Vibrola questions

Discussion in 'Tone Zone' started by Bob L, Feb 7, 2020.

  1. Bob L

    Bob L Member

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    I have a 64 SG that has a Bigsby which was very poorly installed by the previous owner. I am considering replacing the Bigsby with a Gibson long vibrola to restore the SG to something close to original. I have looked around a bit for a vibrola and am a little confused by what I have found. It appears that Gibson doesn't sell them. At least I don't see them on the Gibson website. Searching ebay and reverb, I find various third party sources that appear to engrave the cover themselves. One source in Germany offers two different spring angles to account for different neck angles.

    Has anyone bought and installed a third party vibrola? Any source recommendations? What was the spring angle for original vibrolas in 1964? What other things should I look for?
     
  2. Gahr

    Gahr Well-Known Member

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    I have bought two of these:

    https://www.crazyparts.de/tremolos-...ibrolas-new/gibson-meastro-vibrola-nickel.php

    The first time I installed it on a 2005 SG Faded Special, the second time on a 2014 Derek Trucks. They fit and work excellently. A bit pricey, but if you have a 1964 SG, I would almost say it was a requirement.:D

    As to the angles, I just bought the stock one they sell both times. According to the info here, they have a 18° break angle, which should not fit the guitars I put them on, since they are not CS or Historic Series guitars. But they actually fit perfectly anyway. I think you can buy the stock one they sell without problems.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2020
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  3. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    smclssc.jpg DSCN1627.JPG
    I have a branded Gibson (faux aged, so likely from a "historic) that I bought cheap from a guy on Ebay (who decided he wanted shiny but had never heard of polish. $150 usd) and an All Parts ($120 +/-)that both work fine. I have installed the German crazy parts models on a couple without issue as well.
     
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  4. Bob L

    Bob L Member

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    Thanks for the feedback! I checked with Crazy Parts. They don't have aged nickel yet, but they advise that is coming in May. I may try a cheaper generic vibrola in the meantime. Or I may try to mildly age a nickel unit myself. Has anyone done that?
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2020
  5. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    Just leave it alone for a few years, it'll age on its own.:cool: Faux aging never looks good to me. When I installed my "aged " vibrola, I took some jewelers rouge and a cotton rag and polished back to shiny. It looks great and natural.
     

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