Gibson ES-335: Bigsby or No Bigsby?

BIgsby or No Bigsby?

  • Bigsby

    Votes: 41 45.6%
  • No Bigsby

    Votes: 49 54.4%

  • Total voters


I like having a Bigsby...just as long as it doesn't have one of those ugly "custom made" plates on it to cover the stop bar holes.
If I could only have one, no Bigsby. In the last few months I've had an uncontrollable urge to have a Bigsby hollow\semi hollow. I haven't had much luck finding one that will stay in tune though. I'll keep looking.

I was told to put a little graphite in the grooves of the nut and mine is pretty good at staying in tune . I like having a bigsby


Platinum Supporting Member
Keep it stock and it will serve you well. Buy something with a Bigsby if you have a hankering for some vibrato. I suggest a Gretsch Power Jet.


Silver Supporting Member
I have had much better performance, range and stability from my Duesenburg Les Trem II than I ever had from a Bigsby. Easy to install, non-invasive, and much less massive looking too. (I have the Les Trem II on a semi-hollow).
Might be worth a look.


Silver Supporting Member
I get phantom limb syndrome when I play a 335 without a Bigsby - I keep reaching for the arm and it's not there!

Here's my little family of 335 style Gibsons - can you spot a theme running through them?



Silver Supporting Member
Weight and non-straight string pull are something to consider. In other words, balance and tuning stability are impacted. Both of those issues aren't a dealbreaker, but after having owned a couple 335's with bigsby's I'll probably choose without for the next one. Still, pretty sexy with them. Depends on how much you want to rely on a trem.
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Silver Supporting Member
I like having a Bigsby...just as long as it doesn't have one of those ugly "custom made" plates on it to cover the stop bar holes.
A Towner bar is a better use of the tailpiece sockets. Better looking and much more functional. I have one with a B3 on an Epiphone Dot and it works exactly as intended. I prefer it over the built in tension bar on a B12, B5 or B7.


Gold Supporting Member
I love Bigsbys and there's a kit to install without requiring holes in the top. I would suggest GraphTech bridge pins for the Adjustomatic bridge piece and regular use of graphite (I use a mechanical pencil) or nut lube in the nut slots. I installed a B7 on my LP Supreme, and it has turned out awesome:
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But you might also consider a Duesenberg Les Trem which I have installed on my LP Special DC and LP Std Pro DC
View media item 19762View media item 164628


Weird question. Are you someone who uses a trem a lot? Answer that and you'll know what to do.


While some players like them and some don't, I read an article a couple of years ago wherein it was stated that the 3X5 models without a Bigsby were the preferred choice of players using that style of guitar.

My first 3X5 was a 355 with a Bigsby, and it would not stay in tune as well as the next one I bought without a Bigsby. Thereafter, all of my 3X5's had no Bigsby on them.

It's just a preference thing, but worth considering if you are on the fence. Bigsby's can stay in tune on some guitars better then others, and it is not a model thing where one might stay in tune better on say for example, a Gretsch, then a Gibson. It all gets down to the individual guitar, not the model or company.

If I were to get another guitar with a Bigsby, it would be a Duesenberg again. Those trems stay in tune very well and feel a bit more accurate to me then a standard Bigsby does. ymmv :)

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