Tuning issues with Maestro Vibrolas?

Goldtone

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I’ve been using this trem for nearly 40years. Currently own two SGs and a Firebird with this trem.

the bridge rocks back and forth is my observation after 1000’s of hours of use. Not from production tolerances but rather the posts have some give to them

During that time I’ve never had issue with string wear, breakage. On string change I’ve never observed any excessive wear as compared to a stop tail

the down pressure of the string on the saddle is massive…trust me, you are NOT grinding strings across the saddle

Question: what are you doing to manage this issue when you’re bending strings?
 
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Goldtone

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The only bridge specific issue in tuning stability comes from bridge post hole tolerance being too big on some guitars so the bridge slides back and forth on the thumbwheels, not returning to the same spot, now out of tune.

this is 100% remedied with DOMED thumbwheels

Correct solution for tuning instability in Maestro trem is:

Properly maintained nut, lock string to bridge post by under wrapping with no more than once around the post/no string slack (see photo posted earlier by Cerebral Gasket), domed thumbwheels. Do those 3 things you have no issues
 
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Carlos Henrique

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[QUOTE = "Doug Kilishek, post: 558370, membro: 14228"] Olá a todos, já tive um sg antes sem tremolo e sem problemas de afinação. Mas recentemente comprei um modelo exclusivo de Kirk Douglas, lindo, ébano, captador customizado 3 todo em ouro, vibrola w maestro. Mas parece que isso está tendo mais problemas em não manter a afinação bem. Eu não uso muito o maestro, mas me pergunto se há uma história conhecida dessas coisas sendo mais temperamentais em termos de afinação em vez de apenas ter o arremate padrão. Pensamentos? [/ QUOTE]
 

Carlos Henrique

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Hey friend! I had the same problem with my sg. So, through some observations on how the maestro vibrola works, I made this video explaining step-by-step how to solve the tuning instability! With me everything works perfectly, I hope I get the same result too!

 

dbroucek

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My 2012 SG Maestro with a Nashville bridge had a lot of wobble from just the bridge posts screwed into the bushings, let alone the bridge on the posts. I fixed this by swapping in Faber iNsert 3116-0 posts and then using Graphtech saddles (others use nylon saddles) as well as a lubricated Graphtech nut. That cleared up my tuning issues.
 

papagayo

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If your Guitar has a Bigsby or Maestro Vibrola and you're not happy with the tuning???
Here is the answer....Dome Thumbwheels helps your guitar to get better in-tune!


Temp 47786.JPG
 

Go Nigel Go

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You know, I bet the video above will look silly to some people, but those who don't have any issues will probably recognize at least some of those pulls, grabs, and bends etc. Basically what that does is ensure the strings are moving in their slots (along with the lube you refer to earlier). When re-stringing a guitar with a vibrato system installed, you need to establish freedom of movement, and get all of the tensions into balance before expecting stability. I like that initially you don't even worry about exact pitch, just get some tension on it and wiggle things around so they start to move. Eventually they settle into a balance of dynamic tensions. Then you can start to tune it up for real and have it return to tune almost every time while bending and using the vibrola.
 

donepearce

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A guitar can only return to tune from one direction of bend. If you have set it up in tune from a dive, it will be out of tune returning from a lift. That's unless you have a Strat bridge and a locking nut. Any system that requires a string to slide over an edge has friction that will limit the return-to-tune choice.
 

Brooklyn Zeke

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I'm the original owner of a '68 SG Standard w/Vibrola tailpiece, and the guitar originally had an ABR-1 bridge w/nylon saddles. It was difficult to keep it in tune after the Vibrola had been used. I have since replaced the Gibson bridge with a TonePros AVR2 locking bridge with steel saddles. But, early on (before the switch), I'd noticed that after restringing, the bridge would be tilted toward the headstock because the holes into which the threaded bridge posts were screwed were a bit too large for the posts and string pressure tilted the bridge. Tilting the bridge back to a perpendicular position was a temporary fix because it would gradually and repeatedly shift back to a tilted position, especially if the Vibrola was used, even accidentally, and the careful tuning would be "off" when the Vibrola arm would be released. Not being a vibrato player, I finally removed the Vibrola arm from the tailpiece. I'm convinced that any guitar with a vibrato system, if used without a locking roller bridge, will suffer tuning issues. The strings need to be able to return to their in-tune position after vibrato usage without encountering significant resistance. When the strings pass over a non-roller, non-locking bridge, they grind through the saddle slots (and, to a lesser extent, the nut slots) when returning to the non-vibrato, resting position, but never in good tune. For vibrato players, I believe a roller bridge is essential.
 

