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Maestro Vibrola or Bigsby?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by BorderRadio, Mar 5, 2021.

  1. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I have an Epi 2020 Firebird that's great, but it needs a vibrato. I'm a Bigsby nut, so I know that will work and can be completely reversible. What I really want is a Vibrola though, even though the mod would be permanent and the tailpiece studs will be visible.

    Is there any reason to avoid the Vibrola? I need the actual vibrato mechanism to be tuning stable over everything else. I also don't want anything in the way of my right hand when palm muting every string...

    Thoughts welcome....
     
  2. G.Rotten

    G.Rotten Tele-Afflicted

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    I put a Vibrola on an SG once. I had so liked the idea of it, but then in reality really hated it.

    Perhaps if I had never owned a Bigsby I wouldn't have known how things could be.

    I didn't like the feel of the arm, I didn't like the action. I only liked the look. It has all the potential tuning issues of a Bigsby with no adjustments that can be made to it.
     
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  3. CaptainCrunch

    CaptainCrunch Tele-Meister

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    It's not the worst trem of all time, but there's a reason it wasn't widely copied. How much stick-wigglin' do you do? If it's a little shimmer at the end of a song, it can do that. If it's more like Neil Young, I'd go with the Bigsby.
     
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  4. _MementoMori_

    _MementoMori_ Tele-Afflicted

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    If it ain't a Bigsby, it ain't shigsby.

    I pitched that slogan to them, but I never heard back about it.

    EDIT: To actually contribute something to the conversation - if you decide on the Bigsby, check out Callaham's upgrades for it. I have all of them except for the 360 degree arm, and I'll get that one too eventually.
     
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  5. rsclosson

    rsclosson Tele-Afflicted

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    One word: Stetsbar
     
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  6. DavidP

    DavidP Friend of Leo's

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    Seriously consider a Les Trem II unit. It is smoooooth and in IMHO, holds tuning better than a Bigsby, given other factors (bridge and nut) constant. As cool-looking as Vibrolas are, they'll go out of tune if you even stare at them too long! Also, the Les Trem is easily reversible if you don't like it.
     
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  7. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    While I've no personal experience with the Vibrola, a bandmate who's opinion I absolutely trust tells me that those things are nothing but trouble.

    They sure do look cool on the right instrument though,the long-tail ones, Firebirds being one and SGs another
     
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  8. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    24B2D474-92EA-4359-A8C2-7BA0178406EE.jpeg

    Mine are equally tuning stable. Equally comfortable for me, for resting right hand on bridge.

    Subtly different feel and wobble.

    I love them both equally. You need a slightly higher bridge (nothing crazy) for the Vibrola to work well than a B5 or B7 though.

    My local shop says the Vibrola can be a bit futzier and a bit more fiddly to troubleshoot and get right. But nothing insurmountable and knowing how to troubleshoot a Bigsby will probably help a lot.
     
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  9. Mike M

    Mike M Tele-Holic

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  10. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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  11. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Alrighty then, Bigsby FTW!
     
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