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Vibrola arm

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  • Vibrola arm

    I have a VMB-1-2 Vibrola unit that came with the '64 Epi Coronet I was bequeathed, like this one here. It lacks an arm. Some years back I was in Gruhn's at their old location on Broadway in Nashville, and there was a cluster of Epiphones - Coronet, Wilshire, Crestwood - that also had similar vibrola units, and none of them had arms. I asked the clerk if they were removed as some sort of security move, like how cyclists remove the seat off their bike when they chain it up. He told me that they actually came in to the shop that way - armless.

    So if this is a rather common phenomenon, I'm assuming that someone somewhere must make a replacement arm. Any ideas where a fella might find such an item? I've poked around and it sort of seems like a full Bigsby arm assembly might work, but the unit can't simply be the arm and bolt assembly that mounts vertically, it has to include the horizontal part that affixes to the bar that sticks out of the side. I've checked a few places but haven't managed to find anything. Ideas?
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  • #2
    I searched and searched but couldn't find any offerings. I did find a couple of photos of that model "Vibrola" whole with the arm. But only a couple. The later sprung steel model is all over the place with new arms readily available. But this older model, I can hardly find photos of the arm. I think you're stuck with whatever you can retrofit or duplicate from old photos.

    What is the shape of that arm shaft? The actual arm that fits on it requires a transitional piece that attaches to it, and then the arm attaches to that piece. Which seems like clumsy design to me. It looks round.?. Also clumsy design and prone to failure. I'm thinking that you might be able to modify it into something NOT round (file some flats into it) that would accept mating direct to a properly shaped hole in a single piece arm.
    "Take two placebos, works twice as well." Enzo

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A


    • #3
      See anything on this page? I'd ask these people.
      the worlds finest selection of Customparts
      Binkie McFartnuggets‏:If we really wanted to know the meaning of life we would have fed Stephen Hawking shrooms a long time ago.


      • #4
        Yeah, I think I'm pretty much consigned to machining something myself. Bigsby arms look kind of suitable but would require, or at least expect, a spring.. I had installed a Bigsby B5 unit in past but it really throws the weight balance on the guitar off.

        This photo of a '65 suggests the Maestro-style vibrola arm can be used. The photo below of an actual '64 shows a different style of arm. Either way, I think I have to make the bracket that grips the horizontal bar.
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