Tuning issues with Maestro Vibrolas?

jk67SG

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All Gibson trems are basically sh*t. They all force the strings to saw back and forth across the bridge saddles. Fender got this right.
54 years on my SG and no problem... what is the issue you're referring to sir?
 
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jk67SG

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You have. Every time you use the trem your strings scrape over the saddles. That causes premature wear of both string and saddle.
I'm not seeing this happen with my SG. My strings get changed at the first sign any are starting to die. BTW I'm using brass saddles (even though it was delivered with nylon- and believe it or not I still have the original saddles it was delivered with in 1967, in a plastic bag in the case- don't ask me why); seems like if anyone uses nylon, any sawing back and forth wouldn't cause any damage to strings
 
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Von Trapp

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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!

Whilst this is all well and good, what with the stretching the strings and all that, I would strongly advice against using grease. The only stuff that should go in the nut slots is graphite from a pen or, for those that want to impress their friends with overly expensive and completely unnecessary guitar maintenance products; Big Bends nut sauce. A Tusq nut will of course not even need that.


May I also take the opportunity to opine that I personally wouldn't dare calling Don out on this or any other issue since I'm more than aware of the fact that he knows exactly what he's talking about. (as the lionpart of his +4000 posts in 9 years will show) This is why I myself take great care not to contradict the statements made by this honorable member, but rather chose to take the stand that in my personal experience there has never been any tuning issues despite that what he states may very well be correct. It's more of a complementary viewpoint, if you will.

So let's keep it civil, shall we, we're all friends here. (except for the multitude of people on my block list of course...)
 
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jk67SG

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May I also take the opportunity to opine that I personally wouldn't dare calling Don out on this or any other issue since I'm more than aware of the fact that he knows exactly what he's talking about. (as the lionpart of his +4000 posts in 9 years will show) This is why I myself take great care not to contradict the statements made by this honorable member, but rather chose to take the stand that in my personal experience there has never been any tuning issues despite that what he states may very well be correct. It's more of a complementary viewpoint, if you will.

So let's keep it civil, shall we, we're all friends here. (except for the multitude of people on my block list of course...)

I have nothing but respect for Don and his expertise. However, if you're suggesting I should not be allowed to report my over 50 years of experience with the instrument this thread is the subject of because it differs from Don's or anyone else's experience, that would be a sad day indeed.
 

Von Trapp

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No, I'm not saying that at all so it's still a happy day!
 

Goldtone

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… if you're suggesting I should not be allowed to report my over 50 years of experience with the instrument this thread is the subject of because it differs from Don's or anyone else's experience, that would be a sad day indeed.

Quite!!!!
 

everdying

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yes, the string moves at the nut.
no, u don't hear a pinging sound...
but that doesn't mean the string isn't moving... u also don't hear it while tuning.

as for locking nuts, they're hardly used on modern guitars... nowadays the trend are locking tuners and a gotoh 510 / any modern compact floyd rose.

also just a note on locking tuners on a guitar with a non-locking trem... they only work on non-angled / straight string pull headstocks... as many kramer owners have found out...

so in short, yes a well cut nut is essential.
 

Von Trapp

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True. I think what we have here is a mix up of facts, opinion as well as cause and effect. Do strings move hither and dither? Yes. Does it influence the tuning stability of a well set up guitar? No. Are all Gibson trems sh!t? Opinion. Did Fender get it right? Opinion.

I would argue that in the latter case it's the other way around. A fender trem consists of more parts, you have to take the guitar apart to set it up, you have to make a hole in the guitar to fit it, you have to do some intricate maneuvers to set it up as a floating trem and it has less upward movement. With a Maestro there's none of this. You slap it on and you're off. No setup. I think I'd consider this a fact based opinion. Fender trems also look like cheap sh!t but that's an all out opinion of course. In short, to solve the issue of tremming Gibson took the short ingenious way and Fender the long stupid way.
 

Brooklyn Zeke

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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[/QUOTE
You stated, "...lock string to bridge post..." . Did you mean, ...lock string to tuner post?
 

