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Old 01-28-11, 04:54 PM   #1
vh5150
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Sg Crapola! More SG Vibrola Issues - Help Needed Please

I posted a recent thread about poor (shallow) break angle due to how the vibrola sits up. I took the guitar back to the store where I purchased it and they were able to get the action lower to an acceptable level for me.

I played the guitar tonight and man there is some sort of after note ring buzz/jangle/almost slight "distortion"(it is not fret buzz) type of sound after notes both fretted and open. Can this be the tailpiece cap needing some foam underneath OR is this a result of the poor break angle? Perhaps it is from the ABR, I am am just having a damn hard time finding the cause!

Please any advice would be appreciated. If it is due to the break angle do I have legit recourse with Gibson and their warranty?

Last edited by vh5150 : 01-28-11 at 05:18 PM. Reason: more info
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Old 01-28-11, 09:17 PM   #2
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Re: Crapola! More SG Vibrola Issues - Help Needed Please

It's more likely to be the bridge than the Vibrola.
Sometimes the saddles can vibrate on an ABR if loose.
See if the buzzing stops when you touch each of the bridge saddles lightly with the eraser end of a pencil.

I'm assuming that you read my posts in your thread about the Allparts Vibrola?
Many of us have had problems with these new Vibrolas.
I have no idea if Gibson will do anything about it, but I wouldn't bet on it.
That's why I combined the Gibson and Allparts Vibrolas to make one good unit.
I'm capable of doing it, and at least I know that it works right.

You also need to remember that fixing or replacing the Vibrola may not improve the break angle all that much.
If the neck angle is shallow you will never have low action and a steep break angle with a Vibrola- even a vintage one.
It's not that critical- as long as there are no string retention issues.

My '65 SG Standard has a shallow neck angle, very low action, a shallow break angle to the Vibrola, and no problems at all.
It's one of the best guitars that I've played in 45 years, with no buzzing anywhere.
In fact, all of my SGs (vintage and new) have low action and shallow break angle, with no problems.

Post some pictures of your SG, from the side, so that we can see the neck/bridge/Vibrola relationship.
Then maybe we can give you a better answer.
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Old 01-29-11, 06:43 AM   #3
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Re: Crapola! More SG Vibrola Issues - Help Needed Please

loufed52

Many Thanks. Yes, I read your reply in the other thread and greatly appreciate the info. I took a couple snap shots, these are after the tech at the store lowered the action. It was higher, maybe the width of a d string. I am gonna head off to see my tech this am and will post back afterwards. I love the neck, just hoping a proper setup and tweaking will do the trick and get rid of the buzz.






Last edited by vh5150 : 01-29-11 at 07:10 AM. Reason: pics added
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Old 01-29-11, 07:56 AM   #4
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Re: Crapola! More SG Vibrola Issues - Help Needed Please

that bridge is leaning WAY back!!

I'll BET you are getting string vibration along the front edge of the bridge when you hit a note. IS the vibration (buzz) worse on open strings than on fretted notes? Proabably yes...the open string will vibrate on a bigger elipse than the fretted (shorter) string so you will get the open string really banging against that front edge of the bridge.

Loosen the strings and pull it forward so it is flat with the top of the body as it is supposed to be and retune...watch the bridge doesn't pull forward too much...keep it flush with the top.

Your troubles may be over...if not, at least the bridge is now in the correct spot.
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Old 01-29-11, 08:27 AM   #5
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Re: Crapola! More SG Vibrola Issues - Help Needed Please

I still have that white custom shop stopbar model you sold me. Let me know if you give up on the Vibrola type.
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Old 01-29-11, 11:43 AM   #6
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Re: Crapola! More SG Vibrola Issues - Help Needed Please

Quote:
Originally Posted by vh5150 View Post
loufed52

Many Thanks. Yes, I read your reply in the other thread and greatly appreciate the info. I took a couple snap shots, these are after the tech at the store lowered the action. It was higher, maybe the width of a d string. I am gonna head off to see my tech this am and will post back afterwards. I love the neck, just hoping a proper setup and tweaking will do the trick and get rid of the buzz.





Not only is your ABR-1 leaninng back way too far (shouldn't be leaning at all) but the orientation of your Maestro looks all wrong as well.

The piece in the front that the strings latch in to and run over the top of has the front tilted down and the back tilted up. I just looked at my 65 Standard and my 64 JR and both are exactly the opposite of yours, the front side is tilted up and the back tilted down.

Not sure if this will make a differnce in your break angle (it might), but it will make a difference in the angle of the trem arm itself... it will sit higher off the guitar when in use and should sit flat against the top when pushed back towards the input jack when you put it in the case.

Heres a pic of how it should look.
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Old 01-29-11, 03:10 PM   #7
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Sg Re: Crapola! More SG Vibrola Issues - Help Needed Please

I have a buzz when playing my SG acoustically (i.e. not through the amp).

