The Wilkinson Wobble

taez555

Senior member
Messages
628
As has been discussed before, the wilkinson trem has a tendency to wobble.   For those of you who have one, you know it's because the part the bar slides into isn't part of the base(like a floyd), and is only secured by a nut which over time gets loose and you can never re-tighten the brass nut..

http://www.unofficialwarmoth.com/index.php?topic=1830.0

There was this thread about it a couple months ago, but it sort of just died without any ways to fix it.

It's not super annoying when the bar is in, it wobbles but is usable, but when I play my guitar without the bar the loose part actually has a tendency to vibrate sympathetically. 

So I've been contemplating ways to fix this, and I'm curious if anyone has any thoughts or other ideas that don't include replacing it with a hipshot.

Basically... without the ability to tighten the nut, i figure I want to put a shim between the nut and base of the trem.  I've thought about maybe super glue, or even a bead of solder.   Just anything that'll make it so the part can't move as easily. 

Any thoughts?

erik
 

jimh

Senior member
Messages
1,344
I've just experienced exactly the same thing.  Without dismantling the whole guitar, taking the bridge apart, and removing the saddles, just to leave the base plate and the bar thread/nut, it must be a right pain.  Haven't tried yet but it's getting irritating.  i've packed all my tools and guitars away now, as I'm moving house, but I'd be interested in how you get on.

 

spauldingrules

Senior member
Messages
721
Here's what I did (note that I have this lovely bridge on 3 guitars).  First, I spent a long time trying to fix it unsuccessfully.  Second, I gave up.  Third, wait a week.  Fourth (the hardest step), stop caring.  Five, dive bomb 'til my heart's content.

Seriously, whattcha gonna do?  Just don't worry about it. 
 

GoDrex

Senior member
Messages
3,619
I'm really put off by wilkinson. I bought a different model for my strat and the bar clicks inside the slot if you change direction on it (like pulling up if you just pushed down). It sucks pretty bad. I recently took it off and tightened the set screw a lot so I'm hoping that helps, but I doubt that it will, or if it does, that it will last.
 

m4rk0

Senior member
Messages
5,383
So has anybody found a solution over the past 7 months?
this problem is driving me crazy!  and it seems to get worse and worse over time.. :sad:
I can't believe that so many people have the same problem.. this is supposed to be a hight quality replacement part!!
Isn't there a way to contact gotoh about it? They really should have some kind of service contact..
Gregg, do they have some service point of contact for their Wholesale division? (I guess wholesale is all they do anyway)
 

Fish Out of Water

Senior member
Messages
216
I haven't had any bad experiences with my Wilky and I'm sorry to hear that you guys are....

Years ago I read an article on cheap fixes for tremelos and found the following pretty interesting.

One of the "cures" was to drop a small spring (like the one from a ball point pen) into the trem arm well.  According to the article, the added tension that the spring creates against the arm helps to decrease the wobbling of the trem arm.

I've never tried it, but it seems like it might help this "wobbling" problem.  Hope it helps...
 

Nick Ellingworth

Senior member
Messages
217
Well it can't hurt to try it, the only issue I've had with my Wilkinson trem was caused by my own setting up of it, so that was a really easy fix.
 

UTSC

Senior member
Messages
200
Try putting some locktight on the screw that is lose? that should keep it from loosening in the future.
 

taez555

Senior member
Messages
628
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbfXNxCxotQ

Here's a video I made this morning of my Wilkinson doing the wobble.  Sorry for the cheap digitial camera video.

erik
 

Kostas

Senior member
Messages
1,381
I used the VG300 on my strat (same routing as VS100) and there's no wooble at all.
 

Superlizard

Senior member
Messages
2,514
taez555 said:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbfXNxCxotQ

Here's a video I made this morning of my Wilkinson doing the wobble.  Sorry for the cheap digitial camera video.

erik

Sounds like ya need some 3-in-1 oil there!  (squeek squeek)
 

UTSC

Senior member
Messages
200
Well thinking of this, I've come up with two possible solutions 1 invasive, the other not so invasive.

Firstly, you could take some thicker elastic bands, without a lot of stretch in them, loop them across the trem-block and wobbling insert. This should at the very least reduce some of the play on there. Remember this would have to be fairly tight.

See how that works, and if it doesn't I'll suggest something different. Best of luck.
 

taez555

Senior member
Messages
628
Since posting the video on you-tube, some one actually made the recomendation of removing the entire bar and housing and replacing it with a floyd rose bar.  I hadn't even thought of this, the funny thing is, I actually did this for my old floyd on one of my other guitars.  The only thing is..... since you can't loosen the brass nut.... it may require cutting  the wilky off just to test it to see if can work, which I'm not quite sure I want to do.  Hmm......

