Descendant Vibrato Unit - Right Handed

£214.99

Please use the tabs below to read through the information about this product.

Availability

In stock, here in the UK and ready for dispatch

I'm incredibly proud to be offering these here in the UK. After speaking with Chris early on, it felt like making these more accessible to those in the UK (& perhaps those in Europe too) would be worthwhile for those who were weary of importing an item from the USA themselves due to shipping and import tax, duty and handling charges involved. As a result, this is UK stock, dispatched from me here at James' Home of Tone.

About the Descendant Vibrato

The Descendant Vibrato is the brain child of well established, and highly respected luthier, Chris Swope of Swope Guitars. Although Chris has been developing his own instruments, products and brands for a number of years now, he is also well known for his time working in pivotal positions at Gibson and Sadowsky which has of course gained him a wealth of experience in the industry. The Descendant Vibrato is a result of over ten years of thought processes into the classic Fender floating vibrato design. Which after a couple of years more specifically diving head first into turning into a product, is finally born. 

I have touched on the subject a number of times over on my blog, so I won't go too in-depth here (feel free to head to the blog if you want the deep dive though!) but to summarise; The vibrato units found on Jazzmasters & Jaguars primarily, was designed and introduced by Leo Fender at a time when players predominantly used heavy gauged strings, wound G's and often flatwounds too. Playing styles and approach was different then, so as time went by and players started using lighter gauge strings, plain G's and regular round wound strings for example, offset players started noticing niggling issues along the way. Players have long embraced these 'quirks' if you want to call them that, and some have performed modifications to their bridges or vibratos to help with it. 

So skip forward, and Chris has spent a long time working on these guitars, building his own instruments and like a lot of us offset guitar fans, been involved in countless discussions with what could help and make the classic design work more efficiently for modern guitarists. The Descendant Vibrato is designed to provide your offset with a steeper break angle for the strings over the bridge which as a result improves stability, as well as some setup benefits too. An early and common past solution to this was the installation of an additional after market roller bar, these often being frowned upon as a viable solution. the Descendant doesn’t add an extra friction point and it increases the downward pressure at the bridge in a manner that maintains the integrity of Leo’s original design so you still get the full pantheon of overtones that a trapeze style tailpiece provides.  

As each guitar is different and each player’s needs are different, the Descendant allows the player to determine the depth that the vibrato is set beneath the top plate. Some players have already refined their setup and simply want increased sustain. Others just want the strings to stay in the saddles! The design and adjustability of the Descendant will help you dial in the angle to your requirements. Strings are front loaded through a keyhole design, this allows for easy string installation as the ball ends now rest at or below the plane of the body.   Also new to the Descendant design is a top adjusting tension screw for the vibrato arm.  Accessed through the arm hole in the top plate, you can take your arm out after every gig, adjust it to be free swinging or set to stay where you put it. 

Chris began teasing the development of this unit and the buzz around the offset and luthier community was plain to see. Since releasing the units for sale, and players and guitar makers are getting them onto their instruments they are seeing, hearing and feeling these improvements over the classic design and it has become a serious solution for this style of vibrato unit. We're spoilt for choice these days for great offset hardware options and it is great to see Chris' designs right up there with that. 

Install/Maintenance tips

The Descendant was designed and made to fit standard Jazzmaster/Jaguar vibrato body routes/cavities. If you have any concerns that yours is different to standard, get in touch and we can double check fitment for you.

The unit comes supplied with a handy reference guide, written by Chris that will help guide through the install process. To accompany this supplied guide, I have also made this humble video (below) showing the steps along the way along with a blog article which you can read by clicking HERE.

Nothing is 'pre-setup' on the unit so to speak, although assembled it ultimately requires final adjustment and setup upon installation. So correctly setting the tension spring for example is all part of the install and general adjustment process to ensure it is working efficiently on your specific guitar. Feel free to experiment with spring tensions until you find a nice arm feel that also operates noise free (IE pivot plate not hitting top plate upon returning to pitch, if yours does this then the spring is super tight and you'll need to reduce tension for example). Needless to say though, if a Descendant is ordered here I will be on hand to help with any installation/adjustment questions you may have no worries at all.



Maintenance wise, ultimately this is a high quality, hard wearing item that with care and routine maintenance will last a very long time indeed! Both Descendant/Swope and me highly recommend some basic routine maintenance steps each or every other string change to keep your Descendant working it's best, and that is to simply apply some White Lithium Grease to the section of the vibrato arm that fits into the unit. A tiny amount is sufficient, and will help keep the locking mechanism and arm functioning well for years to come. White Lithium Grease is low cost, and a handy item to keep in your set-up arsenal anyway for it's multiple uses with metal hardware items on your guitar.

What's included?

1x Descendant Vibrato Unit (latest 2024 spec - something I've been stocking for some time as they've been gradually brought into circulation for further back than that)
Set of 6 new wood mount screws
Vibrato arm w/antique white switch tip as standard
Allen key adjustment tools
Installation guide

Do you provide an install/fitting service?

I do! If you happen to be local, and want to have your unit installed professionally then do please get in touch and I'd be happy to provide that service for you. My office is based in Stourbridge, West Midlands (UK). For more information of my guitar services please visit the dedicated page HERE or get in touch james@homeoftone.co.uk

Please use the tabs below to read through the information about this product.