I found the vibration was coming from the PUP selector in the centre position.

I can't hear it playing through an amp.

Sounds like these SG bodies really resonate!
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Old 01-29-11, 07:02 PM   #8
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Re: Crapola! More SG Vibrola Issues - Help Needed Please

Thanks everyone for all the help. Obviously I am not the most hands on player in terms of knowing the ins & outs of a setup with a vibrola system, unfortunately I've had to learn the hard way. The tech I go to basically told me a couple things

1) the noise was due to a number of things, ABR rattle and loose parts in general

2) The nut needs some work

He's gonna slap on a locking ABR AVR2 and give it a proper setup and work on the nut as well as tighten everything.

Just to clarify, the noise I am getting comes thru the amp. I am hopeful with the new bridge and setup this will rectify the issue. I will post back after installation.
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Old 01-30-11, 02:34 AM   #9
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Re: Crapola! More SG Vibrola Issues - Help Needed Please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin James View Post
Not only is your ABR-1 leaninng back way too far (shouldn't be leaning at all) but the orientation of your Maestro looks all wrong as well.

The piece in the front that the strings latch in to and run over the top of has the front tilted down and the back tilted up. I just looked at my 65 Standard and my 64 JR and both are exactly the opposite of yours, the front side is tilted up and the back tilted down.

Not sure if this will make a differnce in your break angle (it might), but it will make a difference in the angle of the trem arm itself... it will sit higher off the guitar when in use and should sit flat against the top when pushed back towards the input jack when you put it in the case.

Heres a pic of how it should look.
True that is how it looks on an original. Sadly the new reissue Maestro Vibrolas are simply f&^%ed up!

Today I just bought a brand new VOS LP/SG and the curved "spring" in the vibrola is just like the problematic one shown above when running standard D-Addarrio 10s. However I have no issues with the bridge angle, ABR1 buzz, or getting the string height where I need it. However it's just that you really can't make the bar sit right even by bending it to the old style bend with a torch. In stock form the bar is WAY up in the air no matter where you swing it, so much so you can't even close the guitar case. It's like they speced the spring for way too little tension, or perhaps it's just weak metal. That said, it was impossible to truly get the arm right even with bending it. Currently I simply straightened the bar and it looks about right stuck back towards the jack, however with the vibro plate angle being so off I can't even bring the bar foward now without hitting things. That will have to work for now, simply so I can leave the bar on (for looks at this point) and fit the guitar in the case. IMHO Gibson needs to retool the trem "spring" for a tighter bend and a flatter plate tilt leaned the other way with the strings sitting on it, then the plate won't be as flexed and will sit like the old ones do. Currently the new Maestros spring may perhaps be proper with a string gauge way smaller than 10s, but perhaps it's angle isn't even right with no strings at all pulling at it I haven't checked it without string tension. That all said it's truly a defect IMHO, and I'll probably drop Gibson a note about it. They probably know about it, but have a ton of these units and don't want to toss them... Perhaps someone will come up with a way to bend that spring part into shape without breaking it? Careful work with a hammer, haha!

Last edited by geetarpicker : 01-30-11 at 03:10 AM.
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Old 01-30-11, 02:50 AM   #10
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Re: Crapola! More SG Vibrola Issues - Help Needed Please

Still, I think the original poster's buzz issues are perhaps just a slightly loose ABR1 bridge/saddles. Some seem to have lower tolerances then others and are more prone to rattle, usually it's the intonation screws themselves. Sometimes simply working the intonation screws can help matters to put just tad of tension between each screw, the side of the assembly and each bridge piece. It could also be related to the retainer wire. Perhaps they need to make the intonation screws with just a tighter fit on the main block.

I should mention that the 52 year old original ABR1 on my Burst never rattles, perhaps they just were built to tighter tolerances back then or maybe mine is just a tighter example. It might be the one perk of no retainer spring period, as it's less to rattle. That said, I have a home made retainer spring on my old ABR1 carefully bent out of a guitar string that clips on without needing any side hole as there are none in the old originals.

I do however think that bridge lean could also be part of the buzzing issue and needs to be somehow carefully corrected.
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Old 01-30-11, 04:34 AM   #11
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Re: Crapola! More SG Vibrola Issues - Help Needed Please

Quote:
Originally Posted by geetarpicker View Post
True that is how it looks on an original. Sadly the new reissue Maestro Vibrolas are simply f&^%ed up!

