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Epiphone Guitars and Wilkinson Wigsby Vibrato Tailpiece

Lefty Bill

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The Wigsby requires a significant amount of body wood to be removed.. a cavity of approximately 1" deep and about 2" x 2.5" to allow for the spring action components on the bottom of the tailpiece.


The overall size is about 3" x 6" and three screws are utilized to attach the vibrato to a guitar body. The mounting area needs to be flat for a proper installation/fit.


The Wigsby weighs about 19 ounces (1 lb 3 oz) since the construction is cast brass with steel parts and hardware, no plastic components other than thin washers at the arm attachment screw and to separate the individual string rollers. There aren't any zinc diecast parts to wear out or break.

The weight of this vibrato unit should cure any neck dive imbalance problems that any guitar model may exhibit.

The string anchor bar (the bar that the handle attaches to) is supported by 2 ball bearing assemblies, so it's not likely that many wear problems will occur from continued use.






Wigsby photo set


The pics show that a Les Paul body has ample space for mounting a Wigsby, but the fit is very close to the bridge on a SG Body.


The Wigsby (and most vibrato/trem tailpieces) are probably best used with locking tuners.. avoiding multiple string wraps around the tuning pegs will greatly improve tuning stability (when vibrato loosens string tension during use, strings with multiple wraps around pegs will tend to loosen, detuning the strings to varying degrees when the vibrato arm is released).


Locking tuners eliminate the need for numerous wraps around the tuning pegs, so the strings remain tuned when using vibrato or tremolo tailpieces.


Installing a roller bridge should definitely be considered since rigid saddles will likely cause a great deal of unnecessary stress to the strings.


Adapting a RH or LH Wigsby..

The bar which the strings are threaded thru can be modified to convert the vibrato for either left or right handed use.. the handle is secured to the string bar by a screw at one end of the string bar. Drilling and tapping a second hole at the other end of the string bar will change the vibrato to used as the other-handed model.

Removing the string bar and locating the drilling location between the end hole and next string hole will basically make the vibrato ambidextrous.

The drilling should be done with some precision to insure a hole which is properly centered on the diameter of the bar, and at the same angle relative to the existing screw hole.



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  • 1 year later...

I've been thinking about getting a Wigsby for my dot so I'd be interested to hear how you've been getting on with it. Has it been a good buy?


Also, can you pull up as well as push down ie sharpen and flatten the strings?

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