Tell me about Bigsby vibrato's

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by orourke, Apr 22, 2015.

  1. Whitecat

    Whitecat Member

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    I've never met one that's been the same. It's closer than say a Strat-type vibrato but it's almost that limited range that makes it what it is.
     
  2. TrampledUnderFoot

    TrampledUnderFoot Member

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    I use mine pretty aggressively, like dive bomb to the top of the guitar aggressive, and it rarely goes out of tune very far. I'm using 9's currently and I have zero issues. I have two guitars with Bigsby's, soon to be a third. We even have a song where I yank on it almost constantly and it's holds tune just fine.

    Restringing is a slight pain, but just like others said, roll the ball end around something (I use a mechanical pencil, also for graphite in the nut) and it's super easy. Or buy the callaham deal where the string goes through the anchoring bar. Doesn't really take me much longer to restring than anyone else.
     
  3. gibsonES330

    gibsonES330 Member

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    Just get a Vibramate Spoiler. Works great!

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Jon C

    Jon C Silver Supporting Member

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    Love 'em.

    Properly set up as noted, they tune well and stay in tune. Well cut & lubed nut is important. String changing is no big deal with a couple of simple tricks like bending the ball end (roll around a pen or pencil) and using 1/2 a clothespin to hold that end while you deal with the tuner (convenient but not essential).

    I do prefer locking tuners with mine.

    None of my Bigsby'd guitars are heavy so I don't get the weight issue claimed. My G&L ASAT Special SH/Bigsby is about 6 lbs (yeah, heavy). :cool:

    The Jazzmaster trem can be similar but IMO is definitely not the same in feel or effect (and I really like my JM).
     
  5. orourke

    orourke Member

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    Tons of great info in this thread. I thank you all.
     
  6. IPLAYLOUD

    IPLAYLOUD Member

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    I have no problems with regular TOM bridges. I have one with a Roller, and feel no difference than those without. Some of my guitars have Vibramate V5/B5...love them.
    I have a B7 and B16 on other guitars with no trouble.
    The Vibramate Spoiler is the cherry on the cake!!
    NUT SAUCE on every Nut. Gotta have it.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. orourke

    orourke Member

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    ^^^ you make me want to go out an buy a Reverend. Cool collection!
     
  8. =JL=

    =JL= Member

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    I use 9-gauge strings and use the Bigsby pretty heavily and it stays in tune fine. Three different guitars, one Tele with stock saddles, and two Gibsons with Nashvilles.

    You don't need roller saddles or a rocking bridge, or some specialised string changing technique - use a capo to maintain string tension as a "third hand" just like you would with any other trapeze tailpiece.

    The only downside for me is that I use my volume controls all the time, and the Bigsby can get in the way a little on some Gibsons.
     
  9. tartanphantom

    tartanphantom Member

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    To each his own... I own 7 different guitars with Bigsbys, 4 of which are archtop hollowbodies, and not a single roller bridge in sight. None of the problems you mention.
    However, when it comes to Floyd Rose units, I feel exactly the same way that you feel about Bigsbys.

    +1 to all you said.
     
  10. gibsonES330

    gibsonES330 Member

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    There might be some individual guitars that for some reason or another just don't get along with Bigby's, but in the majority of cases all you need is a proper setup and lube at all string contact points for smooth operation with little-to-no affect on tuning (the same goes for Maestros on Gibsons).
     
  11. townerusa

    townerusa Member

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  12. fractal

    fractal Member

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    This is an amazing tool. I can restring my Bigsby guitar in the time it takes me to restring any of my other guitars (or maybe even less).

    I want to shake the guy's (or girl's) hand that invented this. My life is so much easier now. I no longer put up with old strings when I play.
     
  13. townerusa

    townerusa Member

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    The TOWNER down tension bar allows you to manage your sustain. You can raise and lower the tension bar and depending on how much down tension you put on your strings will decide how much sustain your strings will have.

    Also note, the down tension bar works in concert with the action of your strings, the height of your bridge and nut.

    Email me from the site with any questions I am here to help.


     
  14. stratter

    stratter Member

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    If you want the best tuning stability, spend the extra hundred or two if your budget allows for a roller bridge, roller nut, and a nice set of locking tuners.

    Also, B7 is American made one for carved tops,

    B70, and B700 or however many zeros are at the end, the worse craftsmanship.

    My B7 has lasted a decade now perfectly.
     
  15. Jayyj

    Jayyj Supporting Member

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    There can't be many guitar related designs that divide people more than the humble Bigsby! If you don't like them that's fine, but they work great if set up properly and they don't deserve the negativity they get. There should be no need to start replacing nuts, bridges and tuners: if you can bend a string up a tone and not pull the string of tune, then you can use a Bigsby without any issues relating to binding on the nut or saddles. Mine play perfectly mostly with the stock parts (I did put Graphtech saddles on my 355 on a te h's recommendation but that was back in the days of using 9s and I'm sure it could cope with the originals) and can stand up to pretty vigorous use without needing to immediately retune.

    There are a few bits of the Bigsby that aren't always perfectly made leading to potential problems - in particular I've encountered Bigsbys with rather weak springs, and this causes tuning issues particularly if low tension strings are being used. If you have a problem Bigsby, get a tech who knows and likes the things to take a look before you start swapping out other parts.

    Some of the family:

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    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]
     
  16. twitch

    twitch Member

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    I am a big vibrato guy, but basically always did it with my fret hand, I never could use regluar trem bars effectively. A friend of mine has a Gretsch I played some about a year ago, and fell in love with the Bigsby. I have since gotten my own Gretsh as well as a Hamer, both with Bigsby's (albeit different types of bigsbys). I have no problems with tuning. As already mentioned, Bigsby's are not for dive bombing, and really requires a farily gentle wiggle to get a really nice vibrato sound going. I think it adds so much texture and flavor, at least for my playing style.
     

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