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  1. #1
    Les Paul Forum Member Mikester's Avatar
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    Gibson (SG) Deluxe Vibrola Tuning Issues

    With all of the discussions of the Gibson Deluxe Vibrola (Maestro, Lyre, EE Tiki, Angus - SG - Maestro or Not?, I thought I'd throw out the Mikester Mod. This is similar to Clapton's Fool SG mod, but you get to retain the looks of the (shiny!) Lyre cover. Who says you can't have the tuning stability of a stoptail on a Maestro'd SG and still retain (most of) it's killer looks?



    Notice that the ball ends do not touch/distort the trap cover.
    The cover goes on and off easily with the strings still on.
    Restringing is no problem, just get the ball ends oriented correctly.







    Story: I broke 2 springplates in the early '80's doing 'whammy' stuff. The remnants were chopped and cut to what you see above. It still maintains a decent angle over the ABR, with an action that's similar to top-wrapping.
    I didn't notice a difference it tone (but this is a '67), it might even be better (focus, coupling).

    Back then, I lived in Kalamazoo and springplates were only a few bucks from the factory. How handy.
    I think they might be a fortune now. :-(

    Anyway, I'd like to get the pub's opinions, comments, and critique of this mod.
    So, I've spent most of the day puttin' this friggin' thread together. Flame away about the guitar, if you must. But remember, this isn't the Historic Pub. Maybe some good will come of this road warrior after all.
    Last edited by Mikester; 03-21-08 at 07:00 AM. Reason: Bad idea, apparently.

    “The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.”
    Albert Einstein

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member J.D.'s Avatar
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    Re: Gibson (SG) Deluxe Vibrola Tuning Issues

    Why not just leave the arm swung back, or simply remove the arm? I'm not getting this, sorry.

  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member Mikester's Avatar
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    Re: Gibson (SG) Deluxe Vibrola Tuning Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by J.D. View Post
    Why not just leave the arm swung back, or simply remove the arm? I'm not getting this, sorry.
    Ah, sorry.

    The springplate is what causes the tuning issues. It's been removed.
    That's what was removed from the Fool SG.
    Now there's no arm or metal tab sticking out to block your path to the switch or knobs.

    HTH. Here's a Fool SG reference photo:

    Last edited by Mikester; 03-15-08 at 04:43 PM.

    “The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.”
    Albert Einstein

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member IRussell's Avatar
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    Sg Re: Gibson (SG) Deluxe Vibrola Tuning Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikester View Post
    AAAARRRRGGGHHHH ... A LEFTY Case!!!!



    Quote Originally Posted by Mikester
    Disclaimer: I don't know the legal ramifications of doing this mod, it's fine with me if you want to use it. But, if anyone were to try to make money off of this mod, I'd like to retain copyright, trademark, and all that, through this public forum. Is that OK? If you think this mod is bullshit, then nevermind....I'm just an old geek guitar player passing my experiences.
    May need more than this to establish trademark rights...

    But, an interesting idea to get close to a stoptail without drilling posts in.

    to something different

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member Mikester's Avatar
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    Re: Gibson (SG) Deluxe Vibrola Tuning Issues




    Quote Originally Posted by IRussell View Post
    AAAARRRRGGGHHHH ... A LEFTY Case!!!!

    Here it is modded.

    Quote Originally Posted by IRussell View Post
    But, an interesting idea to get close to a stoptail without drilling posts in.

    to something different
    Thanks Man!

    “The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.”
    Albert Einstein

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member j45's Avatar
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    Re: Gibson (SG) Deluxe Vibrola Tuning Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by J.D. View Post
    Why not just leave the arm swung back, or simply remove the arm? I'm not getting this, sorry.

    The main reason is the break angle is really bad on some SG Standards. Neck sets are not consistent and when you get one that is set towards the shallow side you have almost no pressue on the saddles. I wish I would have thought of this before I let go of one of my SG's. Had nice tone but the there was almost no break angle and strings would not stay on the saddles. As mentioned before, this pretty much the same thing that Clapton did but his was even a touch lower from drilling holes directly into the end of the Vibrola base.

  7. #7

    Re: Gibson (SG) Deluxe Vibrola Tuning Issues

    I just got a custom shop SG with a vibrola. Before I bought it, I found the following fix: I'd noticed that if I bent the G drastically, it pulled the B and E out of tune. I lubed the nut and when this had NO impact, I figured the problem was at the bridge. After reading this thread I looked for a way to reduce the movement of the spring. I simply expanded it and placed a small piece of cardboard in to hold it up just slightly, thus creating more tension on the spring. That solved it!

    While I'm reluctant to modify the guitar, I do think that I will replace the ABR-1 with a Nashville. That wire retainer rattle drives me nuts! I'm also hoping that a Nashville will improve upon sustain just a hair, although it is totally acceptable as is.

    I would leap to Mikester's mod (beautifully done BTW), except that I feel like I hear a positive impact on the guitar's tone that is attributable to the vibrola...it's a resonance I don't hear with stoptail or Bigsby SGs. If, however, in the coming months/years it develops tuning problems (I'm interested to see how that metal acts in changing temperatures), then I will most likely use the mod presented above. I really like it because it is totally reversible (if you can find a replacement bridge!).
    Last edited by macphly; 07-06-08 at 12:58 PM.

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member Elliot Easton's Avatar
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    Re: Gibson (SG) Deluxe Vibrola Tuning Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikester View Post





    Here it is modded.



    Thanks Man!

    Stop molesting my guitar!
    "A little bit of knowledge can be a very dangerous thing."

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member Mikester's Avatar
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    Re: Gibson (SG) Deluxe Vibrola Tuning Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Elliot Easton View Post
    Stop molesting my guitar!

    “The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.”
    Albert Einstein

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