Bigsby. Just don't do it.

Discussion in 'Other Guitar Discussion' started by BlurgyWurgyWibble, Oct 2, 2020.

  1. Jerseystratfiend

    Jerseystratfiend Senior Stratmaster

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  2. chicago slim

    chicago slim Senior Stratmaster

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    They are not for the block them or deck them, players. I love my Bigsbys.

    [​IMG]

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    Last edited: Oct 3, 2020
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  3. ibdrkn1

    ibdrkn1 Strat-O-Master

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    The tension bar is not needed in most cases & I feel creates both tuning & action issues.

    The B7 likely seems like the right choice for a Les Paul (& is the most common choice) because it keeps close to the same break angle over the bridge as the stop tail does. However, that break angle is meant for a fixed tail peice. A B7 on a Les Paul has the strings do some crazy bends in a short distance.

    On my old LPC I just went over it.
    image.jpeg
    On a current LPC copy I bought one without.
    image.jpeg

    You have to bang on those strings pretty heavy before they'll pop out. It's never happened to me unless i was trying to.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2020
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  4. ibdrkn1

    ibdrkn1 Strat-O-Master

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    IMO the B7 is better suited for a larger bodied semi & the B3 is better for a LP. If you need a tension bar get a Towner.

    Since you already have it though, there's this retrofit product.
    https://bricksbiggsfix.com/product/bts-5712-v2/

    It sits higher so the string dosent have to bend as much.

    In the other post it was said you could do the same on a Strat trem. I'll say you can achieve the same pitches on a Strat trem but it's not the same audible effect as the shimmer of a Bigsby. And then obviously your Strat doesn't sound or feel like a Les Paul.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2020
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  5. Scott Baxendale

    Scott Baxendale Strat-O-Master Gold Supporting Member

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    There is a secret to the Bigsby that most folks don’t get. The bridge must rock so the string never loses contact with its point on the saddle. Putting a bigsby on with a tuneamatic bridge is futile and pointless because the string slides over the saddle when you use the Bigsby. This effects the tuning in a bad way. A roller bridge is only slightly better because when you have a guitar tuned up to pitch it has a given tension that is distributed among the 6 strings and when you push down on the whammy it releases that tension and when you release the whammy it returns to pitch. However, on a roller bridge or tuneamatic the distribution of that tension is no longer distributed the same to each string as it was since the strings have slipped over the saddles. By using a bridge that rocks this never happens and the strings always return to exactly the same pitch. This is also a feature of the Jazzmaster/Jaguar bridges which are intended to rock with the whammy. I’ve been building and playing guitars professionally since 1974 and never liked Bigsby’s for the first 33 years of playing and I mostly played vintage Strats (54&59). Now I can’t live without the Bigsby and I think they rule all other vibrato’s! Ever since I started playing the Silvertone 1446 model I feel I need the Bigsby all the time. It’s the only vibrato that makes any sense for a Tele, too. A Les Paul with a Bigsby and a standard tuneamatic bridge is kinda of a nightmare. I have invented a mod for the tuneamatic bridge which fixes this problem, it changes the bridge posts and studs, along with a mod to the bridge that allows it to rock with the Bigsby and eliminates the problem. This mod also, works with the Gibson Vibrola, which without the mod is the most useless whammy ever made.

    . 6BF4AAF9-AC50-49A1-8E72-216942043687.jpeg
     
  6. Fenderiano

    Fenderiano New Member!

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    I have a luthier Tele with a Bigsby, sounds and works fine, I only regret the weight it adds to the guitar.
    If I would install one on my LP? Never!!!
     
  7. Scott Baxendale

    Scott Baxendale Strat-O-Master Gold Supporting Member

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    Floyd’s are the Battlestar Glactia’s of bridges.
     
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  8. Bcorig

    Bcorig Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

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    I don’t have one on any of my guitars (as Lewis Black, Larry David or Sam might scream “Then SHUT UP!!”) but
    IMO they look cool on a 335 type of guitar but physically overwhelm Strat or Tele or LP types of guitars.
    A few years ago at a wedding I struck up a conversation with the guitarist of the Live Band (only way to go at wedding, BTW). He had a naturally well worn faded Cherry ES 335 that sounded great and whose body bore the stigmata of a removed Bigsby.
    At a break I sidled over and asked, among other things, why it was removed. I recall his mention of tone difference and tuning difficulty.
    Really nice guy too.
    Seems to me it would add weight to an already hefty LP too.
    (P.S. We had a DJ at my daughter’s wedding-should have hired a live-band).
    OK, let’s hear it “SHUT UP”!
     
