"Of all the tone hounds and gear heads we know, GE Smith tops them all. We've been working on completing a cover story and detailed interview with GE for over a year (he's a busy man), and we've seen him twice in the past year touring with Moon Alice. On his last swing through Atlanta, he dropped a tip on us that deserves to be shared - one of those "Why didn't I think of that?" practical ideas that is so elegantly simple and inexpensive - a "modification" that anyone - and we do mean anyone - can do in ten minutes with nothing more than a screw driver.
The Vibramate enables you to retrofit a Bigsby B5 on any guitar equipped with a stop tailpiece and tune-o-matic bridge, and installation couldn't be simpler. Just remove the stop tailpiece studs, align the heavy-duty aluminum Vibramate and secure with the screws provided, then attach the Bigsby B5 to the Vibramate with four small screws and string it up. Obvious candidates for the Bigsby B5 include flat-topped SGs, Firebirds and Les Paul Specials, but the Vibramate also works well on carved top Les Pauls and 335s. We installed the Vibramate on a 2007 '58 Historic Les Paul, and as the picture reveals, while the Vibramate and Bigsby don't sit completely flush at the bottom, the installation is rock solid and we didn't find the slight gap objectionable at all.
We suggest that you place a single drop of 3 in 1 oil on the screw threads (we do this with the studs for all stop talipieces whenever we acquire a new guitar), and if you're unfamiliar with installing strings on a Bigsby, here are a couple of tips...
Using the shaft of a pen or pencil, pre-bend the strings to a C-shape just above the ball end to conform to the roller bar on the Bigsby. Place a folded polish cloth or a piece of foam beneath the string posts on the Bigsby to prevent the ball end from popping off, and use a capo to maintain string tension as you wind each string on the tuner posts."
Vibramate Review courtesy of "The Tonequest Report"
Now available in Gold and Left-Handed!