Advice/Experience Needed: Bigsby or Stoptail?

speedtaco

Member
Messages
902
Anybody who has had experience playing both, I would greatly appreciate your input.
Recently been jonesing for a Les Paul. I have an opportunity to buy one with a factory Bigsby. I've heard people (mostly here) say that Bigsby's kill the sustain in their guitars.
I have a 60's 335 with a Bigsby, and I love it. I've played stoptail 335's, and honestly I cannot tell the difference.
I know there are lots of old Les Pauls that have been converted to stoptails, and I assume there is a reason (maybe just because their favorite player had a stoptail?).
Having been primarily a Strat player, I like having a whammy bar to bend notes and chords.
Anyway, please give me your opinions! Thanks
 

mbargav

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,598
My LP has a factory Bigsby, and my dad has an identical model without a Bigsby. I can't hear any difference in sustain between the two. What model are you looking at?

Here's mine:

photo88.jpg
 

Bluzeboy

Member
Messages
7,850
I've heard people (mostly here) say that Bigsby's kill the sustain in their guitars.

I've heard people here say strap buttons are tone suckers too.. Take it all with a grain of salt and get it if it "speaks" to you.
 

burningyen

Member
Messages
15,219
I didn't notice any loss of sustain with a Bigsby. What I did notice was a not very useful (for me) pitch range and a significant difference in the feel of the strings. They felt looser but for left hand string bends you had to bend the strings farther to get the same amount of pitch change. Also, string changes will make you grit your teeth, even using the various tricks out there.
 

Reyybarra

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,146
Dood I'd say go With the bigsby, I love the slight things you can achieve with only a bigsby... I had a stop tail on my epiphone lp and put a licensed bigs a few years back (I didn't know anything in highschool/early college) but honestly man I still love that guitar and the bigsby has alot to do with it! I highly recommend one on an LP
 

enharmonic

Chairman of the Bored
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
9,210
It's all in the setup. Bigsby's do not kill sustain. They require a bit more attention than a stop tail, but they should.

It comes down to a matter of personal taste and / or necessity. I'd rock a Bigsby-equipped LP without hesitation or reservations about sustain.
 

sixty2strat

Member
Messages
12,561
get a vibramate then you can have both.....put one on my 74 and it killer, had a refret at the same time and it became one of my best
 

amc

Member
Messages
3,140
get a vibramate then you can have both.....put one on my 74 and it killer, had a refret at the same time and it became one of my best

excellent suggestion indeed.

in my personal experience, i've found that bigsbys will not stay in tune as well as a similar stoptail version of the same guitar. (i do incorporate a good deal of string bending when i play guitar)

if you bend your strings constantly as part of your playing style and you do not have a guitar
tech available to keep re-tuning more frequently (between each tune), forget about the bigsby. a stoptail version will hold it's tuning better than the bigsby-equipped model.

just my 2 cents, ymmv.......................
 

tbonesullivan

Member
Messages
1,269
You could always get a stetsbar later. Sure it's like $300 bucks but apparently they work a bunch better. However, they are kinda ugly.
 

kwaping

Guitar payer
Messages
2,537
I am a huge Bigsby fan, and an even bigger fan of Vibramate. I haven't noticed any tuning issues, and I've gotten used to string changes. It's really not as big of a problem as people make it out to be. :)

Bigsby + Vibramate = WIN
 

b2sc

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,005
+ 2 for the Vibramate. Buy a stop tail model and play it for a while. Buy a Bigsby and install the vibramate. yhuop'll loveit (I do). If you don't like it, convert it back to stop tail and flip the Vibramate. they're very popular and you won't lose much $$ at all.

I VM'd/Bigsby'd my mahogany V and it's fookin' cool as hell....
 

sixty2strat

Member
Messages
12,561
excellent suggestion indeed.

in my personal experience, i've found that bigsbys will not stay in tune as well as a similar stoptail version of the same guitar. (i do incorporate a good deal of string bending when i play guitar)

if you bend your strings constantly as part of your playing style and you do not have a guitar
tech available to keep re-tuning more frequently (between each tune), forget about the bigsby. a stoptail version will hold it's tuning better than the bigsby-equipped model.

just my 2 cents, ymmv.......................
I expected issue with tunning too.Pleasently all truth worst thing is the G goes a bit flat, just like my strats. Not doing EVH/Jimi stuff, mostly use it to shimmer sustaining chords so my style might be the reason. However I am a Page/Gilmour wanna be so bend all the time and it holds well. I use .010, graphite and make sure the sting path over the roller to the saddle from the achor it a straight line.
 

speedtaco

Member
Messages
902
Thanks for the feedback. Guess I have to check out the Vibramate! Seems like most people have an issue with the guitar staying in tune with a Bigsby rather than having a sustain issue. Interesting.
 




Top Bottom