  9. Pandamasque

    Pandamasque Strat-Talker

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    For those experiencing problems with Bigsbies, check Dylan Talks Tone youtube channel for tips on how to install/set-up.

    I've installed a B5 on my Telecaster using a Vibromate conversion kit (plus Tusq intonated 3-barrel saddles for better tuning stability). I guess, this project was subconsciously inspired by William Tyler's Tele.
    I did the work myself, and I'm not really what you'd call a handy person, and it just works.
    I feel like over the years the spring has gotten weaker. I may need to find an extra washer or two to put under it to get bigger angle off the body. That aside, it's relatively hassle free.

    [​IMG]

    I'd say this qualifies as a full-on wiggle!
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2020
  10. Tremoluxer

    Tremoluxer Strat-Talker Gold Supporting Member

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    Just last week I came across a really cool string bar upgrade for Bigsbys. Not the Callaham string shaft, this was something new. And I can't find it again. Dang! Will keep searching the Interwebs.
     
  11. ibdrkn1

    ibdrkn1 Strat-O-Master

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    Lol. He wiggled it, just a little bit.

    IMO the Bigsby does shimmer to wiggle (well) & the Strat trem does wiggle to dive (well). I find the barely anything shimmer requires a certain amount of mental focus on a Strat & still doesn't have quite the same effect.
     
  12. Biddlin

    Biddlin Senior Stratmaster

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    I have come to love mine, despite the pita stringing protocols. The whale tail spoiler is aesthetically too outre' for my tastes.
    1wkt.jpg 2rivb.jpg
     
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  13. fezz parka

    fezz parka fezz parka

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    Bigsby can't do this:

     
  14. Nick L Plate

    Nick L Plate Strat-Talk Member

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    But you can't play Cortez the Killer going progressively more and more wildly out of tune unless you use a Bigsby. An alien visiting Earth would never recognize a Bigsby as a musical instrument part. More like a wine bottle opener or scooter throttle or something. IMO, they're about the worst-looking, least-matching instrument part ever, and it's just sad that you have to rebuild them to get them not to suck even more than they do. If you play rockabilly, it's essential for that warble and you get a free pass and a high five. Otherwise... yikes, I don't even like the sound most of the time.
     
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  15. Lone Woof

    Lone Woof Senior Stratmaster

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    Not a fan. Had two guitars with them and just didn't like them. The bar doesn't have the right angle or height for holding in your hand while playing, at least mine didn't. They cannot compare at all with a Jag/Jazzmaster trem, which is far superior in ergonomics, control, and tone.

    I like Scott Baxendale's rocking bridge solution, though. If there was anything about the Bigsby I liked, I'd give that a go.
     
  16. radd

    radd Strat-O-Master

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    Stringing a Bigsby, very easy, bend the ball end and capo the string at the first fret as you use two hands to do a good locking string wrap.

    Tone suck, must be the OP guitar, not an issue for me.

    I will say, tension bars, I’m not a fan.

    my current Biggs

    57A54FF0-7604-432B-A50F-F9489457E55E.jpeg

    Another of mine since sold, Tennessee Rose...I miss her

    57254692-66DD-4562-B66B-F074C0275ED3.jpeg
     
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  17. Collin D Plonker

    Collin D Plonker Strat-Talker

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    I love my Bigsby. It's a lot more subtle than the strat, and it has its own sound. It was not hard to set up. You just have to get it straight and don't crank it down. I did have to work on the saddles a little, but it's totally solid and returns to tune. Plus it looks killer. I have a fake Bigsby on my old National that's nice too IMG_20200730_191531.jpg IMG_20200528_102917.jpg
     
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  18. Anacharsis

    Anacharsis Strat-O-Master Platinum Supporting Member

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    I've got 'em on two Pro Jets and two 5622Ts. I enjoy them quite a bit, actually. Never really had a problem restringing, but I generally do them one string at a time.
     
  19. StratoMutt

    StratoMutt Senior Stratmaster

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    Bigsby?

    DuckNo.gif

    Well maybe for some guitars ... none for me thanks.
     
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  20. fezz parka

    fezz parka fezz parka

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    I think that was Paul Bigsby's solution. ;)
     
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