Any thoughts?
 

taez555

Senior member
Messages
628
So I was toying with the idea of testing out my floyd bar from my ibanez, in place of the wilky bar.

This is what I did...

Taking a the wilky completely off, springs and all, I took a pair of needle nose pliers and twisted the shit out of the brass nut, roughing it up pretty good, but eventually I got it to turn and become completely loose.  It eventually screwed right off.  You could see the threading had a bunch of muck on it, I'm not sure what it was, but it was definitely what was causing it to stick as well as not turn.

So with the thread off, and the bar removed I discover two options....

1. Replace the bar and housing completely with a floyd rose pop in (they're like $15).  The floyd style "screw in". not "pop in" housing  fits in the wilky hole perfectly, and is extremely tight.  No wobble or nothing.  The only downside I found was that the floyd bar sits about 1/4" or so higher than the wilky which makes it a little weird to get used to, also it raises the center of gravity of the bridge making the guitar flutter a bit more when you play(sort of like a normal floyd rose).  But.... this is completely a doable, cheap, alternative.  It's a hybrid wikly/floyd.  Best of both worlds.

or option #

2.  Once you've got the brass nut to move, just clean it off and tighten it back up.  Once tight it felt like the wilky was brand new.  Although... it's only been 12 hours and I'm not sure how long it will stay tight.  That was sort of the thing with the wilky in the first place.  I feel like I might be having to tighten the nut every time I change the strings.  I'm thinking about going over to home depot or something and getting a steel screw instead, and just seeing if that works any better for long term.

Does anyone know any way to make a normal nut hold tight?  Maybe a washer, or something as welll?  I'm no expert, so just curious.

but yeah... the wobble is gone...  I almost want to take down the You-Tube video.  Although I think I may wait till I figure out the perfect fix for it, then put up a companion one.

erik
 

Patrick from Davis

Senior member
Messages
2,197
There are several ways to make the nut hold tight.  Glues, lock washers and so on.  On the glues, I tend to like super glue (cyanoacrylate) because a little fingernail polish remover (acetone) will dissolve it very quickly.  If you know a science geek, a 200uL disposable pipet tip (generally the yellow ones are this volume) will give the superglue bottle a very fine disposable tip.  Gel loader tips are even better.  I generally have to glue the screws on my glasses this way to keep them from slowly falling apart at the worst possible time.  I would also look into a better metal than brass for a new nut on he bridge, no offense to any one, but brass sucks as far as durability for a nut.  Go Stainless.

Out of curiosity, where do you find the pop in Floyd units?  I have another guitar I might want t use this option on.
Patrick

 

taez555

Senior member
Messages
628
I found this one at sam ash.com

http://www.samash.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_BP1000010%20Retro%20Floyd%20Rose%20Tremolo%20Arm%20Chrome_-1_10052_10002_-49993397?cm_mmc=Google-_-Guitar%20Replacement%20Parts-_-BP1000010%20Retro%20Floyd%20Rose%20Tremolo%20Arm%20Chrome-_-ARTCXXXXX

But... I found one in person and my local mom and pop music store a couple years ago.  The key is it's not just the bar, or conversly not the whole trem.  It's just the bar, and the housing that attaches to the base.

It's crazy, but it totally retrofits the wilky.

However, I'm personally thinking of keeping the wilky, and trying some new stainless nuts.  It's home depot time this weekend. :)

erik
 

taez555

Senior member
Messages
628
Gotta love responding to your own posts. :)

Found some cheaper floyd replacement bars while searching...

http://www.uncleikes.com/pc-5772-125-hs-tremarm-schaller-tremolo-arm-for-floyd-rose-tremolos-with-cap.aspx

Also... the new wikly VS401. 

http://www.mojomusicalsupply.com/item.asp?id=2113553&pg=65969&pid=13243

makes me almost think of ordering one instead.  Looks like it would easily switch out with the VS100
 
D

dwayneed

Guest
taez555 said:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbfXNxCxotQ

Here's a video I made this morning of my Wilkinson doing the wobble.   Sorry for the cheap digitial camera video.

erik

Greatest guitar solo ever.  :headbang1: My Shaller Floyd Rose has a similar problem, the bar kind of wags inside the trem when it is used and ruins the feel of the trem. pfft, if I was still practiced and working I might be concerned but I am not so wag away trem... wag away...
 
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