Today I just bought a brand new VOS LP/SG and the curved "spring" in the vibrola is just like the problematic one shown above when running standard D-Addarrio 10s. However I have no issues with the bridge angle, ABR1 buzz, or getting the string height where I need it. However it's just that you really can't make the bar sit right even by bending it to the old style bend with a torch. In stock form the bar is WAY up in the air no matter where you swing it, so much so you can't even close the guitar case. It's like they speced the spring for way too little tension, or perhaps it's just weak metal. That said, it was impossible to truly get the arm right even with bending it. Currently I simply straightened the bar and it looks about right stuck back towards the jack, however with the vibro plate angle being so off I can't even bring the bar foward now without hitting things. That will have to work for now, simply so I can leave the bar on (for looks at this point) and fit the guitar in the case. IMHO Gibson needs to retool the trem "spring" for a tighter bend and a flatter plate tilt leaned the other way with the strings sitting on it, then the plate won't be as flexed and will sit like the old ones do. Currently the new Maestros spring may perhaps be proper with a string gauge way smaller than 10s, but perhaps it's angle isn't even right with no strings at all pulling at it I haven't checked it without string tension. That all said it's truly a defect IMHO, and I'll probably drop Gibson a note about it. They probably know about it, but have a ton of these units and don't want to toss them... Perhaps someone will come up with a way to bend that spring part into shape without breaking it? Careful work with a hammer, haha!
I have a 2001 '61 RI with vibrola and 2009 Custom SG. Both with vibrolas. I've replaced the standard vibrola with the allparts replacement.

It doesn't have as much travel is the original but but the case closes and it's out of the way for regular playing.

I've also replaced the ABR on the '61 with an AVR2. The ABR seemed a bit loose and rattled a bit. No problems with the AVR2

The actual vibrola works fine but I wish Gibson would get the manufacture per '60s spec.


Last edited by getchar() : 01-30-11 at 04:37 AM. Reason: Update text
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Old 01-30-11, 11:12 AM   #12
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Re: Crapola! More SG Vibrola Issues - Help Needed Please

Is that pic with the Allparts unit? It still tilts downward some, with about 1/8" of gap between the front edge and the strings. On the original typically the strings lay on the full top surface of the plate, and the plate tips upwards more toward the top of the bridge instead of tilting downward about mid way. That said, you say the Allparts one seems to be an improvement?

One other thing. On the original unit the spring section is retained into the main frame by two removable pins. On the new unit it appears there are no pins. Is it spot welded? Can the spring section be separated from the main frame?

Could you post a pic of the same guitar with the bar brought back to the knobs to see how much tilt it as there? On the originals the angle is very nice as the bar is at it's highest in the playing position, but lower when brought back into the rearward "storage" position. This occurs due to the natural upward tilt of the string retainer/bar attachment plate. The old ones are just about right with the guitar setup with 10s.

Perhaps with a vise and a torch one could bend that last lip of the spring where the plate slips on to give it a tighter angle. It might be an easier project if that spring section can actually be separated from the unit. Still, bending a spring is probably an unrealistic project.

Thanks!
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Old 01-30-11, 12:17 PM   #13
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Re: Crapola! More SG Vibrola Issues - Help Needed Please

Quote:
Originally Posted by geetarpicker View Post
Is that pic with the Allparts unit? It still tilts downward some, with about 1/8" of gap between the front edge and the strings. On the original typically the strings lay on the full top surface of the plate, and the plate tips upwards more toward the top of the bridge instead of tilting downward about mid way. That said, you say the Allparts one seems to be an improvement?

One other thing. On the original unit the spring section is retained into the main frame by two removable pins. On the new unit it appears there are no pins. Is it spot welded? Can the spring section be separated from the main frame?

Could you post a pic of the same guitar with the bar brought back to the knobs to see how much tilt it as there? On the originals the angle is very nice as the bar is at it's highest in the playing position, but lower when brought back into the rearward "storage" position. This occurs due to the natural upward tilt of the string retainer/bar attachment plate. The old ones are just about right with the guitar setup with 10s.

Perhaps with a vise and a torch one could bend that last lip of the spring where the plate slips on to give it a tighter angle. It might be an easier project if that spring section can actually be separated from the unit. Still, bending a spring is probably an unrealistic project.

Thanks!
It's an allparts arm on the original (2001) vibrola.

The allparts arm is flatter than standard arm which keeps it out of the way in the playing position rotating towards the tail will see it kickup due to the angle of the spring albeit not as much as the original. I'll post a pic tonight.

I believe the spring is welded in position but will check
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Old 01-30-11, 12:58 PM   #14
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Re: Crapola! More SG Vibrola Issues - Help Needed Please

The plot thickens. I have a friend with an an original '64 standard, however he has a repro nickel Maestro on it he got from Gibson about 5-6 years ago. I have a few pics of the guitar and it sure appears the spring angle is actually correct! I'll get a better look at that guitar in a few days to confirm. My gut feeling is Gibson had a bad batch of these go out more recently, as it appears at one point the repro trem did indeed have the proper angle to it. The Gibson factory is just a few miles away from me, and I bought my guitar new so I'll report back...
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Old 01-30-11, 01:25 PM   #15
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Re: Crapola! More SG Vibrola Issues - Help Needed Please

Edit for wrong link

I hate to keep referring to these posts, but many newer members don't know about these ongoing issues with the Gibson Vibrola.

