Gibson SG Deluxe 1998: Maestro tremolo tuning issue

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by Lucantani80, Jan 5, 2018.

  1. Lucantani80

    Lucantani80 New Member

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    Hello everyone,

    I'm new to the forum but I have been a proud Gibson SG player since 1997, when I was just a little rookie.

    Now I've grown older, and over the years I've had a few guitars, but my very first "Diavoletto" ("little devil", as we call it in Italy) has always been been my main and trusty battle axe.

    That SG had always been my only one since last month, when I came through this beautiful 1998 SG Deluxe, mint condition (looks like it left the factory a week ago!!). [NOTE: the picture is taken from the internet, but mine is just the same color and model]
    [​IMG]

    This oldie looks great and sounds even better: the 3 mini humbuckers give it an amazing vintage sound and endless tone possibilities, from the warm, bluesy neck position to the almost twanky (for an SG) bridge+middle position.

    Now, let's get to the point. The Deluxe mounts a Maestro "Bigsby style" tremolo, a model I couldn't find on any other guitar. Unfortunately it adds some tuning issues to the guitar and that's why I would like to put a tuning stabilizer into the mechanism, but the only one I could find is a licensed BiggsFix.

    Anybody know if this brand fits to the Maestro tremolo? Any help appreciated!
    :smile:
     
    Sweetums likes this.
  2. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    I have a couple of Maestros.
    misslizziesm.jpg asmsd.jpg SGclsc.jpg DSCN1282.JPG
    They all stay in tune pretty well. The strings don't bind in the slots and I've got roller bridges on a couple, but mostly I use this method of restringing and make sure my strings are tightly wrapped around the tuner posts.
     
  3. grausch

    grausch Active Member

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    I have one of these - http://www.gibson.com/Products/Electric-Guitars/SG/Gibson-USA/SG-Deluxe.aspx

    It has locking tuners and stays in tune remarkably well. With heavy Bigsby use, the G-string will go slightly out of tune, i.e. one bar on my tuner which is not audible to me. A slight pull or push in the opposite direction usually gets back back in tune.

    If you have no issues at the nut, then locking tuners may be a big help.

    I also use nut sauce at both the nut and the saddles. Don’t think it makes much of a difference on my guitar - several online sources recommended this and I tried it to see if I could fix the slight wissue with the G.
     
    SG standard likes this.
  4. SG standard

    SG standard Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum! That's a very cool and unusual SG you've just bought - if I came across one of these in mint condition I'm pretty sure I'd grab it straight away... Especially a blue one. :)

    We need to see more pics...

    But first - Gibson use the 'Maestro' name a lot; they've typically applied it to a vibrato of their own design, but also to guitars and, as here, a licensed Bigsby vibrato, so you may find your thread title confuses a few people.

    As for the fit of replacement parts: You'll find Bigsby produce blueprints for their various models; you probably have a different branded B5, rather than the similar B50 or B500, but you should be able to check measurements with the blueprints to check this. I'd recommend contacting the manufacturer of any after-market parts to ensure they're compatible. Most of these people are helpful, and will know more than the average forum user. Hopefully someone here may be able to give you an accurate answer, but these Gibson-Bigbsy units are not very common, and without being able to take accurate measurements, it's best not to assume similarities to a standard B5.

    There are lots of ways of tackling tuning issues with a Bigsby; I'd start by checking for binding at the nut (Gibson's headstock design doesn't help here), consider a roller bridge (reversible mod), locking tuners (also very easy for string changes), and make sure everything is lubricated. Personally, I'm not sure about the Biggsfix as a solution - perhaps someone here has direct experience of it and can comment, but I've got a B3 with Towner bar (essentially similar to the Biggsfix, perhaps better), and a B-50 with no mods other than the Reverend soft-spring it came with - there's no difference in tuning stability I'm aware of... As ever, YMMV.
     
  5. Lucantani80

    Lucantani80 New Member

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    Thank you everyone for the comments!

    Yes, I was lucky to find this SG, I found it on fb marketplace and got it in a few hours and for really fair money...

    I'll have a look at those blueprints, but first I'll try with lubricants and roller bridges, so to not change the original settings. The only problem is I can't stop playing it since I've got it! :)
     
  6. njpaulc

    njpaulc Active Member

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    Beautiful guitar, glad it plays as good as it looks. Gibson used Bigsbys quite often and branded them as Bigsby, Maestro and Gibson.
     

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