Vibramate/Bigsby issues

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by guitarsenal, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. guitarsenal

    guitarsenal Silver Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2012
    westchester county, ny
    For a long time I've been wanting to add a Bigsby to my Collings I35. I am not a luthier or repair pro, but know my way around a guitar workbench and this seemed like a pretty basic task. I bought the correct Bigsby per the vibramate chart. Yesterday I installed the whole set-up - it was as quick and easy as advertised. Only when I strung it up did an issue become apparent. Strung up, and under tension, the strings, particularly the low E and A, did not line up with the string slots on the bridge. I tried to slide the strings across the Bigsby roller. That worked on the high strings, but there was nothing I could do to get the two low strings lined up with the string slots on the bridge.

    Any suggestions as to what is happening here? Are the strings coming off the Bigsby too high relative to the bridge? Is the solution raising the bridge? I really don't want to raise the action.

    Is the string spacing on the Bigsby incompatible with my nut and bridge?

    Any thoughts before I surrender and bring this to Izzy Lugo, my go-to pro. I love Izzy, and he is the best, but it seems tht every time I step into his shop another Ronin Guitar follows me home : )
  2. RussB

    RussB low rent hobbyist Silver Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Got a picture?

    You could carefully tap one the roller bearings "inward" a bit. That will allow the string bar to float and line itself up with the bridge's string spacing.

    There's a possibility that the mount holes in the Bigsby itself are not drilled in the correct location (just a wild guess)
  3. barnes

    barnes Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2006
    Hamilton, ON, Canada
    Hi there,

    Just curious as to if this issue got resolved or not? Did the Collings take the Vibramate installed Bigsby OK in the end?


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