Help with Location for Short Flange Vibrola on an SG Special

ctp2112

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Hi all ,

I'm brand new to the forum - Happy to be here.

I have decided to install a short flange vibrola on my 2011 50th anniversary Pete Townshend model SG Special (pictured below) that I've decided to install a short flange vibrola on. I already have the vibrola from CrazyParts in Germany, as well as locking studs from TonePros, and the guitar is with my very competent (and therefore very busy) luthier buddy. Due to said busy-ness, he's asked that I help hunt down a specification for the distance from the wrap-around bridge to the mounting holes for the vibrola.

I've found tons of photographs, but no real dimensions. Does anyone have any insight on this, or is anyone willing to share their measurements from an identical installation (there seem to be a couple of different types of vintage short Vibrolas)? Any issues/tricks we should be aware of for the installation? Break angle and alignment are obviously pretty critical.

Thanks a lot!

Tim

little sg.jpg
 

Von Trapp

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Sure! Firstly, mounting one of those is basically a piece of cake. The distance between the bridge and the vibby are of no consequence (as long as were talking in mm's) so whatever you've concluded will surely do nicely. As you've figured out, the break angle is the main concern. First make sure that you have one and that it's sufficient, if not, you'll only ruin the guitar.

Tip 1.

P1010254.jpg

Tip 2

244567-68b7597cc0ffffc1a4095169d1b31005.jpg


Also, make sure to string correctly (ie locking the strings) and you will most likely not need locking tuners. (that would weigh the neck down)

You don't really need a luthier buddy either, just a drill and a screwdriver.... (also, no disrespect to him, but if he couldn't figure out that the distance don't matter much himself....hmm...)

I'll break out that V and measure if you still insist but I don't have it here at the moment.

Good luck, and feel free to ask more, if necessary.
 
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ctp2112

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Thank you very much for the info and photos, Von Trapp!

My friend was just asking me to help on the research end of things before he got started, and it seemed like some sort of original Gibson spec would have been a nice starting point.
 

Von Trapp

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I don't believe I ever found anything when I looked for it. But you can pretty much sight it in by eye and approximation. Just put the comb somewhere where a tailpiece would have been.
 

MR D

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Its none of my business, and of course, you can do as you like BUT IF I WERE YOU ?

A Word or three to the WISE ?

DON'T DO IT !
 

RabinCa

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I have a clean '64 SG Special with an original vibrola - it's the short, spring mount style - that I totally love but that I've become reluctant to take out to gigs and rehearsals for fear of damaging it. So I recently purchased a new SG Special. As you know, the new ones are back to using wraparound bridges, like my vintage one has. But they don't have vibrolas. I've been considering making the same mod as you - adding a vibrola - to make this new SG more like my vintage. Glad to know that your mod went well! Tell me, did you give any consideration at all to replacing the stock lightning bar bridge with a TOM-style wraparound? If so, what were your considerations and why did you choose not to? The TOM-style wraparounds I've seen are all somewhat larger than the lightning bars and my worry is that the strings might not clear the back of a TOM-style wraparound.
 

ctp2112

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No, I didn't really look at any other types of bridges - just did the locking studs from TonePros. Sorry I'm not more help!
 

RabinCa

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No, I didn't really look at any other types of bridges - just did the locking studs from TonePros. Sorry I'm not more help!
Thanks for the quick reply.

You're happy with the vibrola from Crazyparts? (WD doesn't offer a short vibrola at all. Allparts only has the spring mount version (that's what's on my '64, but I think the flange mount avoids damage to the finish and is the superior design). Crazyparts' stuff looks truer to the original and, I'm thinking, is more likely to be correct in terms of the break angle and angle of the arm once installed than the other stuff one can find on Amazon for a few bucks less.) Have you had to raise your action at all to ensure an adequate break angle?

I'd probably be satisfied with just adding the vibrola and leaving the existing lightning bar bridge, but if I can upgrade the bridge to a TOM-style wraparound as well, to get that much more control over intonation, I think I'd be just that much happier. FYI, this is the bridge I'm considering. It's the lowest profile TOM-style bridge I've been able to find and I'm hoping it'll work.
 

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Lynurd Fireburd

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I know you already sorted and it looks great. I'd have left the lightening bolt too, unless it was crazy off intonation.

The only thing I'd have recommended was to check your Vibrola comb for the angle it provides. Every one is slightly different, including Gibsons.

I shot the pics at CME in Oct. These are Gibsons.

*This sites pic limitations suck. They need to be more generous. That's why I hardly post here.
 

MR D

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Sure! Firstly, mounting one of those is basically a piece of cake. The distance between the bridge and the vibby are of no consequence (as long as were talking in mm's) so whatever you've concluded will surely do nicely. As you've figured out, the break angle is the main concern. First make sure that you have one and that it's sufficient, if not, you'll only ruin the guitar.

Tip 1.

View attachment 48636

Tip 2

View attachment 48637


Also, make sure to string correctly (ie locking the strings) and you will most likely not need locking tuners. (that would weigh the neck down)

You don't really need a luthier buddy either, just a drill and a screwdriver.... (also, no disrespect to him, but if he couldn't figure out that the distance don't matter much himself....hmm...)

I'll break out that V and measure if you still insist but I don't have it here at the moment.

Good luck, and feel free to ask more, if necessary.
HI Von Trapp, may I ask: What year is that Flying V ? I haven't seen that Tone/Volume control pattern too much ! Unless it is just the angle the pic was taken at throwing me off ! and what is TIP #2 showing (I realize its a toothpick with ball end D'Addario strings on it but what is the tip ?) not sure I get it ?
 


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