In stock, here in the UK and ready for dispatch

I'm incredibly proud to be offering these here in the UK. After speaking with Chris early on, it felt like making these more accessible to those in the UK (& perhaps those in Europe too) would be worthwhile for those who were weary of importing an item from the USA themselves due to shipping and import tax, duty and handling charges involved. As a result, this is UK stock, dispatched from me here at James' Home of Tone.

The Descendant Vibrato is the brain child of well established, and highly respected luthier, Chris Swope of Swope Guitars. Although Chris has been developing his own instruments, products and brands for a number of years now, he is also well known for his time working in pivotal positions at Gibson and Sadowsky which has of course gained him a wealth of experience in the industry. The Descendant Vibrato is a result of over ten years of thought processes into the classic Fender floating vibrato design. Which after a couple of years more specifically diving head first into turning into a product, is finally born. 

I have touched on the subject a number of times over on my blog, so I won't go too in-depth here (feel free to head to the blog if you want the deep dive though!) but to summarise; The vibrato units found on Jazzmasters & Jaguars primarily, was designed and introduced by Leo Fender at a time when players predominantly used heavy gauged strings, wound G's and often flatwounds too. Playing styles and approach was different then, so as time went by and players started using lighter gauge strings, plain G's and regular round wound strings for example, offset players started noticing niggling issues along the way. Players have long embraced these 'quirks' if you want to call them that, and some have performed modifications to their bridges or vibratos to help with it. 

So skip forward, and Chris has spent a long time working on these guitars, building his own instruments and like a lot of us offset guitar fans, been involved in countless discussions with what could help and make the classic design work more efficiently for modern guitarists. The Descendant Vibrato is designed to provide your offset with a steeper break angle for the strings over the bridge which as a result improves stability, as well as some setup benefits too. An early and common past solution to this was the installation of an additional after market roller bar, these often being frowned upon as a viable solution. the Descendant doesn’t add an extra friction point and it increases the downward pressure at the bridge in a manner that maintains the integrity of Leo’s original design so you still get the full pantheon of overtones that a trapeze style tailpiece provides.  

As each guitar is different and each player’s needs are different, the Descendant allows the player to determine the depth that the vibrato is set beneath the top plate. Some players have already refined their setup and simply want increased sustain. Others just want the strings to stay in the saddles! The design and adjustability of the Descendant will help you dial in the angle to your requirements. Strings are front loaded through a keyhole design, this allows for easy string installation as the ball ends now rest at or below the plane of the body.   Also new to the Descendant design is a top adjusting tension screw for the vibrato arm.  Accessed through the arm hole in the top plate, you can take your arm out after every gig, adjust it to be free swinging or set to stay where you put it. 

Chris began teasing the development of this unit and the buzz around the offset and luthier community was plain to see. Since releasing the units for sale, and players and guitar makers are getting them onto their instruments they are seeing, hearing and feeling these improvements over the classic design and it has become a serious solution for this style of vibrato unit. We're spoilt for choice these days for great offset hardware options and it is great to see Chris' designs right up there with that. 

The Descendant was designed and made to fit standard Jazzmaster/Jaguar vibrato body routes/cavities. If you have any concerns that yours is different to standard, get in touch and we can double check fitment for you.

The unit comes supplied with a handy reference guide, written by Chris that will help guide through the install process. To accompany this supplied guide, I have also made this humble video (below) showing the steps along the way along with a blog article which you can read by clicking HERE.

Nothing is 'pre-setup' on the unit so to speak, although assembled it ultimately requires final adjustment and setup upon installation. So correctly setting the tension spring for example is all part of the install and general adjustment process to ensure it is working efficiently on your specific guitar. Feel free to experiment with spring tensions until you find a nice arm feel that also operates noise free (IE pivot plate not hitting top plate upon returning to pitch, if yours does this then the spring is super tight and you'll need to reduce tension for example). Needless to say though, if a Descendant is ordered here I will be on hand to help with any installation/adjustment questions you may have no worries at all.



Maintenance wise, ultimately this is a high quality, hard wearing item that with care and routine maintenance will last a very long time indeed! Both Descendant/Swope and me highly recommend some basic routine maintenance steps each or every other string change to keep your Descendant working it's best, and that is to simply apply some White Lithium Grease to the section of the vibrato arm that fits into the unit. A tiny amount is sufficient, and will help keep the locking mechanism and arm functioning well for years to come. White Lithium Grease is low cost, and a handy item to keep in your set-up arsenal anyway for it's multiple uses with metal hardware items on your guitar.

1x Descendant Vibrato Unit (latest 2024 spec - something I've been stocking for some time as they've been gradually brought into circulation for further back than that)
Set of 6 new wood mount screws
Vibrato arm w/antique white switch tip as standard
Allen key adjustment tools
Installation guide

I do! If you happen to be local, and want to have your unit installed professionally then do please get in touch and I'd be happy to provide that service for you. My office is based in Stourbridge, West Midlands (UK). For more information of my guitar services please visit the dedicated page HERE or get in touch james@homeoftone.co.uk