Goldtone

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Again, the strings are not sawing or grinding over the saddles.

Are you hearing the “ping, ping, ping” of the windings passing over the saddle?

You did observe on your ‘68 however that the bridge is pulled forward…by what? The strings of course. If they had been grinding back and forth on the saddle the bridge wouldn’t have moved, and of course you would hear the string pinging over the saddle through the amp
 

donepearce

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Again, the strings are not sawing or grinding over the saddles.

Are you hearing the “ping, ping, ping” of the windings passing over the saddle?

You did observe on your ‘68 however that the bridge is pulled forward…by what? The strings of course. If they had been grinding back and forth on the saddle the bridge wouldn’t have moved, and of course you would hear the string pinging over the saddle through the amp

It's not only the bridge. This is happening at the nut too.
 

Goldtone

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Right,

Don’t understand what your point is.

the strings are not moving over the nut appreciably while you’re playing. If you’re nut is well cut and maintained, dab of lube to prevent binding, the strings are not moving over the nut nut are anchored there. The break angle of the headstock, approx 120lbs of down pressure from each string. We’re not talking Floyd Rose dive bombs here to spaghetti strings. In such case nothing but a locking bridge and nut will save you.

What WILL happen is the strings WILL move over the nut when you use the vibrato significantly if you have too much wound on the string posts. Follow the picture posted earlier by Cerebral Gasket for correct string to post lock and VERY few windings. Wrapping more than once around the post creates string slack (wether or not you use vibrola) so the string is always finding a new spot on the nut

Really, there is no sense in arguing that the Maestro is flawed and not capable of holding tune if the basics of a proper set up and correctly stringing the guitar are being ignored
 
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donepearce

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The problem is that this is simply not so. The string moves considerably over the nut. This is why the ultimate stable guitar will be a Strat with a Floyd Rose bridge and a locking nut. The fact that you acknowledged that the nut should be well cut and lubricated tells me that you do in fact recognise this as a problem.
 

Goldtone

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A well cut nut with a bit of lube is necessary for the guitar to be strung up correctly in tune. When tuning the string needs to glide smoothly over the nut without grabbing. EVERY guitar player who has tried to tune a string that binds in the nut knows the headache.

But that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about tuning stability of a Mastro vibrola, where in the unit will keep perfect tune when the guitar is set up properly

Let’s focus on the topic without starting side topics to defer

Look, you obviously detest the Maestro and prefer a locking system. No harm, no foul. However the unit is in fact perfectly stable, again, when the guitar is properly set up

You still haven’t answered:

1) how do you manage bending strings without the issues you describe?
2) explain the lack of “ping, ping, ping” sound through the amp, when using the vibrola, of the wound strings moving over the saddle (or nut for that matter)? When you do a “pick scrape” along the string you hear that loud & clear! Run your finger nail over the string and you hear that loud and clear through the amp, with very little downward force in both cases. Yet a string grinding over the saddle at 120lbs of pressure is inaudible?
 
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donepearce

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Answer:
1. When I tune I always finish with a bend. This pulls all the slack into the main part of the string and subsequent bends cause no detuning.
2. Pinging sounds are caused by the nut when it is poorly cut and grips the string causing grip-slip action. There is no such effect with either a bridge or a properly cut nut, although they both exhibit friction. Scraping? The string barely moves over the bridge and it is comparatively slow so there is no equivalent sound to a pick glide.
In the past I have made measurements (posted here) on various types of nut to see how much frictional tuning instability they cause. The best I could find was a bone nut of my own that had a backlash error of (I think) only three cents. Most commercial nuts were over 10 cents.
 

Goldtone

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Okay

I’m stepping away from this, I don’t think I’m able to explain set up to you.

Enjoy your guitars!
 
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