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Set-up of the Gibson Flattop vs. Vega Tubaphone

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Nov 21, 2019 - 9:07:43 AM
5181 posts since 9/16/2004

Two Gibson flattops and seven Vega Tubaphones later, I've come to the conclusion that the Vegas are easier to set up than the Gibsons.

Using the same strings, bridge and tailpiece, it's been my experience that the Gibson Mastertones seem to be more sensitive to head tension and tailpiece pressure than the Vega Tubaphones. Could it be because it's harder to vibrate Gibson's heavier cast tone ring than Vega's lighter composite (brass and steel) tone ring?

Has anyone else found this to be true?

Nov 21, 2019 - 10:54:56 AM

Emiel

Austria

9269 posts since 1/22/2003

I have indeed found that the Tubaphone does not need that much head tension which a Mastertone needs to sound good.

Nov 21, 2019 - 12:27 PM

1464 posts since 6/2/2010

Just a guess that the Vegas were easier because of the longer scale length.

Nov 22, 2019 - 8:32:35 AM
likes this

1936 posts since 1/16/2010

I tighten the head on my '63 Scruggs Vega to 91 just like my Gibson Earl Scruggs Golden Deluxe....and it sounds pretty dang good. Powerful 4th string boom with clear bright treble. The Vega won't cut like the Gibson....but it's still a force to reckoned with. GHS Crowe light gauge strings and a thin Veerman mystery wood bridge give my Vega it's pop! I am also using a mid 20's Vegaphone tailpiece..which produced a noticeable difference in tone than the stock 60's Waverly window tailpiece.

The only thing I dont like about my Vega is...the dinky 4 piece flange...its very thin metal and can easily bend or break under too much tension.


Nov 22, 2019 - 9:13:48 AM

5181 posts since 9/16/2004

quote:
Originally posted by Texican65

I tighten the head on my '63 Scruggs Vega to 91 just like my Gibson Earl Scruggs Golden Deluxe....and it sounds pretty dang good. Powerful 4th string boom with clear bright treble. The Vega won't cut like the Gibson....but it's still a force to reckoned with. GHS Crowe light gauge strings and a thin Veerman mystery wood bridge give my Vega it's pop! I am also using a mid 20's Vegaphone tailpiece..which produced a noticeable difference in tone than the stock 60's Waverly window tailpiece.

The only thing I dont like about my Vega is...the dinky 4 piece flange...its very thin metal and can easily bend or break under too much tension.


Man-O live, did you ever wring out that Vega! 

BTW:  Is your 63 Vega a two coordinating rod model with the tone ring slits?  Or does the tone ring have holes? 

Edited by - Frisco Fred on 11/22/2019 09:20:25

Nov 22, 2019 - 9:48:59 AM

382 posts since 1/28/2013

quote:
Originally posted by Texican65

I tighten the head on my '63 Scruggs Vega to 91 just like my Gibson Earl Scruggs Golden Deluxe....and it sounds pretty dang good. Powerful 4th string boom with clear bright treble. The Vega won't cut like the Gibson....but it's still a force to reckoned with. GHS Crowe light gauge strings and a thin Veerman mystery wood bridge give my Vega it's pop! I am also using a mid 20's Vegaphone tailpiece..which produced a noticeable difference in tone than the stock 60's Waverly window tailpiece.

The only thing I dont like about my Vega is...the dinky 4 piece flange...its very thin metal and can easily bend or break under too much tension.


I have the exact banjo. But I replaced the neck with a wider one, with a thinner profile. The 1 3/16ths original thick neck just did'nt fit my hands, I also needed a wider spaced bridge.

Nov 22, 2019 - 12:01:28 PM

FXHERE

USA

1778 posts since 9/6/2003

I also have a Scruggs Vega, and a Pro model , but they dont sound like that...WOW---gotta dig them out and try your set up..

Nov 22, 2019 - 12:58:23 PM

1936 posts since 1/16/2010

quote:
Originally posted by Frisco Fred
quote:
Originally posted by Texican65

I tighten the head on my '63 Scruggs Vega to 91 just like my Gibson Earl Scruggs Golden Deluxe....and it sounds pretty dang good. Powerful 4th string boom with clear bright treble. The Vega won't cut like the Gibson....but it's still a force to reckoned with. GHS Crowe light gauge strings and a thin Veerman mystery wood bridge give my Vega it's pop! I am also using a mid 20's Vegaphone tailpiece..which produced a noticeable difference in tone than the stock 60's Waverly window tailpiece.

The only thing I dont like about my Vega is...the dinky 4 piece flange...its very thin metal and can easily bend or break under too much tension.


Man-O live, did you ever wring out that Vega! 

BTW:  Is your 63 Vega a two coordinating rod model with the tone ring slits?  Or does the tone ring have holes? 


It’s got the original style tubaphone with holes. 

And it’s got the 2 thin coordinator rods. Some came this way, and some came with 1 rod thin, and 1 rod big and fat. 

Another mod done to mine is that the set screws for the neck were removed, so the heel sits flush against the rim. 

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