Replace 335 Bigsby with trapeze?

Krausewitz

Member
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2,871
Is it possible to replace a Bigsby on a 335 with a trapeze without too much trouble? I'm looking at a Bigsby'd 335, but don't want an already heavy guitar to be a full pound heavier just for something I'm not gonna use anyway. I figure swapping over to a trapeze might do the trick.

Thanks!
 

bulbasaur_85

Member
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2,207
If the holes from the stop tail are there, maybe just go back to a lightweight aluminum tail piece? Maybe the one you're looking at has the factory bigsby which means there wouldn't be stop tail holes, which in that case you should be able to convert it with maybe some holes on the strap pin area??
 

Jayyj

Silver Supporting Member
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8,318
Is this a '65-'79 guitar? If so, is the Bigsby definitely factory? Although there are certainly plenty of factory fitted Bigsby guitars from that era, there are also a lot that had added Bigsbys so there's a chance you already have holes for a trapeze. If not you'd still only have to drill a couple of holes (the top holes should be in the same place as a Gibson trapeze) which could easily be discreetly plugged if a future owner wanted to revert the guitar to a Bigsby.

It's worth baring in mind that there is a subtle difference in feel between stop bars, Bigsbys and trapezes and you might even hear a difference (I can't, but some say they can). If it's a great guitar to start with I wouldn't personally mess with it - there again, a Bigsby'd 335 is about as good as it gets for me!
 

Krausewitz

Member
Messages
2,871
Is this a '65-'79 guitar? If so, is the Bigsby definitely factory? Although there are certainly plenty of factory fitted Bigsby guitars from that era, there are also a lot that had added Bigsbys so there's a chance you already have holes for a trapeze. If not you'd still only have to drill a couple of holes (the top holes should be in the same place as a Gibson trapeze) which could easily be discreetly plugged if a future owner wanted to revert the guitar to a Bigsby.

It's worth baring in mind that there is a subtle difference in feel between stop bars, Bigsbys and trapezes and you might even hear a difference (I can't, but some say they can). If it's a great guitar to start with I wouldn't personally mess with it - there again, a Bigsby'd 335 is about as good as it gets for me!
Well, here's the thing....looking at the guitar in question it looks like there's a hole right below the strap button, so the Bigsby might have been added on (in fact, I'd be comfortable saying that is almost certainly the case).

 

Jahn

Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver
Silver Supporting Member
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28,801
only issue would be that the holes around the bottom end may be in different positions:

http://www.jazzguitar.be/forum/guitar-amps-gizmos/30207-replacement-bigsby.html

Plus, many have a grounding wire soldered to the tailpiece, so make certain you don't just yank it off - you may have to desolder and resolder the grounding wire. The worst thing to happen is for that thin wire to break off or get lost within the body, and it's a BEAR poking it back where it belongs.
 

onemoretime

Member
Messages
2,862
Is it a tension bar Bigsby with screws in the top? If so, you have visible holes to contend with.

The Bigsby is usually grounded with a small wire that passes through the rim just above or below the strap button and "clamped" between the body and hinge plate. You can ground the trapeze the same way. Line another poster said, don't let the wire slip back into the body.
 

Jayyj

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,318
Well, here's the thing....looking at the guitar in question it looks like there's a hole right below the strap button, so the Bigsby might have been added on (in fact, I'd be comfortable saying that is almost certainly the case).

Ok, that looks like an after market Bigsby on a guitar that started life with a trapeze, in which case it would be easy enough to buy a replacement trapeze and revert to the original set up. If you don't like it, just put the Bigsby back on. As others have said, watch out for the earth wire.

The B7 will leave two holes in the top but they can be plugged and the lacquer drop filled. They won't disappear completely but on an old guitar with other play wear they won't be too big a deal. Some of the most desirable guitars in the world have Bigsby snakebites if you look closely - the ex Keith Richard '59 Les Paul has them for example.
 

mattymel

Member
Messages
1,416
Im guessing the tone wouldn't improve. If anything likely it wouldn't sound as good. I was pretty happy the first time I strummed my Bigsby unplugged. Personally the trapeze is my least fave on a 335. Sounds a little thinner to me. That may be good for some people though. To me the Bigsby brightened up the sound a touch and added some presence.
 




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