks gorgeous in those two pics (oops, excuse my drool).

 

modoc_333 - your arm bend looks very similar to mine.

 

Fainting Goat - glad to hear Gibson is gonna hook you up.

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  • 1 year later...

Hey guys!

I have the exact same problem with fainting goat and my axe is not new rather second hand. To be honest I've been using it for quite a while and always wondered what the problem is, never really understood.

Anyway the maestro looks exactly the same way with the guitar in the pics and I think the only way to solve it to change the spring angle, where the strings sit ( as lous1952 told earlier).

So is it doable? There is a gibson dealer here but I'm not sure they would be able to solve it bcs i dont think they ever imported and sold one.

Can I do it myself?

What do you suggest?

 

Thanks!

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