This has been a problem for 5 years that I know of, if not longer.

It is possible to combine the Allparts frame/spring assembly with the Gibson cover and make one unit that has an acceptable spring angle and looks/works as it should.

Read these 2 posts and you will see that it can be done, but requires patience and some tweaking of the parts to get a good fit.

http://www.lespaulforum.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=144820

http://www.lespaulforum.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=163720

This cured all of the problems of the Gibson Vibrola and is a lot cheaper than hunting down a nickel vintage one or a properly made Gibson one.

The SG shown in the pictures was bought about 5 years ago, so the problem was around in that time frame too.

Last edited by loufed52 : 01-30-11 at 02:20 PM.
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Old 01-30-11, 01:59 PM   #16
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Re: Crapola! More SG Vibrola Issues - Help Needed Please

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Notice that the ABR-1 is not sitting flat on the thumbwheels. In the mid 60's Gibson used domed thumbwheels on SG vibrola guitars to allow the ABR-1 to rock slightly as the trem pulled the strings back and forth. This also helps ease the pulling, sticking, and pulling of the strings that results in a ratchet effect causing the leaning posts. They also used ABR-1's on 60's SG's that were rounded on the bottom where sitting on thumbwheels wwhich also allowed a rocking motion.
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Old 01-30-11, 07:30 PM   #17
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Re: Crapola! More SG Vibrola Issues - Help Needed Please

Yep I remember those domed thumbwheels on my '65. In my experience graphite in the nut and a pinch of oil on the top of each bridge piece also did wonders.

I checked a couple other new SG's (w/vibrolas) out at GC today and they both had the odd downward tilt my VOS has so it appears that with the new vibrolas that's just the way they are. Oddly 5-6 years ago when my friend got a new repro vibrola from Gibson the spec was way more correct, perhaps they changed suppliers sometime recently. That said there is probably no recourse on a new guitar, warranty wise as it's just a detail Gibson chose to overlook at this time on perhaps quite a number of guitars.

The Allparts one appears to improve the situation. It still appears you would have an arm that is actually higher when swung back, as opposed to the other way around like on an old one. Still I appreciate the links on that, and it's probably the best way to go.
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Old 02-01-11, 04:19 AM   #18
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Re: Crapola! More SG Vibrola Issues - Help Needed Please

Quote:
Originally Posted by geetarpicker View Post
Could you post a pic of the same guitar with the bar brought back to the knobs to see how much tilt it as there? On the originals the angle is very nice as the bar is at it's highest in the playing position, but lower when brought back into the rearward "storage" position. This occurs due to the natural upward tilt of the string retainer/bar attachment plate. The old ones are just about right with the guitar setup with 10s.
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Old 02-06-11, 12:50 PM   #19
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Re: Crapola! More SG Vibrola Issues - Help Needed Please

I have a feeling if we keep bitching about this maybe someone will listen at Gibson? If I get a chance I take a snap of my Firebird before I deliver her to her new owner today. it's correct and from '91.
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Old 02-06-11, 01:08 PM   #20
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Re: Crapola! More SG Vibrola Issues - Help Needed Please

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That spring angle is all too common with Vibrolas in the last 5-6 years.
This, and the absurd volute on the Alex Lifeson ES-355, as well as their generally lousy build quality, show that Gibson doesn't give a shit about what they foist on buyers.

I can honestly say that there is not one new Gibson being made today that I really want to buy.
The only ones that are decent values are the less expensive ones.

I would rather spend more money, and sometimes not even a lot more is required, and buy a '60s Gibson, or an issues '50s Gibson.
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Old 02-06-11, 01:09 PM   #21
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Re: Crapola! More SG Vibrola Issues - Help Needed Please

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I have a feeling if we keep bitching about this maybe someone will listen at Gibson? If I get a chance I take a snap of my Firebird before I deliver her to her new owner today. it's correct and from '91.
Why would they listen if fools like me buy them and then fix them anyway?
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Old 02-06-11, 05:42 PM   #22
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Re: Crapola! More SG Vibrola Issues - Help Needed Please

Just thought I would chime back in on my original post. The tech that I go to (who is great), somehow used a vice and something else and bent the vibrola to have a more significant break angle. I know others have tried this and have not been successful so we're waiting to see if it pops back. So far it has been a few days and is still bent. If anyone has any experience with one not staying in the "new" position I'd be curious to hear how quickly it reverted back to the orignal position?
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