Goldtone

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Brooklyn Zeke

thank you!! Typo, will correct right now

thanks for catching that!



hmm…guess edit function is time sensitive…couldn’t edit original post
 

Goldtone

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EDIT: corrected post from earlier:

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 tuning 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
 

Brooklyn Zeke

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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
Goldtone, I'm going on 70 y.o., and been playing since I was 11, so I have managed to pick up some knowledge, made observations, and gained experience with respect to the guitar over 6 decades. The strings DO saw and grind over the saddles. It is observable and slightly audible. When the tremolo bar is used, the string tension changes and the strings move headstock-wise or tailpiece-wise. They move lengthwise over theoretically (and ideally) immoveable surfaces which are the bridge and saddles. However, the bridge is supported in the SG by 2 spindly, 1/8th inch diameter threaded bolts which are screwed down into the body mahogany. That fit should be tight. Onto those bolts are screwed knurled thumbwheels which are slightly domed, 2 to each bridge post, one above the other. Above those rest the bridge. The lower thumbwheels are intended to be flush with the pickguard (batwing, in my case), or body wood. Those serve to further stabilize the base of the bridge posts. The upper thumbwheels are intended to be used as elevators for the bridge/saddle unit to facilitate action adjustment. In the case of my SG, the 2 thumbwheels are actually together, down at the pickguard (my AVR2 TonePros locking bridge needs virtually no elevation to achieve the low action I prefer; no buzzing anywhere). However, for SGs which may need the bridge somewhat elevated to achieve good action, the elevation will provide slightly less perpendicular stability. In any case, the point is that Vibrola tremolos are crude and aren't intended to be used for divebombing. It is best used for subtle tremolo effects. For any guitar, the saddle notches as well as the nut slots should be finished by running abrasive cord through them to smooth the surfaces which contact the strings. Doing so will eliminate binding at the nut, and also virtually eliminate string breakage due to roughness or metal burrs at the saddles.
 

Goldtone

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Goldtone, I'm going on 70 y.o., and been playing since I was 11, so I have managed to pick up some knowledge, made observations, and gained experience with respect to the guitar over 6 decades. The strings DO saw and grind over the saddles. It is observable and slightly audible.


Hey Brooklyn, thanks for the discussion

I must say though I’ve never experienced this. Even with nylon saddles, never worn and strings never sawing over them…never.

I have however ALWAYS observed the bridge tilt back and forth with vibrato use.

I’m a not so spry 55 year old, do guitar repairs, pickup rebuilds, make nuts from blanks, fret work, etc. I’m a biochem degree from university so am trained to be highly observant of small details and accurate descriptions.

I’ve never experienced sawing of saddles by strings on vibrato use
 

Carlos Henrique

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[QUOTE = "donepearce, post: 558538, member: 3717"] Isso é realmente engraçado.

Na verdade, desculpe, você está certo. Você não pode explicar a configuração para mim. [/ QUOTE]
[QUOTE = "Von Trapp, post: 558545, member: 8599"] Embora tudo esteja muito bem, com o alongamento das cordas e tudo mais, eu aconselharia fortemente contra o uso de graxa. A única coisa que deve entrar nas ranhuras das porcas é o grafite de uma caneta ou, para aqueles que querem impressionar seus amigos com produtos de manutenção de guitarra excessivamente caros e completamente desnecessários; Molho de nozes Big Bends. É claro que uma noz Tusq nem precisa disso.


May I also take the opportunity to opine that I personally wouldn't dare calling Don out on this or any other issue since I'm more than aware of the fact that he knows exactly what he's talking about. (as the lionpart of his +4000 posts in 9 years will show) This is why I myself take great care not to contradict the statements made by this honorable member, but rather chose to take the stand that in my personal experience there has never been any tuning issues despite that what he states may very well be correct. It's more of a complementary viewpoint, if you will.

So let's keep it civil, shall we, we're all friends here. (except for the multitude of people on my block list of course...)[/QUOTE]
 

Carlos Henrique

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Hello, friend! I've used graphite in the lubrication of the nut, but the grease seemed to do the job better. At least in my case, I didn't have any problems, but thanks anyway for sharing your knowledge! We are all in constant learning around here!
 
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I've been using the Maestro Vibrola on my new 61' Standard liberally and have had no issues with tuning stability. Lots of good set up / lubrication tips in the thread though that should get you dialed in!
 


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